Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Tony Hutchcroft
Have you thought about how to do digital marketing during a recession?
It’s no surprise that we’ve been warned that a global recession is coming our way. There is no way of knowing how long it will last, or the toll it will take but it is inevitable. Many businesses and individuals are already feeling the effects of what’s to come and fearing a long and hard future.
Over the last few years, due to the pandemic, many businesses were forced to close their doors or simply go on hiatus until the world calmed down. For many, fortunately, they were able to continue with slight changes and pivots.
Digital marketing during a recession should not be taken lightly or dismissed. As things evolve and develop, businesses will need to reevaluate their expenses and their online marketing budget.
More often than not, during a recession, digital marketing, SEO, and PR are some of the first things businesses sacrifice when looking to cut down costs. In most cases, this is exactly what NOT to do. This article, Does SEO Work In A Recession, offers additional insight.
If more and more businesses are cutting their digital marketing costs, that leaves a lot of room for you to rise to the top and get noticed. You can stand out by staying in the game.
Since marketing is a crucial part of any business and a long-term strategy, cutting back on these areas altogether is not wise. In the short term, look at ways to improvise on content creation and ad spending as these are not drastic changes that are going to have long term damaging effects.
What is a recession?
Before we jump into advising you how to utilize digital marketing during a recession, first let’s briefly explain what a recession is.
Simply put, a recession is an extended period of time (months to a few years) where there is a significant economic decline.
How does a recession affect digital marketing?
During a recession, many companies will cut back on marketing and advertising altogether to save money. Some do this strictly out of fear that sales and customers will decline, paired alongside the uneasiness of not knowing what is to come.
It’s an easy thing to eliminate and one of the first things people think of. However, times are different and when you think your digital marketing might plummet, it is going to do the exact opposite. Think of the terms survive and thrive!
The marketing choices you make now and for the short-term, and until the economy starts to understand something clearly at last, will greatly impact the longevity of your business.
Reasons to invest in digital marketing during a recession
How can you get ahead of your competitors and stay afloat?
This is a big question many will ask themselves during economic downfalls. The easiest way is by adapting and perfecting your processes.
The online world since the recession of 2008 has drastically changed and has proven to be more mature and adaptable. Increasing your advertising and marketing is going to be a greater benefit to your business then not.
Digital marketing during a recession can have positive effects
It shows you have stability
The last thing any customer or potential buyer wants to see is a service or product that no longer exists. Showing you are reliable during tough times, and that your business is a place to turn to will provide a sense of confidence and comfortability in your company.
Are you still showing up and being present?
Even if your customers are not purchasing anything, they will remember seeing your brand more and think to themselves how authentic and resilient you were. Another area to focus on is building out your customer base, email subscribers, following, etc. through your content marketing. New customers and followers will always lead to positive impacts.
It keeps building and establishing trust with your customers
Social media as we all know is an immensely powerful tool. It has a way of connecting us like never before and creates intimate relationships with audiences. By effectively sharing your crisis communication strategy initiatives, you will be able to deliver content how and when you want it delivered to your customers. Thus, in turn, listening to where your customers are struggling and what they want to see more of.
You will be building trust while educating and engaging with them during uncertain times. Make it lighthearted and fun (but still educational and informative), that’s what more people are looking for in our society.
The industry becomes far less competitive
The industry becomes far less competitive. Regardless of what is happening in the world, the digital society is continually browsing the web. What does this mean for your business? You will be able to purchase more ad space for the same or less budget than you would normally.
Thinking of investing in SEO or changing up your business model, now might be the time to do so. With less chatter going on around you, you will be able to gain more attention from potential customers and specific audiences that can lead to more revenue. Even if a potential customer is not purchasing from you right now, they may later. The benefits of standing out during a recession will be creating more brand awareness and trustworthiness with your audience.
Your business will be at the forefront
Once the recession is over (and there will be a time it does end, so have no fear), your business will be front and center. Reminding your target audience of who you are and what you do, thanks to your savvy marketing. Give yourself some grace if sales do not skyrocket even if you up your digital marketing during a recession. You will still be in an optimal position to outperform your competitors and reap greater profits in the long run.
Your marketing efforts are measurable
During any economic downturn, ensuring you are receiving ample return on your investments (be it through ad spending or other areas of marketing), should be at the top of your list. But how can you easily track and determine what is working and what is not?
The upside to digital marketing is being able to get detailed metrics and analytics from your campaigns on various platforms. At times when it may feel as though your efforts are not being seen, your metrics will allow you to dig a little deeper into what your customers are after.
You will become more adaptable and creative
A recession comes with change and with change comes new opportunities. By bringing a diverse set of values to your customers, be it through more fun and engaging content, a onetime sale or discount on your product and services, it will draw them in in a unique way. Have fun with it – generating new content and information is a free and easy way to show who you and your company are.
What’s the right strategy for digital marketing during a recession?
When faced with tighter budgets, smart marketers will know the importance of targeting their efforts and doing more with less. You want to get inside the mind of your consumers while focusing on the future beyond the recession. So, what’s the key to winning during a recession?
Here are multiple strategies you can implement to stay on top of your digital marketing efforts:
- Review channel & campaign performances (past and present)
- First figure out which services or products you’re wanting to offer
- Market those to your devoted customers
- Keep on top of your social media platforms
- Connect and actively respond to new prospects
- Budget accordingly and put ad spend to the channels that you see the best results (be it Instagram, Facebook, etc.)
- Invest in SEO
- Be on brand
- Have fun with it and get creative
What companies had in common that grew in a recession
Here are some key factors that played a role:
- Acting early on
- Developing new products or services
- Offering solutions and help to customers
- Creating long term goals
- Focusing on growth over cost saving tactics
- Nurturing existing customer relationships
At the end of the day resilience is your key success. If you have the capacity to withstand and recover quickly from tricky situations, you will get over any upcoming crises that come your way. Paired alongside an excellent strategy and proactive approach your business will prosper.
It’s inevitable, recessions happen. But the thing to remember is they don’t last forever. They impact and provide challenges for both businesses and individuals. However, don’t look at digital marketing during a recession as an obstacle but as an opportunity. Be creative and find ways to minimize the impact it will have on your business by investing in digital marketing now to generate new leads and sales, and provide more opportunities for you to grow in your field.
Looking to invest in digital marketing?
Do you still have questions about digital marketing in a recession? Are looking for more information on if it’s a wise investment or not?
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