How to Spend your End-of-Year Marketing Budget Sustainably

By Kathryn Hawkins. Content Marketing
Credit:  Eucalypt/DALL.E 2

Investing in content marketing strategy and services is a great way to ensure that your brand is in solid shape for 2023.

We’re getting closer to the end of the year – and if your marketing team already has a budget allocated for the full fiscal year, you may find yourself with a surplus of unspent funds.

Maybe some initiatives ended up not being a go, or your ad campaigns didn’t max out. Whatever the case, your team has some extra dollars to work with – but if you don’t spend it soon, you’ll lose out on that budget altogether.

Want to spend it in a sustainable way that leads to actionable results?

Don’t go on a technology spending spree just because you can, or buy tickets to glamorous conferences that are barely related to your industry.

Instead, if you want to make the most of your remaining budget, investing in content is a crucial tactic for managing your spend sustainably.

Here are three ways to do that.

Invest in content marketing credits

So you may not be ready to commit to a full year’s retainer with a content marketing agency – but if you want to test out a new team, consider using your unspent marketing budget to purchase a block of credits that you can use towards future work.

Here at Eucalypt, we’ve shifted to a credit-based pricing model that breaks down common deliverables into credit counts, so that you know how much each type of content will cost, with no surprises. This also means that we don’t need to map out a specific scope of work when we start working with you: If you’ve purchased 500 credits, you may initially think that you want to spend it all on blog content. If it later turns out that you need to revamp your web copy and put some of the credits towards that, it’s no problem. We work in an agile manner and can shift priorities based on your needs, with no rescoping necessary.

Purchasing credits upfront means that you can use them through the year as needed, with no requirement to commit to a certain volume of work each month. If you don’t have a solid strategy in place yet, this approach gives you plenty of lead time to work out how you want to spend the credits. And once you’ve run through them, it’s no problem: You can either shift to a retainer or purchase another block of credits.

Conduct a content strategy audit

As we get to the end of the year, you’ll have better visibility into metrics around how well your current content strategy is working. Are your content assets driving engagement and lead generation? Are you getting visitors in through organic SEO and social traffic, or are you having to pay for them all? How frequently are site visitors converting?

If you’re ready to start 2023 fresh, it’s a great time to invest in a content strategy audit. The project can be as large in scope as you need it to be – in some cases, we’ve mapped out every page of a client’s website to see which pages should be deleted, merged, or revamped to fit a revised information architecture.

Other projects may focus solely on content marketing initiatives, where we’ll conduct competitor research, persona research, and SEO research to build an optimized content strategy that connects with the right audiences – then create a game plan and editorial calendar that will help you get from point A to point B. If you want to kick next year off with actionable insights that will move the needle, this is a great time to focus on a content audit for an optimized strategy you can put into practice in 2023.

Invest in an original research report

Reports that involve proprietary research can be a game-changer. As the authoritative source on a given subject, you’ll see your brand get backlinks from many new publications, and will develop a reputation as a thought leader in the space.

If your brand generates a lot of data that you can share publicly, that’s a great place to start. You might also conduct surveys of your customers, or even use an external survey company like SurveyMonkey to target the number and demographics of respondents you need to conduct a high-quality survey. Paired with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government sources, you can offer unique insights on your industry that will resonate not just with your own customers, but with media publications that cover your industry – exposing your brand to a large pool of new potential customers.

Plan to use your end-of-year marketing budget for survey data collection if needed, plus a team to write and design the report if you don’t have the in-house resources to complete it quickly. You’ll also want to budget for PR support to promote the report to a curated list of industry leaders for the best chance at gaining widespread visibility.

Don’t try to launch the report before the end of the year if you can avoid it, or you’ll be competing with all the holiday noise – but by putting a plan in motion to publish and promote an original research report in 2023, you’ll have budgeted wisely for a valuable asset that will deliver real business impact.

Ready to allocate that leftover spend? Get in touch to build your action plan.

 End of Year Budget to Spend?

Want to test a new agency without a long-term commitment? We're excited to offer this limited-time offer at Eucalypt -- pay up front for blocks of credits, and use them all through the coming year at your convenience. The flexibility to do content marketing the way you want to, with support from a best-in-class editorial team.

Kathryn Hawkins

Kathryn Hawkins

Kathryn Hawkins is principal and chief content strategist of Eucalypt Media. She has worked as a freelance journalist for media publications and managed inbound marketing and content strategy for corporate and nonprofit clients for more than a decade.

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