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Planning Your Content Goals in a Recession

When faced with gloomy news about the economy, businesses often slash content marketing budgets, but this can be counterproductive. Recessions provide an opportunity to increase your reach and take competitors by surprise, but you should adopt a strategic approach and produce high-quality marketing content.

Content Marketing Goals in a Recession

The United Kingdom is experiencing a period of economic turmoil, with soaring energy prices stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Bank of England raising interest rates, and the Sterling hitting a record low against the US dollar in September 2022. The Bank has also warned that the country will fall into recession this year, and Goldman Sachs has made a prediction that the recession will span from the end of 2022, right the way through 2023 and then into 2024.

With such gloomy news about the economy, many marketers and business leaders will be thinking about areas where they can cut costs. History tells us that many will make the decision to slash their content marketing budget, at least until the country returns to some level of economic stability, but this is not always necessarily the best move.

With that being said, even if you do ultimately need to cut costs, there are still opportunities to explore. In this article, we will take a closer look at how you can manage your content marketing strategy effectively during this period of economic uncertainty, defy the economic doom and gloom, and still achieve your objectives.

1. Think About Your Budget Carefully

As with all other forms of marketing, your content marketing strategy is ultimately going to be confined by your budget, and you will need to be clear on exactly how much money is available. Typically, when we enter harder economic times, businesses look to reduce expenditure, and the marketing budget can seem like an obvious place to start.

However, this needs to be carefully considered because it is not always the best decision and slashing a content marketing budget can actually be counterproductive. In fact, an article published by the Harvard Business Review claims that the companies that tend to bounce back from recessions most strongly do not cut their marketing budgets at all. In fact, many of these businesses actually increase their marketing budget instead.

That may sound counterintuitive, but as the HBR explains, during a recession, most other companies cut back on their marketing budgets. This means that those that stand firm might actually gain in terms of their share of voice. In other words, during a recession, there is going to be less content to compete for your target audience’s attention.

Of course, individual circumstances do need to be factored in. Some companies will need to make serious efforts to cut costs, and there may be little choice but to take away from the marketing budget. However, if your circumstances allow for it, there is a good argument for holding your nerve. That is, as long as you spend your money wisely.

2. Become Even More Strategic

While not every business should cut marketing costs during a recession, some changes should be made. After all, at times of economic hardship, people’s relationships with brands change, and there is a generalised reluctance to part with money. This means it could be harder to persuade your audience to carry out the actions you want.

At the same time, if you are going to cut your marketing budget, you are still going to want to benefit from whatever marketing content you can still afford to produce. This is going to mean finding ways to do more with less and ensuring that all of your content achieves precisely what it is intended to.

Regardless of your financial situation and your budgeting decisions, the key to good content marketing during a recession is to become even more strategic. So what does this actually look like in practice?

First, you will need to be clear on what you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy and what you want each individual piece of content to deliver. On top of this, you are going to need to be precise about who the content is targeting and why. From there, the next step is to ensure your content uses SEO techniques for maximum reach. You should also use social media to drive engagement and consider utilising platforms like Reddit to expand your reach.

3. Focus on ‘Evergreen’ Marketing Content

When seeking ways to make your money stretch further, a good place to start is by trying to make sure the content you publish attracts clicks for as long as possible. The best way to achieve this is to focus on the creation of ‘evergreen’ content, which is content that retains relevancy over time. For example, articles explaining how to do something will often perform well over time because people may still be looking for that kind of information in years to come.

By contrast, an analysis of 3.6 billion articles carried out by Backlinko found that press releases and presentations tend to be the least evergreen types of content. This is because many presentations are highly specific and context-dependent, while press releases are often used to alert people to news and media that may only be relevant for a short period of time, such as the launch of a new product or a change in business circumstances. In many cases, press releases lose much of their value within days or weeks, and it is unlikely that people will seek them out in years to come.

With that being said, evergreen content does not need to be generic and can still be topical. In fact, this very article is written against the backdrop of a looming economic recession in the United Kingdom, which is a specific event. Yet, much of it can be regarded as evergreen because the advice within it will remain relevant for any future recession, too.

Essentially, you want to try to create content that is not time-sensitive at its very core because evergreen content can continue to help you achieve your marketing goals for months and years to come.

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4. Pay Attention to Your Competitors

When it comes to setting goals and planning out your content marketing strategy during a recession, a significant focus should be placed on your rivals. Identify precisely who else is competing for the same target audience, then look at their own content marketing and find areas of opportunity that you can potentially exploit.

During the recession, your rivals may opt to cut back on the amount of content they are producing. If they were attracting a significant audience before, that means there will likely still be a demand for what they were offering. If you are fortunate enough to have the financial resources to be bold and maintain your content marketing expenditure, you may be able to take advantage of this situation and fill the void that was created by their reduced marketing budget.

Try to identify the types of content that have performed well for them and consider whether you can offer something similar. You do need to be careful to avoid plagiarism, and you need to retain your own unique voice. Still, you can take broad concepts, like topics that generate large amounts of clicks, and then explore those same areas.

You can also pay close attention to when your competitors publish content. From there, you can select the best days and the best times to publish your own content in order to maximise visibility.

5. Make Interesting, Useful Content

Regardless of the context in which you are planning a content marketing strategy, there is one mantra that always remains true and relevant – content is king! No matter how much money you have to spend, no matter what your aims and objectives are, and no matter what the situation looks like for your target audience, you will not achieve your goals unless you are able to provide your audience with high-quality content.

Quite simply, there are no shortcuts here. The content you publish as part of your marketing strategy needs to have real value to your audience, and this means you are going to need to make it interesting, entertaining, useful, or – in an ideal world – a combination of all of these things at the same time.

Think about the audience you are trying to reach with your content, and then consider what they might actually be looking for. This then provides a good starting point to build from. Can you help them with something? Do you have any advice to share? Have you conducted research that can assist them while also positioning you or your business as a thought leader? Do you have an engaging or fun story to tell? If you are unsure about why your audience would want to read a planned piece of content, it is probably worth going back to the drawing board.

The need for interesting and useful content can also be a good argument in favour of outsourcing your content creation needs. By turning to experienced, professional writers from outside of your business, you can benefit from different perspectives, different ideas, different areas of expertise, and even different writing styles.

How Textbroker Can Assist You

Textbroker is an online content platform where you will be able to find professional writers and unique content that will suit your specific needs. Whether you are looking to create blog posts, articles, ebooks, white papers, viral content, landing pages, product descriptions, or something else completely, we can deliver for you.

We have a talent pool filled with great authors, who all possess different interests and life experiences, and who have different areas of expertise. You can place open orders, send orders directly to specific writers, and even build a team of writers that can help you create regular content based on your preferred schedule.

There are no monthly fees to pay, and you can place orders at different quality levels so that your content creation strategy fits with your established budget. At the same time, you can potentially save some of the money that is typically associated with time-consuming administrative tasks, such as invoice creation.

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About our author

JMMedia is a freelance author who has been writing for Textbroker since 2012. He specialises in the creation of SEO-friendly content on a variety of topics, including online marketing, music, travel, history, video games and sport. Away from work, his interests include reading, listening to audiobooks, and playing football.

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