Recession-proof ads strategies 

Recession-proof ads strategies 

Words: Belinda Connolly

In times of global economic shifts, businesses are strategically fine-tuning marketing efforts. We explain how to optimise your ROI even in challenging times.

With the ‘R’ word on everyone’s lips, it’s important to think rationally about your marketing strategy because making hasty decisions might save money now, but they could have long-term adverse consequences on your marketing performance. Maintaining visibility for your brand is important, regardless of the economic outlook.

During an economic downturn, understanding where to pivot and adjust your ad spend is crucial. We’ve done some research on market trend analysis and consumer behaviour insights to help you optimise a data-driven strategy that provides high ROI. This approach will ensure your marketing budget works harder, generating more value even when overall spending is reduced.

Can anybody see me?

You can have the best product or solution, write compelling content and create ads that make people want to take action, but if no-one is seeing your efforts you may as well pack up and go home. Struggling to get conversions? It’s probably a good time to analyse the data from your ad spends to see what is working and what can be dumped.

Both Meta and Google offer built-in targeting tools (yes, there are workarounds even with Google’s third-party cookie sunsetting) focusing on specific demographics, locations, and interests to ensure your ads reach your core customer base. This precision helps maintain brand visibility and customer engagement, even when budgets are tight.

Ensuring your ads are optimised for mobile is also an important part of recession-proofing your ad spend and is easy to check. Increasing numbers of users consume content and take action via smartphones and wearables, so optimising your ad campaigns for mobile is vital. This includes optimised ad sizes, clear CTAs and strong creative.

Know your audience

By focusing on customer retention strategies and engaging communication, you can maintain and strengthen relationships with your existing customer base. Again, look to your data as a guide of what sort of content to focus on to really engage your audience, and reinforce their loyalty and commitment to your brand. This could be content types – be it case studies, testimonials, product showcases and profiles – and content formats, including videos and slideshows. Even in challenging times, a loyal customer base will stick with your brand and provide a steady revenue stream, so give the people what they want!

Innovation is your BFF

In a recession, ‘business as usual’ isn’t an option – instead, innovation and the ability to pivot becomes your guiding light. Exploring under-used channels can offer high impact at a fraction of the cost. For brands, this can mean reducing spend on Meta platforms in exchange for Pinterest, where 85% of weekly users have made a purchase from pins – plus the site delivers a massive 32% higher ROAS (return on ad spend) than other platforms. Additionally, content shared on Pinterest outlives every other platform: The average life of a Pin is three months compared to Facebook, (which averages five to six hours) and Twitter (last on average 15 to 20 minutes).

Other innovative options can include influencer marketing or branded content partnerships. By diversifying your digital marketing approach, your brand can stay visible and relevant, even as budgets shrink.

At the end of the day, it’s about data-driven decision making

When there are business decisions to be made involving budgets, you need to look to the evidence. Finding ways to optimise your marketing investments ultimately boil down to what the existing data suggests.

Go beyond paid ads analytics and there will be insights abound across your whole marketing output. If you’re paying to produce and send out fortnightly EDMs you need to know if this outlay is creating enough lead generation and sales to justify the investment. It might be just as effective to dial the EDM frequency down to monthly.

Also look at your website analytics. Which pages are most frequented by organic traffic? What organic search terms are bringing in the most traffic? Can you incorporate those insights into ads and more organic content if you don’t already?

Finally, pay attention to your zero-party data – that is, the insights volunteered to you by customers via reviews, surveys. What does it say about what customers want? What about their consideration behaviours? Qualitive data like that is not to be underestimated. And when you’re looking at the whole data picture, you’re best placed to fill any gaps and maximise your marketing efforts.

Facing budget challenges and need some support optimising your marketing efforts? Our strategists can help you create a recession-proof marketing strategy meet your campaign goals and budget. Contact us for a free discovery call!  

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