Let’s say you want to get healthier. After jumping on the scale, you decide the best way is to severely restrict your food intake so you can lose weight. However, after several miserable weeks of feeling hungry all the time, your weight barley budges and even worse – you feel sluggish and even more unhealthy. You achieve optimal health when you nourish yourself appropriately. Just cutting out something vital, like healthy food, has a negative effect.This same analogy is applied to advertising during a bad economy. When you don’t pour the nourishing element of advertising into your business, you can’t expect it to grow and flourish.

It seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it?

When the economy crashes, especially on the level we are seeing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the first reaction many small business owners have is to slash the budget to the bare bones. Of course, taking a hard look at the budget is necessary, especially when little revenue is coming in. Cutting out advertising may seem like a good step at first – but that can backfire quickly.

Here’s why you need to keep advertising

Isolation won’t last forever and when the doors open again, you need some assurance that your customers will choose you over the many other competitors equally anxious to rebuild revenues. When you keep advertising during a down economy you benefit from:

  • Brand positioning: This is actually the time to introduce or re-introduce products or services since you have time to build hype around them. Create a strategy that builds up to when consumers can get their hands on the product. Create anticipation.
  • Being unforgettable: Even though consumers are not spending much right now, the economy goes in waves. During a high cycle they will come back, but they will head right to the brands they remember or have heard of during the crisis. Shoppers can’t find you if they don’t know who you are, or if they forget who you are.
  • Community building: Advertising is far more than promoting products. Companies that are active in the community and give back are held in higher esteem than those that just sell products. Are you assisting with the COVID-19 efforts? Are you active in the community? Are you donating to causes? Helping with grocery drop offs? Sponsored content provides story-based advertorials that discuss the value your brand brings to people’s lives. It’s one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience and is the modern way to advertise. Sponsored content does well in print and on social media. Since it is easily shared on social platforms, your customers organically help spread the word.
  • Marketing strategy refinement: Small business owners are often in survival mode with little time to refine the strategies they really need – like their marketing. With affordable digital strategies you can test drive proven concepts like search engine optimization (SEO) and local search optimization (LSO), update your website, and work on long-range strategies like programmatic display to build brand awareness now and keep the momentum going as the economy ramps up.

Advertising works no matter what the economy is doing

Advertising through a down market has been proven to work. Just like you cannot overly restrict your food intake and expect optimal health, you cannot overly restrict your marketing and expect customers to buy from you.

Digital advertising is one of the best ways to continue to reach customers while working from a very modest marketing budget, and Great West Digital has all the tools you need to create strategies that will help you now, and when the doors open up again.