Maximising Online Presence In Spite Of Reduced Marketing Budgets, in 4 Simple Steps

When faced with reduced marketing budgets, perhaps due to changes in demand, a recession, or internal budget cuts, it’s important to understand how to proceed with your digital marketing.

The initial reaction may be to panic or start cutting marketing channels. Maybe you decide to put a pause on marketing altogether. Most of the time, this results in decreased sales and missed opportunities.

Here, we delve into the ways that you can still make the most out of your online presence in spite of marketing budget reductions, covering key digital marketing channels such as social media, PPC, Digital PR and SEO.

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Step 1 – Set Short, Medium and Long Term Goals

The first step when re-evaluating your marketing strategy based on budget restrictions is to revisit your short, medium and long-term goals.

If, for example, your marketing budget has been cut by 50% year on year, it is only reasonable to consider that your expectations and goals should therefore change too.

Whereas previously you were focusing on building brand awareness, pushing a new product launch and driving new customer acquisition all at the same time, you may need to look at what you can achieve over a longer period.

Perhaps now, in the short term, you actually really need to re-engage existing customers to build revenue. This won’t necessarily be where you want to take your brand long-term, but, over a shorter period of time, it may ultimately inject more revenue into the business.

From here, you can unlock more new customer acquisition budgets as a medium-term goal, with the re-introduction of brand awareness following as a long-term goal.

Changing your objectives based on your new priorities is key to driving success and it is important to understand that you may have to adapt.

Step 2 – Invest in the Right Places

With a limited budget, you may find yourself facing the decision of which digital channel to lead with.

Whereas previously you may have had the budget to invest heavily in every channel, it’s worth understanding the purpose of each channel to understand whether budget shifts could support your performance on a reduced budget.

We’ve broken down the strengths of each channel. From here, take your short, medium and long-term goals and work out where you can flex your budget.


Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) including Google Ads and Bing Ads, is great for capturing users who are actively in the buying process. This is usually an extremely high-revenue driving channel as users often have high intent but can be costly if you are in a competitive market.

Social Media

A well-built organic social media strategy works by creating content that users engage with to drive awareness and build trust with your audience. This is usually a lower-cost top-of-funnel channel that needs to be always ‘on’ to maintain a consistent presence and slowly drive revenue.

In contrast to organic social media, paid social ads can cover the top, middle and bottom-of-funnel, to reach cold and existing audiences. This channel doesn’t have the ability to reach new users that are actively in the market, so doesn’t have the intent levels of PPC.

Digital PR

Digital PR allows you to reach new audiences, gain exposure and build powerful links to your website. Similar to social media, Digital PR activity is very top-of-funnel but allows you to generate brand awareness that can support your business objectives.


SEO requires an initial investment but ultimately allows you to capture users who are searching for your brand, your products/services, and those looking for options. Consistent investment in SEO is required to enable you to drive and maintain your online presence.

Step 3 – Utilise Existing Audiences

One of the easiest ways to maximise your online presence when faced with budget cuts is to make sure you use your existing audiences to their full potential.

Your existing customer base is more likely to convert than new customers, it is usually a lot easier to re-engage and generally sees lower costs.

There are different ways that you can utilise your existing audiences, here are a few:

Utilising paid social campaigns, namely Meta Ads, you can show ads to your existing customers. This can be from a customer relationship management (CRM) list or based on users who have engaged with your website or social channels in some way in the past 180 days.

These campaigns are usually extremely effective and allow you to maximise your online presence on a slightly lower budget because the acquisition costs are much lower.

Email Marketing

A fully optimised email marketing strategy can be incredibly effective when it comes to re-engaging existing customers at a minimal cost. Email marketing is a channel that doesn’t require too much investment, so, therefore, can still form a key part of your marketing strategy without taking away too much from your marketing budget.

In fact, usually, email marketing is one of the highest drivers of revenue across ecommerce businesses.

You can even build up your email marketing list by running paid social campaigns to drive signups. Effectively, filling up your funnel with users who are more likely to convert for less budget than pushing purely sales campaigns.

Step 4 – Analyse Performance

When running marketing campaigns on a smaller scale than you’re used to, it is even more important to ensure you’re analysing results.

Without understanding the full impact of your marketing, you run the risk of wasting what marketing budget you have left. Further, you’re unlikely to be able to report effectively and therefore unable to optimise your campaigns.

Wider Impact – Third-Party Tools

With reduced budgets, you need to be analysing the wider impact of your campaigns, not just the immediate impact. Using tools such as Google Analytics, you can delve into how your marketing campaigns are performing.

Key metrics/data to monitor are:

  • Conversion paths – which channels are contributing to your conversions?
  • New users by channel – which channels are driving potential new customers?
  • Revenue by channel – which channels are driving the most revenue?
  • Assisted conversions – which channels are supporting conversions?

Looking at the wider impact allows you to see the bigger picture so that you can understand where to push/pull in order to maximise your online presence.

Maximise Your Online Presence

It can be a tricky time when faced with a reduced marketing budget but that doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve results.

In order to see success, it’s extremely important that you:

  • Re-prioritise your goals
  • Decide which channels require the biggest focus
  • Make the most of your existing audiences
  • Report back accurately.

By following these steps, you should be able to make the most of the resources available to you.

If you’re looking for support with your digital marketing strategy, please get in touch and we’d be happy to help.

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