No matter if your marketing budget is set seasonally, quarterly or yearly – there’s no time like the present to start putting any extra funds to work.
Here, we’ve outlined 13 ways to spend that extra cash and fill your marketing initiatives with a few great avenues that can easily pay for themselves.
Cost:2 hours – $200
Do you have a Facebook page? Want to engage with your fans in real time? If you’ve answered “yep” to both of these questions, the perfect answer is Facebook Live! Giving live, #IRL access to your business is a fantastic act of transparency allowing your customers to see into your organisation. This also puts people ‘at ease’ as they can see just how wonderful and down-to-earth your business is.
To allocate spare marketing budget to Facebook Live, consider hiring a social media consultant to create a strategy for you, or allocate some of your marketing team’s time to training on Facebook Live.
Additional tip: Facebook ads are also a great way to allocate some paid ad spend in a way that can be measured, despite the incorrect notion that Facebook is “just for B2C businesses.” (We’ll be putting out a Facebook marketing for B2B businesses post in the coming weeks so make sure you’re on our mailing list to be notified.)
2. Spotify Playlists
When something is literally $0 to create, there is no second-guessing. This is a great chance to engage with your customers! By creating a Spotify playlist around a specific theme (such as “CLCK Tunes 2016”) it can give your business a chance to engage with a new market and new fans. A few listens to “Dangerzone” and your audience is hooked!
Additional tip: Consider making your own “in office” Spotify playlist that your team listens to while working. There are already some great Spotify playlists created around the themes of study/focus. Give one of these playlists your own unique spin and then share it with your audience.
3. Extra Blog Posts
Cost: 2+ Hours – $200 ($10-$50 for social media promotion of these blog posts)
There’s nothing wrong with being prepared. If you’ve got extra time and some money, try and create a few more blog posts for a rainy day. These will help enormously when you’re not sure whether to write another general post, or recycling an old article. If something goes wrong one week and you can’t publish your scheduled post for some reason, you’ve always got a few posts to fall back on.
4. Create a Survey
Cost: $0 (potentially roughly $20 p/m for premium packages in a service like SurveyMonkey)
Warning: don’t create a survey just for the sake of creating a survey. But a survey created entirely for your audience for the purpose of your organisation gaining valuable information is fantastic. While normally you might want to find out something about the person (i.e. demographics, psychographic) you could create a ‘fun’ survey (e.g. Which Game of Thrones Character Are You?) that could lead to another opt-in offer and/or could be a great way to add followers to your social accounts or email list.
5. Create a Competition
Cost: Variable (depending on what you want to offer as a prize)
Another way to make audience interaction work for you is to create a competition. One of my favourite competitions are movie bundles. Chances are your organisation has customers that enjoy movies. For you to use this emotional attachment to the big screen, all you need to do is create a package (i.e. 2x tickets voucher, food & drink voucher) for $20-$100 that your surveyed customers can win. You can even promote this competition to other non-customers for your chance to obtain their information once they opt-in with their details to go in the running to win your prize.
Cost: Variable (but shouldn’t be more than $1000)
This depends on the nature of your business, but if your plan is to create more brand awareness, sponsorship could be the perfect way to go. We’re not saying sponsor Real Madrid or NASCAR, but sponsoring a local sports team, an event, a trade show, or something relating to your organisation’s target market, could promote you as an industry or community leader in your field.
7. CSR Campaign
Cost: $200-$500 (small campaign), $1000-$5000 (large campaign)
Corporate social responsibility is an idea that should definitely be implemented in many, if not all, organisations. If your business hasn’t implemented a CSR campaign, the extra marketing budget you’ve accumulated will play a fantastic role in helping organise something. CSR campaigns can be vast, such as donating food and resources to overseas impoverished peoples, or as local as organising to plant new trees in your town.
8. Free Giveaways for Top Customers
Cost: Variable (dependent on what you want to give away)
Your top customers are generally ones that bring fantastic business to your organisation. Whether through repeat purchases or word-of-mouth marketing, these ‘crème de la crème’ customers deserve your love. Whether your budget can offer something as small as a few free movie tickets, a hamper, or as large as a $1000 shopping voucher, it pays to have your top customers on your side.
9. Write a few li.sts!
Cost: 2 hours – $200
Utilising the relatively new li.st app can bring exciting change to your marketing campaigns. Normally, people can jump on li.st and create lists that pertain to a wider audience using topical comedy. While it is primarily a C2C platform, organisations can use it to gather information about potential target markets, create content to share with their customers, and keep up to date with topical interests that can feed back into your content marketing efforts.
10. Experiment with Social Media
You should already have a social media budget. We’re not talking about that. What we are talking about is experimenting using other channels or other avenues with your extra marketing spend. If you’re a B2B company that sells machinery, why not try and set up a few Pinterest boards showcasing your materials and/or machinery to the masses? Maybe you’re a B2B business who’s never tried Facebook ads – now’s your chance to experiment (you might be surprised at the results). There’s no real loss here besides time and some leftover budget, but the rewards can be great in terms of brand awareness and followers, which in turn can lead to sales.
Cost: $500-$5000+ (varies greatly)
Who doesn’t love a great conference? There is a plethora of conferences throughout a calendar year and the best spend of your extra marketing budget might just be a conference. There’s no better way to learn – and #TreatYoSelf to – what is happening and trending in your industry than a conference and the money you spend on one, will reap rewards for you and your employees.
12. Create an Epic Piece of Content
Cost: 2-5 Hours, $500
There’s no better time to invest some of that unused money into a great new content offering. If you’ve got a bunch of old content waiting to be polished off, why not compile them into an eBook, white paper, video, or infographic about your field? A new piece of pillar content can refresh your brand and breathe new life into your marketing campaigns.
13. Plan your Next Budget, Early!
Cost: 10-20 Hours
A good defense is the best offense. With the added benefit of hindsight, you can easily plan your next budget to include previous successful initiatives and campaigns, as well as ones that are more experimental – aided by the extra spend in your current marketing budget.
These are just a few of our favourite ways to best spend your extra marketing budget. There are obviously hundreds more and if you think some should be added to our list, drop a comment below!