Between safety concerns and high inflation, businesses are continuing to struggle with filling positions and keeping their doors open.

According to the most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were almost 1 million less available positions in August than the month before, and 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in August. The current U.S. inflation rate is about 8.3% and the stock market recently dropped to its lowest level in 2022.

If you’re struggling to meet your revenue goals or hire talent, you’re not alone. Fortunately,  there are several things you can do from a marketing perspective that should help your business weather tough economic times.

Don’t Turn Off Your Marketing

We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Shutting down your marketing efforts to save costs in the short term will cost your business in the long run.

Decreasing your marketing spend hurts your sales even in the best conditions, let alone during an economic slump. Additionally, it actually costs more to turn all your marketing off in a down economy, then turning it back on during an upswing.

Remember, if you’re considering scaling back your marketing, then there’s a good chance your competition is having those same thoughts. That’s why it makes sense to keep the marketing machine running, as best you can, during an economic downturn.

Lean on Organic Social Media

This year, companies in the U.S. are expected to spend $63 billion on social media advertising. In four years, that number will eclipse $88 billion. Paid social media is a crucial marketing channel that helps your business greatly expand its reach and target more specific audiences. That said, don’t underestimate the value that organic social media provides.

If pulling back on your paid social media advertising is a must, then try making up some ground with increased organic posts, making sure to include short-form videos that you can post in places like TikTok and Instagram Reels.

Let me be clear: Organic social media is anything but free. It takes time, effort and resources to develop and execute your organic strategy, and then maintain your social media presence over time.

But it’s worth all that when you can use organic social media to tell your brand’s story, establish relationships with new customers and nurture connections with current customers – leveraging the free mass exposure you get through social media.

Focus on Customer Retention

You’ve probably heard this a million times: “It costs more to acquire new customers than it does to retain them.” There’s a reason for that. Businesses spend 5 to 10 times more acquiring new customers than they do on customer retention. And, current customers spend 67% more on average than those who are new to your business.

Paying extra attention to your current customers pays dividends, and there are several affordable, cost-effective ways to ramp up your customer retention.

Organic social media is a great way to reach out to your current customers. You can also fire off a quick eBlast just to check in and ask if your customers need anything. How about a quick newsletter offering helpful tips or product advice?

When it comes to customer retention, a little goes a long way.

Run an SEO Audit

SEO audits feel a lot like going to the gym: You dread doing it, but you’ll feel great afterwards. It’s a good practice to audit your website at least once a year to make sure your message is resonating, to see how your content is performing and to make sure you’re using the best keywords.

There are several free tools out there that can help you complete a full SEO audit, including checking backlinks, generating keywords, analyzing industry trends and much more. But if this seems a little too daunting, or if you’re too busy to focus on a full SEO audit right now, that’s completely acceptable.

But, I have one small homework assignment that I think will help your business immensely: Conduct some competitive analysis to see what your competitors are talking about, and then use Google’s free Keyword Planner to research some keywords you can use to stand out and separate yourself from the competition.

Shore Up Your Content

Conducting keyword research accomplishes multiple things. Not only does it help improve your website performance, but it helps your content perform better, too. Which is important because content marketing can cost up to 62% less than traditional marketing.

That means writing blogs, white papers, eBooks, etc., is one of the most cost-effective ways to build brand awareness, increase brand loyalty, generate leads and so much more.

If you don’t have a content marketing strategy, now would be a great time to create one.

Make Sure You Click with Your Pay-Per-Click

Google Ads is an intricate and nuanced system that can deliver serious ROI when it comes to digital advertising. But because there’s so much to it, it’s very easy to use the system incorrectly. Here’s one of the most important things to know before signing into Google Ads.

The two most common types of ads are search ads and display ads. People who know exactly what they are looking for and are using search terms related to your brand are likely to see your search ads. Conversely, display ads are served to users who may not necessarily be thinking about needing your product or service, but were targeted based on various parameters like demographics, interests, affinity, and more.

And, if you decide to focus on specific groups based on things like geography, age, gender, interests, etc., you can generate a better clickthrough rate which will lower your costs. It’s much more expensive to run broad reach campaigns.

Stay on (Re) Target

If you’re running digital ads, then retargeting is more than likely part of your strategy. If not, it can be without breaking the bank.

Retargeting is a digital marketing strategy that serves users who have visited your website with targeted ads for your products and services when they visit different websites. You can get some real bang for your buck if you focus on those who have seen your brand before. 

So, which type of ad is best if you’re dealing with a limited budget? That’s a tough question to answer because there are so many factors to consider. Are you trying to reach a specific audience or build overall brand awareness? Are you looking to capture high quality leads or promote your products across multiple industries?

The wonderful thing about marketing is that there are so many ways to tweak dials in order to achieve great results without overextending your spend. That’s why it’s imperative to continue your marketing efforts, rather than shut them off completely, during an economic downturn.

At Brand825, we believe every company deserves access to good marketing. Give us a shout if you want to discuss marketing strategies that will work well for your business … and your budget.

Andy Goldstein, Brand825’s content strategist, works closely with clients to create content strategies that spread brand awareness, promote thought leadership, increase web traffic and much more. If you’ve always wanted to launch a podcast, start a blog or create a killer eBook, Andy is all-too-excited to help you get started. He has a bachelor’s in journalism – and was close to a minor in theatre – at THE Ohio State University. When he’s not writing, recording voiceover or appearing briefly in Road House II: Last Call, Andy loves watching football and hockey and going outside with his two sons.

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