Pause, take a deep breath, and get ready because we’ve officially entered the busiest season of the year. Like every fourth quarter you’ve survived, the next several weeks will be a frantic sprint to the finish line, filled with final check-ins on yearly goals, last-minute strategy tweaks, and about half a billion holidays.
For marketers, it also means making sure you’re allocating every remaining cent of your digital marketing budget toward something worthwhile.
Whether you have remaining ‘use it or lose it budget’ to burn before the year ends or you’re hoping to stretch the last of your funds to drive maximum value now and in the new year, determining where to apply your money isn’t always easy.
To help, here are five ways you can strategically spend your remaining Q4 marketing budget and get the most bang for your buck.
If it’s been a while since you’ve explored new tools and software, you may consider checking out your options. There are virtually endless solutions designed to help lighten marketing teams’ loads and improve outcomes, and many tools have advanced significantly in recent years. Thanks to leaps in AI and machine learning, automation is easier than ever and can save you hours of labor on tasks you previously performed manually.For example, the HubSpot Marketing Hub offers plenty of advanced functionality, including automated marketing campaigns that support omnichannel efforts and custom workflows. And because it's an all-in-one solution, it allows you to run your campaigns at scale without needing to cobble together processes from multiple different pieces of software.
This is an excellent time to upgrade your marketing tech because, by beginning the implementation process now, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running in Q1.
Even though sales may slow as the year's end approaches, Q4 is still one of the busiest times for nearly everyone else — thanks in part to the holidays, vacations and lots of time spent tying up loose ends on year-long projects. That means marketing teams are stretched thin, and adding another internal initiative isn’t always feasible. That’s why this is a great opportunity to outsource video, visual and written content creation to a third party like an inbound marketing agency or freelancer.
By amassing a surplus of content for Q1, you can free up internal resources for more-pressing goals in the interim. If you don’t have any immediate needs, brainstorm a few evergreen themes for content assets that you could store away for a rainy day.
Of course, content isn’t the only thing you can outsource to make your life easier in Q4. An agency can also help by auditing existing marketing efforts and determining which assets and campaigns are performing well and which need an overhaul.For example, a content or SEO audit can help you uncover which blog posts, guides and pages are bringing in the most traffic, as well as those that may need revamping. This way, you can create a plan for revising and repurposing content. And identifying which content is yielding the best returns will clue you into which topics and themes your audience prefers so you can determine ways to replicate that success.
And if you and your team don’t have time to refresh those underperforming assets or create new ones, you can outsource that part too.
As a marketing leader, you know the field evolves quickly. Every year brings new challenges to overcome, new technology to master and new techniques to outpace your competition. Marketing skill development pays dividends in the form of a more efficient, effective, agile workforce.
But when you’re busy juggling dozens of initiatives (as you probably are now), it’s not always easy to keep up. And when you suddenly have time on your hands for skill building, you may not have the budget. That’s why it’s wise to invest your Q4 marketing budget in a program now and schedule it for your next slow season. Or, you can leverage on-demand marketing education courses that allow each team member to work on certifications whenever it makes the most sense for them.
Sometimes, strategically spending Q4 marketing budget is less about launching new initiatives and more about increasing the success of those already in motion.For example, pinpoint which active campaigns are generating the best results and determine whether it’s worthwhile to increase spending to expand your reach. Additionally, consider whether you have any high-performing Q4 campaigns from last year that you could pull out, brush off, update and relaunch. Of course, there’s always a point of diminishing returns when it comes to digital ads, so make sure you’re spending wisely and optimizing for success.
We’re in the home stretch of 2022, but there’s still plenty of time to make an impact and exceed your goals for the quarter and the year. By leveraging these five suggestions, you can ensure your remaining Q4 marking budget doesn’t go to waste.
We realize this is a lot to do on your own, and it can help to have someone who can guide your team through these steps. Schedule a consultation so we can talk through your remaining budget - we love providing smart recommendations on finishing the year strong!