The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the continued conflict in Ukraine are putting additional pressure on already high interest rates and closures in China, which may disrupt supply chains. Economic outlooks are overshadowed by uncertainty.
Economists warn that the world, including the Middle East, may be heading towards a recession by late next year or early 2024 as echoes of inflation resonate globally. With a looming recession, companies and industry leaders find themselves in a challenging planning situation.
Is digital marketing a good strategy during an economic downturn?
“Digital marketing is not something to be halted during a recession,” experts say. “People will continue to search for products and services online, even if overall demand decreases. In fact, this might be the most valuable marketing investment you can make during an economic downturn because it allows you to stand in front of people actively searching for what you offer or the most suitable audience for your target.”
Digital marketing campaign experts agree that, from a long-term perspective, strong online marketing strategies are the best investment to protect your business during economic downturns. Resilient recession-proof marketing strategies are more critical now than ever. Strengthen your digital marketing strategies to protect your business from recession with the help of ug agency.
Risks of Recession in 2023 and Beyond Talk of recession has intensified in the past two months, causing concern for businesses and institutions across the United States. Economists fear that the Federal Reserve’s contingency plans to rapidly increase interest rates to combat inflation may lead to a sharp economic contraction.
In April 2022, Deutsche Bank became the first major bank to predict a recession in the United States, a sentiment shared by investors. According to a Bloomberg Markets Live survey, around 48% of investors expect an economic slowdown by 2023. Another 21% expect it in 2024, while 15% anticipate an economic recession in 2022.
On Easter Sunday, Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, released a report indicating a 35% chance of a recession in the United States within the next two years. Hatzius’ claims were based on historical patterns showing that 11 out of 14 tightening or interest rate hike cycles since World War II were followed by an economic contraction within two years.
Data published by Statista Research Department supports these predictions, forecasting a 6.14% likelihood of another economic slowdown by February 2023. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, during President Bill Clinton’s administration, sees an 80% chance of an economic recession in the United States by 2023.
Can we expect a recession in 2022?
While economic slowdown may be imminent, experts say a recession in 2022 is unlikely. The White House and the International Monetary Fund share optimism about strong GDP growth in 2022, estimated at around 3.7%.
However, Susan Wachter, professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, stated, “…the longer inflation persists, the greater the chance we enter a wage-price spiral, requiring the Federal Reserve to hit the brakes hard.”
With much focus on the timing of a recession, the best course of action is to learn how to prepare your business for a recession.
“Digital marketing is an investment that helps in good times and bad,” experts say. “During a recession, it’s not the right time to ‘fix’ your website. Prepare your marketing budget for a recession so your business is ready. If anything, invest. Now is the time to ensure your website works for your business even in tough times.”
Build recession-resistant business marketing strategies now to move the needle in your institution and protect your business from economic disruptions.
How to prepare your business for recession
If there’s one thing that sets recession-resistant companies apart from the competition, it’s their commitment to investing in business planning for a recession as soon as possible. Before and during downturns, marketers must balance their digital marketing campaign efforts to reduce the impact of potential disruptions on their business.
Building the right digital marketing strategies now is the best way to ensure your business is ready for what’s next. It is critical to leverage the right digital marketing ideas, strategies, and techniques to ensure the continuity of your business during the next impending economic recession.
Have you started planning business for a recession? Follow these digital marketing tips on how to set your business up for recession and protect your brand as much as possible:
1. Invest in a Better Online Presence
One of the pillars of recession-resistant businesses is their ability to build and maintain a strong digital presence regardless of economic conditions. Maintaining a strong digital presence allows you to get a larger market share of e-commerce sales now and in the event of a recession.
Invest in market research, build a responsive website and play the long game with search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing to stay ahead of your target audience’s concerns.
Willes said: “Focusing heavily on SEO and PPC is probably the safest bet. “If you do it successfully, it almost ensures that your brand is in front of people looking to buy.”
Building an online presence has become a top priority for businesses over the past few years. As the recession approaches, maintaining a better digital presence is even more important in staying on the radar of potential customers online. This way, regardless of whether potential customers are searching for your brand specifically or need the services or products you offer, they will eventually find you and become your customers when they are ready to convert.
2. Don’t cut your marketing budget
During the economic fallout, brands face the dilemma of cutting their marketing budget, pausing marketing campaigns, or doubling down on their digital marketing strategies.
For some, it makes perfect sense to stop marketing in a recession. After all, large spending on digital marketing services may seem irrational when revenue drops. Take 2020 for example. Spending on digital marketing campaigns fell around the same time as 255 million full-time jobs lost worldwide. Google has even had to cut its marketing budget by 50 percent due to lower ad revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So why keep building your own digital marketing plan and investing in digital marketing services?
Studies have consistently shown that brands that continue to market in a recession are the most likely to survive. As the noise level decreased during the economic downturn, many companies cut back on spending on advertising. This is an opportunity to highlight the stability of your company during difficult times. Continue your digital marketing campaign activities or at least reduce it a bit, but never get to the point where you stop it completely.
“In order to keep the business flowing, be sure to put in place your digital marketing strategy,” Warner said. “The work will not stop completely. If you stop digital marketing, prepare for your competitors to get your leads more easily. Those who make a steady investment in digital marketing services will bring the greatest benefit.”
It highlights that when companies start to feel a recession, there will be less competition in digital marketing. This is your best opportunity to attract new customers to your business and make sure you don’t suffer during an economic downturn.
3. Optimize your website now
Check your website. Does it generate leads for your business 24 hours a day or does it need improvement? Get expert advice from a reputable web design company if you’re not sure which part of your website could be better.
Web design and development agencies have in-house conversion rate optimization (CRO) specialists who conduct comprehensive website audits and analytics to measure your site interactions and identify the elements you need to optimize to achieve the desired results.
“Conversion rate optimization helps you get the most out of your traffic,” Warner said. Take a look at the data on your website in order to enhance the customer experience. Some examples of things to look at include: the pages that are visited the most, the pages that get the least engagement, cart abandonment, and overall customer behavior.
Gather this information to form a data-driven plan. This way, you’ll know that any improvements you make to your website are likely to have an impact on your bottom line. This, in turn, will provide a return on investment.”
Conversion rate optimization can lower acquisition costs by getting the most out of your website. For example, if you want to sell more products online, this is the best time to optimize these product pages on your website. By doing this, you increase the revenue of each visitor.
Ask an expert to take a look at your website. They will be able to provide digital marketing advice on reducing the number of people who bounce off the page or don’t take the actions you want.
4. Develop a results-driven marketing strategy
Don’t lose leads who would have been customers if you had invested in a more laser-focused digital marketing strategy.
“People keep doing a lot of shopping and searching online regardless of economic conditions,” Clark said. “You have to invest early [in a comprehensive digital marketing strategy] to be ready to take advantage when the economy inevitably rises again.”
A holistic approach to digital marketing enhances your business performance. It also allows you to generate more traffic now so that when a recession comes, you already have a steady flow of traffic. This will minimize the negative impact of the economic recession on your business.
Consider creating an ecommerce store to sell your products or services. Add email capture on your website. Use marketing automation to streamline SMS and email marketing campaigns. When you implement a digital marketing plan well, nothing can hold it back – not even a recession.
5. Intensify your SEO efforts and connect construction efforts
Invest in SEO and link building to create a strong organic SEO foundation that can be relied upon for years to come and consistently bring in a steady number of leads. As we approach recession and consumer behavior begins to shift, ranking at or near the top for valuable keywords will be an incredibly valuable safety net.
“SEO is a vital part of any business.” “The order of the basic discovery terms is always important. You can protect your business in the future by thinking about how people might need you during different economic situations and creating content/pages for these things.
For example, if it looks like avocados are going to run into shortages, and you’re a recipe site, preparing recipes for popular avocado dishes with avocado substitutes gives you time to gain traction and traffic for these things before people start looking for them. \”
Fear of making the wrong decision is the primary driver of consumers’ purchasing decisions. Creating high-quality content and optimizing SEO efforts boosts your perceived experience and increases your chances of putting your website at the top of search results.
In addition, integrating SEO efforts and linking link-building efforts into your digital marketing plan allows you to attract maximum sales and leads in your niche market.
“From the standpoint of the generation of long-term leads, SEO is the best investment you can make in your digital marketing beyond ensuring that your site is built in a way to effectively convert leads or sales,” Wiles added.
To use a simple analogy, paid advertising is like going to the grocery store. You pay a premium to get what you need, but it’s convenient and fast. However, when you turn it off, almost all value is lost. SEO, on the other hand, is like planting a garden. It takes time and effort, but in the long run, it provides leads at a significantly lower cost and establishes equity in your domain that you don’t lose right away if you stop investing.”
6. Rely on consistent brands
In times of uncertainty, customers rely on their trusted brands. If you don’t convey the value of your brand offerings, other companies will. That’s why it’s essential to convey a consistent message of strength and stability to your customers effectively.
Don’t ignore the fact that people are worried about the looming recession. Customize your brand voice according to your target audience and attract more consumer emotions to show awareness and sensitivity.
More importantly, you need to be consistent with your brand. Brainstorm digital marketing ideas with your team and develop a monthly digital marketing plan to stay relevant without increasing your budget.
Clark also pointed out that online reputation management (ORM) is another important aspect of business planning in a recession that should not be overlooked. Take advantage of customer reviews to highlight a trustworthy brand image. Create and claim free profiles on various review sites to control the narrative. Finally, be sure to respond to positive and negative reviews online to maintain an excellent brand image during the recession.
7. Connect your efforts on social media
During an economic crisis, many people tend to stay at home to spend less money and save more. This also means that potential customers spend more time on their mobile devices. This is an ideal opportunity to attract new customers to your business and nurture potential customers through your social media marketing sales funnel.
Continued social media marketing during the economic crisis ensures that your audience knows you’re still online.” “Whether you reduce the number of posts sent weekly or from your advertising budget, you can still go a long way in keeping the spotlight and attracting new/existing customers.”
Early now, make sure your brand is at the forefront of customers’ minds when customers search for your products or services. Set up your social media profiles and solidify your brand if you haven’t already. Other valuable digital marketing tips include closely monitoring evolving consumer trends, solidifying sales and marketing alignment, and running paid strategic advertising campaigns on social media to further your completed goals.
8. Deliver innovative video content
Some online marketing tactics pay off significantly due to their creative and cost-effective approach to audience engagement. One notable example is video marketing.
Video marketing remains one of the most engaging ways to connect with your target audience and deliver consumable information. It builds trust and generates commitment in a way that content alone can’t achieve.
“Keep in mind evergreen video content that can be used at any time in the coming years,” said Czewsky. “This will ensure that your money goes further in exchange for spending more on campaign-specific content.”
Post videos on your social media pages. Ask customers to create video testimonials that you can place on your website. Live on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube to allow followers to interact with your brand and ask questions in real time.
During a turbulent period, Americans are likely to spend more time online to keep up with friends and current events. Video marketing is an excellent opportunity to engage with your target audience as they spend the most time and expand your customer base.
When done right, video marketing can be one of the most profitable digital marketing ideas to keep your revenue flowing during the downturn.
9. Create a robust digital analytics setup
“Tight digital analytics setup will help business owners examine and anticipate changes in their business,” said Garrett. This will allow you to make data-driven decisions when modifying your digital marketing strategies.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) and marketing analytics help you determine which online marketing tactics are doing the best and which are performing the best. A robust digital analytics setup also tells you whether your site interactions effectively create business for your brand.
For instance, Google Analytics provides a good way to compare different pages on your website to see how supportive they support your conversion goals. It tracks your page views, average time on page and bounce rate, among other metrics, so you can optimize poorly performing web pages.
10. Make budget options accurate
Danielle Russell, director of e-commerce at Thrive, noted that while shoppers may cut spending during the economic crisis, consumers will continue to make the most necessary purchases. To ensure that your products stay within the specified purchases, it’s essential that you stay in front of shoppers. And to do this, you need to make accurate choices about how you spend your marketing money.
“Plan your advertising budget wisely,” said Czewsky. “Consider seasonal and busy times of the year to take advantage of the time when your customer is likely to shop or inquire about your services.”
Paid search advertising is one of the most effective marketing tools you can leverage to increase your marketing budget. Whether through retail channels like Amazon and Walmart or search engines like Google and Bing, paid search puts your brand in front of shoppers who are actively searching for your brand offerings.
“Because ads are only paid for when clicked, this prevents wasted spending and allows brands to focus their ad dollars on the most relevant and transformative terms for their products,” Russell said.
Paid shopping ads speak to those shoppers who are ready to add to the cart. To get the most out of your advertising campaign, you need to ensure competitive pricing for your products. And if profit margins allow, include discounts, coupons, and other sales incentives to increase conversions.
Don’t waste your time thinking about whether recession marketing is the best way forward. Build online marketing tactics today to mitigate the economic downturn.
Do recessions bring any benefits?
Periods of economic downturn don’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. In fact, many recession-resistant companies have experienced significant growth against the backdrop of the economic crisis by implementing strategic digital marketing strategies.
Let’s take a look at some of the companies that have been able to pivot through previous recessions:
The tech giant Google’s core business in 2008 was search-based advertising, putting it in the enviable position of being relatively impervious to the effects of the recession. Many companies that relied on traditional marketing methods collapsed during economic turmoil. But Google weathered the storm and became a household name.
Warby Parker is an example of a brand founded during the Great Recession and successful by leveraging digital marketing. The company has filled a huge gap in the market by providing pairs of fashionable eyewear at affordable prices online. It addressed customer pain points and emerged where potential customers spend most of their time.
Amazon thrived during the 2008-2009 recession by innovating its products and launching the now popular Kindle. The company saw consumers need a more convenient reading experience, and on Christmas Day 2009, Amazon made more sales of e-books than printed books.
Undoubtedly, investing in digital marketing services during a recession will be challenging, mainly because you have to go against standard operating standards and allocate your resources wisely. But that doesn’t mean you should stop your digital marketing campaign.
“Don’t shy away from your marketing,” Whittaker said. “This way you will still be at the top of the competition as the recession gets worse and by then, it will be very difficult to move forward.”
Optimize your marketing budget and be smart about your priorities
“Digital marketing is not a switch,” Garrett said. “It’s something flowing. Tides, low tides, cliffs, drafts – there will always be a flow. It is a matter of whether you allow nature and external forces to dictate this flow or take steps to adjust the flow yourself.
Even if the economy isn’t doing well right now, you have a responsibility to your team, company, customers, and community to know how to get, sell and improve your business.”
This is why it is essential that you start improving your digital presence and invest in innovative digital marketing strategies that deliver long-term positive results for your business.
Thrive online marketing agency has weathered the same economic storms using these meticulous methods. For more than 17 years, we have managed to grow through two major economic crises. We understand how to approach digital marketing in a way that helps protect your business from short-term repercussions while building a leading long-term machine that is built to last.