12 digital marketing strategy tips during a recession

No business wants a recession to happen, but they are inevitable. 

Any shrinking of the economy can spur necessary changes not just in business plans but in your digital marketing strategy as well.

Since 1945, the U.S. has gone through 11 recessions officially.

While many businesses tend to cut as many expenses as possible to improve their short-term financial standing, your marketing strategy is critical to the overall success fo your business. Therefore, resist the temptation to slash your marketing budget in extreme ways. Instead, think about how you can maximize that marketing budget during an economic recession that not only saves you money but adapts to changing consumer behaviors.

Remember, if you cut too much, you stunt your potential business growth. Specifically, cutting marketing expenses in the short-term can hurt your business in the long-term. For example, you could see decreased market share and share of voice, decreased brand awareness and missed opportunities.

So, let’s focus on working smarter. The following are 12 digital marketing strategy tips that you should consider during a recession or economic downturn.

Audit campaign (and channel) performance

While the best practice is to regularly monitor the performance of your digital marketing campaigns and channels, you should take a closer look when entering a recession.

Are all channels hitting your desired KPIs (key performance indicators)? You want to get a sense of what’s working (and should be done more) and what’s not working (and should either be optimized or eliminated altogether).

If you are working with a reduced marketing budget, you should ensure that you’re investing your limited resources wisely. There’s no room for error, and you want to identify the channels and initiatives that deliver the biggest ROI (return on investment). Definitely cut any “excess fat” from your marketing expenses, and relocate portions of your budget to the channels and/or campaigns that are working.

Your digital marketing audit can include analysis via Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search Console, Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics and anywhere else your brand has a presence and/or is spending money.

Check out these 26 social media metrics you should track across platforms.

Conduct a competitive analysis

During a recession, it’s more important than ever to know what your competition is doing (for better or worse).

A competitive analysis is essentially a strategy where you identify your competitors and research their products/services, sales and marketing strategies. Of course, your analysis can be as simple or as complex as you need to satisfy your goals behind it.

Have your competitors cut back on their marketing and advertising? How are they communicating with their customers? Of course, this can serve as inspiration for your own marketing efforts. But you’ll also get a sense of whether you can optimize an advantage if your competition has scaled back in any way.

Check out these 16 tools to make your competitive analysis easier.

Adjust your marketing goals

Your goals matter. And what you’re aiming to achieve with your marketing during a recession could be very different from what you want to accomplish in a strong economy.

Make sure to take the time to evaluate what matters most to your business and how your digital marketing can support this.

To help you better assess the appropriate marketing goals for your business during a recession, consider using analytics to understand the scope of your digital marketing efforts.

Check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

Optimize your recession marketing plan

Even when the economy is not experiencing a recession, you want every dollar of your marketing budget spent well, working smarter not harder.

Beyond cutting initiatives that aren’t performing, you can optimize your recession marketing strategy by focusing on targeted marketing, where you’re sending a specific message to a specific target audience group (i.e. segmentation and personalization as mentioned before).

Targeted marketing isn’t isolated to one specific marketing channel. If you’re using a platform like DailyStory, you can easily target personalized emails and text messages to very specific groups of consumers within your contact list based on the data you have on them. Targeted marketing can be executed via social media advertising as well.

In addition to targeted marketing, make sure you’re monitoring patterns around days of the week, times of day and even geographic locations (if relevant) that deliver the best engagement and conversions for your brand across channels. Remember, though, that every channel can be different.

Find out how often your brand should be posting on social media.

Adjust your messaging to reflect consumer spending changes

Successful digital marketing considers your target audience first. If the consumer behavior of your audience changes, so should your messaging.

Consider how consumer spending typically changes in your industry and how that will impact your business. For example, if your target audience is particularly price sensitive and will likely move to low-cost options within your industry, then you should highlight those not just in your campaigns but also generally on your website. On the flip side, you could promote the added value that your brand’s products or services offer if that could resonate with your audience more. Or, you could highlight flexible payment or financing options. It just depends on your business, your industry and your target audience.

Check out our three ways to tweak your marketing message during a recession.

Market to your existing, past customers

Rather than invest a lot of your marketing budget always trying to find, engage and convert new customers, consider your existing and past customers. In fact, targeting that group is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business during an economic recession.

This marketing could aim to drive new sales from existing and past customers or upsells.

These customers already know and trust your brand. Therefore, they’re more likely to buy from you again.

And in addition, you should already have some data on these customers that you can use to segment them and deliver more personalized messages.

Check out our six tips to grow brand loyalty for your business.

Invest in your educational content

During a recession, consumers tend to take longer researching products and services before spending to ensure their getting the best value. 

You should optimize for that shift in behavior with educational content that can help customers determine how to find the best solutions for their needs. This means focusing on your content marketing.

Examples of educational content you can offer include (but are not limited to):

  • Educational blog posts can help consumers define their problems and understand what solution they need, as well as help you rank higher in search engine results. Consider common questions your business gets asked already as topics.
  • Case studies can show potential customers how your products or services have helped others in a very specific way.
  • Comparison charts can greatly help consumers understand the value of your products or services as compared with your competition. 

Content marketing is an excellent part of any recession marketing strategy because of the relationships it can help build between your brand and potential customers.

Embrace local SEO

If your customer base is located in a specific geographic area, another cost-effective recession marketing strategy to consider is local search engine optimization (SEO).

Local SEO is when search engines rely on signals (such as local content, social profile pages, links and citations) to provide the most relevant local results to the user. It’s all about delivering the best and more relevant local search engine results.

Improving your local SEO can lead to increased leads and foot traffic at your physical business location. That means that you’re connecting with local customers who are actively searching for your products or services.

Some of the actions you should take to boost your local SEO include:

  • Setting up and/or optimizing your Google Business Profile with your up-to-date brand information that includes name, address and phone number.
  • Uploading photos and videos to your Google Business Profile listing. Visuals are a powerful communication tool for consumers.
  • Requesting reviews from your customers on Google, Yelp, Facebook and any other service-ranking platform that makes sense for your business.

Dive deeper with our 11 local SEO tips to help you beat your competition.

Use more videos in your recession marketing

Videos are powerful. About 85 percent of all internet users in the U.S. watched online video content monthly on any of their devices, while 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

See more reasons why businesses should create more videos.

Even more important than that, videos can better communicate the value of your products or services than any amount of copy (if done well). Remember that in a recession, value is everything.

Some ideas include:

  • Video demonstrations to show potential customers how to use your products.
  • Videos about your employees as well as showing them at work for your customers, conveying the quality of service and care you offer.
  • Videos answering commonly asked questions.

Check out these 10 types of videos that you can use in your marketing strategy.

Professional videos can be powerful, but don’t underestimate the DIY power you hold with a smartphone, decent lighting and an easy-to-use video-editing app.

Leverage remarketing for more conversions

Remarketing simply refers to the practice of targeting individuals who’ve already visited your website with ads on Facebook, Google or elsewhere.

Think of the last time you viewed a product for sale on a website but didn’t buy it. Then, you kept seeing it everywhere as you browse elsewhere online. That’s remarketing, also referred to as retargeting.

It’s clear why it can be such a powerful tactic. These leads have already shown some level of interest in your business offerings, and now, you’re reinforcing your messaging to convince them to come back and complete the purchase, whether it’s a product or service. Because you’re already targeting warm leads, your overall advertising spend should be that much more effective, with a great ROI.

To get the most out of remarketing, consider using in your ads:

  • Images and copy that speak to the needs of your target audience.
  • Special discounts and offers.
  • Educational content that can help consumers research their options.

Granted, remarketing is valuable even in a good economy, but it can be especially helpful during a recession.

Consider tiered pricing

Creating tiered pricing (if you don’t already have it) during a recession can help bring in new clients and also help existing customers save money (so that you don’t lose them entirely).

Many businesses offer at least three different pricing tiers with additional perks with the higher-priced tiers. That way, customers have options when they may not need all features and are trying to save money. Depending on the product or service you’re offering, a free version could be made available with very limited scope and features. If a customer likes the free version, they are easier to upsell to at the right time.

Don’t make too many changes

While you’ll want to change your marketing strategy to accommodate shifting consumer behaviors and a possibly smaller marketing budget, try to avoid making too many drastic changes at once.

Big changes, like rebranding, could be confusing to consumers and make it appear as if your company isn’t doing well. Remember, you’re always trying to build a trusting relationship with your customers. Consistency is key.

In conclusion

A recession can feel scary and intimidating for any business owner, but remember that you want to optimize your digital marketing during this time, not slash it entirely.

Embrace what’s working and cut what doesn’t. You can be more efficient and also successful with the right choices.

As you prepare to stay successful in your marketing efforts during a recession, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 signs that your marketing strategy isn’t working

Even with the best planning, your marketing strategy could fail.

Digital marketing comprises various online strategies that identify, build and target an audience with the ultimate goal of turning them into paying customers. It includes the following and more:

About 81 percent of shoppers research online before purchasing, so it’s important to know as soon as possible if your marketing strategy isn’t working.

Beyond the obvious drop in revenue or even stagnant revenue, the following eight signs can tell you that a change is needed in your marketing strategy.

Low social media engagement

If your posts on any social media platform are received with crickets, something needs to change. A healthy social media presence is typically indicative of a healthy business. 

Of course, you’ll want to consider not just the content you post but your posting frequency as well.

A social media management tool can help you get organized across platforms, and check out our list of 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools you can try.

Plus, see our 11 expert tips for growing your social media following.

Not reaching your target audience

Your various marketing channels (social media, email and more) could be seeing decent or even great engagement rates, but are you actually reaching your target audience?

It’s important to understand who your ideal customer is so that you can then ensure that your marketing strategy supports reaching and engaging with them. Engagement is great, but are they the type of consumer who will ultimately purchase from you.

Regularly perform an audit of your online targeting. You can gather this information on different platforms through their analytics interfaces or even Google Analytics for your website.

Not sure who your target audience should be? See our seven tips to help determine your target audience.

Feeling overwhelmed or without direction

Digital marketing involves a lot of planning, strategizing, execution and follow-up, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And even if you’re going through the motions and doing everything that you’re “supposed to do,” do you have a purposeful direction?

While you want to be open-minded to new strategies and tactics, you also want to define exactly what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. 

Refer to your data thus far for inspiration, and check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

Hesitation to share your website

Whether you like it or not, your website is the online calling card for your business. Are you proud of it? 

If the answer is no, then you definitely want to focus your energy here. Perhaps your website simply needs updated information or a total website redesign.

Audit your website to understand what needs improvement.

And because a majority of website traffic is mobile, check out our 16 tips for a mobile-friendly website that you can explore.

Low website traffic

Of course, every business wants to see a lot of traffic on its website. But if you’re noticing a drop in website traffic or a plateau of low traffic, you’ll want to assess your marketing strategy as it relates to driving consumers to your site.

You’ll want to start with an audit of your SEO practices, as well as how you’re faring with content marketing. Do you have a blog? If so, is it attracting your target audience?

Check out our 19 tips for driving traffic to your new blog.

Low brand penetration

Are you known in your market? Do you stand out from your competition? Do customers understand your brand?

If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, you might have an issue with your branding.

A brand consists of:

  • Visuals, such as colors, logo, images, font, etc.
  • Tone of voice
  • Content
  • Online presence, such as website, social accounts, etc.
  • Influencer and other types of partnerships

The consistency and connection an effective brand can offer builds trust among consumers. About 81 percent of consumers say they need to be able to trust a brand before buying from it.

If you need to reassess your branding or even start from scratch, check out our nine expert tips about branding.

Competition envy

What do you think when you see your competition’s website, ads and social media? If it’s overwhelming jealousy, then you want to take a second look at your own marketing strategy.

Remember to focus on your mission, your target audience and your own goals when your sharing the story of your business. You can leverage inspiration from your competition into your own strategy, but you’ll always be more successful putting that energy into your marketing.

Learn more about what a competitive analysis is and how you can start yours.

Over-budget campaigns

On average, businesses spend about 10 percent to 13 percent of their annual revenue on overall marketing. 

So, there’s something to be said about having a set marketing budget and that at least a portion of that is intended for brand awareness (which is difficult to measure an ROI on).

However, if you find that a specific campaign cost $1,000 (for example), but it only resulted in $200 in sales, you need to ask yourself whether the $800 was worth the potential brand awareness. If the answer is no, then you’re over budget.

You’ll want to assess how you budget for each campaign and monitor your campaign’s performance as it’s happening (not just after it ends) so that you can change anything if needed.

Check out our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

In conclusion

Regardless of whether you think your marketing strategy is failing or not, you can always pivot and change directions.

The key is to be tuned in to what is happening and whether it’s working (or not).

As you’re evaluating your marketing strategy, consider leveling up with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Push notification strategy in the works? Here’s what you should consider

Push notifications have come a long way since first being introduced by Apple in 2009. If you have an app, they should be a thought-out piece of your overall marketing strategy in this climate of online noise.

Below are eight things you should consider when developing your push notification strategy to maximize your results:

What’s the point of your push alerts?

It sounds simple, but all too often, we want to run before we can walk in any new campaign. It’s so important to take a step back and outline the targeted audience and goals. 

With push notifications specifically, there are a few different types, such as informative, time-bound or reminder. Knowing who you’re targeting and why will help you decide what mix of push notification types (and even tone) you’ll want to plan for your campaign.

See our seven tips to write an effective push notification.

How personal can your push notification get?

In a world of noise, personalization even in the smallest degree can help you stand out. According to a Delvv study, most people felt push notifications were irrelevant. So often, this is because notifications are not tailored to meet a user’s needs or interests. Understanding your audience so that your message is relevant to them is crucial.

What data do you have on your target customer base? Age range? More one gender or another? In school? Have families? The more information you have, the better you can serve your audience with your overall push notification content.

But can you take it a step further?

According to Braze Magazine, personalizing your message with such attributes as a user’s first name, recent purchases, etc. can increase conversions by 27.5 percent (compared with generic notifications). Also according to Braze, sending different campaign messages to different audience segments can lead to a 200 percent increase in conversions.

Find out if your mobile provider gives you the ability to either segment your audience (so that what you say to one group can differ from what you say to another group) or include personalization code in your message itself (such as a user’s first name). DailyStory is among the platforms that do both.

Timing is everything for push alerts

Have you ever received a push notification in the middle of the night that didn’t irritate you? Most would say no because truly, timing is everything. 

In general, if you’re looking for the best time to send your notification (and not just a non-annoying time), then focus on weekdays between 7 and 10 a.m. and/or between 6 and 10 p.m.

The logic (and the data backing it up) is based on typical user habits: people starting their day and wanting (or are willing) to be informed and people winding down their day and wanting (or are willing) to be engaged before they go to sleep.

One factor to keep in mind is timezones. If you have a global or even a national audience, you must be aware of the time differences you face and how to plan for them.

Can you geotarget your push notifications?

Rank geotargeting up there with personalization because, truly, it is a form of personalization. These days, location-based technologies are more available and commonplace than you might think, and they enable you to get the right message to the right person in the right place. In a nutshell, geotargeting works by virutually “fencing” a zone that can be anything from the size of a building to an entire zip code (or larger). When a user enters that zone, they get served your message.

But the magic of geotargeting happens when you understand the user’s experience. What message will catch their attention when they’re at a particular place? Your creativity is your only limit here.

How many is too many push alerts?

When you have the power to pop up on users’ phones, it’s oh so easy to go overboard with how often you message them. If you send too many too often, you risk user dissatisfaction and dismissal, or even worse: the uninstallation of your app.

The average U.S. smartphone user receives 46 push notifications per day on average already, according to Business of Apps.

Of course, message rate limits can help ensure that you don’t overwhelm your audience, but it’s best to plan the appropriate frequency ahead of time. 

Do you have a message inbox for push notifications?

If you’ve ever accidentally dismissed a notification and had it gone forever, you understand the value of a message inbox in your app. Of course, this feature is mostly something to look out for when developing your app with an app provider because it will give your users the ability to browse messages at their leisure (or find them if they unintentionally dismissed any that they were interested in).

Test, test, test

No matter what best practices you follow when planning and executing, it all comes down to testing. What is working, and what isn’t? 

Check in on the metrics you deem important regularly. Or, you can plan for a deeper analysis with A/B testing, which is the practice of trying one approach with one group and a different approach with a different group (that are reasonably similar groups by comparison). The differing approach can be anything from the timing, frequency, wording or angle of your notification. But analyzing the data generated during A/B testing (or just how your push notifications are performing overall) can lead to important takeaways and lessons that you can apply to future notifications.

Be aware of your opt-in, opt-out options

While push notifications are powerful, they still are a permission-based medium. A user needs to opt in to begin seeing your messages. And while it may be obvious to want to make opting in as easy as possible, you also want to make opting out easy to find as well.


Because if a user can’t find a way to opt out, they’ll simply uninstall your app. And ultimately, that’s not your goal.

Push notifications are a powerful component of any marketing strategy. With just a little extra thought, analysis and planning, it can make the difference in your company’s ROI.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.