10 Smart Ways To Use Your End-of-Year Marketing Budget On Content
Wondering how to best use up the last of your annual “use it or lose it” unspent budget dollars? We know it matters, which is why we’ve prepared the ultimate guide to help you be strategic about getting the most bang for your marketing buck. Spoiler alert: It’s all about using your digital marketing budget on content.
Why Should You Use Your Unspent Budget On Content?
Pouring your unspent budget into content creation is a double win: First, you build a powerful tool that keeps bringing in customers all year long.
Second, if you opt for professional writing through a solid content writing company, you free up your own time so you can focus on other last-minute things at the end of the year. It might even save you money in the long run.
Top 10 Content Hacks Worth Including In Your Digital Marketing Budget
With the calendar quickly running out of days, though, where should you place the dollars from your small business marketing budget? We’ve compiled our top 10 recommendations for exactly how you can make the most impact while using content:
1. Update Your Top-Selling Products for E-Commerce Sites
Think product descriptions don’t count as content? Think again! Product descriptions are part of your sales copy and need to be optimized just like other parts of your website. Why focus on your top-selling products? The fact that they are already converting means that people want them, so you can be sure they are worth the investment of time and money. Optimizing descriptions for those pages will help you reach a wider audience with your high-converting products.
Depending on how much you have left in your digital marketing budget, you can go past just your top performers. If you have other products that are not converting well, it’s worth taking a look at their listings, too, to see whether improving the copy could strengthen their appeal. Especially look for product descriptions that lack detail or that use boilerplate wording from the manufacturer. If you have items for sale with no description at all, work on those first.
If you are a company with hundreds of thousands of SKUs, then taking any unspent budget to hack away at the project as a whole is a worthwhile endeavor. Small wins!
2. Create In-Depth White Papers
For some small businesses, white papers are on the list of proposed marketing materials, but they never seem to get done, because of the amount of research and time that they require.
This type of in-depth project is the perfect way to use up dedicated unspent funds in your small business marketing budget. Chances are, you have metrics and case studies that a writer can synthesize, along with original research, into a persuasive and powerful piece.
Having a white paper in your arsenal of online content goes a long way toward establishing your business as an expert in your industry, and it showcases your brand as an authority through compelling visuals.
A high-value white paper has a solid chance of getting lots of links, therefore boosting your authority and your SEO ranking. It also makes a fabulous flier to give out at your next industry tradeshow.
3. Invest in More Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is not time-based and never goes out of style. It is a hugely valuable investment worthy of your small business marketing budget. Although common sense may tell you that you’d be better off creating only content that specifically markets your products, services, and special events, that’s not the case.
Evergreen content works for you all day, every day because it’s the perfect content for others to link to. You can also use it to fill your social media calendar during the times when you don’t have promotions going on.
One of the best things about evergreen content is that you don’t have to write it yourself for it to be relevant. Come up with a variety of points you want to cover, keywords you want to rank for, and concepts you want to teach your audience, and hand off the project to an experienced content writer.
After your evergreen content is ready, simply take the few minutes required to plug it into your editorial calendar for next year so you won’t forget to put it to good use. Evergreen content is also a very valuable SEO tool since it takes minimal work to continually update it and keep it at the top of search engine rankings for high-volume keywords. See the next step!
4. Create Extra Blog Posts To Boost SEO
When it comes to end-of-year budget spending, look to activities that boost organic marketing. For instance, SEO. To boost SEO with blogging, you need a strategy for using your blog to connect with customers and offer them tons of value. You already have a blogging strategy, right? Well, if not, start with a bit of keyword research. What keywords are your ideal customer using to search for your services? What problems does your product solve, or what client questions can your business answer? Remember to research long-tail keywords that fit tightly into your niche.
For example, if you run a Volvo repair shop in Golden, Colorado, don’t try to optimize your site to rank only for big, general keywords like “auto shop.” Instead, focus on long-tail keyword phrases such as “import auto repair Golden” and “Volvo repair West Denver.” Then think about variations on those geographic keywords, such as “Front Range,” “Denver Metro,” “Foothills” and “West Metro.”
Combine your newly discovered keyword phrases with topics that your ideal customer is searching for, such as “XC70 engine mounts” or “V90 engine light on.” Now that you have a basic keyword strategy, hand the writing over to professional blog writers and let them knock out a bunch of content pieces all at once. The beauty of using up your unspent budget in this capacity is you can get a head start on the content marketing campaigns for the next year.
Get as much of the content created as you can at the end of the year and it makes your job that much easier going into the new year.
5. Update Old Web Pages
Surely you have some posts or pages on your site that are out of date. Instead of deleting those pages (which search engines will penalize you for), use your leftover digital marketing budget to update them.
Start with a quick audit of your site. Keep track of which pages need to be updated and why. Maybe there are outdated statistics or references to products that are discontinued or apps that are now defunct.
On the other hand, you may have old blog posts that just don’t sound fresh or that aren’t optimized for search. Or maybe those old blog posts are performing, but just for different keywords than were originally intended. Focusing on improving existing content is an excellent investment of your unspent budget because most of the work has already been done, so it’s a quick win.
6. Promote Existing Content Through a Social Media Campaign
If you have a site full of content but not a lot of engagement, use your end-of-year marketing budget to connect with your audience on social media. Start by deciding what you want to accomplish.
Do you want more people to sign up for your email list? Is there a particular product you wish to promote or tease? Maybe you want to raise brand awareness.
You don’t necessarily have to pay for ads on social media to get results. The key is to create a cohesive campaign around a single goal, then get your professionally written posts scheduled so they go out regularly. Consistency in posting on social media shows that you’re an engaged brand and you have an approachable voice. A digital marketing budget can easily carve out some space for social media posting, even if it’s simple to begin with.
7. Update Your ‘Ideal Customer’ Avatars and Create a Targeted SEO Campaign To Reach Them
Every business has an ideal customer. Many companies flesh out their ideal customer avatars and give them names, jobs, family situations, and geographic locations in addition to pain points that are solved by the company’s offerings.
However, as a business grows and changes, so should its ideal customer profiles. Even if your target audience hasn’t changed much over the years, your understanding of that audience has.
A fantastic way to up your marketing game and to put those unspent budget dollars to use is to update your customer avatars and then market to them. Once you’ve tweaked your idea of your ideal audience, you’ll be in a better position to come up with new approaches to SEO to reach that audience.
For example, maybe you previously identified your ideal customer as a mom of school-aged kids living in the suburbs of America. However, you now realize that she is not only a suburban mom but also a college graduate. Additionally, she is likely to be a single parent and spend a significant amount of time outdoors.
Armed with this new information, you can now use more marketing budget dollars to create content that appeals to this specific customer and adds value to her life.
8. Create New Video Scripts To Enhance Your Highest-Ranking Pages
Video marketing is here to stay. Although a lot of what you’ll see on social media is live, impromptu video, your video-based content marketing should be a little more polished.
Translating your written content into a format that sounds natural for video is not as straightforward as it seems, so take time to establish what you want to teach or promote in your video, who you most want to speak to, and what key points you want to include.
Next, use the rest of your unspent digital marketing budget to hire a scriptwriter to make the whole thing flow and sound conversational without missing any of your talking points.
9. Add Stock Images to Popular Posts To Boost Their Visual Appeal
It’s difficult to keep the attention of your audience by presenting them with a massive wall of text. You should always use headers, white space, lists, and tables to break up the content, but nothing can enhance your message better and make it more sharable than using the right images.
Finding and adding images to your blog posts is an easy job to delegate to someone else. Once the content is written, an outside writer who knows the ins and outs of SEO and blogging can easily find and optimize images for you.
Go through your existing content and decide which posts need more visuals and which ones need updated images to match your current branding. The writer can then focus on those posts, finding engaging images and creating SEO tags for them. Almost instantly, you have a fresh, new look to your website and beautiful, visual posts that people want to share.
Obviously, images don’t come free, so your end-of-year marketing budget can be put to good use this way.
10. Tweak Metadata on Target Blog Posts and Landing Pages
As you comb through your website, you will no doubt come across pages and posts that are well-written and packed with useful information but that aren’t getting a lot of search engine traffic. Instead of having all of your content rewritten, take a closer look at the metadata.
Some blogging software will automatically create a meta description for you based on your content, but for targeted search, you should create custom meta descriptions.
Your meta description is what search engine users will see below your page title in search results. It should be compelling and include your target keyword and a call to action, if possible.
A good rule of thumb is to limit meta descriptions to fewer than 155 characters. Also, remember that meta descriptions are for humans to read (and click on!), not bots, so they need to make sense and answer search intent.
Collect the URLs of all of the pages that you came across in your content audit that don’t have meta descriptions and use your unspent budget to hire content writers to go and create custom, original descriptions for each page. Since meta descriptions are an indicator in search rankings, this is a simple (and effective) way to boost the chances of all of your pages increasing their organic visibility.
End of Year Budget Spending Solved!
As you can see, using any unspent budget dollars on content creation can yield great results especially when you’re gunning for sales goals for the next year. In-depth, meaningful digital marketing campaigns can take some time to gain traction, so it’s the perfect thing to get started on over the holidays to help see major business growth by the middle of the next year.
Also, when you develop a digital marketing budget for next year, don’t forget to set aside a good chunk of it for your content marketing endeavors. You, and your bottom line, will be glad you did!
We’ve Got You Covered
Whether you need fresh blog posts, meta descriptions, social media posts, white papers, video scripts, or some other form of content, BKA Content can help. Contact us before the ball drops and discover how our managed content services can help you get the results you’re looking for in your business.
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