Earlier in the month, I talked about activities to do while companies had stopped or slowed normal activities. With the upheaval looking more and more likely that this is now the new normal or shall we say just “normal” it is time to look at how businesses view marketing and how and where the budget goes.
Keeping your marketing going during Covid-19
Companies who have predominately been more of the traditional methods need to change if they haven’t already and replace these activities with either increased digital campaigns or actually undertake digital campaigns as a whole.
Companies who have been digitally focused can’t sit back and watch, however, because the playing field is getting bigger and the audience is wider spread than before, with people working remotely, geotargeting methods need to be reconsidered, timings for campaigns need to be reviewed as the morning commute is not a huge factor any more and people working hours are changing to follow suit.
We have seen an increase in open rates on emails going out (please try to avoid putting COVID-19 in the subject line unless you are a government agency or a medical practitioner, the world knows what is going on, they need more positive uplifting messaging, now more than ever.) Social media has shifted, with more people turning to LinkedIn and Google Ad spends creeping up.
Marketing Activities to do during Covid-19
So what should we be doing, we should be getting more strategic without methodology, view analytics, see when our audience is actually viewing our website, what things are making the emails get opened and clicked through and what is driving our engagement on social channels. On top of this, we need to maintain business as usual with budgets being restricted.
How to save your marketing budget – Tools
Restricted budgets often have us with a gulp at any point, but they shouldn’t, while we all would love budgets to work with as marketers of millions, its not always going to happen and we have to adapt to survive.
For me the first thing I look at is the tool list, what tools can be cut, things like Adobe CS Suite, if all you are doing is an occasional photoshop job, having the full suite is unnecessary, drop down to just Photoshop or switch to Affinity Photo, yearly saving by switching to Photo circa £700 per seat. Same can be done to replace Illustrator and Indesign, no they are not quite the same but a small learning curve and you have saved money right there. Next up plugins for your website, a good number of them have free options that do a majority of the job, drop the premium ones if budget is a concern.
How to save your marketing budget – Paid Ads
Paid ads, if you have your tracking set up well then you should be able to clearly identify revenue-driving ads and terms in Google Ads, any that have historically not converted, why are you still trying them. I looked at a fresh account and identified 4 phrases in one campaign that had been running for 2 years with 0 conversions. These 4 terms had swallowed a third of the campaign budget on their own. Expand this out to the other campaigns in this account (there were 40 campaigns in this account) and these numbers start to become quite significant.
How to save your marketing budget – Email marketing
Moving on to Email, and a scary proposition for some companies I’ve talked to, reduce your contact list. Stop hitting the disengaged. If somebody hasn’t engaged with your brand in a long time, there is no need to keep emailing them. Identify them, do a one-hit campaign, wait 48 hours and archive any that haven’t opened. Hopefully, this is only a small percentage of your database as your data is clean, but I have worked on accounts with over half the list being unengaged, 0 opens in over a year, 0 clicks in who knows how long. Not only does this reduce your subscriber count saving anything from a few hundred to several thousand a year, but it also improves your digital reputation.
If list size alone hasn’t done enough to reduce your monthly spend on email, maybe it is time to review which platform you are sending from, check the facilities you have with your current provider and see if you can get more while saving by switching platforms. Campaign Monitor for instance has some great dynamic content features when you hit their upper packages, but do you need it, if not then switching to the equivalent package on Mailchimp or Webpower could save you between 20 and 40%, with the added bonus with Webpower of combined SMS and email automation. And yes those number are real, imaging shaving thousands off your email marketing spend alone and what else you could be doing with that money.
If you want to discuss ways that you can ACHIEVE MORE and spend less, drop me a message and I will help you.