How to Do More with a Smaller Marketing Budget in 2024

Get the most out of your marketing budget in 2024 with these expert tips.

The Moast Team

November 2, 2023

Marketing managers hold a vital role in the success of e-commerce stores and DTC brands, whether by undertaking market research, managing social media campaigns, or overseeing numerous other crucial responsibilities. 

Unfortunately, 2024 will be a year for budget slashing, and marketing managers are no exception. Marketers must navigate an already challenging landscape with fewer resources and support. Finding creative and inexpensive solutions like user-generated content, grassroots marketing, and a renewed focus on audience engagement has become increasingly important.

Read the full blog below to learn how to take advantage of these practices and accomplish more with a smaller marketing budget. 

A new landscape for marketing managers 

Many companies and marketing managers have reported that 2024’s marketing budgets are under heavy scrutiny, and significant cuts are expected to be made, forcing them to stretch every dollar to generate similar returns. 

While staying up-to-date on industry trends and utilizing data to inform a companys’ strategies is always integral to the job, marketing managers must find creative ways to drive ROI while respecting these new budgets. What’s more is that e-commerce stores and DTC brands remain tasked with overcoming the same common obstacles, like the following:

  • Going head-to-head with high competition
  • Limited physical touchpoints 
  • Overseeing difficult ROI tracking
  • Managing high rates of return
  • Evaluating their existing operation models 
  • Ensuring a seamless customer experience

During economic uncertainty, problems like these become even more acute and require tailored solutions that fit the brand’s situation. 

As a marketing manager, it can be frustrating to have your budget cut, even if it is too small to begin with. Nonetheless, there are still many strategies to apply that help you work within your budget and maintain strong sales

Engage with your audience

Customers are the key to your growth, and in searching for products or services, they often look to experts in the field. Position your brand for success by engaging your audience and cultivating a community of loyal customers.

Positioning your brand 

Trust and credibility are two strong components to building a solid customer base. Brands that highlight their knowledge within their industry allow them to connect with their audience more personally and meaningfully. Here are a few ways you can engage your audience:

  • Host virtual events like a webinar
  • Host a live Q&A session 
  • Host online workshops 
  • Host giveaways and challenges 
  • Partner with similar audiences 
  • Actively engage with your customers by responding to their comments or direct messages

Customers want value, which should be clear in the content you are outputting. For example, imagine an e-bike brand hosting a virtual seminar on training and nutrition. They are teaching shoppers how to train effectively for different biking types, whether road racing or mountain biking. They may also spend time discussing nutrition and how to fuel your body for optimal performance during a race or workout.

Customers are gaining direct insight into the products' benefits, and the e-bike brand is building credibility within its niche.

Social media

Social media platforms provide an incredible opportunity for brands to build a community and engage with their followers or prospects. Instagram Live is a neat feature on the popular social media app that allows you to host a Q&A session straight from your phone and the platform. 

Facebook groups are another excellent community builder where anyone can share product reviews, tips, and general thoughts on a product or brand. It allows you to crowdsource responses, create polls, and relay other exciting facts about your brand and products straight to your customers.

Amplify grassroots marketing

Grassroots marketing techniques are a great way of making the most of your marketing budget. Some of these types of strategies include the following:

  • Word-of-mouth marketing
  • Community outreach 
  • PR stunts and activities 
  • Partnerships with local organizations 
  • Capitalizing on trending topics 
  • Flyers, brochures, and other promotional material

These strategies can be effective as they rely on the support and enthusiasm of your target audience without the need for paid advertising.

Moast's Social Commerce program

Moast’s social commerce program is a great way of deploying effective grassroots marketing initiatives that won’t eat into your marketing budget. The program allows brands to engage their customers with prospective customers in local communities by holding product meetups, either virtually or in person.

For example, a kayak brand may invite their best customers to act as “Hosts” and be references that can be contacted by customers interested in the brand and products. 

The kayak brand’s website can display a map of hosts for prospective customers to look through and engage with. If interested in the product, they can reach out or schedule a meetup to check out the product in person. 

With Moast, brands can reach their target customers anywhere while providing a unique and authentic shopping experience.

Unlock user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is text, images, videos, or audio created by customers or users of a brand’s products or services. Some places you might consider posting UGC content may include:

  • Your brand’s website 
  • Your brand’s social media platform and pages 
  • On email or SMS campaigns 
  • Online communities like Facebook, Reddit, or Quora pages

The goal of using UGC in marketing is to leverage the voices and experiences of authentic customers. In doing so, you can benefit from building trust and credibility in your brand’s name and with other prospective customers. 

Some examples of common UGC content includes:

  • Customer reviews 
  • Social media posts 
  • Testimonials (video or written)
  • Photos and videos taken by customers while using your product or service
Asking for customer reviews

A great way of collecting and capturing UGC is by encouraging customer reviews and asking customers to leave comments on your website or other popular review platforms like Google and Trustpilot. These reviews can serve as powerful social proof for potential customers.

Contests and challenges

Another effective driver of UGC is to host photo and video contests where brands encourage their customers to share their experiences with the brand’s products. It could be through posting a photo on Instagram with a specific hashtag or tagging the brand’s account for the chance to win a prize. 

Contests and challenges are naturally shareable which increases the reach and visibility of your brand. Just be sure to create meaningful competitions with reasonable prizes and always announce the winner publicly.

Source content from social media

Look for Youtube videos, Instagram posts, tweets and other pieces of content across the internet that might incite customers to share  opinions, pictures, and videos related to your brand and its products. Notice something trending on TikTok? Find a creative way to hop on the bandwagon by creating your own branded version of the trending topic.

Lotus Cars is an awesome example of this. Their TikTok feed is not your typical luxury car social media page but rather one that hops on meme culture and doesn’t shy away from putting themselves out there.

Moast for UGC content

One of the many benefits of Moast’s social commerce program is that when Hosts (existing customers) create profiles, they are, by extension, creating UGC. Having their profiles on your website allows your shoppers to see and engage with others that are excited and actively using your products. It builds trust with others who are interested in investing in your brand. 

Inspiration is a big part of it as well. Outdoor furniture companies that implement Moast and have their customers sign up as Hosts effectively create pinterest-style inspiration for their backyard setup that others can get ideas from.

Do more with Moast

There are plenty of ways for marketing managers to achieve strong sales even with a smaller budget. Focusing on organic and grassroots marketing, finding creative solutions, using data to your advantage, and partnering with other businesses are great ways to drive sales without breaking the bank. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the opportunities that come with collecting and posting UGC and implementing audience-building strategies. 

Moast is an innovative platform that connects shoppers with existing customers to provide honest, authentic, and personalized shopping experiences. Take the first step towards building a smarter shopping experience by scheduling your demo today!

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