The coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected hundreds of millions of people across the world.
Our daily routines have been disrupted, and businesses of all sizes are having to adjust by taking whatever measures are necessary to safeguard their customers and employees.
Despite the uncertainty that many of us feel, now is the time to stay the course when it comes to running your business.
And this means resisting the temptation to cut costs by trimming back your marketing budget.
Doing so could very well lead to missed opportunities.
History has proven that times of economic uncertainty can provide incredible opportunities for businesses of all sizes to increase sales and build market share — and the current climate caused by the coronavirus is no exception.
Rather than resigning to the fact that cutting your marketing budget is the easy answer to saving money, instead think about reassessing the priorities of your customers.
Short-term sales and long-term brand health are not mutually exclusive, and choosing to reduce your brand visibility now could be harmful to both.
WHAT TO DO
INCREASE AUTHORITY & VISIBILITY IN SEARCH
Search engine optimization has allowed businesses of all sizes to not only survive economic downturns — but thrive during them.
The ultimate long-term play, a solid SEO strategy is designed to enhance your site’s authority and visibility in search results over time through quality backlinks.
It’s true that fewer people may be seeking out your products or services at the moment, but this means it’s more important than ever to be in front of as many opportunities as possible.
A strong SEO strategy can help improve your brand’s overall visibility and authority to increase the number of opportunities at the top of your sales funnel.
CONTINUE TO ACQUIRE NEW LEADS
At times when the number of available leads may be down, remember that your business needs to continue to fight for those leads, as opposed to cutting back and hoping for the best.
Digital advertising is a great way to drive sales, and although your cost per acquisition may change during tough economic times, one thing always remains true: sales drive business.
Companies can get into trouble when they forget that marketing is a function of sales, and those that scale back and hope for the best, tend to be hit the hardest.
Tough times can provide a unique opportunity to focus on digital advertising as a way to better control the ROI of advertising budgets, while still focusing on maintaining a constant flow at the top of your sales funnel.
Most, if not all, of your competitors are at least contemplating cutting expenses, too. And it’s likely those cuts will be applied to marketing budgets.
Less competition means more opportunity for you.
USE CONTENT TO INSTILL TRUST
Instilling trust in your brand is crucial, but that has taken on new meaning the last few weeks.
Potential customers need to trust your brand. They need to see that you’re an expert in what you provide. You need to have authority.
Attaining all three does not have to be hard or even costly. You can do so topically through the content you produce on your site.
Producing content that is of value to your audience shows them that you care and are willing to put forth an effort to engage them.
And you can tailor your content to fit the current environment. Tell your audience what you are doing internally to adjust to the pandemic while reassuring them that they can continue to rely on your brand.
This creates goodwill that will endure, even through the most turbulent of economic times.
The notion that cutting spend on marketing dollars during periods of slow economic growth is a way to save money — and position a brand for future days of prosperity — has proven to be untrue.
Consider the following, an excerpt from the Harvard Business Review in the aftermath of the recession in 2008:
“…companies that were able to increase share of voice by maintaining or increasing their advertising spending captured market share from weaker rivals. What’s more, they did it at lower cost than when times were good. On average, increases in marketing spending during a recession have boosted financial performance throughout the year following the recession.”
Long-term planning involves accomplishing short-term goals, and a collection of small wins creates momentum for long-term success. Do not give up on what is working with the assumption that doing so will save money.
In fact, doing so may lead to missed opportunities, which can ultimately cost you more in the end.
We here at Digital Strike want you to know we are in this together.
If you have questions about your business during this time of uncertainty and need guidance on marketing direction or are looking for a little help, our phone calls are always free and we are more than happy to share our team’s wealth of knowledge.