Marketing

Content Marketing in an Economic Downturn: A Guide to ‘Doing More with Less’

Content Marketing in an Economic Downturn
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Many businesses deal with slashed budgets and shrinking teams when a recession comes around. However, this doesn’t mean your content has to suffer. Content marketing provides a significant impact with minimal investment. So, marketers can design a powerful and effective recession marketing strategy even with a tight budget.

The key is to become more intentional than ever with your content marketing efforts. Let’s consider how to set up your strategy for success in the new year.

goals aligned with your recession marketing strategy

Set your marketing goals aligned with your recession marketing strategy

Before starting your recession content marketing strategy, you need to define realistic goals for your team. Resilient businesses are focusing on these discussions now. Preparation will allow you to create a solid plan to help you weather uncertainties.

A key area to focus on is how to save on costs. You’ll want to consider what you spent money on this year that worked and what didn’t. Come up with measurable goals that you can present to your stakeholders. This shows where the money is going and why making it easier for you to get buy-in to meet these goals in 2023.

Understand your audience

A critical component of having leads that convert is having an in-depth understanding of your target audience. Regardless of how good your content is, if you’re not speaking to the right audience, it won’t convert.

Content marketing successfully during a recession relies on making every piece of content count. To do this, you need to conduct effective market research. Know who your audience is and then create content specific to them.

When creating this content as part of your recession marketing strategy, focus on solving the challenges of your audience. People want content that helps them solve a need or challenge; they don’t want you to sell to them.

Collaborate with sales and customer success teams

This goes hand in hand with understanding your audience. You don’t have to do all the heavy lifting on your own. Your sales and customer success teams know what your current customers want (and what they don’t). This is a gold mine of information you can use to craft an effective content marketing strategy.

Gather information from these teams. Then apply it to create content for prospects. Addressing feedback from your customer base through your content is a winning approach. This will increase the chances of your content making an impact in 2023.

Gain visibility into your best resources with a content audit

Gain visibility into your best resources with a content audit

A content audit is an essential aspect of any content marketing strategy. In today’s economic climate this is especially true. One of the most efficient ways to create great content is to take a retrospective look at your content marketing activities. In doing so, your team will be in a better position to create content that converts.

During a content audit, you’ll look through your entire inventory of assets. Then determine how each piece is performing. Which resources are being viewed the most and are generating traffic to your website? This is also an excellent opportunity to identify content pieces due for an update.

Find what works and repurpose it

Your recession content marketing strategy doesn’t just hinge on creating new content. You’ll also want to use those best-performing pieces of content and use them in different ways. Your content audit will provide insight into which pieces are the highest performing.

With this knowledge, you can add those assets to your 2023 arsenal. Plus, find ways to repurpose that content. 46% of marketers consider repurposing content to produce the best results in terms of leads and conversions.

An effective way to do this is to create smaller pieces of content based on a pillar piece. This pillar content could be an in-depth eBook or a white paper. Your meatiest pieces of content will give you a base to create other assets—for instance, a blog series, an infographic, or snippets of content for social media. You can also turn some of this content into videos.

The bottom line is to find what works and performs best for your business and create more content in different formats.

Consider what your current customers need and deliver

Your content marketing efforts shouldn’t only focus on prospects. You’ll also need to include your existing customer base in the equation. Retention content will help you strengthen your customer relationships. We discussed the importance of collaborating with sales and customer success teams about the needs of the market.

Use this opportunity to ask about the satisfaction of your customer base. What types of information are they looking for? If you’re not already providing it, this should become a part of your content strategy in 2023.

You can also take this opportunity to find out what’s not working. What content isn’t resonating with them? Getting feedback from your current customers will help you create the content they need. Your customers are your brand’s most prominent advocates. Keep them happy, and they’ll let their peers know.

Create your editorial calendar

Create your editorial calendar

Now that you’ve done your due diligence, it’s time to put your research to work. An editorial calendar will help you create a strategic plan for your content pieces. It will also help you plan a cadence and stay consistent.

Consistency is critical in effective content marketing. If you intend to blog once a week, you’ll need to ensure that you can maintain this frequency. Your editorial calendar will be an effective tool for ensuring consistency. It allows you to lay out a plan for the quarter, the first six months, or even the year.

This calendar should be fluid. It may also change as you see opportunities for adapting your content strategy. However, it’s essential to lay the foundation for your content strategy.

Promote and expand your reach

After you’ve created your content, the next step is to get it in front of your target audience. This is where you’ll start to see your hard work pay off. Make your pillar pieces of content gated on your website by putting them behind an opt-in form.

Ensure all leads are automatically entered into an email nurturing campaign. They may not be ready to purchase immediately, but nurturing those leads will help bring them closer to becoming a customer. Additionally, 77% of return on investment (ROI) comes from targeted and triggered email campaigns.

Social media is also going to be a significant part of this strategy. An average of 43% of consumers use social channels to make purchasing decisions.

Post your content on social media to get it in front of a larger audience. This works because social media is highly shareable. Your followers may share your posts with their peers, many of whom are likely part of your target audience. Don’t underestimate the power of your customer relationships.

Track and measure the results of all content pieces

After you’ve created your content and promoted it via your website, email, and social media, you’ll want to know how it performed. Data is a vital tool for every marketer. It helps you fix what’s not working and stick with what is. During a recession, you can’t afford to continue with a strategy that produces a minimal return on investment.

You’ll need to track views, clicks, and conversions to optimize your content marketing strategy. Minor tweaks (like changing the title) may help make it more enticing to readers if it’s not getting a lot of views. Content that’s not converting may need to be reassessed. Adapt and adjust as needed based on the data. This will ensure that you make the most of your content marketing budget during the recession.

When budgets get lean, content marketers get (more) strategic

When budgets get lean, content marketers get (more) strategic

Reports show that content marketing is 62% cheaper than traditional marketing efforts and generates three times the leads. So while budgets have taken a hit, your content marketing doesn’t have to.

Quality over quantity has always stood steadfast; next year is the time to put this into action. Set measurable goals, know your best-performing assets, and repurpose those for next year. This will help ensure success in that your 2023 content marketing initiatives.

Still not sure where to start? ClearVoice can help you hone your content strategy. Contact us today to learn more.

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About the author

Brenda Percy

Brenda Percy is a writer and editor with a background in technology, marketing, and journalism. She's written content for businesses of various sizes and industries throughout her nearly two decades of experience.