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The first half of 2020 has been a time of apprehension and uncertainty regarding the future. The inability to market to existing and potential customers face-to-face due to the COVID-19 pandemic has crystallized the importance of effective digital marketing. 

As re-openings start to happen across the globe, businesses owners are now shifting their focus to the health of the economy

Some experts are suggesting that the repercussions of the COVID pandemic can trigger a recession greater than the 2008 crisis. 

While no one can say for sure what the magnitude of the economic downturn will be, one thing is certain- businesses who prepare early will be better suited to weather the storm than those who don’t. Part of this preparation is having a comprehensive digital marketing strategy in place.  

The recommendations below will give you a kick start to a water-tight digital marketing strategy.  

Here are 5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Digital Marketing Strategy 

  1. Focus on a Long-term SEO Strategy 

 Organic traffic can be an excellent channel carry you through moments when you cannot afford campaigns. That’s because organic traffic is free and highly qualified; however, it is a time-intensive process that doesn't yield instantaneous results. That means you need to invest in optimizing your search engine visibility now so you can index for your target keywords in the future.  

Focus your energy on a long-term SEO strategy to make sure your website has a steady and sustainable stream of organic traffic. Be sure to remain consistent with your SEO and content production follow as this will help you reach your long-term objectives.  

A great tool that should be used to define your long-term SEO strategies should be SMART. 

  1. Foster Brand Affinity by Engaging Your Existing Customer Base 

Just because someone has purchased from you, doesn’t mean you should neglect them. In fact, your existing customers are the most valuable to your business. It costs more money to onboard a new client and taking them through the entire customer journey from the beginning, than it does to keep an existing client.  

Invest in your client base and work on building brand affinity with them. The more affinity you can build with your customer, the less likely they are to abandon you when times get tough.  

To build this loyalty, you need to focus on the post-sale customer journey phasesThis means delivering a stellar customer experience, engage them through email marketing, asking for their valued feedback, and offering exclusive promotions 

Not only does this help you reduce customer acquisition costs, but it increases the overall customer lifetime valueThe retained customer will not only re-purchase product from you again, but they also may refer more business to you. This is a key indicator of success and it comes with free promotion. 

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  1. Diversify Your Revenue Streams 

 As the adage goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The diversification of your revenue streams will reduce the importance of any one specific cash flow on your total revenue.  

 During the COVID related quarantines, many businesses learned the value of having an online sales channel in addition to their brick-and-mortar stores. But this is also true for pure online players as well. For example, if you have a branded eCommerce shop, try using Amazon (who generated $75.4billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2020 alone) or Instagram as supplementary sales channels.  

 This will not be as simple as copy-and-pasting your digital marketing strategy from one platform to the next. Since the customer journey is different for each channel, you’ll need to create a custom marketing funnel for each. However, investing in multiple revenue streams will ensure that you have more sales opportunities if the market starts to stagnate.  

  1. Create Evergreen Content 

  Most brands are already familiar with the power of content marketing. But it’s important that you not produce content just to piggyback on trends- you should be creating content that will add value for users for a long time to come.  

This kind of content is considered “evergreen” since it’s relevant to users regardless of current news or season. Producing evergreen content with keywords that add value to your website will help search engines direct users to your page. If well produced, the SEO value of evergreen content will accumulate over time and it can continue to bring you quality website traffic for years to come.   

The types of evergreen content that you might produce are: 

  • Frequently Asked Questions 

  • “How To” Guides 

  • Tutorials 

  • Testimonials 

  • Industry Resources 

 These articles will become the pillars of your website blog content strategy.  

  1. Explore Multiple Markets  

As we saw with COVID-19, different geographical locations were impacted by the pandemic at different times and with varying intensities. For many brands that focus on international audience segments, the pandemic showcased the importance of having a strong local customer base. Meanwhile, business that focused exclusively on a single location found themselves highly exposed to risk during the local quarantine. 

 Explore different markets and market segments so you can gain access to a wider range of potential customers. By targeting multiple locations (local and international markets, or even different regions within the same market), you are reducing your exposure to regional and seasonal market shifts.   

Primary data sources (like your website’s Google Analytics) and third-party data sources (like Google Trends) can help you identify the best markets for your business to expand to. From there, you’ll need to build a multi-market digital marketing strategy that creates a cohesive brand experience while focusing on the different customer persona of each market.   

Get Started with Your Digital Marketing Strategy Today 

 While the future may be uncertain, brands still have the power to take action in the present. Brands who start recession-proofing their digital marketing strategy now will have much better chances of success, and maybe even growth, should we enter another global recession.  

Need to rebuild your brand’s digital marketing strategy? Download our free Digital Marketing Plan template to get started.  

Next Steps

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency specializing in data-driven online sales and lead generation solutions for brands in a variety of verticals. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our digital marketing experts.

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