red line

Hey CFO, can I get more marketing budget? No.

As a digital marketing agency, we have a lot riding on our clients’ marketing budgets, but we’re the first to recognize that when a company needs to reduce its bottom line, everyone needs to do their part in helping to keep costs down.

So, when your CFO or CMO is not willing to budge on budget… let’s talk through some low-cost options you have to keep your marketing efforts on track during softer times.

Focus on content

Downtime is a great time to gather the troops and start writing some content.  Blog posts, white papers, case studies, and downloadables are great ways to improve search visibility and build up your credibility.  I personally think it helps me organize thoughts/opinions on important topics.

Post on Social Media

Promote some of the new content you’ve created.  Get your social media accounts to be more consistent.  Ask your other team members to share your content and engage more online.  Find out what your competitors are doing and start to mimic some of their behavior.


A great way to improve your search rankings is through backlinking.  This is not an easy task because it takes time and effort, but hey, without all those leads coming from ads you can use your “free” time to:

      1. Find blog posts that rank well for your priority keywords
      2. Track down the author of the posts
      3. Reach out and ask to collaborate with them if they provide a link back to your site

Create videos for your old posts on YouTube

Embedding video on your blog posts not only helps your SEO, it is also a convenient way for your users to get a brief understanding of the content.  We recommend looking at old posts on your site that may be good candidates for creating short (1-2 minute) videos.  Leverage yourself and other members of your team, and don’t worry too much about the production quality.  Publish the videos on your YouTube account and embed them into your blog posts.

Improve your Emails

Email marketing is like cleaning up your yard.  There’s always something you can do to improve it.  A popular trend in email campaigns is to limit the number of links to site content and instead publish most of your content directly within the email.  Focus more on readership rather than clicks to your site.  Of course, there should always be a call to action, but for now, focusing on keeping subscribers is a key strategy.

Get some Reviews

Keeping your online reputation up is something that usually gets put on the back burner.  While you’ve got some downtime, reach out to some of customers that fit your ideal customer profile and ask them to submit a review.  We try to acquire at least 3 reviews a quarter… on different aggregators.  It’s a big ask for some sites like, so make sure you line up the right clients for your most valuable online customer reviews.

I hope this helps you find some ways to keep you and your team busy while things are slower.  My only parting advice is once you’ve established these tactics as part of your marketing strategy, don’t stop when the budget floodgates are re-opened.  These are long-term value builders that should always be part of any successful digital marketing team’s habits.

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