We’ve yet to see the long-term effects of the coronavirus on businesses. Will it result in a global recession? Or just a blip? Only time will tell.
However, there’s no denying that we’re currently seeing economic head winds. CEOs and Marketing leaders around the world are asking: should I invest or save marketing costs.
Some industries have certainly been harder hit than others. Many companies in the travel, aviation, and event industries are struggling to survive. Some e-commerce brands are thriving.
Every day people ask me how the business is doing. And I’m humbled and honored and thrilled to say that we are thriving! As a content marketing agency focused on business outcomes and growth, we’ve been fortunate to see additional revenue from clients and new clients come on board.
At first consideration, this may seem somewhat unusual. After all, marketing budgets are often one of the first things to get cut when future cash flow is threatened, right?
It turns out, that while some brands have panicked and slashed all marketing spending, many others are thinking about how to grow.
Rather than paying for billboard campaigns and pricey TV ads, they’re investing their limited marketing budgets in something that’s much more affordable and effective: content marketing.
- It’s understandable that some brands want to cut budgets during times of fear.
- Smart marketers are investing in content for growth and taking market share from their competition.
- Content marketing is not only affordable, but it’s also highly effective, especially in times of economic crisis.
Why Marketing Is Still Important During a Downturn
The bottom line is that a slowdown in economic activity affects businesses and consumers alike.
During a recession, businesses start losing money and may be forced to make savings through job cuts. As workers worry about the stability of their employment, they tend to be more careful with their money and spend less, and so the cycle continues.
Faced with this uncertainty, businesses need to be careful with their budgets and make spending cuts where possible.
Cutting down on marketing may seem like an obvious place to claw some money back. But this kind of strategy can be shortsighted.
Businesses that stop marketing during a downturn may find that they’ve lost their customers to competitors when things start picking up.
During a recession, and especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic when there’s an unprecedented level of fear and uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for brands to provide their audiences with the information they want and need.
By investing in content marketing during this time, you can build trust and brand recognition with your audience, while providing them with something of real value and importance.
Here are 3 brands who have taken very different approaches to content marketing over the years.
At the top right, you have a company that has thought about content marketing for years. But they just can’t seem to get their whole team on board. And their traffic is going down and down. Interestingly, they are in an industry where there is a ton of education required. The competition is creating that content. And winning all the traffic and leads.
The bottom right is a company with a great strategy. But because they aren’t following the strategy and allow random acts of content to drive their publishing schedule, they are somewhat flat in organic traffic. So they try to make up with it through paid search.
On the right is a company that just keeps on investing. Slow and steady, she wins the race of organic search traffic because this company never stops creating customer-focused content week after week.
Use Content to Build Your Brand
Times of economic crisis are not ideal to be focusing on sales. While it’s natural to want to try and bring your sales figures back up, your main focus should be on building your brand.
Even if people aren’t spending right now, they will be again eventually. And if you do your marketing right, they’ll remember your brand when the time comes.
This is the ideal opportunity to start building your brand presence and authority by publishing high-quality, useful, and shareable content that will build your following and increase trust.
Remember that your customers’ needs will have changed, and it’s important that you’re responsive to these changes. If you’re not sure exactly how you can serve your audience best at this time, ask them.
In the first few weeks of lockdown, hundreds of companies offered digital products and services for free or at a significant discount to provide assistance to those suddenly working and schooling at home.
Now that things are slowly starting to return to normal, consumers won’t forget the homeschooling site that gave them free worksheets or the virtual conferencing software that cut their membership fees.
But you don’t have to be actually giving away a paid-for product to benefit. People are spending more time online and reading more than ever before, and an article that has useful information or makes them think could be just as valuable.
Why Now Is the Ideal Time to Invest in Content Marketing
Unlike many other types of marketing, content marketing is a slow burner. You most likely won’t see any dramatic increase in sales or customers from publishing a single piece of content, no matter how good it is.
Content takes time to develop its full benefits for your business, and you need a significant amount of it too. While one blog post may not do much for you, if you publish three times a week for a year, it almost certainly will do.
Right now – while business may be slower than usual and your other marketing activities may be on hold – is the perfect time to double down on your content marketing efforts.
Every piece of content you publish now acts like a single brick of your online presence, which may well turn into an empire further down the road when the economy has stabilized.
By consistently publishing high-quality content that provides value to your audience, underlines your company’s mission and values, and offers solutions to your customers’ problems, you’ll be investing in a bank of assets that will pay dividends for many years to come.
Need Help Weathering the Storm?
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today – and generate more traffic and leads for your business.