Between the after-effects of COVID, a tumultuous economy, and a deadly war in Ukraine, uncertainty is the one thing that’s for certain in today’s business environment. Businesses today are dealing with many of the same problems that they’ve been facing since the pandemic started - low, fluctuating revenue, trouble reaching out to clients, and not knowing when the next externality will strike.
According to conventional wisdom, the best way to weather uncertainty is closing ranks, looking inwards, and trimming out any additional business activity apart from core functions. Many US businesses currently in this situation are asking serious questions about what their plans for functions like social media marketing, pay-to-click advertising, and content will look like in an uncertain world.
If you view digital marketing functions as external or non-core to your business, the next step would be to downscale or hit pause on your digital campaign and to address that cost center. Over the past month, we’ve had conversations with a number of clients that begin with “We think we might want to slow down on this year’s marketing gameplan.”
Almost none of those conversations ended in that actually happening, and there’s a simple reason why: in today’s digital world, digital marketing plays a vital role in driving awareness, upselling your product or service to existing clients, and building new business. In this piece, we’ll take a look at why it’s so important to not just maintain, but to actually double down on your digital marketing investment over the next several months.
Investing in Bottom of the Funnel Content: Educating Leads on the Fence to Make Informed Decisions
When rationalizing your marketing expenses, the very first thing you might be tempted to scale back is your content budget. What’s the point of running a long-term blog strategy when we need to focus on today’s cash flow needs?
A key mistake made by many decision makers is to look at content purely through a strategy lens. Yes, a solid content strategy can help you build brand credibility and domain authority in the long term. But great content also has significant tactical value, especially in uncertain times. Your clients and leads are likely dealing with many of the same big picture challenges that you’re handling. That means that, when it comes to buying decisions, they’re more cautious than before and they’re aiming to maximize their return on investment while mitigating risk. The best possible way to help them do this is by educating your leads.
Bottom of the funnel content is a great way to do this. BOTF content isn’t just about awareness generation.
- It addresses specific user challenges and questions.
- It demonstrates how your service or product is the solution.
When creating BOTF content, you’re essentially stepping into your ideal client’s shoes, understanding the challenges that they face, then explaining how your product or service can help them tackle that challenge. BOTF content is information-rich - you’ll want to focus on specific success metrics and case studies, showcasing exactly how you helped other clients and exactly how much that support resulted in tangible benefits.
Today’s uncertainty in the business environment means that more leads than before are going to be on the fence about working with you - bottom of the funnel content is an opportunity for you to showcase value, close the deal, and generate additional revenue.
PPC and Digital Advertising: Capitalizing on Higher ROI Campaigns
Your paid ad budget can turn into a significant chunk of your overall digital marketing spend - this is a four to five-figure recurring monthly cost center that can look tempting if you’re looking to quickly cut down on operational costs. The problem with this is that for many businesses - especially in today’s post-COVID world, where remote client interactions are quickly turning into the norm - your paid ads are a key source of lead generation.
A Moz study indicates that users who click on paid ads have 50 percent higher purchase intent than those who arrive on your website through organic search - paid ads reach people who are actively looking to buy your product or service and point them in your direction.
The key, then, isn’t to scale back your paid ad expenditure. It’s about being smarter about the ads themselves. Let’s take a look at a quick example. Vasco Assets, a current FVG client, initially reached out to us to understand why their existing paid ad strategy wasn’t delivering the results they expected. After a PPC audit, we discovered that over 1/3 of their paid ad budget was allocated towards keywords that had zero purchase intent.
By fine tuning their PPC campaign, we helped Vasco realize 74% percent higher lead generation over the next 9 months. If you’re in a high-value industry, even a single new lead brought in via your PPC campaign can potentially net a positive ROI. In today’s environment, when your own clients might potentially be looking to scale down, investing in PPC can help ensure a steady lead gen stream, meaning consistent revenue generation.
Connecting Through Social: Focusing on Cost-Effective Strategies
Your social media presence is another “light touch” business function that you might be thinking about scaling down. Again, as with paid ads, the key here is to strategize and to make optimal use of the resources you’re already putting in.
Your social media presence allows your brand to reach out directly, at the human level, to your leads and customers. If anything, last year’s events have made it even more imperative to maintain and grow your social presence: while lockdowns are no longer in effect, people are still spending more time indoors and online than ever before.
This makes it likely that your social media accounts will remain the first point of contact that a significant chunk of leads will have with your brand. The key to maintaining your social presence and driving lead gen is to prioritize cost-effective approaches, to avoid spreading your budget too thin and to focus on core promotions that you’ve already seen delivering results.
What does this mean? Keep creating great social content and continue to engage with your audience, but focus your paid social spend on your core service offerings and on the posts that have the greatest chance of yielding qualified leads. A good strategy here is to carefully A/B test paid promotions across your different social posts, identify top performers, and focus your budget on those. By continuing to create and share content, and prioritizing paid promotions in terms of ROI, you’ll be able to justify social spend and keep a key lead gen channel open.
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that digital is no longer on the periphery of your marketing strategy. Across industries, a brand’s digital presence is turning into a key driver for lead generation. More leads mean more revenue, and scaling up - in times of uncertainty, growth is your best insurance, and a solid digital marketing strategy can help you accomplish just that. Right now’s the time to double down on your digital marketing. Reach out to us today and we’ll show you how it’s done.
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.