Is it Time to Scale Back on Marketing: Part 2

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Is it Time to Scale Back on Marketing: Part 2

January 10, 2023

Hey! You’re here just in time for Part 2 of a series where I very seriously try to talk you and your C-Suite out of scaling back on your marketing efforts just because the economic forecast looks rocky.

(If you didn’t see Part 1 you can go back and check it out now. There’s a handy link back here at the bottom of that page.)

Last time we talked about how you can spend less money on things that might not really be working for you, now it’s time to see how you can save money.

Suresuresuresuresure, it sounds like the same thing, but this time we’re going to explore your chance to try some cool new things that will get you noticed when everyone else thinks they need to scale back. (Maybe because they don’t read this blog?)

1. Share Real Life

With all the ads, videos, memes, and (let’s face it) noise out there on social media there’s a chance we’ve all forgotten what it was made for.

No, not for your cousin to post that passive-aggressive “Some people, and you know who you are…” drama. Social media was made to connect us. (Ok, and for a little bit of drama too.)

If you’re already showing up with ads and offers in the places your audience is hanging out, you’re in the perfect position to start connecting on another level. What if you pulled back the curtain a little and let your audience see what makes you and your business fun, beautiful, unique, inspiring… what makes you YOU?

What would you share? That’s the beauty of it, friend. What will get the attention of your audience is as unique as your business and, aside from the time it takes to snap a decent pic and add a thoughtful caption, it won’t cost you anything to try a whole lot of different things.

And don’t just wait for the ribbon cutting/big check presenting/retirement party throwing occasions, share real life every day. Over time you’ll see what your audience wants more of (check the reactions, comments, shares, and retweets) and you can build a strategy to share their favorite things.

2. Go Organic

Let’s build on that, ok?

I’ll admit that sometimes I’m pretty glib. I say things like “Over time you’ll see what your audience wants more of … and you can build a strategy to share their favorite things.” (is there an echo in here?) and make it sound pretty easy. And it is easy, if you don’t mind working hard to do it.

Leveraging Organic Engagement takes a hefty amount of discipline, especially because our fellow humans are a fickle bunch.

Today you’ll post that “Funky Sock Day” pic and it will BLOW UP with all kinds of fun comments and reactions. Tomorrow you’ll post “Silly Sweater Day” and get nothing but crickets.

In the imaginary words of a bad 80’s comedian, “What’s the deal with that?”

Because the results are uneven our simple little noggins will take those two pieces of information and tell us that we did something “wrong” because we didn’t move the needle. Unfortunately, that may mean we pivot to paying for engagement before it’s time.

The “right” way to handle it (if there’s anything you can say is completely “right” on the interwebs) is to examine not just what you posted but when, where, and what your message was competing with.

If you’re posting what you think will be PRIMO content but it flops because Beyonce just dropped a new single and that’s all anyone wants to talk about, you have to add that to your data set and analyze it for what it is (and don’t mess with the B Hive).

TL/DR: The path to success in Organic vs. Paid has to include analyzing and responding to a big set of data, not just what you saw online yesterday.

3. Open New Channels

One more strategy to try for “free” is to expand your reach by experimenting somewhere you haven’t been before. The cost to get started on most social media platforms is (again) just your time. Yes, your time is valuable AND that investment could pay off. In a new space you might be able to try totally new content, build new mental muscles, and reach a whole new group of the people you want to talk to.

The best advice I can give when you’re considering whether to start a new social media account for your business is to first be 100% certain that the audience you’re trying to reach is there and open to engaging with business accounts. For the most part, consumers have gotten used to us joining in on the conversation, but it’s not always the right time or place so it pays to do your homework.

And don’t get me wrong, I led with social media because it’s “free” and we’re talking about SAVING MONEY, but this also applies to paid channels that could use a shift in strategy.

Could you take the money you’re spending on terrestrial radio and move it over to a streaming channel and get more targeted ads? Maybe! (Probably?)

Could you shift your TV budget from an all-day schedule to something more focused on when your audience is watching? Yes, and save money doing it.

The bottom line here is that it’s totally possible to expand and deepen your relationships with your audience without spending more money in 2023.

Oh, I can see the finish line from here. In Part 3 we’re going to talk about how you can invest your marketing dollars to make an impact even when the times are tough. Follow us on Facebook (or your fav social channel that isn’t Facebook) to catch it hot off the press.

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About the Author: Suzanne Campbell is the Brand & Content Manager on the Exclamation Services Marketing team and the self-proclaimed evangelist for Brand Voice. She’s picked up a lot of smart ideas from a lot of amazing people in her more than 20 years of experience and you can frequently hear them on the Awsomology podcast.