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How Not to Waste Your <£50k Marketing Budget

Matt Holman

You shouldn't feel like you're gambling with your digital marketing budget

There are few worse feelings than spending your money on something that doesn’t deliver. Marketing budgets are the same. No matter how big or small your budget is, you’ll want to spend it well.

Finding the most effective mix is difficult enough - just the between 3,500 digital marketing tools available according to Chiefmartec. But when you’re working to a tight budget, you need to be sure that you can get the results you need.

Which tactics should you use? Which tools? Just how much should you spend? All marketing managers have asked themselves these questions – and we’ve got some answers.

You may have heard of the 70/20/10 rule for dividing up budget. This is all well and good, but when you’ve got a small budget, this approach will certainly dilute any results. What you need is a sustainable strategy for your marketing.

<£1k per month / £12k per year

Grow brand awareness in your market through highly targeted content and social media promotion

The smaller your budget, the more vital it is to adopt a highly-targeted approach. If you’re trying to target everyone, you’ll overspend your budget and have very little to show for it.

Buyer personas can help you get more targeted. They’re personifications of your target market that you can compile using data that’s less than a stone’s throw from your desk. Talk to the sales team and review your customer records to get an understanding of just who you should be targeting.

Outbound advertising is getting more expensive online yet less effective. Banner blindness means your target market is increasingly ignoring banners and ‘salesy’ adverts. It’s far more effective to make use of the free, organic channels on the Internet. 

Rich content can help your website rank for long-tail keywords – if you base articles on the questions your persona is likely to ask about your product/solution. This content will not only expand your reach, but direct higher quality traffic to your website.

You can’t rely solely on Google to promote your content, so make space in your budget for some social media. Paid social media advertising can allow you to be as specific as you want with your audience, thus as inexpensive as you choose it to be. The more specific you are about your market the better your results may be.

£2k per month / £24k per year

Start generating leads via your content and distribution channels

Content marketing works effectively at all budget levels. When you’ve got more resources to dedicate to it, you can start producing valuable guides, infographics and eBooks that’ll start generating leads.

When you ‘gate’ your content – to put it behind a form – you can start capturing data. This will show you who is engaging and interacting with your content, showing you the faces behind those numbers on Google Analytics.

Launching a newsletter will help you stay front-of-mind with these leads, whilst growing content consumption. If your content remains rich, your contacts will happily opt-in to receive updates from you. In fact, people prefer to receive email updates over following brands on social media.

£3k per month / £36k per year

Automate your marketing and nurture more leads, optimise your website for conversions

With content and landing pages in place to attract high-quality traffic and convert visitors into leads, you’ll want to start advancing them through your buying process.

Workflows help nurture leads. They help the cream rise to the top of your attention. Using a combination of email, content and user tracking, you can set workflows to automatically send emails or display content at the right time.

This not only helps increase conversions, but helps you develop relationships, before the lead reaches out to sales.

Workflows implemented, you’ll want to start optimising your website for conversions to make the most of this automation. Fine tuning your landing page design, website UI and A/B testing will let you capture more leads.

£4k per month / £48k per year

Expand visibility and develop your brand as a thought-leader in your industry

Even as marketing budgets rise, content is still the fuel of the digital marketing engine. The only difference is now you can be a lot more strategic with it to reap more rewards.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics like keyword targeting and outreach will help raise visibility and brand awareness. It’ll also aid in the distribution of your content to existing audiences.

The combination of strategic SEO and quality content will get your brand noticed. Not only by potential leads, but industry figureheads. This gives you the opportunity, over the course of time, to establish thought-leadership.

The result: you have a self-serving marketing funnel that promotes itself.


Digital marketing playing field isn’t exactly level. Big brands are pouring enormous figures into digital to capture the attention of potential buyers. To get results on a budget, it’s vital you take a sustainable, scalable approach that means at the end of a campaign, all your efforts are in the bin.

Inbound is the answer for digital marketing on a budget. It makes the most of the ‘natural’ Internet playing field, like search engines, social media, email and is fuelled by quality content.

The only drawback - results aren’t instant. It really does require a dedicated effort to reap any rewards from it. But if you do put this effort in, you truly can make your digital marketing a success.

Getting started can be the most difficult step. So if you need help knowing what to do or how to do it, let us know and we’ll be happy to talk you through it.


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