While nothing is guaranteed in the business world, the current economic uncertainty has companies looking into their profits and lobbying marketing teams to produce outsized results with reduced resources.
So how do you navigate the changing economic landscape and secure your lead pipeline? First, let’s talk about why marketing is important in a turbulent business environment. Hence, we will focus on the strategies and tactics you can rely on to survive and thrive when times are tough.
Why market during a recession
For evidence that supports the importance of smart marketing during financial uncertainty, look no further than the Great Recession of the early 1980s.
According to a review of the existing research literature, seven studies found that preserving campaign budgets could boost sales during and after an economic downturn. Notably, one study concludes that companies that refused to cut ad spend increased sales by nearly 340% within four years of economic recovery.
Other studies reach a similar agreement: If you fail to fuel your sales pipeline, your revenue generation will lag during the economic recovery.
There are two general reasons continued marketing efforts will help your business stay on course during the economic turmoil.
You can’t play the lion’s share
If your competitors have abandoned their marketing campaigns for short-term savings, now is your time to shine. By keeping (or increasing) your marketing spend, you position your business to take advantage of the white space that competitors leave unclaimed when they take a back seat during an economic downturn.
Ready for recovery
Marketing during a recession creates resilience, allowing for a faster rebound after the recession. While your competitors are still resurrecting dormant marketing plans, you will have increased your momentum and headed for market dominance.
How to market during a recession
Whether you’re seeing economic indicators of an industry-wide recession or hiatus, be prepared to justify your marketing budget and share your proactive marketing plans with key stakeholders.
Focus on high ROI activities
While cost reduction may be a priority for decision makers, it presents a reason to save budget by offering a plan that doubles high ROI activities. Focus your strategy on exploiting opportunities rather than mitigating liabilities in a difficult market.
For example, a search-optimized website can increase traffic and conversions, which are key to revenue growth. We’ve seen SEO campaigns exponentially increase organic search traffic to a client’s website, putting businesses back on the brink of disaster.
Make data-driven decisions
Creating more revenue on a lower budget is more difficult but not impossible. If you’re tasked with producing outsized results on a shoestring budget, focus your plans on high-ROI activities.
When it comes to digital marketing, for example, you may find that SEO has a better click-through rate and higher ROI than PPC campaigns. Downsizing ad spend to reallocate funds to SEO could produce better long- and short-term results.
Does SEO work during a recession?
Yes, SEO is a worthwhile investment during a recession. Since SEO works by funneling organic traffic from relevant search terms to your website, you can benefit from a solid search engine optimization strategy regardless of the economic climate.
Optimizing your website content based on particular keywords and adhering to technical SEO best practices increases your chances of ranking well in search results. The data demonstrates a direct correlation between Google page rank and organic traffic, which means that an increase in search engine results generally leads to more organic traffic to your website.
Take the opportunity to rank
Not only will SEO work during a recession, but focusing on search engine optimization strategies during an economic downturn can help you conquer the keywords your competitors have dominated. If you keep creating SEO content and engaging in link building activities while others downgrade, you can usurp their keyword rankings.
Competitors that “stop” SEO create a white space that companies that double SEO can take advantage of. Basically, you can reap the benefits of short-term earnings with long-term coverage. So when economic indicators change, which inevitably will, your competitors will find themselves in the unenviable position of needing to catch up with you.
As a family-run travel business it’s back strong after Covid
Before the pandemic began, we partnered with a family-owned tourism business to increase the visibility of their research. When the global blockades paralyzed the travel industry, we would have understood if they had decided to suspend their campaign. Instead, they doubled down on their SEO efforts, creating content specifically targeted to address traveler uncertainty during this time. Immanuel Tour’s organic traffic more than doubled during the first year of the pandemic and has captured valuable keywords that continue to bring high quality traffic to their site.
This story proves an important point. Although SEO activities can produce long-term results, there is no way to “lock” the ranking. If your top-tier competitors cut their SEO budget, you have a crucial opportunity to acquire new customers in a less competitive environment.
Learn more about how SEO can amplify your other marketing efforts and find out how much to spend on SEO.
Find a partner you can trust
Economic events can have lasting effects on consumer behavior and generate great opportunities for marketers bold enough to recognize them and act accordingly. Step into the white space created by competitive cuts and maximize your SEO potential now for combined results that will pay dividends in the future.
At Victorious, we can help you identify high-impact opportunities to generate the highest ROI on your SEO campaign. Schedule a free site survey and we’ll talk about your goals.