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Genuine buzz-worthy content connects with people on a human level. It builds a sense of excitement and urgency around your brand.
But there’s a thin line between buzz and hype – throwing everything you have at a reader or viewer in order to manipulate emotions. With hype marketing, messages that overpromise will typically mean that a consumer’s expectations won’t meet reality. The result? Loss of brand credibility.
Here are some writing tips to help you generate genuine buzz-worthy content for your brand without crossing that boundary to hype.
TAKE THE LOGICAL APPROACH
In order to convince and convert a prospect, your content should appeal to a reader’s or viewer’s emotions and reasoning. Begin with clear and concise messaging designed to appeal to an emotional aspect. Then, use research, data, and examples to support that messaging and ground the emotional appeal.
Your content should not rely solely on data, of course. But using solid evidence to bolster messaging helps your audience draw logical conclusions about your product or service and reinforce emotional appeal.
When it comes to content marketing, credibility is key. You want your audience to trust you and believe in the products or services you’re promoting. To do that, you must give your audience reasons to believe your brand messaging and trust that what you say is true. By building credibility, you help your audience understand why your product or service is the best choice for them.
To boost your content’s credibility, provide insight your audience can relate to, like case studies and consumer reviews from customers or clients. This provides social proof and shows that real people have had positive experiences with your brand. You can also offer content that helps solve problems or answers questions that are top of mind for your audience.
Part of delivering credible, buzz-worthy content is ensuring it is error-free. So, make sure you thoroughly edit and proof content before publishing. Content riddled with typos, grammatical errors, or factual inaccuracies can diminish your brand authority and lead readers to question the validity of the information you share.
APPEAL TO NEEDS AND VALUES
When you understand the needs and values of your audience, you can apply that to your writing to persuade your audience through emotional connection. To connect empathetically with your content, first identify the problem your audience has. Show that you understand their pain point about that problem.
Next, you’ll need to agitate them a bit. Show what the consequences would be if they ignore your advice or insight or fail to use your product or service. Then, connect by showing the solution.
In addition, make sure you create a stream of content that shows that your brand supports specific causes, nonprofits, or community efforts that positively impact society. To do this effectively, make sure the causes you support align with your brand values and can be tied to your products or services in a meaningful way.
CREATING BUZZ WITH AUTHENITC CONTENT
Compelling content is not about making grand claims or empty promises. It’s about providing value to your audience. By following the tips outlined in this blog, marketers can create content that is engaging but also trustworthy and authentic.
Ready to generate buzz-worthy content that resonates with your audience? Put these tips into action and start creating content that drives engagement and builds credibility. If you’re looking for extra content support, we’d love to help! Reach out so we can better understand your needs.
No doubt your marketing strategy includes social media content. You certainly strive to create purposeful, authentic, and helpful content. But maybe it’s time to up your game and make that content more convincing and creative. Here are seven social media writing tips to help you do that:
Know your audience: Before you start creating social media content, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your target audience. Do some social listening to understand your audience’s interests, pain points, and motivations. Your goal is to make your content relatable so readers or viewers will like and share.
Use storytelling: People connect with stories, so use them to your advantage. Start with a hook to grab attention. Then add some conflict or tension and end with a resolution. Storytelling drives more creativity into your social content, allowing you to better connect with your audience.
Leverage social proof: Social proof is a powerful tool for convincing potential customers. Use customer testimonials, ratings, and reviews to show that others have had a positive experience with your brand.
Get emotional. Once you have a story in mind, amp up the emotion. With this social media writing tip, your goal is to give your audience a story that evokes laughter, joy, surprise, or awe. That emotional appeal will drive social media cachet and brand connection.
Publish with high-quality imagery: Social platforms are very visual. Use high-quality images or videos tailored to your audience and the platform. Remember to size your images correctly for each platform. These dimensions change regularly, so be sure to stay on top of sizing requirements. Then watch to learn how different types of imagery affect your audience.
Be creative: Be bold and think outside the box and try something new. Use humor, create interactive content, or collaborate with influencers to make your content stand out and grab attention.
Understand the platform. Shareable social content must align with the character of the platform.
- For Facebook, imagery and videos tend to generate more shares. Also, try long-form content here that delivers specific insight or direction. Either way, concise and engaging headlines rule.
- Twitter’s platform is made for short and pithy messages. Create concise content that aligns with your brand voice.
- Instagram’s visual format demands high-quality imagery and videos. Carousel posts can be effectively engaging.
- LinkedIn content should be professional and industry trend-focused. So, advice and thought leadership content is appropriate here. Use bullets and short paragraphs to make reading easier.
By following these social media writing tips, you can create social content that is both convincing and creative, helping you to build strong connections with your audience and ultimately drive more sales.
Don’t let your social media content fall flat. Use these proven tips to create compelling and convincing content that resonates with your audience. Reach out to let us know how we can help with your next social media campaign.
Creating solid, interesting marketing content is hard, and it’s even harder when you don’t know what you’re writing about.
That’s why we love creative briefs. When done right, they are a great way to ensure your content marketing efforts are as effective as possible. They help writers:
- Understand what the audience needs and wants
- Create content that speaks directly to those needs and wants
- Be more efficient
WRITE ON TARGET: HOW TO DEVELOP THE CONTENT CREATIVE BRIEF
Creative briefs should include details that help writers and designers understand any project’s deliverables. Often, briefs will be long on design direction and much shorter on writing direction. Typically, these items that address content will be included:
- What the content needs to accomplish
- Who the target audience is
- Key messaging points
- Benefit statements
But there are often two items that need to be added in creative briefs that can make a big difference in hitting the mark on messaging right out of the gate.
TWO MUST-HAVES ON THE CREATIVE BRIEF
When it’s done right, a content creative brief can help you manage writers more effectively by providing clear guidance and setting expectations. That means two points need to be answered, and these are often missing from creative briefs:
- What does the audience currently think about the product or service?
- What do we want the audience to think about the product or service?
Of course, answering these two questions may not be simple. You’ll need to work with your client to get that input. But when you do, your writers will have the insight necessary to shape messaging that truly resonates with the intended audience.
OTHER CREATIVE BRIEF BEST PRACTICES
- Keep it concise.
- Be specific when describing the project goals and objectives. You want your writers to understand exactly what they’re working toward so they can hit those marks with their writing.
- Use a template so your writers know where to reference important details every time.
The content creative brief process is an essential tool for writers to produce outstanding content. When you work with CrucialContent, you’ll see how we leverage the creative brief to take content development to new heights. Reach out to let us know how we can help with your next content or design project.
Choosing a product or service to meet a need can be a big decision. To make that decision, your prospects likely have specific questions and preferred channels that they want to use to ask those questions. Those questions require detailed, personalized answers, not responses from chatbots that can’t address complex inquiries.
It may be time to try conversational marketing – a dialogue-driven marketing approach that integrates technology like artificial intelligence into customer interactions. By using messaging apps, live chat features, and/or virtual assistants, you can deliver fast, personalized answers your clients and prospects seek.
The Business Case for Conversational Marketing
Data shows that consumers want to connect with brands in real time via messaging that delivers instant engagement specific to their questions, problems, or concerns. If you want to scale your business, it is likely you won’t be able to employ the number of humans necessary to deliver this engagement 24/7 on the variety of messaging platforms available to your customers and prospects. That’s where conversational marketing can do the heavy lifting. Here’s how:
- Chatbots can provide support for common queries like business location and hours, delivery updates, and more. They can also link to real people at your business who can continue the conversation.
- An automated virtual assistant on your website or a voice bot for your call center can help interpret your customers’ text or speech queries and use AI to guide them toward the products or services they are looking for.
- Messaging apps and voice chat can provide guidance when it comes to billing questions, product recommendations, or service updates.
- Co-browsing and screen-sharing applications can help your employees effectively collaborate with customers and guide them through complex processes and procedures.
But your business gets additional value when employing conversational marketing, including:
Important Insight: It’s true that conversational marketing through live chats, messaging apps, or chatbots can help address prospects’ immediate needs. But doing so can also illuminate challenges that similar prospects may be facing that you could address in other marketing channels. When you use conversational marketing, you get the opportunity to collect essential data about prospects with similar profiles. This data can help you craft a more effective overall marketing strategy.
Improved Experience: A conversational marketing approach supports your overall marketing strategy by enhancing trust among your prospects. Taking this approach allows you to meet and even anticipate their needs, which improves their experience. The messages and resources they receive from you will be relevant and meaningful instead of obviously produced for a wider audience. And conversational marketing encourages more frequent interactions and promotes the idea that you are there when they need you — a crucial way to increase engagement with your brand.
Shortened Sales Cycle: When you use conversational marketing, you can more easily identify quality leads and move them through the sale funnel faster. When you build data point collection into the conversational marketing process, you’ll be able to more easily collect important prospect data instead of relying on form-fills.
Developing a conversational marketing strategy that fits your business and your customers’ and prospects’ expectations for personalized communication takes time. However you decide to get started, you can continue to evolve your conversational marketing strategy over time based on the direct feedback and results you receive.
Your website is the cornerstone of your brand. It’s how potential customers get to know you, and it’s what they’ll use to decide whether or not they want to engage with you.
So, when your website starts giving off the wrong vibe, it can have a real impact on your business. And that’s why it’s so important to make sure that your website presents the best possible first impression: one that will keep people coming back for more and turn them into loyal customers.
A web content audit can help. It’ll give you an overall picture of how users are interacting with your site and what areas need work.
WHAT IS A WEB CONTENT AUDIT?
A content audit is an evaluation of each page of your website using a critical eye to determine if the content is accurate, the content’s tone and voice align with your brand, and if the messaging is still timely and relevant. The results of the audit can help direct your content marketing strategy, showing you what needs to be updated or deleted and what content gaps need to be filled.
One cautionary point: If you search for help in managing a web content audit, you’ll likely also see information about a web accessibility audit (WCAG). The two are not the same. A WCAG audit is focused on understanding how well your site meets the needs of people with disabilities.
Here’s what you need to know about effective web content audits:
BENEFITS OF A WEB CONTENT AUDIT
A web content audit is a crucial part of an effective content marketing strategy. When done regularly, benefits abound:
- ID Easy Fixes: Your web content audit can help you identify several items that are easy to fix, like broken links, wonky forms, or missing content. Those can be simple to correct and immediately improve your SEO rankings and conversion rates.
- Save Money: Sure, there may come a time when you will have to pay to upgrade the look and feel of your website. But if you regularly audit your content, you can cost-effectively ensure your content is engaging and actionable – key attributes of a website that is working for your brand.
- Improve User Engagement: You don’t know what you don’t know. A content audit can help you understand what information is most valuable to your audience. You may learn that videos are far more popular than blog content for a specific audience segment. Or that blog posts that share how customers use your product or service get more traction than those without. That’s insight that can help you improve user engagement throughout your site.
- Stay Aligned With Business Goals: Is your current business goal aimed at increasing sales in a new demographic? Is it to increase reseller engagement? Is it to get more engagement with a new service offering? Your web content audit will tell you where the content gaps are that could hinder meeting your business goals.
- Boost SEO: A web content review can help you learn how to get more organic traffic to specific pages.
HOW TO DO A WEB CONTENT AUDIT
A web content audit is not a walk in the park. You need time and a team of colleagues to help make the process efficient and effective.
STEP 1: First, you must establish audit goals that align with your business strategy. For example, if your goal is to increase optimization, you should focus on adding more robust meta descriptions for each page. If your goal is to improve audience engagement, you will want to learn what content is being shared or results in conversions so you can create similar content. Determine a way to measure results objectively.
STEP 2: Next, define the scope of taking inventory. Will you focus only on main page reviews or blogs, or will you do a deep dive into your entire site? Gather the URLs for each page you will audit. Once you know what you will focus on, set realistic deadlines for accomplishing the content review.
STEP 3: From there, use analytics tools like Google Analytics and the SEO WordPress plugin to audit your pages. Collect the data about traffic, SEO, engagement, and conversion rates.
STEP 4: Next, analyze your audit data to learn what pages are performing well, what content could be easily updated or improved, and what content should be deleted because it is performing poorly and would require too much time to improve.
STEP 5: Finally, create an action plan based on the insights you now have from your data analysis. Identify which pieces of content need small tweaks to make them effective and which pieces need to be removed from your site. Tackle those tasks first. But remember, before removing any content, check to ensure it isn’t backlinked elsewhere on your site.
Then, begin working with the content you want to repurpose or consolidate. Also remember to apply what you have learned to your content marketing strategy. That will help inform what new content you should add to your website.
Consistent content improvement is a hallmark of an effective content marketing strategy. Doing regular website content audits is key in ensuring your content reaches the right audiences, engages them, and keeps them interested in your brand. If you’re not sure how to perform a content audit or how to prioritize your resulting action plan, connect with CrucialContent. Reach out to let us know how we can help.
You’ve probably created a comprehensive 2023 marketing plan for your organization that is chock full of tantalizing tactics. But will your plan enable your team to successfully support your assorted business units in reaching their annual goals?
If building a holistic, multichannel marketing strategy isn’t part of your current plan, why not? By taking advantage of the channels that maximize returns and leverage today’s trends and lifestyle habits, you can substantially elevate your business’ brand and increase campaign results.
Your plan doesn’t have to be exceedingly difficult or expensive to produce results. In fact, it can be simple and budget friendly. What it does need to be, however, is consistent when it comes to tone, look, and feel. This is your chance to replace random, occasional, obligatory communications with relatable, relevant, and timely messaging, strategically placed in the right channels for your audience.
It’s well known that acquiring new customers or members is significantly more expensive than retaining the ones you already have. Since generating leads and converting prospects doesn’t happen by accident, you need to make sure you’re spending your marketing dollars where they’ll be most effective.
HERE’S HOW TO GET STARTED WITH MULTICHANNEL MARKETING
1. Direct Mail
Though a lot of marketers are dismissive of direct mail campaigns, the truth is that they are among the most effective forms of advertising. In 2022, U.S. advertisers are expected to spend $72.67 billion on direct mail marketing, and with good reason – open rates for direct mail can reach as high as 90 percent compared to just 23 percent for email marketing.
Targeted direct mail results are even more impressive. Did you know that simply adding your recipient’s name to the direct mail piece increases response rates by 135%?
Somewhat surprisingly, as part of a multichannel marketing strategy, direct mail is also effective at reaching millennials. Three-fourths of this demographic claim that the mail they receive is valuable; they appreciate the time and effort that went into the direct mail piece’s creation. Over 90 percent of millennials said they are influenced to make a purchase based on direct mail ads, compared to just 78 percent for email.
This brings us to our next point…
2. Digital Advertising
Adding relevant digital advertising to targeted direct mail pieces is a one-two marketing punch.
In their Digital 2022 report, We Are Social and Hootsuite revealed that the average American spends more than seven hours per day online — 52 percent of which is spent researching brands. So, with your current and prospective customers or members spending nearly half their waking hours online, you’ve got to be there, too.
From email marketing outreach and digital ads to social media campaigns and geotargeted content, a cohesive digital advertising strategy is mission critical to capturing your audience’s attention. Leveraging these different platforms for outreach and engagement is a great way to keep your brand top of mind.
3. Continue the Conversation
Landing pages are designed to turn visitors into leads, so developing effective landing pages should be a key piece of your multichannel marketing strategy.
When people click on a link in your email, on your ad while browsing Facebook, or choose you from their Google search results, they should be taken to a page specifically created as part of your campaign.
Your landing page should include copy that is directly related to the advertisement the visitor clicked on and provide supporting information about the promotion. Also, landing pages should include multiple “calls to action” for your prospective customers. Whatever your goal, your landing page should motivate people to learn more about you.
Finally, don’t forget to include a way to capture the visitor’s contact information so your business development team can follow up with them later.
4. Close the Deal
Using digital media to drive traffic to your landing page is great. But then what? In a perfect world, your sales team and front-line reps will have already been briefed on your campaigns. They’ll have received training on the product or service you’re promoting and will have the tools and resources they need to move forward. In a perfect world, anyway.
In reality, busy business development officers and others may need a gentle nudge from your marketing department to follow up with interested prospects in a timely manner. Give them the list of leads in an easy-to-read format and have them get started by reaching out, using the visitor’s information captured by the landing page. Remember: they clicked on your ad and looked at your landing page for a reason – you have something they want or need.
It’s helpful for the marketing department to provide an internal document with key talking points, including a clearly defined list of benefits and features, for employees to reference when speaking to future customers. Because even though clever ads and eye-catching landing pages are nice, it doesn’t count until you seal the deal, right?
Whether you want to increase awareness, cross-sell products, or expand into new markets, designing and executing a consistent multichannel marketing strategy will help you stand out from the competition and achieve your organizational goals.
CrucialContent is a full-service marketing and advertising agency that has been serving brands across the U.S. for years. Contact us to see how we can help you succeed.
Creating engaging content doesn’t do much good if it isn’t reaching the right people at the right time, in the right way, or in a format that makes them likely to engage. That’s why context is so important to your digital marketing strategy.
If you must reach many different groups of people, it’s imperative to understand each group’s needs for information and how they prefer to consume that information. To maximize your content’s impact, adjust how your content is presented based on who your audience is and what your goals are for that specific audience. Here are a few tips for doing just that:
1. Make Videos and Infographics Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Videos and infographics have some of the highest levels of engagement, making people more likely to see and share your posts. Having different types of content will also improve your SEO because the content may be discovered by people doing video and image searches.
2. Strategically Create Custom Social Media Audiences
When you create a marketing campaign on a social media platform like Facebook, you can narrow down your target audience by more than just age and location. Because Facebook has access to people’s web browser history, it lets you create campaigns based on sites people have recently visited. And you don’t have to stick with your own website either – referencing appropriate pages from your competitors’ websites or other websites that provide more general financial content can help you reach more high-value leads.
3. Take Innovative Approaches to Finding Receptive Audiences
While having a blog and making social media posts will certainly help your marketing efforts, there are many other opportunities to reach your audiences if you dig deeper and get creative. The next time you are tapped to do a presentation or seminar, use that session’s recording in your marketing outreach. Turn that recording where you share your expertise into something people can live stream, listen to as a podcast, or view as a SlideShare presentation.
4. Learn How to Use Hashtags
Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest offer a great opportunity to reach more prospects. Infographics and short videos are great for engaging audiences on these platforms, and the right hashtags will help people find your content.
5. Build Relationships With Local Publishers and Help Them Develop Content
Pitching stories to local and regional publications is a great way to reach new audiences with content in a context in which they are likely to engage. In some cases, you may even be able to develop the content yourself as an advertorial and pay for space. This format is perfect for sharing stories about how you helped consumers or local businesses achieve success. Compared to traditional advertising, it is a more subtle and often more effective way to build brand affinity and get people to share content organically.
Get More From Your Content Marketing Strategy
Sometimes, all you need is a little extra help to make your marketing strategy more effective. That’s where CrucialContent comes in. From developing engaging content to reaching the right audience with the right content and presenting it in the most effective way, we can help you maximize the impact of your marketing efforts. Think of it as an investment in growing your business. Connect with us today.
It may be time to level up your Instagram marketing efforts. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is the 6th largest social network worldwide. The pandemic might have driven that growth, but it is projected to continue for the foreseeable future.
If Instagram has been part of your marketing focus, take a few moments to learn how to boost that strategy with these six tips:
ALIGN WITH EVANGELISTS
Maximizing your Instagram following means moving beyond posting creative content with brilliant hashtags. Try reaching out to your audience for content curation. Encourage your audiences to tell their own stories about your brand. It’s a great way to make more authentic connections with prospects and clients.
ANIMATE TO ELEVATE
The debate is ongoing about whether video or still images get more attention on Instagram. The short answer is it depends on the situation. Much of social media seems to be moving toward video, but animation is also popular right now. Audiences prefer Instagram content that looks homemade rather than content that resembles a slick marketing product. A five-second animated image is easy to produce and gives that folksy flair.
BE LIVE – INSTAGRAM LIVE
Instagram Live will help you connect with your audience by combining the allure of video with a personal touch. Consider using it for things like a product or service launch, a behind-the-scenes look, or a product tutorial.
TELL A NEW STORY
Instagram Stories are relationship-builders because they seem to give your audience a peek into your brand, one snippet at a time. They don’t stick around long, which might be what intrigues followers and compels them to view. Stories are great for sharing important announcements, highlighting your brand purpose, or creating buzz around an upcoming contest.
KEEP REELING THEM IN
Here’s a chance to add a multimedia production to your volume of content. Instagram Reels offers the tools you need to create a truly unique piece of content. Record short bits of video and combine them or upload a long video and chop it into digestible pieces. Use the tools to add music, change action speed, and put your own brand feel on it.
BE A BOLD STORYTELLER
When it comes to promoting your brand on Instagram, coloring inside the lines is not important. Make a bold statement, piece it together, be authentic, and tell your brand’s story. Instagram seems to favor brands that use all their tools, especially the newest ones – Reels, Stories, Live – so be sure to take advantage of every opportunity to create new and interesting content on Instagram.
GAIN INSTAGRAM TRACTION WITH EASE
Having trouble focusing on your Instagram plan? Struggling to find time for all the stories, videos, and animations? CrucialContent can help. Connect with us today.
Looking for a way to cut through the digital noise and get your brand front and center? One smart solution may be animated explainer videos.
When you combine bold, engaging graphics with an easy-to-follow narrative, explainer videos allow you to get a lot of information across in just a few minutes – or less. They can help brands reach new audiences, enhance value propositions, and foster loyalty and trust. Along with a strategic array of traditional and digital media elements, explainer videos make a great addition to your robust marketing plan.
EXPLAINER VIDEO BENEFITS
Best-in-class brands agree on four main reasons for adding animated explainer videos to the marketing mix:
1. Videos make things clear: Just about every business can fall victim to jargon, which confuses prospects. Animated videos enable you to memorably explain essential topics and highlight key benefits of your product or service. Animation makes it easy to compare and contrast, break down terminology, and show the steps of a process.
2. Videos keep prospects engaged: Video is the highest-converting medium across most social media platforms, meaning that your calls to action can be more effective than ever. Likewise, websites that feature videos are far more likely to appear on Google’s first page, and visitors are far more likely to stay on a page for longer than the median time of 15 seconds.
3. Videos are versatile: In addition to using them to boost SEO and social engagement, you can embed animated explainer videos in targeted email campaigns, adapt them for in-app onboarding experiences, incorporate them into webinars and live presentations, and even play them on loop in your lobby.
4. Videos are affordable: When you partner with a full-service agency, high-quality animated videos can be scripted and produced at reasonable rates. Unlike live videos, there aren’t multiple actors to hire and hours of footage to capture and edit. Controlled costs are a major reason that so many brands are impressed with explainer videos’ ROI.
USES FOR EXPLAINER VIDEOS
Here are four ways that you can use animated explainer videos to add value to your brand and strengthen your relationships:
1. Product promotion: Explainer videos are great for showcasing and comparing products and services. You can also give consumers a simplified preview of virtual interfaces or service amenities. At the end of the clip, viewers can respond to a call to action with just one click.
2. Brand education: Helping your customers understand tricky can help establish your brand as a trusted source of information and advice. Sharing best practices for businesses can help to forge meaningful relationships with commercial clients.
3. Virtual helpdesk: If your client care team is constantly fielding the same set of inquiries, why not create a bank of animated how-tos and FAQs? Users can access this resource 24/7 – and as many times as they need – and your team members can focus on providing more individualized and high-level service.
4. Mission and community engagement: Now more than ever, consumers want to know that the institutions they do business with are values-driven and take an active role in the community. Using short animations can be a creative and convincing way to present your vision and let everyone know about the local people and causes you support.
If you’re starting to see how animated explainer videos could serve your brand well, here are a few quick pointers to keep in mind:
- Your audience will decide to watch or click away in the first seven seconds. Make them count!
- Make sure that the voice and the visuals are consistent with your brand.
- Keep each video’s total runtime short – 30 seconds to two minutes is ideal for most topics.
- Most videos on social media are played on mute – make sure main points are covered with text.
- Be aware that 75 percent of viewers prefer watching horizontally-oriented videos.
- If you’re tackling an especially involved topic, make a playlist with several shorter clips.
- Don’t try to cover every detail. A video is a concise overview – link to a website for the fine print.
- End your video with a simple and clear call to action that can’t be ignored.
SET YOUR VISION INTO MOTION
When you partner with CrucialContent, you’re partnering with a full-service marketing firm that knows how to develop innovative concepts and content that resonates with your ideal audiences. Are you ready to bring your brand to the next level? Connect with us today.
Though the U.S. economy has shown signs of bouncing back, fears about entering a recession aren’t unfounded. Periods of great economic uncertainty, like the one we’re living through now, create an immense amount of uncertainty for businesses of all stripes. Often, however, organizations respond to this type of uncertainty in predictable ways.
They’ll shelve long-term projects, focus on short-term needs, and cut spending on anything not deemed “mission critical.”
Right now, marketing leaders might be considering cutting their advertising spend and putting a hold on marketing efforts to preserve resources until the economy appears to be on more solid footing. This mentality might seem pragmatic, but according to a recent study by Analytic Partners, marketers who cut spend risk losing 15 percent of their revenue during a recession.
Economic recessions and periods of market fluctuation are defining moments for the marketplace. Moments of disruption can be the times when smaller players pull ahead of industry stalwarts.
EXPERIENCE FROM PREVIOUS CRISES
Though it might seem counterintuitive, reducing ad spend during a recession can be likened to bloodletting — a once common treatment that not only didn’t cure disease, it actually reduced patients’ ability to fight it. Companies that have bounced back the strongest after a recession didn’t cut their advertising spend. Citing a study of how companies fared during and after major economic downturns, Harvard Business Review found that institutions that thrived did a few things differently:
- They acted fast.
- They took the long view.
- They continued to focus on growth – not just cost-cutting.
In the early days of the dot-com boom, Amazon’s initial public offering was priced at $18 per share. In just two years, its value had increased by more than 50 times before plummeting to less than $10 per share after the bubble burst. But Amazon was undeterred. Taking the long view, they had a huge competitive advantage and today, it’s the world’s fifth most valuable company.
In 2008, brands like Netflix, Citigroup, Lego, and Warby Parker took a similarly growth-minded approach to emerge from the Great Recession stronger than ever.
From a marketing standpoint, it’s important to consider how you can use your advertising budget in a way that’s not simply reactive, but proactive.
While today’s uncertainty calls for careful strategy and smart spending, it is no time to simply hunker down and wait for risk-free opportunities to come your way. As other downturns have shown us, organizations that adapt and continue to connect with customers and prospects will be better able to weather today’s storm, and better positioned to thrive when it passes.
LESSONS FOR MARKETERS
As a marketing leader, here’s what you can do:
- Be Visible: Being visible during an economic crisis provides a reassuring sign of your company’s stability and can inspire pride in your community and reassure customers (and potential customers!) that you care and are there to meet their needs.
- Stay Top of Mind: During hard times, smart marketing that shows solidarity in the face of hard times and answers the question: How can we help? Creating campaigns that show you are there for your customers — in good times and in bad — can increase brand awareness and keep you from having to start from scratch later.
- Broaden Your Audience: As bleak as the economy might appear, it may also provide opportunities for enterprising organizations to increase their market share. As others retreat, the right messaging and marketing channels can help you win new customers.
- Look at Marketing As An Investment: During this period of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to look at advertising strategically. Putting the focus on brand advertising, highlighting what makes your organization special, can help build brand loyalty over the long term.
- Identify New Opportunities: You encourage innovation from your sales and business development teams. Now’s the time to demonstrate it yourself. Staffing challenges, supply chain tangles, and other difficulties directly related to the pandemic have made things hard for a lot of businesses, but there is ample opportunity to showcase your brand in new, more inventive ways. Your marketing strategy should be aligned with the needs discussed in #4. For example, it’s a great time to promote your community involvement, so consumers will be able to differentiate your brand in the marketplace.
- Work Efficiently: During a recession, taking a more aggressive approach to marketing and branding efforts may be the best course of action – if this approach is supported by a carefully informed strategy and makes efficient use of your advertising budget.
Coordinating closely with other departments and decision-makers, having clearly defined goals, and working with an experienced creative team are key to speeding up projects and cutting ad spend.
AN AGENCY RELATIONSHIP YOU CAN DEPEND ON
CrucialContent is ready to help your organization accomplish more with its marketing budget, so you can better adapt to these challenging times. Turn to us for a full range of cost-effective traditional and digital marketing services, a streamlined process, and deep marketing expertise. Contact us to learn more.