With the 30th June fast approaching, now is the time to knock that outstanding marketing budget balance down to zero. If you don’t, not only are you missing a valuable opportunity to boost your year’s efforts but, if someone else is in charge of your budget, you face the possibility of a limited pot of cash next time around.
Whether you have just a few hundred dollars or several thousand to play with, there are plenty of effective ways in which you can spend your leftover marketing money wisely. Here are some suggestions that you can easily implement over the next few weeks.
1. Try ad retargeting
If you’ve still got money to spend, an ad retargeting campaign – a campaign targeted at people who have already interacted with your business online – could produce some good short term results. Why? Because if people are window shopping on your website, they’re already one step closer to buying.
There are many third-party companies who do both web and social retargeting. However you can also do it quickly and cost effectively yourself through a specific platform such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google AdWords for around $500.
2. Experiment with visual content
Most businesses today are engaging in content marketing, but not all are branching out to explore all the available mediums. So instead of just focusing on blogs and social media posts, why not use your leftover cash to try something a little different such as an infographic or SlideShare?
Visual content is a great way through which to engage your audience. Not only do people retain information when visualised with colour images, but infographics are also 3 times more likely to be liked and shared. But remember: hiring a good graphic designer is essential.
3. Optimize for mobile
With most people now accessing the internet on the go, if your site doesn’t translate well from desktop to tablet to phone you run the risk of frustrating and ultimately losing customers due to poor useability. Don’t let this happen. Spend the leftover money in your marketing budget on optimizing your website for mobile.
If you don’t have the technical expertise to do it yourself, hiring a web developer to do it for you will be well worth the cost. Prices will vary depending on how your current site is currently provided. Not only will optimization improve user satisfaction, but, in doing so, it will also boost your SEO.
4. Get some blogs under your belt
Producing quality blogs on a regular basis is not always easy, especially during the busy periods. Rather than waiting until you reach the ‘no blog to publish’ predicament, why not invest the money now into creating a few evergreen pieces of content that you can pull out and upload as and when required?
To produce this type of content you need to write about topics that are continually relevant within your industry. For example, if you are a dentist you could produce a blog on the how-to of good dental hygiene. To hire in an experienced freelance copywriter you should expect to pay around $100-$200 per article.
5. Carry out an SEO audit
Ideally, you should be re-evaluating your website for SEO effectiveness every six months. If this is not a regular spend for your business, investing your leftover budget into paying for an expert to review and update your site would be money put to good use.
Some of the main areas they will focus on include: keywords; content; site useability; load speed; and external links. If your leftover budget won’t stretch to bringing in a professional, there are many paid online tools which you can use to do it yourself including SiteAnalyzer and Screaming Frog’s Spider Tool.
6. Invest in email marketing
According to VentureBeat, email delivers the best return on investment in digital marketing offering up to $38 for every $1 spent – but only if done right. To get it right today you need an email management system to help you manage your subscribers, send emails and track your results. So why not use your spare money to invest in one?
MailChimp and Constant Contact both offer intuitive interfaces and a range of features to help you speed up and professionalise your email efforts. Pricing starts from as little as $10 a month so, whatever money you have left, you should be give it a good trial and see how it works for your business.
7. Thank your loyal customers
It’s common marketing knowledge that retaining customers is a fraction of the cost of acquiring new ones. So why not spend that extra cash on thanking your loyal customers or clients?
One simple yet effective idea is to design and print your own thank you cards which you can send out with a personalised note on their birthday or other occasion. Alternatively, spend it on distributing free ‘brand relevant’ goodies to delight or surprise customers or run a complimentary information sharing event for your best clients.
With so many great ways to effectively spend your leftover 2015/16 budget, it’s time to get a move on. Make every last marketing cent count.