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There are few things that make a marketer’s eyes pop out more than the phrase “leftover budget”.
This doesn’t come along very often, so if you have it, make sure to embrace it and use it wisely.
So where exactly should you invest that leftover marketing budget?
First, the bad news: there’s no single right answer to that question because every company is different – so you’ll have to figure that out for yourself.
The good news? You have plenty of exciting options available, many of which will give you substantial ROI’s if you use it correctly.
Here are our favourites (and what we’ve seen has helped us and our clients the most):
1. Increase your budget for paid ads or sponsored content in social media
Investing in paid ads or sponsored content in social media can give you the best bang for your buck with your leftover budget. Whether it’s boosting your Facebook posts to improve reach or creating sponsored posts in Instagram and LinkedIn, you’ll find that a little extra promotion can go a long way. Use it to improve your company’s brand awareness or to boost the results for your (or your client’s) ad campaign.
2. Sign up for content subscriptions
Now that you have some extra marketing budget, you can invest in subscriptions for marketing resources or relevant trade magazines and publications. You’ll find these useful for training your team or keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and ideas in your industry. On the plus side: you can finally expand your knowledge without relying on the free and limited samples that non-subscribers often make do with.
3. Invest in relevant online tools
Do yourself (and your team) a favour by buying the full, premium versions for programs that you use frequently in your work. As convenient as free online tools are, you’ll often find more features and options in the paid versions. These extra features can make a big difference in the quality of your work, and they can make your life much easier by increasing your productivity and removing the usual bottlenecks in free versions.
4. Do A/B Testing
With a discretionary budget in your hands, you can do some A/B Testing for anything that can improve your marketing activities. A/B testing will let you test different approaches for marketing your company’s or your client’s campaign. Whether it’s on ads, blog posts, or any other content, A/B Testing can help you refine your marketing strategy so that you can achieve your objectives more efficiently (and with less cost). Many companies put off proper A/B testing because of budget constraints, but a leftover marketing budget can give you the extra resources you need to finally do it.
5. Create an extraordinary piece of content
Content is the currency in today’s online world. To succeed online, you’ll need not just a lot of it but – more importantly – a lot of it that’s good. But like any other thing worth your while, quality content requires plenty of resources. It takes a lot of time and money to produce an excellent piece of content, whether it’s an in-depth blog post, a highly polished video, a helpful e-book, or a detailed infographic. Remember that when you invest in making a really good piece of content that your audience will love, you’ll end up with an asset that can provide value again and again.
6. Train your staff
It’s easy to get caught up with achieving results for your clients or customers that you forget about advancing your team’s marketing skills. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in proper training. Training will let you learn more about your field, refine your skills (while learning new ones as well), and put what you know into practice. Have the mindset that there’s always room to improve – because, in all likelihood, there truly is. Whether it’s online courses or bringing in experts for a workshop, training yourself and your staff can help you be more productive and deliver better results.
7. Attend relevant seminars, workshops, conferences
Like training, attending seminars, workshops or conferences in your field will help you develop your skills and expand your horizons. Industry workshops and conferences, in particular, are great places to see the latest developments and best practices in your field. This can help you refine your strategies and marketing initiatives for your company and your clients. Events like these also provide the opportunities to go networking with professionals and colleagues, which could lead to more business or productive collaborations in the future.
8. Create more collateral
Having a leftover budget gives you the perfect excuse to produce more collateral (or perhaps improve it). Whether it’s creating that service brochure that your sales team has always asked for or producing a new company video to showcase what’s new in your business, you now have the additional resources to pursue them guilt-free. Don’t underestimate the power of a good piece of collateral, whether it be online or the more traditional kind. The right collateral can help make your business stand out and make others take notice, so it’s definitely a worthy investment if you use it right.
9. Offer recognition and incentives
Using your leftover marketing budget to offer prizes or incentives for excellent staff performance can do wonders for your company. This recognition can encourage your team to always be at the top of their game. It will also help them feel more appreciated, which can lead to better performance and productivity overall. On the marketing side, recognising top achievers in your team will also let the world know that you know how to recognise and reward a job well done.
10. Organise a team-building event
Your employees and staff are your most valuable resource, so investing in them is an investment in your business. If you don’t have a dedicated budget for team-building events, a leftover marketing budget can be the ideal resource for it. Use it to organise a team-building activity for your employees, whether it’s a one-day event or a weekend getaway with your team. Not only will this help increase employee morale, but it can also provide opportunities for you to align team objectives with company goals. Year-end or annual team-building events can also help your company reset and gear up for the upcoming year.
Investing It Back into Your Business
Leftover budgets don’t always come often, so it’s important to make the most of it if you have it.
In most cases, investing that extra budget back into your business will yield the best results. Whether it’s boosting an existing marketing campaign or funding your employees’ training and development, investing it back into your company can help your business grow.
Know any other great ways to spend that leftover marketing budget? Let us know – we’d love to hear it!