3 Marketing tips to grow after an economic downturn

Kevin Mullins

The Chinese have a saying, “May you live in interesting times.” To say we’ve been living through interesting times is an understatement.

Then Vs. Now

I thought we earned our stripes after weathering the 2008 financial crisis. My thought was if we could survive the 2008 downturn, we could survive anything.

Fast forward 10 years and anything is back. With a vengeance.

Earlier this year, one of the longest bull runs in U.S. stock market history came to a screeching halt. A microscopic virus from China popped the global financial bubble and started a chain reaction of global lockdowns and a stock market drop the likes of which we haven’t witnessed in decades. Billion$ evaporated into thin air.


Central bankers contained 2008’s financial fallout to specific economic sectors. This one was global — affecting nearly every sector in every country.

No industry vertical seems immune.

Facing The New Normal

With many in a state of panic, bewilderment, and confusion, it’s tempting to freeze in place, not knowing what to do. With things this bad, how do we keep the wheels turning?

Blair Enns sums it up by saying,

“Moments like this are why you make the big bucks. This is entrepreneurship at its ugly, beautiful best. The decisions are all yours. You cannot control the world around you but you can control how you respond, how you lead, how you lift others and—if your business survives—you may well be facing the opportunity of a lifetime as the entire world goes on sale. You became an entrepreneur in part because you wanted the freedom to call your own shots, to answer to no one. Well, it’s all you now, baby, and if you’re honest with yourself you wouldn’t have it any other way. Who else would you trust to lead you through this moment? Exactly.”

cnbc headline screenshot goldman sees 15% jobless rate

Growth During and After An Economic Downturn

After the initial shock to the economy and ensuring that everyone was physically and mentally okay, we pivoted from reaction to action, planning for business growth after all this is over.

That’s right. While everyone else was panicking, we’ve been preparing. We’re looking for opportunities to grow while others are slamming on the brakes.

So should you.

Business folks are a resilient group. We will get through this. Eventually both the health and financial crisis will fade, and we will recover — if we plan accordingly.

It’s likely business won’t look the same on the other side of this crisis. That includes our industry as well: web design agencies, digital marketing agencies, SEO experts, etc.

But if we plan now, we will come out stronger and recover quicker than those that don’t. Here are 3 specific marketing moves you can make so that your business is ready to explode when this finally ends. Ready? Let’s go.


Marketing Tip #1: Invest in Organic SEO

We’re living in crazy times. Nearly half of humanity is in lockdown at home. Something the world has never seen before.

To say we’re seeing a monumental shift in search engine user behavior would be an understatement.

Almost everyone is online streaming, searching, reading and consuming content all at the same time! The entire internet is experiencing a massive spike in search interest and user intent on individual queries.

Start Your SEO Campaigns Now

If you’re a business leader or marketing manager, you should be paying close attention to your analytics and search stats. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realign your SEO keywords to get in front of a changing global audience.

With a normal 2-3 months lead-time to experiencing positive SEO traffic, now is the time to get organized and start improving how people will find you.

Starting an SEO campaign now will give you a significant advantage over a competitor who waits until after the crisis is officially over.

Marketing Tip #2: Upgrade Your Messaging

Recently, Don Miller shared an email:

“In the last two weeks, the rules for how you talk about your business have changed.”

Boy, have they! This new Covid-19 world is uncharted waters.

The way we communicate our products and services during times of abundance differs from times of crisis. But, even in good times, we can’t afford to confuse our customers.

This is doubly true in times of crisis.

Giving Your Marketing Message A Tune-Up

More than ever, potential customers are looking for clarity and thought leadership. Customers need to know we can do what we claim and that no matter what tomorrow holds, we will deliver.

The problem is, many of us struggle to transmit our business message well, even in times of abundance and calm.

More than ever, in this time of economic uncertainty, your messaging is critically important to potential customers who need to hear from you.

If you hope to survive and thrive beyond the crisis, it is urgent you clarify your brandscript and reposition your marketing message, now.

Marketing Tip #3: Create A Content Offer

Timely, valuable content is one of inbound marketing’s secret weapons. But what is it exactly?

A content offer is a professionally designed piece of relevant, specialized content you offer your customers for their contact info.

You know what I’m talking about:

  • A downloadable digital booklet or case study
  • A 10% discount to come back and complete your order
  • Free training or webinar after joining an email list.

Offers like this are super popular for one simple reason. They work.

The ways to present a content offer vary but inbound marketing takes the strategy up a notch by presenting the right content, to the right person, at the right time.

Creating High Value Content

HubSpot calls this content mapping. It’s a way of presenting high-value content to visitors, based on where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Many in-house marketing teams don’t realize this, and this gives you a powerful advantage.

Showing specialized content to prospective buyers gives you a greater chance of grabbing their interest. Leave the story about how grand pappy started the business for another time.

Where do you start?

So, where can you find this specialized content? Start with your team.

Your team is a reservoir of industry insights and specialized, experienced knowledge. That’s why you hired them, right?

So why not get them involved in crafting your first content offer? Use their knowledge to create something unique to your business experience, that prospective buyers will love.

Visitors will reward you for it by giving you their email, which opens the door to nurturing the relationship later.

Are You Preparing For What’s Next?

Times have been tough, full stop. The way forward remains unpredictable. No one knows where it all ends. But end it will.

The good news is we don’t have to be powerless bystanders. We can take control by starting search engine optimization, reworking our narrative, and creating unique, compelling content offers for customers. (Like our digital guide below)

While competitors freeze like a deer in headlights, you can make serious advances that will put you miles ahead once the crisis ends.

Sales may not come as easy as they did, but putting these inbound marketing strategies in place give us a fighting chance to not only survive but thrive and make it to the other side of the crisis, leaner, meaner, and more prepared than before.

Is your website in desperate need of an expert overhaul? Drop us a line to schedule your free website audit. We want to talk to you.

GET YOUR FREE Blogging Pro Guide

Blog Like a Boss

So what next? Here are some more growth boosting must-haves.

Want to see how we’ve helped other businesses make their mark?

Build something that gets results.