Marketing budgets in the UK have been cut thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. And who knows when they will recover.

According to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) IPA Bellwether report, the UK’s net marketing budget balance fell to -50.7% in the second quarter from -6.1% in the first quarter. Therefore, it is vital that companies can still get their product or service known even if the expenses are not very high.

Let’s look at five simple ways you can produce valuable marketing materials for your business in no time.

1. Increase your website traffic with quality content

A great way to generate traffic for your website is to create high quality content. Deliver solid business value to your audience in the form of:

  • Blog posts
  • eBooks
  • White papers
  • Industry reports
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

One of our team wanted to test whether you could actually start a podcast in the smallest of spaces. So he tried. And it wasn’t as bad – no, we don’t post it here – how experiments go. I mean, as a podcast episode, it was obviously terrible. That’s because he created it in about two hours. The cost was his time (2 hours), a company microphone (around £ 80), sponsorship (£ 0), script (included in his 2 hours), audio software (£ 0), podcast platform (£ 0).

For around £ 80 cash plus a few hours from your staff, you can put together a corporate podcast. And really take it as far as you want (we recommend doing it well).

2. Focus on your best channel (don’t just post on social media)

Recommending social media is the most obvious step in the world. Especially since you (you’re reading this) are most likely into marketing. So “choose social” seems pretty redundant. Instead, how about really focusing on your best channel?

First, do you know which one it is? Understand which channel is meeting your goals and, with your reduced budget or staff, develop a clear focus on really building and using that one channel. Understand the strengths you bring to this medium and really try to understand what your audience is looking for.

Guest blogging is another great way to generate website traffic. Inbound and outbound links can help you build your authority when you start working on your digital presence.

Now is the time to build content partnerships with reputable brands. Not only is it a great way to generate domain authority for your website, but also showing up on guest blogs will make your content accessible to a wider audience – which can only be beneficial. (See, we follow our own advice)

4. Revive old content

While this is content creation, don’t assume that you will have to write a lot. Updating older content doesn’t take much time and can add a lot to your SEO ranking: people are more inclined to read blogs published in the current year and even take a quick look at a previous blog piece that Changing the post date can help revive a post (even if it seems a little fishy).

You also have a great opportunity to update and tweak your keywords as you review old content. Also, the details may have changed! We’re in a dynamic world of high-flying business, aren’t we?

Whenever you create your content plan, be sure to include plenty of how-tos and other evergreen content. You will see the highest ROI on content that you can update and republish regularly. But that doesn’t mean you can’t update content about a certain event or time in your life – the sweet allure of nostalgia, anyone? Here’s something of a cheat: if you change a post to the past tense and summarize a list of what you’ve learned, you can repost it (sounds easy).

5. Reconnect with your customers and leads

Email campaigns are one of the most important tools in a marketer’s arsenal. When you send a personalized email to the right person at the right time, you have an excellent chance of converting a lead into a customer. In addition, you already have a list of customers that you know you have already successfully serviced in your email management tool. Don’t let them go to waste!

Also, look for ways to link your content and your current email list together. Creating timely content that engages with the current conversation (whether it’s your industry or a broader topic like COVID-19 … gross) is important to show that you are a company that has its finger on the pulse the time is and that your content is not just pumped out by robots.

Quick ideas:

  • Is there an annual event that you can attend or comment on?
  • Have you seen interesting content on LinkedIn that you have opinions about?

Value is still the key to standing out

It might feel impossible to stand out from all the “unprecedented times” emails that have flooded all inboxes. The key is to offer value.

Don’t just send an email to remind your customers that you exist. Offer them something they want or need. A guide to the latest industry solutions. A guide to a tricky task that is common in your field. People are interested in content that makes their lives easier. So create something that shows your audience that you know what that is. Pretty easy right? And it can be done in a jiffy if you get it right.