When times get tough, there’s no doubt that lots of businesses slow down or stop their marketing altogether, bracing themselves for the unknown. But smart companies know that marketing is critical to the success of your company, whether times are good or bad.
Today, I’m going to let you in on 8 tips for marketing your business in a down economy. That way, you can brace for success instead of the unknown.
#1 You May Have to Cut Budget, But Don’t Cut Activity
The reality is that you may have to cut your marketing budget during an economic downturn, but you don’t ever have to cut activity. This is the time for you to swap hustle for budget and dedicate even more energy into showing current and prospective customers the value of your business. Consumers change their buying habits in tough economic times, and many begin searching for other, more affordable options than what they’ve been purchasing. This means that you have added (not reduced!) opportunities to get your name in front of them and offer them your product or service. Don’t miss out!
#2 Change Your Perspective
Keep an eye on the bottom line, but realize that it doesn’t reflect the big picture. Instead, remind yourself that marketing is an investment for the future health of your company. If you don’t invest now, you’re giving up market share and profitability in the future. Keep your eye on the long-game!
#3 Wow Them With Service
Your performance with your customers is always the best marketing you can do. Now is the time to take an honest, hard look at your service performance. Is it a ‘Wow!’ experience? If not, it’s time to step-up your game! Excellent service will drive word-of-mouth marketing, the best ROI you’ll find in any economy.
#4 Check-In With Established Customers
It doesn’t cost any money to reach out to those who have purchased from you in the past or who are still doing business with you. Send a check-in email, pick up the phone and call, or text to see if there is any way you can serve them further. You’ll remind your established customers of your stellar customer service, and you stand to make even more sales.
#5 Measure, Cut, and Reinvest
Take a good look at the data. What marketing strategies have shown significant ROI in the last year? Which ones seem to be dead on arrival? If you haven’t already, use a web analytics tool (like the FREE version of Google Analytics) to measure whether you’re reaching your goals or stalling. Another measuring tip: track leads (and find out where they came from!) by using trackable phone numbers and web addresses for each of your campaigns. That way, you’re sure of which marketing techniques are working and which aren’t. Then, cut the techniques that aren’t working and reinvest the save time and budget into the ideas on this list instead.
#6 Update Your Website
Do you recognize the power that your website has to either make or break your business? It’s true! If prospects aren’t excited by the aesthetics, reassured by the structure and organization, and met with engaging and informative content at every turn, they will likely do business with the company whose website does. If you haven’t already, make sure to clearly convey the benefits of doing business with your company and be sure to include straightforward CTAs that will engage your prospects.
And although we shouldn’t have to say it, stats tell us we do: respond quickly to all inbound leads! Response time is one of the greatest factors in determining if a lead converts into business.
#7 Focus on Search Engine Marketing
These days, most of your prospective customers will search for your business online. And the last thing you want is for your business to show up on page 7 or 8 in the search results-- let’s be honest, they’ll read the first page of results and choose one of those companies. That’s why it’s so important to learn about how to compete with your competition in search engine rankings.
Take advantage of some free keyword research tools and begin incorporating them into your website’s written content, meta descriptions, subheadings, image captions, and URLs. It’s easy and free to increase your keyword savvy-- it just takes time, which there is no shortage of right now.
#8 Build Trust With Content
When times are tough, you want to show your customers that your business is trustworthy and solid. But how do you do that? Consistently produce educational content and share it on social media. Your consistent activity will make it clear that you aren’t going anywhere, and that you’re focused on adding value even during the hard times. Trust us, prospects are watching!
The Bottom Line
It’s hard not to panic when economic unpredictability is everywhere you turn. But continuing to invest in marketing can be a matter of survival in times like this. Position your company to come out of an economic downturn with more customers than when you entered it, not by cutting marketing but rather by marketing smart and increasing the hustle.