Three Ways to Maximize Brand Awareness During a Recession

The Digital Marketing landscape is rapidly changing under the economic pressure of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Agencies and Brands have needed to be agile to stay ahead of shifts and trends that could have a significant impact on client goals. From our work to help some of the leading health, wellness, and lifestyle brands across the country navigate these uncertain times, we’ve identified three trends and opportunities for digital marketers to consider right now.

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” — Henry Ford

CPMs are Dropping on Facebook

CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) are dropping on Facebook and Display as advertisers pull marketing budgets across different channels. This provides a great opportunity to shift resources toward upper-level funnel content and channels and increase the share of your brand’s voice in the market.

If your organization has the available budget, this could be the ideal time to start building strong brand awareness and really asserting your brand as the thought leader in your industry or vertical.

Users are Engaging, But Not Converting

Another trend widely recognized across the paid media channels right now (PPC, Facebook, and Display), is that conversion rates are down, but that the click-through-rate (CTR) remains strong. What does this mean? Essentially, it means that users are still engaging with content as they usually would but simply aren’t converting. Many people are “window shopping” and waiting until consumer confidence is up before converting (purchasing). This behavior is also driving up the cost per conversion for many advertisers.

The takeaway here is that Ad copy has always been extremely important, but the messaging used now is even more important than ever before. Advertisers need to be extremely conscious of how they are speaking to consumers and representing their brand during a time when tensions are high and it can be easy to be tone-deaf or say the wrong thing.

If Paid Media is Out of Reach, Lean into SEO and Social Media

Finally, if the budget for paid media isn’t available right now, it’s crucial that your organization bulk up on SEO in order to stay visible organically. Similarly, organic social content and other earned/owned activities are an absolute must right now.

SEO-optimized content and social media is a great way to communicate and add value to your audience. Listen to what’s important to your audience for your industry and participate and lean into those conversations.

Your Brand and Company Can Thrive During and After This Recession

Does this mean advertisers should pull away from the market? On the contrary. Marketers that remain present are more likely to be successful. It was true 40 years ago, 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and it will be true as we navigate the current economic climate.

Company leadership often looks to tighten and cut marketing budgets during an economic downturn. They will say that advertising when consumers don’t have money is a waste. Some brands will simply follow competitors who cut advertising budgets. Others will say that they need to cut from marketing budgets to fund essential operations. Nobody will fault an executive who makes one of those decisions. However, those who emerge stronger than before will have seen the opportunity in the challenge of a recession. Even if it’s like one we’ve never witnessed before.

40 years ago, Nariman K. Dhalla wrote for Harvard Business Review: “Rather than wait for business to return to normal, top executives should cash in on the opportunity that the rival companies are creating for them. The company courageous enough to stay in and fight when everyone else is playing safe can bring about a dramatic change in market position.”

Do you have questions about what any of this means for your brand? Please reach out. We’d love to help.

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