The knee-jerk reaction for most companies when faced with the recession is to reduce their marketing efforts. However, decades of research show that those who maintain or increase their marketing will blow past their peers once the recession is over.
If you accept this reality, you still may be faced with a shortage of spare cash to invest in marketing--particularly in traditional advertising. What to do? You can and should focus on a content marketing strategy that will require a whole lot of thought and effort, but will not require a lot of money.
Here are 6 ways that content marketing will help get all of us through the recession:
1. Develop a deep understanding of your customers and what is most important to them. Determine what problems are most vexing and what solutions they require. Make sure that this understanding informs every element of your content marketing as well as your more traditional marketing and advertising efforts.
2. Be certain that your website is customer centric and loaded with content that positions you as a trusted provider. If your website bereft of content and if it is all about you, it's essential that you perform an emergency webectomy followed by content replacement surgery. Your website is your most important sales and marketing tool. You must do whatever it takes to transform it into a content marketing weapon.
3. Either begin a blog or integrate a blog into your existing website. Your blog will serve as your best way to connect with your customers by demonstrating that you are open to a two-way dialogue, that you are authentic, and that you have an individual or company personality with which they want to engage.
4. Either start a customer centric eNewsletter or transform the one you have so that it reaches out consistently to your best customers and prospects. A content rich eNewsletter enables you to direct targeted messaging either to all of your customers or to appropriate demographics.
5. Unless you and your team have the time and talent to do all of the preceding by your selves, bring in experts to help you make the content marketing transformation. You almost certainly possess a body of essential knowledge within your organization that can be translated into content that will be relevant and valuable to your customers. That translation is difficult unless you have strong editorial skills. Although you may not need long-term help, you will almost certainly need assistance in making the transition to a complete content marketing strategy.
6. Make sure that every piece of marketing and advertising you do motivates your customers and prospects to visit your new content rich website. Of course. your ultimate objective is to have them contact you or to visit you in person. But most prospects won't make that immediate step. They will check out your website and if it proves you to be a trusted source of information and by implication of products and services, you will soon receive that phone call or that in person visit.
We may be in for a very tough downturn. You may have very limited marketing resources. In both cases, your most important investment both for the short in for the long term will be in developing and deploying content marketing strategy that connects you to your customers and prospects. Most of your investment should be considered as a one-time capital expenditure with relatively small recurring costs. Now is the time to make that investment.
You can also learn more by visiting Newt Barrett's top-ranked blog, ContentMarketingToday.com, which offers timely insights into content marketing and social media that keeps business owners and executives up-to-date on current trends, tactics, and case studies.