Conventional wisdom says that you should never cut down on content promotion no matter what’s happening in the world. During the Great Depression, many businesses continued to sponsor radio shows and magazine editorials, which helped to keep them afloat during those very difficult times. Stay at home orders and lock downs have made the COVID-19 pandemic a very different situation, however, and that’s encouraged some business owners to slash their budgets.
Mobile app ad spending has dropped 14 percent during the pandemic. Considering that many people are now stuck at home, it doesn’t seem to make sense to spend much on apps that encourage them to interact with a brand in person. This is especially true of small business owners who desperately need to save money.
Before you decide to freeze your content promotion budget and use that money on something else, think about whether or not you can attract customers who might be in a very similar spot as you at the moment.
Reorienting Promotional Budgets to Match Changing Needs
A number of people are making jokes about how they’ve been getting countless branded emails about how different companies are dealing with the Coronavirus. It’s gotten to the point where consumers are quick to ignore these emails because they all seem very much the same.
If you know that your audience is trying to maintain at least some level of normalcy during the current situation, then these kinds of emails can actually backfire. They might convenience your clientele that you could actually be profiting off the misfortune of others. Granted, they might be a good idea if you were running a physical retail store or shipping products that are currently deemed essential. Most other businesses may wish to avoid them, however.
Cutting your budget without actually cutting down on content creation might be a better strategy for those who run exclusively online businesses. Some business owners have to pay quite a bit to retain their content creators. Outsourcing to another organization might help you balance price and quality a little better. You may be able to get a much better price this way than you could with your current arrangement.
Some companies have also taken advantage of this fact by ordering additional content from an outside source, which can create it at a much faster pace than they could internally. While you don’t want to make it look like you’re spamming social media with your messages, you might be able to make a name for yourself by doing so. Your competitors are likely to have drastically slashed their own promotional budgets during these challenging times.
Ask yourself if your own audience’s priorities are going to shift as a result of the current situation. If they will, then you’ll want to adapt any content you put out there to these new concerns. It’s important to strike a balance between that wish for normalcy with the current situation that many people find themselves in.
Adapting Your Strategy to Changing Times
Business owners that do slash their budgets will still need to maintain at least some online presence. Fortunately, you might be able to increase it in spite of a decreased budget.
Outsourcing and reducing content creation costs is one way to increase output without taxing your budget any more than it already is. Another thing to consider is reducing the cost of ad placement. If you were able to find a less expensive avenue of placing ads, then you could run more ads than you had before.
Keep in mind that just because something costs less doesn’t mean there isn’t an audience for it. Consumption of all types of media have increased as a result of people self-isolating. According to a study conducted by the Radio Advertising Bureau, 34 percent of those who now work from home are listening more to the radio than they used to. Even 28 percent of those who are completely furloughed found themselves reaching for their stereo tuners more than they otherwise would have.
For a long time, people said that radio advertising was dead. These figures seem to say otherwise. Search for a new way to connect with your audience that’s different from what your competitors are doing. Depending on how you do so, you might be able to draw in people who are currently stuck at home.
In some cases, people are going to respond quite well to messages that are directly related to the COVID-19 epidemic. If you’ve determined that to be the case, then you need to carefully craft them so it doesn’t look like you’re attempting to use the situation to your advantage.
Targeting Your Audience with a Reduced Budget
Some tech companies have created Coronavirus resource sites designed to provide information to their users while others have donated to assistance funds that can help individuals and business owners struggling through these unpleasant circumstances. You might consider diverting some of your content promotion budget into a plan like this, which can attract new customers without making it look as though you’re attempting to make money off the situation directly.
Those who can’t afford to do something like this might want to consider devoting at least some portion of their content posts to focusing on how their firms are sympathetic to the needs of their customers. Anyone who wants to do this has to focus on being sincere, however, because savvy individuals will see through anything that isn’t.
Retailers that sell products that are in tight demand might want to offer reduced prices to their customers. For instance, you might consider slashing a portion of your content promotion budget so you could offer lower prices on paper products, masks or nitrile gloves to consumers who are feeling the pinch from increased demand.
You also need to maintain the same focus you’ve always had on your customers’ other needs. Marketing expert Michael Brenner once opined that many people confuse marketing with content for genuine content marketing. A genuine campaign isn’t just renting out another person’s audience. Business owners need to focus on building their own.
Considering that an unprecedented number of people are confined to their homes, you shouldn’t have any difficulty discovering a captive audience. You’ll be in a much better position to define a budget once you’ve figured out the best way to communicate with this audience.