How to be efficient with your marketing budget 24 April, 2020 | Digital Marketing | 4 min read. As the COVID-19 crisis continues, businesses across the board are facing more challenges than ever before. With 73% of small businesses experiencing a significant decrease in demand, many companies are fighting to survive. Many are reacting by reducing or cutting marketing spend completely in light of the uncertain economic situation, and whilst understandable and advantageous in the short term, investing in your long term marketing and lead generation strategy now will ensure that you come out of this pandemic stronger than ever. Below are a few tips to help you make the most out of your marketing budget during COVID-19. Re-evaluate your current marketing strategy and be efficient with your marketing budget Outlining a realistic and efficient marketing budget has never been more important. With purse strings tightening, you need to consider the best way to spend your budget, focusing on strategies that are more likely to see a return on investment (ROI). Before you decide to pause or change your current marketing strategy, assess whether the needs of your target audience have changed. If a specific product or service is not a current spending drive for consumers, look at other areas of your business that could benefit from more spend. Make sure that every aspect of your new marketing strategy is planned out to avoid any needless spending, and if you’re working across multiple teams, make sure that everyone is aware of the new plans and budgets. It’s important to regularly review your marketing strategy so that you can clearly idenitify what campaigns are working and what areas need improving. Re-evaluating your strategy throughout the COVID-19 crisis will be critical in producing reactive and effective marketing campaigns. Understand the change in consumer behaviour As we all adapt to a new way of life, it’s important to recognise how consumer behaviour is changing – not only with the way we purchase products and services, but how we connect and interact with companies too. More and more people are naturally turning to social media to stay connected whilst in quarantine, with Facebook reporting a 70% increase in usage across its collection of apps since the pandemic started. And although web usage has increased by a staggering amount, Google states that consumers are taking longer to make purchasing decisions and fewer conversions are being made. Therefore, adding a human touch and reaching out reassuringly to clients personally could aid conversions. Use measurable marketing techniques If you are looking to cut costs whilst increasing your ROI, employing marketing methods that allow for accurate audience targeting and conversion tracking is vital. Audience targeting is the use of data to segment consumers by demographics or interest. By creating an audience persona, you can target the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing message. Conversion tracking is used as a way to determine the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, allowing you to monitor a consumer’s actions as they move toward conversion. This could include the use of a contact form, newsletter sign up or content download. Measurable marketing solutions include paid social, SEO, pay per click (PPC) and email marketing, you can ask a marketing expert for an in-depth measurement of your campaigns. By decreasing general advertising, and focusing on your business’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIS), you can focus on testing and measuring your marketing efforts to ensure a ROI. Make sure your goals and KPIs are attainable and are monitored, as they may need altering during this time of uncertainty. Scale with performance and reinvest your budget If you are running ad campaigns or paid search, it may be tempting to turn off a well-performing campaign to save money. Instead, it is advisable to reduce your bid – which is the maximum amount of money you are willing to pay for each advertisement you are running – to match current marketing conditions. Due to a general decrease in search campaign traffic, we are seeing ad bids across a range of industries are lower than ever before, allowing an opportunity to scale down spend on current campaigns. By scaling down current spend, you would more or less maintain your current market share whilst still appearing in front of your target audience. Alternatively, if your products/services are in high demand, you may want to take advantage of the lower search volume and consider increasing your spend. Invest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of enhancing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Although we don’t know how long this pandemic will last for, one thing we do know is that it won’t last forever and eventually normality will return. SEO is cost-effective and investing in organic long term marketing solutions like this can be highly benefical for the future of your business. SEO allows you to stay visible organically even when search preferences are changing. Nurture your current customer relationships Looking for alternative ways to reach your current customers will be key, if you have previously only relied on paid media to do so. Email marketing is one of the best ways to create a meaningful relationship with your customers, It’s direct, personal and often one of the cheapest methods of communication. With regular email marketing, you can nurture and develop the relationship between your business and the consumer. If a customer has exchanged their contact details with you, it’s highly likely they have been exposed to your brand already, and want to hear more from you. Take into consideration that consumers are spending more time browsing before buying, so building a personal relationship is key in order for your business to stay top of mind when making purchasing decisions. Who are we and how can we help? EDGE Creative is a digital marketing agency based in Birmingham. They have over 15 years’ experience specialising in helping businesses get the most out of their marketing and increasing sales and lead generation. If you’d like to implement a long term marketing strategy or would like advice on how to be efficient with your marketing budget during this testing time, call us today on 0121 355 8092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a complimentary consultation with a marketing expert.