You’re a small business owner, a startup founder, or a consultant, and you’re navigating the challenging waters of a tough economy. You might have your hand hovering over the ‘cancel’ button on various marketing initiatives, considering cutting back to preserve the budget. You might contemplate if this investment is worth it right now when things are already tight financially. However, before you hit pause on some of the most critical processes of lead generation – aka marketing, let’s pause for a second and consider what it might look like to keep going – and how it could impact your future success.
Don’t Slam on the Brakes of Your Marketing Plan
Here’s the thing: It might seem counter-intuitive, but this is not the time to put the brakes on your marketing. In fact, this could be the perfect time to forge ahead and dive in deeper – especially when it comes to content marketing. Let’s explore why.
The Paradox of Content Marketing in a Tough Economy
What’s fascinating about hard economic times is the knee-jerk reaction many businesses have: to retreat, to save, to cut back. And yes, while some money-saving measures may be needed, ending your marketing efforts altogether can be a critical misstep.
Marketing, specifically content marketing, is not an expense you can cut and forget. It’s an investment – one that can bring successful results, especially when times are challenging.
Content marketing can be the light that guides you through tough times, but you have to follow through with it. It can even save you money in the long run. For example, content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less. So, before you cut out your marketing efforts, let’s look at the power of content marketing and the benefits you could experience from it, even through hard economic times.
The Power of Content Marketing
Content marketing is not just about putting words on a page or creating interesting videos. It is much more than that. Content marketing is about building relationships, fostering trust, and establishing your brand as an authoritative and reliable source of information.
In challenging times, people are looking for reliable resources and solutions more than ever. And your content marketing efforts can position you as that trusted source. This isn’t about a hard sell but about providing value, being present, and showing empathy. By connecting with your customers over their pain points, you can become a valuable guide in their lives.
Content marketing is a powerful tool because it allows you to not only reach a larger audience, but it helps to grow that necessary bond between your brand and your customers. B2B marketers say the top three goals content marketing helps them achieve are creating brand awareness, building credibility/trust, and educating their audience. These are clearly all essential factors that brands should constantly be striving to improve.
Let’s look at specifics to help you get the most out of your content marketing strategy:
The Three E’s in a Tough Economy
You know the Three E’s of content marketing that people are always talking about: Education, Engagement, and Entertainment? Well, they come to the forefront in a tough economy.
As we mentioned earlier, education becomes critical when people are searching for answers, solutions, and ways to navigate through difficult situations. So, make sure that a solid amount of your content is providing educational value to your audience. Luckily, you are an expert in your field, so it should be easy to share your knowledge.
You can create so much content based on all sorts of topics that relate to your business and your industry. You might not even realize just how much knowledge you have, but trust us, you can help out your audience by simply sharing what you know.
Another benefit of content marketing is being able to directly engage with your customers. Engagement is essential when people are seeking connection, community, and brands that truly understand their challenges. Position your brand as a shoulder for your customer to lean on. Show them that you empathize with their struggles and can lend a helping hand.
Lastly, don’t forget to have some fun. Entertainment can offer a welcome escape, a chance for your audience to lighten their load, and a way for your brand to show its human side.
The easiest way to do this is to let your brand be itself. What we mean by that is: let your personality show in your content. This not only includes the brand as a whole, but the people that make up your brand. So, you, your employees, and even your customers. Remember to have fun with it and you can create some really entertaining content.
Why You Shouldn’t Back Down Now
Imagine the competitive industry as a noisy, crowded room. As businesses cut back on their marketing, the room becomes quieter. That means there’s less competition for your audience’s attention. It’s the ideal opportunity for your content marketing to shine, to be clearly seen, and to create a deeper impact.
Furthermore, consistent content marketing efforts during tough times communicate resilience and stability. Customers are drawn to brands that withstand hardships, providing a sense of security and continuity. So, don’t give up on your marketing, so that you can be that guide that helps your customers out of the storm.
Creating a Cost-Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Still worried about the costs? We get it. But listen: content marketing doesn’t have to be expensive.
With a thoughtful strategy, you can create cost-effective content that still delivers value to your audience. All you need is some time set aside to either make the content or work with the team that will. We understand that your time is valuable, so here are some tips to save you time and money.
Quality Over Quantity
Focus on quality over quantity. Instead of churning out mediocre content because you feel like you have to post something, invest time and effort into fewer, high-quality pieces that truly resonate with your audience. In fact, 83% of marketers believe it’s more effective to create higher-quality content less often. So, by trying to save time and money you are actually creating a more effective marketing strategy.
Leverage Your Current Social Media Channels
Leverage organic social media channels where your audience is already present. If you already have social media accounts where you engage with your audience, use them. Share valuable tips, industry insights, and engaging stories that don’t cost a dime. This will allow you to continue to interact with your customers, while also reaching new ones.
Use Content Repurposing
Why work harder than you have to? Repurpose your content. You already spent time and effort creating a piece of content, so try to get all the possible value out of it. For example, a blog post can be broken down into social media posts, an infographic, or even a podcast episode. That’s three separate pieces of content all stemmed from one. Make your content work for you.
Measure the Success of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Ensure you’re getting a good return on your investment by regularly tracking your content’s performance. Even in a tough economy, look out for positive signs such as growth in website traffic, increased social media engagement, higher email open rates, and more sales.
These are indicators that your content is attracting and engaging your audience, building trust and authority, and moving your brand to a stronger position in the marketplace. That’s exactly what you want.
Don’t Give Up On Content Marketing
Pulling the plug on your marketing during tough economic times is like stopping a clock to save time. It won’t work. It’s in these challenging periods that marketing, especially content marketing, can prove to be your secret weapon.
In a tough economy, the brands that communicate, connect, and deliver value are the ones that will be remembered when the tide turns. They’re the ones that will come out ahead, stronger and more successful. With the right strategy and a resilient spirit, that can be your brand.
Ready to Launch a Content Marketing Plan for Your Small Business?
We know that carving out the time, resources, and energy to create ongoing content for your brand or business is a full-time job. That’s why we created Breezy – your instant content marketing team.
You don’t need to hire multiple full-time employees to handle all of the strategy, planning, writing, designing, and publishing of content. You also don’t have time to wrangle tons of different freelancers to get this all completed. What you need is one expert team that can help get all of the amazing thought-leadership and subject matter expertise out of your head and into formalized, engaging content that keeps you top of mind with your audience.
We’re that team!
See how we can help your small business, startup, or agency with a free consultation.