In a shaky economy, it’s simple to cut your marketing budget.
Here’s How to Cut Costs with Your PR Plan.
Your business won’t benefit from cutting your marketing budget; instead, it will slowly die. Here are some strategies for cutting expenses while keeping your competitive edge when working with your marketing or PR firm.
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Planning is challenging when the economy is unpredictable
. But you must plan. It’s tempting to reduce marketing and PR budgets in these times, even if you adore your PR and marketing agency.
I am familiar with each side of this line. I’ve spent 75% of my career as an entrepreneur, which includes the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2008 financial crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve seen the effects of budget cuts, and I’ve learned that lifting your foot off the gas kills the engine slowly and painfully rather than slowing it down. You cannot balance or increase revenues by cutting costs; instead, you must change your marketing and public relations tactics.
Eliminating a well-run marketing or PR firm will cost you productivity and results at a time when you need them the most. These pointers will help you if you’re hiring a new agency get off to a great start and enable you to work effectively with your new agency.
Sticky it up
When business is booming, ambitious brands will stop at nothing to achieve tangible results more quickly. However, if your budget is tight, pay attention to the investments that will last longer. As one of my colleagues once put it, “Why does everyone want to become popular online?
My content should spread like cancer. I want it to endure and be challenging to get rid of.” When attempting to cut costs, this is the frame of mind to adopt.
Owned media and earned media are the two types of media that endure forever.
Your owned media includes any platform you manage and for which you are solely responsible for the content, such as your blog or email marketing. You create very little, if any, content for your earned media, such as magazine articles and (unincentivized) reviews, but it appears on channels you don’t control.
The superglue of sticky marketing and PR levers are blogs and earned media. These are excellent areas for your agency to concentrate on since they do last a long time and are customer-facing.
But repurposing is another advantage of this content, in addition to longevity.
For instance, blog posts that are listicles are fantastic SEO boosters, and just like with articles that mention your product, you can use a listicle to generate a lot of social media posts.
Your most engaging content should be of the highest caliber.
The time is not right to hire a new blogger that your nephew recommended if you’re trying to cut costs elsewhere. Spend more of your budget right now on doing what you do best. really well
The most valuable content is that which people will remember, so creating it should be a top priority.
Limit the scope
There’s a good chance that your agency is offering you a range of services. Reduce your scope by concentrating your budget on those items rather than eliminating high-value output.
Look more closely at the things your agency did this year that were successful for you. How were they successful? While you’re asking yourself this question, consider it both in the “Make it Sticky” content and in the areas where focusing more specifically would be extremely beneficial.
Product-driven PR and internalizing thought leadership and awards programs are two strategies for securing high-value PR. Another suggestion is to work with one micro-influencer on a strategic year-long campaign rather than 15 different micro-influencers.
Perhaps only long-form content would be created by your branding company, and you would create your own social media posts.
Work with your agency to create one exceptionally strong, well-thought-out campaign throughout the year rather than one every quarter, and concentrate all of your efforts on making that campaign exceptional. This brings me to my last piece of advice.
Fewer meetings with your agency can also help you save money. Even though meetings are crucial, especially early in the relationship, if you’ve worked with your agency for a while, you may be able to save some money in this area.
The last minute is the most expensive. Planning can help you save a lot of money if you’re trying to reduce your spending. It will be simpler to negotiate the price if, for instance, you hire videographers and editors well in advance and pay a substantial deposit.
The agency contract is no different. Whether it’s a brand-new agency or one you’ve had for a while, sign early. Early signing gives you a negotiation advantage. You can get better rates and even lock in “economic downturn” rates for two years if you like your agency and are willing to sign a longer contract.
You should zig when they zag.
Redefining your calendar will help you save money and get more value for your money. Avoid the days and times of the year when your rival is most likely to take action and opt instead for a campaign period during which you can control the conversation.
When dominance is your primary strategy, you should monitor it against your biggest aspirational rivals, but if staying present is your primary objective, monitor your share of voice against a rival who is both your peer and an aspirant. Your strategy should be to give up some of your voice to your aspirational rivals in order to encroach on their territory. If someone is nipping at your heels, you want to own the conversation so they don’t intrude on yours. For your peers, you want to maintain equal (if not better) footing.
It’s not necessary to cut your agency costs completely or nothing. Finding the sweet spot with your agency for your unique needs can be a great creative challenge. You can find the sweet spot that keeps your marketing and PR on track even during cost-cutting seasons by adjusting strategies, outcomes, and outputs.