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Holiday budget for online marketing

How to Keep the Holidays From Ruining Your Online Marketing

It’s no secret that most of us stretch our budgets a little thin over the holiday season. With parties to host and gifts to buy, money disappears quickly. And for many small business owners, the slightly blurred line between personal and business finances means the holidays can impact some of your company’s operations—like online marketing. If you’re feeling the squeeze of the holidays on your small business’s budget, it’s fine to tighten your belt—but don’t let it affect your online marketing. Canceling your marketing campaign temporarily or skipping a payment may reduce your expenses in the short term, but did you know there can be seriously negative consequences? The fallout will outlast the holiday season and your savings may turn into losses. How can that be? Keep reading to find out.

Canceling Your Campaign Sets You Back for Months

Canceling an SEO-based campaign, even just for a month, can jeopardize your future profits. To explain how, we’ll use the way Prospect Genius works as an example. When a client cancels their campaign with us, it’s our policy to immediately take down their website, pull down their listings, and halt all lead generation services. (Most advertisers have a similar cancellation policy.) Your business will stop receiving traffic and leads right away. So canceling your campaign for the holidays will likely cause you to stop getting new customers for at least a month, or however long it takes for you to restart your campaign. There’s more. Now, whenever you decide to restart your online marketing, you’ll have to wait another few months for your web presence to ramp up again. Why? Because SEO is not something you can drop and pick up where you left off. As soon as you stop SEO, everything goes back to zero. As Prospect Genius clients may recall, there’s typically a 90-day buildup period after you start a new campaign. This ramp-up window is unavoidable, regardless of how many times you’ve started and stopped your online marketing. So after all is said and done, you lose several months of business even though you only canceled for one month.

Skipping a Payment Is Hard to Bounce Back From

Another thing that some business owners do is let their marketing payments slide for a month. They think it’s the harmless alternative to canceling entirely. While it’s true that making a late payment is better than canceling, it’s far from harmless. For example, when you miss a payment with Prospect Genius, your account is partially disabled until payment is received, causing a dramatic decrease in leads received. But the real kicker comes later: After delaying one payment, most business owners find it difficult to get back on track with their monthly billing cycle. This is because they now only have a couple of weeks, instead of a full month, to save up for the next payment. Often, this begins an unfortunate pattern of falling behind that’s difficult to stop.

What Can You Do?

We aren’t trying to scare you. We understand there are peaks and valleys in every fiscal year and that the holidays can be especially trying. If money is tight, here are some things you can do that won’t hurt you in the long run:

  • If you’re doing AdWords or any other PPC campaign, pause it. While you can’t turn SEO off and on again easily, PPC can be started and stopped with ease.
  • Budget wisely. Plan out all of your income and expenses for the month to see how much money you’ll realistically have for gifts, decorations, food, and, yes, marketing costs.
  • Pay in advance. If you think there’s a chance you’ll overspend on holiday goods and not have enough money at the end of the month to pay your bill, be safe and pay your bill ahead of time—before your money runs out.

Remember: You’ve invested a lot in your online marketing. Don’t let your web presence come crashing down by canceling your campaign or not paying your bills. You might save a monthly payment, but it will cost you much more down the road. Questions or concerns? Please don’t hesitate to reach out for help.