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How to Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget in 2022

As we round the corner to 2022, marketers have been hoping to see clearer (and more predictable) skies ahead. But as more COVID-19 variants pop up around the globe, we head into yet another year of uncertainty.

While many marketers have gotten used to pandemic marketing to some degree, it hasn’t come without pitfalls. How can marketers set their 2022 budget to learn from the turbulence of the past few years? And is it possible to avoid budgetary issues while remaining engaging and reactive?

Here are a few tips to help your marketing team stay ahead of the curve in 2022.

Be Flexible

Uncertain times require flexible budgets. If changing your marketing budget requires 18 meetings, 12 signatures, and restaffing, then you’re going to bleed.

Just as your creative team is responsive to current trends, your allocation needs to be able to change on a dime. And, you need to have the non-monetary resources ready to accommodate those changes.

A good way to start is to build multiple plans around one budget. One will be your primary plan and the others will have backup ideas prepared for possible eventualities, such as another lockdown.

Another way to prepare is to have your staff mingle instead of working in their own departments. Put copywriters with video editors and advertisers with associates. That way, your staff will be more cohesive and easier to reassign if you need to suddenly shift resources.

Make More Video Content (for Less)

The pandemic has increased customer demand for video content. Despite that, marketers have reduced video content due to budgetary fears. This is how death spirals are created, in which businesses retreat out of fear and continue to shrink until nothing is left.

2022 is the time to make more videos than ever. But you have to do it the smart way. Don’t just make ads and YouTube videos. You need to engage on all fronts with:

  • Video on landing pages and product pages
  • TikTok and IG influencers
  • Live video
  • VR experiences
  • Testimonials
  • Demonstrations and how-tos

OK, you don’t have to do ALL of these if you don’t have the manpower. But you should be doing most of them. Luckily, it doesn’t cost a lot to make high-quality videos if you know what you’re doing.

To create more with less, try a few of these tips:

  • Encourage user-generated content: Run a contest or a campaign encouraging users to submit their own videos. Then post the “winners” on your site and social pages.
  • Shoot on your phone: Invest in a good phone and some video editing software. New smartphones like the iPhone 13 Pro have studio-quality cameras built-in.
  • Invest in a green screen: Anyone can get creative with a green screen these days. Green screen video is affordable and greatly expands your creative opportunities.
  • Keep stock footage handy: To ensure you’re ready for sudden changes, keep some pre-selected stock footage ready so you can make a quick text or voice-over video.

Update Your Technology

Marketing automation technology and AI services can do things that seemed unbelievable even a few years ago. You can now automate almost all aspects of email marketing, CRM, analytics, testing, social media, lead-gen and so much more. If you’re still doing the busy work that affordable software could do better, you’re wasting valuable time and money.

In 2022, look into omnichannel automation technology. This advanced automation categorizes customers and sends them through customized funnels based on their behavior.

You should also continuously monitor your automated social media software. Social media changes rapidly, as new updates, trends, and features arrive every month. Your social media AI should be able to recommend content, topics, and questions/answers your target wants to know.

Invest More in Social Media

In 2022, we’ll see some exciting changes in social media. Most notably, Facebook’s (ahem, Meta’s) metaverse will begin to change the way we interact online. And the pandemic will continue to make social media the preferred place for many people to socialize and engage with brands.

Smart brands are putting more power into their social marketing teams and expanding their definition of what it means to be active on social media. What can your business do?

For starters, you need to build an engaging voice for your brand on social media. Very few brands have been able to do this. Most of them lack a cohesive tone across social channels. Or, their voice evokes the same emotional response as a robotic customer service rep.

You also need to practice social listening. This means you need to engage with your customers without advertising. Listen to them to find out their interests, the trends they follow, and what they think of your brand and competitors.

Meet an Unpredictable 2022 Head-on

In 2022, Facebook will unveil the metaverse, customer spending habits shift with a rocky economy, and COVID-19 will throw us for more loops. But you can still meet the new year head-on by preparing your budget for uncertainty. Flexibility is key, but so is anticipating the factors that won’t change, such as the dominance of video and social media in digital marketing.