This is a very common situation faced by most of the digital companies (especially ad agencies) these days. Personally, I use to be so scared of the moment when my client would say that there are limited budgets or the budgets are slashed just when I was about to present a million dollar media engagement ( of which at least I was fully convinced ) or a fancy “IPL / BPL / ITPL type” sponsorship deal.
You could actually hear a stunned silence in the meeting room which is full of planners, client servicing and of course the business manager. Within 5 minutes, your entire servicing team would lose the taste of their machinated coffee and you (as Account Manager) are looking for a place to hide.
You don’t know what would you tell your boss, should you update the CV in the meeting room or after reaching office? Your quarterly revenue target now seems like a “mission to mars”.
Here’s what I have to say, don’t lose hopes yet. It is not just about money right now, there’s a lot more you can do to hold that client forever. Control that moment and use it to your advantage.
In a situation like this when you have to run a low budget campaign and the client is not willing to pump in more dollars, instead of panicking and letting that small budget go to alternative marketing or not being spent at all, you need to bring your best saviour forward – Content.
Here are few ways in which you could run low budget campaign in digital:
Find out the most critical needs of the client at that very moment, make a comprehensive wish list shared by the client. It could be,
- generating leads for their upcoming product
- creating engagement within a target segment
- building reach in a specific geo
- driving traffic to their corporate website
- increasing video views of their new commercial.
and so on and so forth.
prioritise the wish list & discuss it with the client as to what is the most important need at that point of time. Lets just say, it is building reach in a specific geo location.
There is no need to do an integrated digital marketing when the budgets are limited. Instead, generate as much powerful branded content (in the form of images, text & video) as you can using this money since that will help you generate buzz, not just in that geo but everywhere. Most importantly, a brand can host that content on their site to drive powerful SEO for a long time.
Create strong powerful ideas for local audience to create some UGC as a part of your campaign. It could be a simple concept around selfies/ videos or anything for brand advocacy would do just fine.
Utilise free media channels like social & email databases to promote it within the targeted Geo. Make sure you cover all the possible digital touch points to seed the branded content. In fact, try creating as much liquid content as possible and distribute it outside conventional social channels like Facebook, Twitter, google+, blogs or Instagram.
Offer your client best value for money in that limited budget by generating series of localised video content for the specific geo (even better if it is in native language) that can be distributed on diverse video platforms like Youtube, Vimeo etc.
Show him the huge value you’ve created by achieving multiple marketing objectives within the limited budget you were given. The report should have the following:
- Unique hits on website
- Video views
- Content downloads
- Leads Generated ( through Content Marketing )
- Social Engagement – new users added on Facebook/ Twitter
- Liquid Content Created
Remember, there is nothing better than seeing a smile on the face of your client, and if you really offer him value when budgets are low, he would spend with open heart when there are bigger budgets.