During uncertain economic times, should you cut your marketing budget or restructure your approach? If you want to ensure the long-term sustainability of your business, we propose the latter. In fact, history shows that a recession (or the threat thereof) presents unique opportunities for you to optimize your marketing. Let’s take a look at some actionable steps you can take to improve your marketing during economic uncertainty and drive business growth.
At its core, marketing is about reaching the right people with the right message at the right time. A recession doesn’t change this, but it may necessitate that you review your value proposition, ideal customer profiles, and key pain points you solve. Have your customers’ pain points changed? Is your messaging still resonating with your audience? A slower economy shifts consumer spending, priorities, and perceptions, so you need to adapt your marketing messages and targeting accordingly to reflect the recent market trends.
Your website is often the first point of contact with potential customers, so it’s important to make a good first impression. A review of your strategy may reveal some necessary website tweaks in order to incorporate your target audience’s new priorities and pain points. Slower times may also give you the headspace you need to really focus on making your website work hard for you. Check for broken links and outdated information, and ensure that your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate. You can learn more about conducting a website audit here.
By investing in search engine optimization (SEO), you can improve your website’s visibility and drive more organic (i.e. free!) traffic to your site. SEO is important because it helps you establish expertise and drive website traffic without paying for clicks. In fact, it’s the solution to the oft-cited problem that people can’t find your business on Google. It also has a reputation for being difficult, time-consuming, and expensive—but it doesn’t have to be. Our free eBook “5 things your small business can do right now to improve SEO” contains SEO tactics you can apply without significant expertise or web developer intervention. Click here to get your free eBook.
Email marketing is an inexpensive tactic that, when done right, remains a steady source of traffic and conversions. In fact, a robust email list of engaged subscribers is a key asset to help improve your marketing during economic uncertainty because you can lob your message right in front of people who have already indicated that they’re interested in hearing from you. If you can master deliverability and keep your list healthy, you end up with an invaluable platform for communicating with your audience. If you don’t have an email list, now is the time to start capturing email addresses from your website visitors and other sources. Consider offering incentives, such as exclusive content or discounts, to encourage visitors to subscribe. Once you have a solid email list, focus on creating valuable content that will engage your subscribers and keep them coming back for more.
During lean times there is no room for error, so you have to invest in the channels and marketing initiatives that yield the highest return and optimize each channel to maximize your marketing spend. If you’re going to invest in advertising, make sure you’re set up to measure outcomes and understand which leads are coming from which ads. By tracking your advertising efforts, you can determine which campaigns are most effective and adjust your strategy accordingly.
One of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business in an economic downturn is to engage past customers to make new sales opportunities or upsells. It’s a lot cheaper (and easier) to keep existing customers than acquire new ones. Past customers are your bread and butter in economic downturns because they already know and trust your brand, so they are more likely to buy from you again. You can also use the information you already have about them to personalize your marketing messages to create offers that they can’t resist. If your business is built around a one-time or infrequent purchase (think roof replacement, bankruptcy attorneys, or mattresses as examples), consider opportunities to provide related products and services to past customers or ask for referrals.
A looming recession means that you need to be more efficient with your financial allocations. For most small businesses, working with a marketing agency is a more cost-effective way to roll out a holistic marketing strategy. By outsourcing to a team of experts, you gain access to talent and creativity that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive to hire in-house.
We’re a small business too, and we know that slow times and economic downturns can be tough. The good news is that there are actionable steps you can take to optimize your marketing strategy and drive sustainable business growth. Reviewing, reassessing, and adjusting marketing priorities is not just a recession-friendly strategy; it also allows you to be proactive in the face of changes and turn challenges into opportunities. We urge you to stay positive, stay motivated, and focus on providing value to your audience. If you need some support and want to learn more about marketing your business during economic uncertainty, get in touch with the Brighter Messaging team.