Wise Ways To Stretch A Limited Marketing Budget

Added 08.09.22

As everyone knows, a business can't thrive if no one knows it exists and reaching prospective customers can be a challenge without a solid marketing plan.

The old adage goes something like, "You have to spend money to make money", and while allocating a marketing budget will be necessary for advertising your business, we have some suggestions that won't empty your bank account.

In this article, the Zeemo marketing team looks at ways a company can market itself when resources are limited.

Digital PR Strategy

What is a Marketing Budget?

A marketing budget details the sum of money your company plans to invest in advertising to promote your brand, products or services during a given time frame, such as a year, quarter, or month.

Paid advertisements, employee salaries, marketing tools, website hosting fees, and more should all factor into the marketing budget.

Building a comprehensive marketing strategy and a solid marketing plan is one of the best ways to ensure all marketing dollars are put to good use.

If you follow a clear strategy and set a sensible budget, you can better control how your marketing dollars are spent and manage your cash flow more effectively.

Why You Need A Marketing Budget:

1. It allows you to plan and track spending.

A marketing budget will allow you to monitor your spending, see where your money is going and helps you to determine whether or not you need to reallocate resources. Overspending on advertising could put your company in a rut, so it's important to plan ahead.

2. It assists in allocating resources effectively.

Creating a marketing budget plan will assist you in allocating your marketing resources to the right places. Knowing your budget allows you to distribute funds more wisely across your marketing plan's various components.

Budgeting helps you figure out if a marketing strategy is feasible or if the services offered by a digital marketing agency are within your financial means.

3. It helps you set benchmarks and goals.

A detailed budget helps establish measurable, achievable, and worthwhile business objectives. Setting reasonable goals for each marketing channel and knowing how much money you need to make to break even is much easier once you have a firm grasp on your marketing budget.

4. It helps you plan ahead.

When you know exactly how much money you'll be spending on marketing in the next twelve months, you can plan confidently and focus on the long haul. With a longer time horizon, you won't have to worry about scrapping campaigns or begging for more marketing money in the middle of the year.

While it's important to leave some wiggle room in your budget for unexpected opportunities or blowouts, it's also important to plan and pace activities so that your marketing efforts are consistent and productive.

5. It is an investment in the success of your company.

It's easy to dismiss marketing as just another expense when figuring out how much money you need to launch your company.

However, budgeting for marketing is not the same as other operating costs; marketing costs are an investment in your business's future success and growth.

You can help your company maximise its return on investment (ROI) by learning how to develop a well-planned marketing budget. Moreover, most businesses must deal with several simultaneous projects that must be prioritised. Your team will have the direction they need to allocate marketing funds to the initiatives that will impact your business most if you create a budget for them to follow.

6. It helps secure funding.

Your team's funding requests must be justified, or your company will likely divert those dollars elsewhere. A document that details your needs can help build a case and show where money is going when the company's finance department turns to your marketing heads to determine how much investment you'll get for the following year.

A marketing budget can also display how your initiatives have contributed to the expansion of the business and provide evidence of return on investment (ROI) for each activity in your marketing strategy.

Budget-Friendly Marketing Strategies

Let's now look at some tried-and-true methods you can implement within your marketing strategy that won't blow out your marketing budget.

To help get the most bang for your limited marketing buck, it pays to give top priority to the advertising methods you use the most, and you know work for your brand.

As a general guide, businesses and marketers should budget around 10% of their annual gross revenue for promotion and spread time and resources across a mix of the following inexpensive yet effective marketing tactics.

1. Optimising Your Searchability

Needless to say, if someone is looking for what you offer, they will most likely go to Google to proactively search for it, so it pays to invest in some well-targeted Google Ads and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Maintaining a blog is an affordable means of improving your website's SEO and one of the best ways of keeping your content fresh, keyword-rich for Google, and interesting and useful for your audience.

Here are some general blog topics you could use for inspiration:

  • Explain a procedure, process or product hack in detail.
  • Create a post that answers a common user question.
  • Do a review of a relevant book or item in your niche. 
  • Provide a list of recommended readings, websites, or tools you believe would benefit your users.
  • Describe a new skill you picked up or a challenge you faced and the process by which you acquired or overcame it.
  • Research and write about upcoming trends in your industry.
  • Compare and contrast two products or services and pick a winner.

2. Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) Marketing

Email marketing is an excellent strategy for conserving marketing funds and offers a low-cost opportunity to build rapport with your audience.

For Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) marketing to work, you must grow and nurture your email list. Offering freebies like ebooks or discount codes can entice people to sign up for your service.

Your company should try to maintain a blog for SEO purposes; however, if you want your blog subscribers to feel like they're getting more out of your service, you could create a private newsletter to share even more valuable insights and offers with your customers.

3. Social Media Marketing

Leveraging social media app features is a fantastic method to limit advertising expenditures, and platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are great places to share visual content and tell your brand story.

For your posts to have a broad reach, you can pay for them to appear on the timelines of target audiences. However, if you work to develop your social media following and produce excellent share-worthy content, there is also significant scope for organic growth that doesn't cost a dime.

Here are some ideas for photos and content you can publish for your social marketing strategy:

  • Behind-the-scenes and candid shots of your company's inner workings.
  • In-situ and action photos that present your goods in an attractive and positive light.
  • Memes.
  • Tags, hashtags and geo-tags for location-based advertising.
  • Short form videos offering advice, instructions or ideas to get the most from your products.
  • Image testimonials of satisfied past clients giving their endorsements.
  • Promotional offers.

4. Local Community Engagement

In most people's minds, a marketing campaign means a massive, far-reaching advertising push, but there can be abundant opportunities to get the word out about your brand at the local level.

Participating in local events is a low-cost way to increase brand awareness and attract new customers.

Some local marketing ideas your company might consider:

  • Sponsoring a 5K or a youth sporting team.
  • Donating some time or resources to a good cause in your area.
  • Joining forces with local business leaders to host a networking or knowledge-sharing event.
  • Take out an ad in a local directory or school newsletter.
  • Asking if you can leave some well-designed branded bookmarks or postcards on the counter of your local library or cafe.

5. Asking for referrals

Referrals from satisfied customers are the best and least expensive way to advertise your business.

Unfortunately, many people struggle with and often feel uncomfortable asking for recommendations. Some people even worry that asking customers for a referral will come across as pleading or needy.

The good news is there are approaches you can take to ask for a referral that won't make you appear desperate.

Here are some suggestions you may like to try:

  • Politely and directly ask for referrals via email, online, in-person, or even at the bottom of your invoices.
  • Reach out to your best client or clients and let them know how much you value them and see whether they can think of anyone in their network with similar needs that they are willing to introduce you to personally.
  • Give out rewards, such as a small gift, a donation to a charity of their choice, or a gift card for future services.
  • Provide a simple mechanism for customers to refer their friends, such as a pre-written email or a "recommend" button on your website.
  • Give referrals and write positive reviews. The Law of Reciprocity increases your chances of getting them in return.
  • Encourage your clientele to interact with your social media.
  • Participate in a group that facilitates networking and referrals.

6. Repurpose Existing Content

One of the most effective (and frugal) marketing strategies is repurposing existing materials.

Your marketing content can be reused in an infinite number of ways, here are just some ideas for recycling past content to boost your marketing:

  • Revisit some of your oldest blog posts; chances are things have changed since you first wrote them, giving you an excellent opportunity to update, revitalise and repost them with the latest information.
  • Create an infographic out of the results of a study you have conducted or a process you have developed.
  • Produce an eBook from an aggregation of your blog posts on a particular topic.
  • Upload a video version of your recent blog post or podcast to YouTube.


7. Remarket Ads

Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is an easy, cost-effective digital advertising method in which ads with specific, user-defined content are shown to people who have previously visited a website and taken some action (or not).

With remarketing, you can target your pay-per-click (PPC) ads specifically at people who have shown an interest in your company or brand in the past.

Because visitors don't always convert on their first encounter with your brand, remarketing gives you a second chance to make a sale to previous site visitors or remind existing customers of your goods or services.

To learn more about Remarketing, read our article on the topic here.

Final Thoughts


Getting your brand in front of qualified paying customers generally doesn't come for free, but a well-planned marketing budget and using cost-efficient, effective strategies will pay off in the long run.

A solid marketing plan is an essential component of any prosperous business. Even if your company is on a tight budget, the investment of time and energy to get your marketing mix right can lead to healthy returns.

It is important to be prudent with marketing money because campaigns can blow out your budget if you haven't carefully considered your marketing objectives, the steps you'll take to reach those objectives, and the associated costs.

Zeemo can help you create a realistic marketing budget and plan based on strategies best suited to your that will limit any unanticipated expenses and deliver great results.

Call our expert team today to schedule an obligation-free discussion on how we can help you get the most business from your marketing dollars.