We’re in a worldwide health and financial crisis right now, and it’s scary for all of us.
Marketing is one of those things that is easy to cut out when times get tough financially. But when we come out on the other side, if you have cut your marketing, you might have an even harder time recovering. The key during recessions or crises is to shift your marketing budget rather than cutting it.
Here are some of our recommendations on how to shift your marketing budget when you’re in the middle of a crisis, like Coronavirus.
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Invest in Ads
Social media ads run on a bid system. Each company or page bids for one ad spot in front of a target customer. If there are 10 companies bidding, then costs will be lower than if 100 companies are bidding for that one spot.
Facebook’s bid system is a lot like the show The Bachelor (stay with me).
There are multiple women all vying for date nights with the bachelor. The more women in the running, the less frequently they get to go on a date with the bachelor. As the numbers narrow down, the women get to go on dates more frequently. By the end when there are only two or three suitors left, they get to go on nearly every date. And that is how Facebook’s bid system works!
Now back to marketing…
When more companies are running ads, Facebook ads increase in cost and it gets harder to reach your audience. During a recession or economic slowdown, it is likely that companies are turning off their ads to save money in the short-term.
Fewer companies running ads means two things:
1. Your ads will be less expensive and
2. You will reach a larger percentage of your audience
It all depends on the product or service you are selling, of course. But generally speaking, you will get more bang for your buck with social media ads right now.
Run Test Ads
While ads are cheap, run tests to see which ads or landing pages perform best. During seasons when ads are more expensive, it can be pricey to run ads when you don’t know if they will convert or not. While ads are cheaper than usual, set up tests.
You could test variations on ad copy, images, audiences, landing pages, or bid strategies. All of these are worthwhile split tests to run, and they will likely be less expensive right now.
Use this slow time to create content for social media and your website. Write blog posts, create long-form videos, and design helpful graphics. You want this content to be evergreen so you can post it over time and it can remain relevant.
Create a list of content ideas, and start chipping away at it. You can put the content into a calendar and schedule it out ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about clicking publish at just the right time. (We like to use Hootsuite to schedule social posts.)
Maybe you can knock out three blog posts in one day. Publish one and schedule the other two. In one slow month, you could create an entire year’s worth of posts and videos. Of course you should still post timely content as needed, but evergreen scheduled content will save you tons of time in the long run.
Be Extra Sensitive
If you’re in the middle of a crisis, then think twice before posting on social media. Double-check your posts to make sure they could not come across as offensive or inconsiderate. Depending on your business, you might want to post less frequently and only as necessary.
Say a pandemic is spreading worldwide (we see you, COVID-19) and you run a financial firm. Your scheduled content probably no longer applies because the economy is in a downward spiral and people’s concerns have changed.
Rather than posting about how to start a 401k or how much net worth you should have by age 30, transition to posting helpful and relevant content. How can people access their money in a crisis, what you are doing to protect their assets would be better topics. Be extra sensitive.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Stop Marketing Cold Turkey
If you want your business to continue after a crisis or lull, then don’t stop all marketing activity cold turkey. Transition your marketing budget to different areas that will help you in the long term. Have any other questions about how to market your company during a crisis? Leave us a comment.