Unless you live under a rock, you know that we're in facing another recession in the U.S. in 2023.
During this time, business owners are looking for any and all ways to save money, and one of the first budgets to be cut will be marketing.
They may hit the panic button and automatically resort to running ads on Facebook or Google to keep the business going. But let me tell you why that won't feed your business in the long term.
Marketing is often the first to be cut, but shouldn't be
In today's economy, marketing is often the first budget to be cut from a business's spending. But should marketing be the first to go? The simple answer is no. In fact, doubling down on marketing during a recession can actually help you come out stronger than ever. Here's why:
We all know that during hard times, businesses are not eager to spend money on anything other than essential items. But cutting back on marketing is not the best idea.
Because marketing is what helps you attract and retain customers. And when times are tough, it's customers that will help you weather the storm. Besides, the whole purpose of marketing is to reach new audiences and get new customers. And part of that is SEO.
So if you're thinking about trimming your marketing budget, think again. Doubling down on marketing during a recession can help you come out ahead of your competitors in the long run.
Your ad spend will compound, but your revenue won't
Don't get me wrong, running ads is great. But if you're sinking nearly your entire marketing budget into Google or Facebook ads without a supplemental source of organic growth, you'll eventually be digging your own grave.
Continuous ad spending will only produce diminishing returns over time. These ad platforms want you to feed them in order for you to be successful. That's the trade-off and the biggest flaw of this strategy.
You'll keep sinking money into ads for a short term-return, but what happens when your source of traffic (ads) is no more? You pull out to save a few bucks and *poof* customers stop coming in.
SEO is a better long-term investment
Many business owners don't understand the significance of SEO. And I don't blame you: it sounds like witchcraft. That's what I thought of it when I began as a marketer. In addition, there's a lot that goes into it.
With SEO, your results just keep getting better while spending the same amount of money every month.
If you spend money on SEO, your monthly expense doesn't scale up like with paid ads because you would have to keep feeding the beast that is Google (or Facebook... Sorry, *Meta*).
In the long run, SEO is more efficient because it generates lots of extra revenue, and people might have lower prices during a recession, except for the really good ones.
You could even start out optimizing yourself, the basics aren't terribly difficult. Then hire someone to take care of the rest when you feel ready.
Although it doesn't produce immediate results, it will ensure future success and consistent business flow from your website.
So, what does this mean for businesses? It means that if you want to be smart with your marketing dollars, you should double up on your marketing efforts. In addition to that, there are free/cost-effective ways to market your business such as social media and email marketing.
Paid ads will give you diminishing returns over time – people will get tired of seeing the same ad and start tuning it out. But good SEO practices can provide a steady stream of traffic to your website for months or even years without any additional cost.