Unfortunately, it appears that the economy is heading into a recession, and that difficult economic times are ahead for all of us. While this is obviously problematic, remember this: A recession doesn’t have to be fatal to you or your business. But it does mean that you have to be smarter about how you market.
At this exact moment, many people don’t want to spend money. That’s understandable. But that doesn’t mean you should let up with your marketing efforts and wait for the storm to pass – in fact, just the opposite is the case. Customers need to hear from you now so they know that you are interested in more than just their money.
This is the perfect time to build a positive relationship with your customers, enhance your overall brand awareness, and show your community at large that you care about them.
As such, here are some great ways to market during a recession.
Leverage Your Social Media
Hopefully, your business has built and maintained an active presence on social media, using it to connect with customers, communicate about your business, and highlight your involvement in the community. Thankfully, basic social media use is free, and this is the perfect moment to use social media in order to communicate with your customers.
Broadly speaking, this may be a good time to shift the content you produce. Good social media content doesn’t overemphasize sales, but this moment is the time to shift even further away from sales and more into customer nurturing and providing value to your customers. Examples of types of content you should be producing include:
- Tips for how clients in your industry can engage in preventative maintenance and when it is time to call a professional.
- Overall community updates, resources, and assistance efforts.
- Charitable and community work that you and other businesses are engaged in.
Furthermore, this is a perfect time to concentrate on relationship building. Use social media to like client’s updates, and send them messages to check in on them. If someone seems to be struggling, it is worth sending a Facebook message or calling them.
Remember, social media is most effective when it is used for purposes of relationship building, not sales. This is even more important during a recession.
Send thoughtful postcards
Again, in a difficult economic time, your clients may not want to spend money that they don’t have. However, this difficult moment will pass, and that means that you don’t want to let off the gas when it comes to marketing – you just need to change how you market.
One example of a good way to stay relevant in the minds of your customers is to send them thoughtful postcards. Thankfully, there are many good examples of postcards you can send to your clients or prospective clients to reach out to them and make sure they know that you are thinking about them.
The best postcards don’t have any direct sales messages. Instead, they concentrate on checking in and display an overall message of compassion and care. Of course, this is a good way to remind clients that you exist, and if they need your services, they will reach out. However, if they don’t need you right away, they are more likely to remember you at a later date.
Get involved in community events
Communities that work together come out stronger than those that don’t. As a business, the best thing you can do is work with others in order to care for your community and each other.
This means that you should find appropriate community events to get involved in. These events are likely available on the internet, social media, and more. A recession is a perfect time to join your local Chamber of Commerce, as this can give you and other businesses a chance to get more involved in your community, network, and identify ways to do business locally while still saving a ton of money on a variety of important efforts.
As you do get involved in community organizations, make sure to take the time to market what you are doing. This provides you with additional content on your various marketing platforms while also giving you a chance to brag about how you are doing something good.
Start or join a charity or charitable effort
Unfortunately, as well all know, people suffer during recessions. If you have the time, this is a great chance to join a local charity, get involved with their efforts, and do whatever you can to make sure that your community is succeeding as best it can.
What charity you get involved in depends on you, your business, your community, and your interests. However, there is certainly nothing wrong with finding a charity that also compliments your business interests and gives you exposure to potential clients. Indeed, this is a win-win: You can do good work in your community while finding ways to grow your business.
Don’t see a charity that fits what you think your community needs? This may be a good time to start your own. This can be quite an effort, and it is often worth it to partner with an existing charity rather than starting from scratch. Remember, seek partnerships: This will allow your charity to grow and make sure you get the publicity you deserve for your good works.
Co-advertise with appropriate businesses and help price shop
This moment in time requires that businesses and community members stick together like never before. As such, you should do whatever you can to co-advertise with complimentary businesses. For example, if you are a general contractor and have a preferred landscaper, see what sort of package deal you can develop, and advertise accordingly. This will present both of you with a chance to work together, cut down on advertising costs and market accordingly.
Furthermore, now is the time when businesses can and should band together to price shop. You can do so by working together to solicit bids on important services or join with already existing business groups (like a Chamber of Commerce) to do so.