Digital marketing is an important factor for success for any business. How else are you going to get the word out about your business, get new customers, nurture existing customers, and build a strong brand?
Yes, digital marketing helps you do all that “ and more. So, it’s not something that can go away when the budget gets tight.
As we prepare for a potential dip in the economy, it’s imperative to be practical about our business budgets. Which should include our digital marketing budgets.
We covered what you need to know about marketing during a slow economy, but now let’s talk about why, and how, it’s important to keep your digital marketing budget no matter what’s happening.
Why is Digital Marketing Important in a Low Economy?
First, let’s chat for a second about why digital marketing is actually important in a low economy. As we briefly mentioned, it’s a factor for success for your business. It helps you get new customers and nurture existing customers, which is important in driving revenue for your business.
But, it can also be cost effective, especially if you choose the right strategy and partner with the right company.
How, exactly can spending money make you money? Glad you asked. Think of it this way: Say you opened your business and relied solely on word of mouth to get new customers. Sure, you’d probably get a new customer every once-and-awhile from a really dedicated regular, but it likely wouldn’t be enough to get you into the black.
Plus, you probably spent some money upfront getting your business set up, hiring employees, and paying for inventory. By spending that money, you’re eventually going to make money. And it’s the same for digital marketing.
Without digital marketing, it’s going to be difficult to regularly acquire new customers and build awareness for your business.
Why is Building Business Awareness Important in Any Economy?
This might lead to your next question: why is building awareness for your business important? It doesn’t regularly directly bring in money. It’s difficult to track. It doesn’t show clear ROI. All valid points.
However, we know that consumers need to see information about a business more than seven times before they reach out to them. Which means that your marketing strategy needs to include various touch points online where consumers might see you. So, even if they see your paid search ad on Google with a keyword phrase that’s exactly what you’re looking for, they may not click on it, because it’s new information. But, if they’re seeing that search ad, then a targeted display ad on their favorite local site, in addition to other places across the web, that awareness building tactic might just drive a new lead.
In fact, research has shown that brand awareness building tactics work. One study found that consumers who were retargeted were 70% more likely to become customers.
Plus, if you’ve built strong brand awareness when you’ve had a more robust marketing budget, it might help carry you through times when you’re needing to spend a little less. Nearly 60% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that are already familiar to them. Which means if you’re already built awareness with these consumers, they might be more willing to become your customer in the future.
Prioritizing Your Marketing Budget in a Down Economy
Digital marketing should really be incorporated into the cost of doing business, just like hiring a team and paying for your location (if you have one) or for your business equipment. It’s how you’re going to get new customers, which you kind of need to succeed.
But, we also understand that when the economy dips, you have to prioritize and identify essential expenses versus non-essential expenses.
This can also apply to your marketing. What’s essential versus what can you slow your spend on for a season until things pick up?
Essential Pieces of Your Marketing Budget
Let’s start with what you absolutely have to have, no matter what’s happening in the economy.
First up: Your website. Without a website, it’s nearly impossible to have any type of presence online. Your website is the online hub for your business. It’s where prospects will go to look for additional information about you, find your contact information, or contact you directly.
Next: Your local listings. Again, this is part of your online presence, and it’s important for a few reasons. 1) You don’t want to take away a resource for someone to find you, call you, or get your address. Your local listings help consumers do just that. 2) It’s not expensive. Most listings are free to manage, and even listings management services aren’t going to break the bank.
Then: SEO. Yes, search engine optimization is a must. Why? First of all, SEO is a long game strategy, so if you keep starting and stopping it, you’re not going to make much progress. Secondly, it’s a way for searchers to find you organically online, which is valuable in any economy. And, it incorporates your website and local listings.
Some other pieces of the puzzle to consider keeping are email marketing, paid search marketing, and display. You don’t have to spend all your marketing budget here, but these are important tactics to continue investing in if you want to get new customers and reach new consumers.
Why this Matters
When the economy isn’t at its best, the last thing you probably want to worry about is marketing (unless it’s your job!). You’re focused on so many other pieces of the puzzle. But, the worst thing you can do is close shop on your marketing and hope that things will be fine when you turn it back on.
Digital marketing doesn’t take a break, even when the economy does. It’s there for the businesses that are running the best strategies, and sometimes “ paying the most money. Which is why it’s important to develop a marketing strategy that’s effective no matter what’s going on “ so you can have peace of mind that your dollars are being spent in a way that’s effective at driving revenue for your business.
We at LOCALiQ are here to help in any economy. We’ll work with you to develop a strategy that fits your needs. Contact us today to speak with an expert.