Whispers of a recession have been reported across LinkedIn articles and headlines for months now—but what does it mean for companies as we head into the new year?
Historically, businesses slash their marketing budgets when they sense instability in the economy. While it might have a short-term impact, you’re seriously hurting your company in the long run. Think about it this way: if you cut back on the one thing helping you reach your target audience, how can you expect to make more in the long run?
If you aren’t generating new leads and creating a loyal customer base through marketing, they’re just going to find somewhere else to go, and you’ll be missing out on revenue.
Rather than slashing marketing budgets, businesses need to consider how they can get the biggest bang for their buck. Here’s how you can take some of the lessons we’ve learned in 2022 and make the most of your marketing budget next year.
4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget in 2023
1. Re-think in person events
Instead of cutting back your marketing efforts entirely, take a good look at your budget and see if you’re spending money in unnecessary places—like in-person events.
In-person conferences and events used to be the hub of the marketing world. It was a place for businesses to connect with buyers, sellers, and more. But when the pandemic hit, in-person events changed forever. And we like to think that’s a good thing.
We know by now that those same events can happen online and open themselves up to more attendees than ever before. Instead of spending your marketing budget buying a booth or printing out business cards and other collateral, invest that money into virtual events and online marketing efforts and watch your ROI increase. While some industries with highly technical offerings will still need trade shows to showcase their products, they can still amplify their efforts with online promotion to extend their reach.
The bottom line—if you’re looking for a place to cut your budgets but still want to extend your marketing reach, amplify your spending and increase your audience with virtual events and a robust online marketing strategy.
Related read: 13 Keys to Event Marketing in 2023 (and Beyond)
2. Get aggressive with your growth goals.
When presenting your team or department’s yearly budget, asking for less than what you need to get approved can be tempting. But this is the opposite of what you should be doing. Instead, you must develop goals backed by a proven, aggressive B2B marketing strategy.
So what exactly do we mean by “aggressive”? This type of strategy is clear about what it wants and goes after it with proven methods that deliver results. Instead of asking for less (which will impact your ROI in the long run), get into the details and create a plan that ties specific efforts to specific outcomes.
3. Double down on content creation.
If your company is experiencing uncertainty, the last thing you want to do is stop posting on social.
B2B buyers are always on the lookout for innovation and will usually find you through your outreach efforts. They’re usually 70% of the way through the buyer’s journey before they ever contact your sales team. So where are they learning about your business? Through social media, your blogs, paid ads, and more.
So if you want to reach more people to recession-proof your business, you want to double down on content creation. Make sure you’re refreshing your blogs consistently and have a regular posting schedule on social, and don’t forget to amplify your PR efforts.. A good marketing partner can extend your reach even further. Don’t forget, B2B buyers will only be more impressed when they see the positive press your brand is getting!
Regularly engaging your followers through content also builds trust between you and your audience. And who doesn’t want that during a potential recession? Help your customers make the best choice by providing relevant, consistent content about your company.
4. Harness the power of dark social.
You might be thinking “dark social” sounds more like something from Star Wars than an actual marketing strategy, but trust us—you’re going to want to know more.
Dark social is critical to your company because it amplifies your reach in chatrooms (like Slack or WhatApp), on message boards, in Facebook groups—really, any space that isn’t visible to the public.
Related Reading: Social and Media Are Splitting Up: Here’s What That Means for Marketers
Dark social isn’t leveraged the same way traditional media is. An agency can help your brand harness the power of dark social to increase your reach and better understand what we call “the messy middle,” or the part of a buyer’s journey that exists between the first few touchpoints and the ultimate purchasing decision.
Putting your brand at the center of these conversations is no easy feat. You’ll need to boost your online presence, amplify your marketing efforts across platforms, and make your brand the focus. If you’ve cut back on marketing, you won’t even realize how much exposure your business is missing by removing yourself from the center of the conversation—until it begins to impact your ROI.
Related Reading: 5 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Digital Marketing and PR During a Recession
Don’t cut back on your marketing budget just to save cash on the front end, only to see your business take a hit in the long run. If you’re looking for ways to amplify marketing going into the new year, we’ve got you covered.