For an experienced marketer, there’s no economic turndown.
Whether the market is going up, down, or sideways, an experienced marketer knows how to use digital marketing to his advantage and turn a profit.
Here are some actionable tips to market products and services online during an economic recession.
1. Reach out to previous customers
Marketing is all about reaching out. Digital marketing makes it easier than ever to reach out, as long as you’re willing to make the first move. The key is reaching out in the most cost-effective way, such as through social media. Build rapport and reply regularly to build familiarity with your customers.
LinkedIn is especially promising for this kind of contact, as it allows businesses to talk to customers without it appearing awkward or unusual. Your goal should be to maintain contact, not necessarily make a sale then and there.
If the customer doesn’t want to talk, end the conversation on a friendly note; the customer might just be having a bad day and you can pick up some other time.
2. Keep up with your marketing
Keep making marketing campaigns. You don’t have to stop making marketing campaigns just because there’s an economic recession and there’s less money to spend.
Keep producing your marketing content, just scale back if you really must. With a lower budget, you do have more constraints, but they will help you build your creativity.
Be willing to experiment and don’t be afraid of failure, as long as it’s not catastrophic. For example, memes are a great, cheap way to go viral, seeing how they are perfect for sharing. Spend time on meme aggregation websites, such as Reddit and 9gag, make memes, and share them through your digital marketing efforts.
Those communities will tell you what you’re doing wrong, so learn from the best, adapt, and hone your viral sharing skills.
3. Reexamine the fundamentals
During an economic cooling, all the dead weight falls off and you can finally gain clarity in terms of what works and what doesn’t. Digital marketing allows you to get immediate feedback and raw data from all your marketing efforts, so automate and centralize the data gathering to reexamine the fundamentals.
However, there’s so much data out there that there’s no way to crunch it manually. It would be like drinking from a hose
Use a reporting dashboard, such as Google Analytics or Facebook Analytics, that crunches your data and provides you with a baseline against which you can keep track of trends.
Use all the freebies you’re given and twiddle with all the settings to learn how it works before paying a dime. Set up your goals, connect your Search Console, and define what you’re measuring.
You can also use Domo and Tableau, which are two great examples of Business Intelligence software that crunch millions of real-time data points to give you an easily digestible conclusion.
You can also jury-rig a reporting dashboard yourself if you are handy with Excel and know how to code.
4. Work on your branding
You should never stop your branding efforts, no matter the economic situation. More than anything else, customers in dire need will turn to brands that provide quality, so don’t race to the bottom.
People are still spending money, it’s just that now you have to focus on providing your customers the most bang for their buck. Emphasize the longevity and stability of your brand in your branding efforts.
Use words such as “durable”, “forever” and “quality” in your branding campaigns.
5. Understand your core customer
Successful brands cater to one of four customer types that react differently in an economic turndown:
- Cautious (spends nothing on non-essentials)
- Patient (spends less on non-essentials)
- Well-off (spends the same)
- Affluent (spends even more on non-essentials)
Your task is to understand the type your core customer belongs to. How? Ask them! Create a questionnaire and simply ask your customers how the economic slowdown affected them.
Do they feel optimistic? Do they consider your brand essential? How much did they reduce their non-essential spending?
People love giving feedback, as long as they feel they’re being listened to. Keep the questionnaire brief and the tone neutral. Your goal is to find patterns in their reports and see trends.
Use this data you gathered for your digital marketing campaigns. Whenever you’re stuck, always go back to your core customer and the data they provided.
If you find your customer base a varied bunch, consider creating sub-brands for each type and estimate your ROI using the questionnaire data.
For example, make a “Deluxe” and “Platinum” versions of your products or services for those well-off and affluent customers who don’t care about the recession and just want to spend. In this way, you increase your market saturation and get more leeway in terms of experimenting with your brand.
6. Focus on conversions
Everything that negatively affects conversions should be addressed as soon as possible. This includes:
- Poor usability
- Lack of social proof
- Bad user experience
The majority of online traffic in the 21st century comes from mobile users. They are fickle and impatient, so focus your efforts on improving usability for mobile devices in particular.
If mobile users don’t like what’s shown when the page first loads, they will bailout. Put your best foot forward—place everything that converts “above the fold”, so it’s shown to the user without any need for scrolling.
There should be social proof, including studies and user reviews, clearly visible to the user above the fold. Sort your social proof chronologically, so the user has a clear timeline of how your brand has been improving.
Beyond that, think about your user experience. Do your links and calls-to-action clearly stand out? (Hint: Devote one color simply for your CTAs). Is the text chunked into short bits, separated with headings, images, and bullets?
As you optimize your pages for conversions, pay close attention to dwell time and bounce rate. These are clear indicators to let you know if your UX is giving visitors what they need.
Don’t Let The Turndown Slow Your Marketing Down
You don’t have to twiddle your thumbs in desperation just because people are spending less money. Trying times like these are what separate the do-ers from the dreamers.
Now is the moment to double down on your marketing and beat out your competitors who are too busy playing conservatively.