How to develop a content marketing strategy that serves you when times are tough
As businesses face the uncertainty and challenges posed by an economic recession, it’s more important than ever to have a comprehensive content marketing strategy in place for weathering the storm.
While marketing budgets may be tight, investing in a robust content marketing strategy can offer significant long-term benefits. By creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content that resonates with your target audience, you can establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, build trust with customers, and generate leads even during tough economic times.
In this article, we’ll explore five content marketing tips and tactics that can help you sustain your marketing during a recession.
What is content marketing, and why should you stick with it?
Content marketing is the practice of creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
When you prioritize content marketing, you’re more likely to build strong relationships with your customers and emerge as a thought leader in your industry because you’re giving them something magical: value.
It may not be the quickest ROI, but content marketing is an effective long game that brings results month after month – even years later.
Content marketing can come in many forms, such as:
- Blog posts
- Podcast episodes
- Video content
- PDF downloads
- Case studies
They may take a little time to produce, but if you follow the 5 content marketing tips below, you’ll be thankful you made the investment.
Tip 1: Create content that is relevant to your target audience
No matter when you’re creating a piece of content, it’s vital to consider the context your audience will receive it. During a downturn, for example, your target customer is likely to be focused on saving money and may be feeling the stresses of economic uncertainty just as much as you are.
To reach these customers, you need to create content that is relevant to their needs and interests and that doesn’t gloss over the fact that they might be feeling the pinch.
Consider what your business has to offer your customers during this time, and build your content around it. This could include content about saving money or the multiple ways to use your products. For B2B, it could be a free e-book about efficiently working remotely or tips on how to scale your team without hiring,
Always keep your customers front of mind, and if in doubt, ask them what they need – then give it to them!
Tip 2: Focus on quality over quantity (provide value to your audience)
Marketing in a recession may feel counterintuitive, but it is more important than ever to focus on quality over quantity during this time.
It’s better to publish a few high-quality pieces that will resonate with your audience than to churn out lackluster content for the sake of creating content.
When you focus on quality, you’re more likely to earn the trust and respect of your audience, which will lead to more conversions and sales. Genuinely caring for your customers by providing value leads to brand loyalty, and brand loyalty leads to positive word of mouth.
Ask yourself: is this content valuable? Does it provide something positive to my target customer?
That being said, not every piece of content needs to be packed with information. Less can often be more in this context, too. Remember, your audience is likely feeling overwhelmed or stressed in the current climate, and value can be a simple tip to make their day less intense.
Tip 3: Use social media to reach your target audience
Social media is one of the most powerful content marketing tools to help you reach a large audience with your content.
Especially during an economic downturn, social media can be an effective, low-cost way to reach cost-conscious consumers. This is not the time to go quiet online, it’s the opposite – your target customer is likely spending more time on social media platforms than usual, so you want to show up consistently to remain (or become) front of mind.
Make sure to use social media to be social – share your content, engage with your audience, and build relationships. If you can treat these platforms as a place to converse and connect rather than hard sell, you’ll build a loyal customer base that will happily spend their dollars with you when times ease up.
Tip 4: Create content for every stage of your customer funnel
You can’t expect your audience to convert into customers from the very first interaction with your company. Yes, sometimes this happens, but more often than not, you need to put in the work to take them on a journey through your customer funnel first. To nurture them.
Make sure to strategically put relevant content in front of them at every stage – from awareness to acquisition – to keep them engaged and excited about your brand.
By creating content for every stage of the funnel, you’ll know that you’re reaching your customers with the right message at the right time.
Top of the funnel (TOFU):
This is the stage where your customers are first aware of your brand.
Content here should focus on educating and informing your audience about your products or services. Awareness content is great for TOFU, too – think short-form video content with high-reach potential, like TikTok or Instagram Reels.
Middle of the funnel (MOFU):
This is where your customers are considering your products or services.
In your MOFU content, focus on providing value, demonstrating the benefits of your products or services, and why you’re the best solution in the space. Case studies, showreels, and comparison landing pages are great formats to do this.
Bottom of the funnel (BOFU):
This is the stage where your customers are ready to buy.
Content here should focus on promoting your products or services and driving sales by pre-empting and answering any objections your customers may have. FAQ pages, webinars, and product demo videos can all be great BOFU content formats.
Tip 5: Review and innovate your content marketing process
As with any marketing strategy, it’s essential to review and refine as you go to ensure you’re optimizing your output.
In the midst of budget cuts and layoffs, finding new ways to keep content quality and volume up with a smaller team will be beneficial in the long run. For example, outsourcing quality design work to a flexible and remote team like ours here at Design Force can be a risk-free way of increasing your content marketing without increasing your headcount.
Gartner research revealed that 58% of CMOs don’t think they have the in-house talent “needed to execute on their strategy.” Addressing the talent gap is a smart way to adjust your content spend, so check out our scalable monthly subscription packages to see what’s on offer.
As for your in-house teams, streamline communication to manage deadlines, projects, and communications better. When times are tough, consistent communication is key.
Look for ways to tweak, improve and refine your content marketing by regularly assessing your analytics. And again, if in doubt, ask your customers what they need – they’ll tell you!
Content marketing is a powerful tool that can help you thrive during an economic downturn.
By following these 5 tips, you can create content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience no matter what the circumstances may be.
When you focus on them, showing that you truly care about their needs, they’ll thank you in the long run by thinking of you when they need what you offer. Great customer service, valuable content, and consistent connection will go a long way in supporting your business growth.
Build relationships with your audience, position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and you can successfully grow your business during an economic downturn.
Need more hands on deck? Book a free demo with the Design Force team to see how you can have world-class designers working on your content marketing goals in just one day.