Why You Should Double Down on Content Marketing During a Recession

Posted on in Blog

Updated June 2022

Despite record-low unemployment rates, high inflation and a return to bear market conditions are causing widespread concern about a possible recession in 2022 or 2023. While the COVID-19 recession lasted a mere two months, no one knows how long the looming recession may linger. It’s reasonable to assume that many companies are looking at their sales goals and going back to the drawing board.

Because of this uncertainty, there is no better time to double down on content marketing and audience-building campaigns so that when the economy stabilizes, your brand has built the reputation and trust to begin the process of new sales again.

If you can provide your audience with content that’s educational and entertaining, they will reward you with their loyalty and a renewed interest in purchasing your product or service when the timing is right.

Some potential sales discussions might now be stalled, but your audience is still interested in being educated and/or entertained. And it’s likely that at least some of your competitors may stop investing in marketing during a recession. They may inadvertently create the perfect opportunity for you to fill a temporary marketing void in your industry.

report conducted at the beginning of the pandemic (March 2020) shows 78 percent of people expect brands to help them in their daily lives. What better way to do that than create more content about what they’re searching for?

Okay, we know that this is easier said than done. If you’re looking for some help, give us a call at (231) 922-9977.

Why Does Audience Building Matter During a Recession?

Thanks to statewide stay-at-home mandates, internet use peaked during the early months of the pandemic. While internet use rates have slowed a bit since then, those who saw the opportunity to expand and better connect with their audience during that period capitalized on this influx of screen time. The same may also apply during the upcoming recession.

We can all share the feeling of looking forward to getting through a  recession as quickly and safely as possible, and when that time comes, your brand will be in a trusted position to resume your sales process with more-educated consumers.

Marketing will take patience, and immediate sales may not be a driving result. Instead, focus on how you plan to impact your Q3 and Q4 goals when you have a built audience ready to activate.

Redefine Your Audience

While your consumers may be the same people they always were, you’re no longer dealing with the same things motivating them.

Instead of putting consumers into demographic personas, we need to shift our thinking to psychographic personas. In other words – what are they thinking right now?

A Harvard Business Review article from 2009 (hint, hint, the last recession) breaks consumers down like this:

  1. Slam-on-the-brakes consumers have likely lost their job or suffered severe financial hardship. They’re looking critically at spending and cutting down on nonessential expenses and things they can put off buying. They’ll continue to buy life’s necessities but look for lower-cost options.
  2. Pained-but-patient consumers will continue to buy essentials and look for lower prices but tend to seek out their favorite brands first. They’ll deeply curtail major purchases that can be postponed and limit treats.
  3. Comfortably well-off consumers don’t skimp on essentials and continue to buy their favorite brands. Though they don’t consider anything not worth buying, they might choose lower prices or to not boast about their purchases.
  4. Live-for-today consumers are focused on the here-and-now and don’t scrutinize their spending much. They live for deals and purchase in the moment.

Knowing these four personas emerge with a recession, marketers can target their new, reconfigured audiences to grab their attention now or in the future.

Ways to Build Your Audience

  • Email Newsletter – If you already have a steady email (promotional or newsletter) cadence, then your audience building has already begun. Email marketing can be a welcome connection to your current and future customers by providing education around your product or service and injecting personality into the brand with how it’s reacting to these global changes. Brand transparency and customer connection are the new currency during these times.
    Give ways for current subscribers to forward your email and ask for help in growing your newsletter. Publish your newsletter on social channels and create new connections (cross-promotion) to your newsletter subscription landing pages. Utilize your blog to dig deeper into newsletter stories and remind readers about the value you share with your newsletter.
    Email list attrition is close to 25% every year, so make sure you’ve put into place tactics (cross-promotion and subscription reminders at all funnel stages) to continue to populate and add new emails to your list each week. There should be a steady stream of new individuals coming in and then weeding out unsubscribes and inactive addresses each month.
  • Social Media – The original goal of any brand social channel is to bridge the gap between their mission and their customers. Strive for this even more. There has never been a better time to be authentic to your values and to build a new audience.
    Social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are great locations for creating entertaining content, especially when you can incorporate video. Be sympathetic in your social marketing and continue to reference the value in this connection.
  • Content – Double down on middle-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel educational content. Teach your audience about your products, services, and values. The better you can teach now, the more prospects will become convinced that they need your product or service in the near future.

Recession-proof Your Marketing with Support from Oneupweb

While it might feel like things are shifting uncontrollably right now, you can stand steady with audience-building strategies that work right now and will continue to reward in the future.

With a thousand other things on your mind and a to-do list that keeps growing, it makes sense to work with an agency like Oneupweb to navigate the current landscape. It’s tough out there, so if you need help implementing any of the above recession-appropriate strategies, give us a call at (231) 922-9977, or reach out online.

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