Many businesses are looking for low-cost strategies for effective marketing during inflation.
If you haven’t heard of or felt it yet, we are experiencing inflation. Inflation refers to the increase in prices of goods and services over a period amount of time. Not only has it affected our personal lives, but it is impacting businesses as well.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported that 54 percent of small business owners cited inflation as their top concern, while 16 percent said high-interest rates. Regarding high-interest rates, 66 percent said it is limiting their ability to raise capital for their business.
And because of rising prices due to inflation, 62 percent of small business owners said they had to seek out additional funding in the past year to stay afloat.
It is natural for owners to want to increase their prices to offset costs. Department cuts are also common to help navigate periods of inflation. But instead of upsetting customers with higher prices and deflating employee morale with internal cuts, businesses should focus on strengthening their marketing during inflation.
1. Prioritize Content Marketing During Inflation
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again: content is king. It is what captures and keeps your customers’ attention more than anything else. In addition, there’s such a range of content that you can create that a big budget isn’t necessary to make a real impact.
The first step to organizing your content marketing strategy is to answer the following questions:
- What are your overall goals for content?
- How will you track your progress toward those goals?
- What marketing channels will you use?
- What kind of content will you create for each channel?
- Who will be involved in creating and publishing content?
- What are your publishing schedules for each channel?
Keep in mind that you’ll want to attach goals to each piece of content and individual campaign. Controlling costs and avoiding raising prices is critical for businesses during inflation, so be sure you are marketing strategically and tracking your metrics throughout each campaign. This ensures that you are getting the most bang for your buck.
Creating high-quality content takes time and serious attention to detail whether you have a big team or not. To get it all done, first, determine when you will create content. For example, do you want to create content daily? Or, do you want to dedicate specific days throughout the week to content creation?
When you have your content creation schedule figured out, the next step is mapping out what you’ll do on those content creation days. There will be days when it is all about a specific campaign. There will be days when you’re working on general marketing content. There will also be days dedicated to editing.
Plan as many days as you can ahead of time, but leave room for flexibility. You’ll also need to allocate some time for publishing your content. Create a content calendar to help keep your publishing schedule organized. An automation tool will also be helpful.
Take your time with your content and ensure you have a strategy behind it.
2. Blog Consistently
One of the most powerful tools you have in your content marketing arsenal is a blog. A solid blog is one of the best ways to generate organic traffic. In addition, there are many options out there to set up a blog for free The key is providing value and being consistent.
Much like content marketing, you need to get the details of your blog organized first. There are millions of blogs on the internet right now. So, you must determine how you will get yours to stand out and keep an influx of readers coming in.
Think about the following to help you with the above:
- Who is my target audience and what are they looking for in a blog?
- What is my competitors’ blogging about? What’s missing?
- How can I bring what’s missing on my competitor’s blog to mine?
- How can I incorporate my brand’s uniqueness and personality into my blog?
Determine the logistics of your blog as well:
- How often you will publish and when;
- The length and layout of your posts;
- How you will track each post’s performance;
- How you will incorporate visuals into each post;
- Who is responsible for creating blog posts and publishing them?
Finally, get in the groove of blogging. Create a set schedule for creating and publishing blog posts. Also, dedicate at least a few days a month to analyzing how your blog is performing.
3. Consider Guest Posting
In addition to creating your own blog, you should also consider guest posting. Guest posting is a great way to get exposure to your business without having to pay for it. However, for guest posting to work, you’ll need to know who and how to pitch, and how to best create content for other sites.
Don’t make the mistake of pitching to just anyone who accepts guest posts. It is much more effective to pitch to sites that have a similar target audience as you. You can determine this by looking at the business offerings and the topics they are writing about on their blog. You can also dig into the comment section to see who’s engaging with their blog regularly.
Regarding how to pitch, it is somewhat of an art form. Some sites will have specific pitching guidelines, so refer to those before anything else. But generally, pitching comes down to:
- Keeping the pitch concise and organized;
- Enticing the editor with your pitch’s headline;
- Sharing your qualifications or why you would be a good fit to create your post;
- Reading the target site, and coming up with topic ideas that haven’t been covered;
- Sharing what your post would be about, how you would organize it, and why it would be good for their target audience.
As far as how to create content for other sites, keep this in mind. You’ll need to write the way they do, not the way you do. In other words, you’ll need to adopt their brand’s personality, voice, and the particulars of how they blog.
And finally, when you get comments on your guest posts, be sure to respond to them. This will require you to visit your guest posts often to see if they’re generating any engagement. If you can set up notifications for this through the site, even better.
Send out quality pitches consistently, and you’ll be well on your way to gaining exposure for your business without busting your marketing budget.
4. Strengthen Your Social Media Presence
Promoting your guest posts, blog, and other content is necessary to see consistent results. One of the most effective ways to do this?
Share on social media. According to Statista, “In 2021, over 4.26 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost six billion in 2027.”
Not only does social media provide businesses with a huge reach, but these platforms don’t cost a whole lot of money to maintain profiles on. Most of them are free, allowing you to spend money on ads and other features should you choose to.
Use social media to your advantage as one of the best low-cost ways to promote your business and build your brand. Step one is figuring out which platforms will generate the most engagement for your business.
You can look into any data you’ve collected thus far on your target audience, particularly:
- Buyer personas you’ve created;
- Any research you’ve compiled from search engine searches;
- Data housed in built-in analytics tools on any social media platforms you are already on;
- Data from your other digital marketing channels.
Even if you choose a few social media platforms up front, you’ll probably need to continue your experimentation to truly find out what platforms are best for you. For example, determining whether or not you should create a TikTok ad or an Instagram reel depends on which audience you are trying to reach and your budget.
You’ll run similar content on two different social media platforms to see which generates the most engagement. You can then use this information to make a decision on which platform to move forward with.
Use a similar process for getting organized like the ones we mentioned above for blogging and content marketing. After that, get creative with your content. Experiment with different mediums, messages, and strategies. And keep originality at the core of everything you do on social media.
Conclusion: Strategic Marketing is Gold
Controlling costs is critical for businesses during inflation. But really, keeping expenses in check is essential for success no matter what the economic climate looks like.
One of the best strategies to do this? Marketing strategically with low-cost methods. You can bring in more revenue without increasing your expenses, which is exactly what you want whether or not inflation is occurring.
Don’t try every type of marketing. Instead, find the ones that work for your unique target audience and budget, and stick to them.
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Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. She is frequently lost in a good book.