Digital marketing survival strategies for tough economic times

As every business owner knows, certain things are outside of your control when it comes to the success of your company. The economy is one example. No matter how hard you work, you can’t control economic trends and market fluctuations, but you can tweak your strategies to accommodate difficult financial times and proactively prepare your business for your customers’ mindsets during these periods. 

With some level of economic recession widely expected in 2023, here are six ways you can prepare for survival in what may be a difficult economic environment.

1. Adjust your business model

Businesses need to be flexible and know how to adapt, especially when the economy dips. You might find that foot traffic slows or people spend more in some areas than others in a bid to save money. Knowing how to pivot your business model to stay valuable to your audience is the key to riding out tough times. Whatever direction you decide to go in, make sure you adapt your digital strategy to suit. For example, make sure to update your Google Business Profile, so customers know what services you offer and so that your website is optimized for new search terms to reflect the way your customers are searching now. 

2. Trim the fat on socials

There’s no denying that social media offers incredible marketing opportunities for businesses, and it should absolutely form part of any digital marketing strategy. But when you want to leverage your position in an economic dip, targeting your focus is the way to go. Look at the results you’re getting from different platforms, and focus your attention on one or two platforms that offer the best ROI for your efforts. 

You want to maximize engagement and profits without maximizing your time and expenditure, so reduce your workload by identifying inefficiencies. When a challenging period begins to ease, you can always reintroduce those other platforms. 

3. Manage your reputation

In a crisis, people want to work with businesses they can trust, so your online reputation makes a huge difference in times of economic difficulty. Trust is incredibly important to any customer, particularly when finances may be tight. Customers want to know that they’re not wasting their hard-earned money and that the companies they work with will deliver on their promises.

To emphasize to your audience that you’re a business they can trust in trying times, update your tone of voice to ensure your company comes across as sincere and genuine. It’s also a best practice to highlight reviews and testimonials on your site that showcase your reputation by staying active and engaged with your customers. 

4. Develop your email content

Email marketing is an ideal way for businesses to develop a personal connection with customers and connect more on a human level. When you’re trying to keep your business afloat during challenging times, having a list of loyal subscribers you can create personalized communications for can make all the difference to your engagement levels. You can automate much of the email process too, which increases efficiency and cuts back on operating costs. 

Nurturing your loyal client base is essential in difficult times, so it is critical to make sure you understand the needs of your customers and respond accordingly. Email marketing offers a platform for learning more about what your customers are interested in and engaging with, but also in providing content that’s tailored to them. It’s a personalized conversation with your customers to build those relationships. 

5. Respond to data

In order to grow your business in any economic climate, rely on data rather than intuition. Smart business owners know that you shouldn’t make decisions without data-driven insights to back them up. Otherwise, you’re relying simply on luck, which is not a guarantee that you’ll beat the competition. Take the time to learn about your customers and any changes that have occurred in your industry, so you can chart the right course of action for your brand. 

It’s essential that you don’t lose sight of your company’s goals or avoid overlooking your current customers. It can be tempting to panic and try to gain new customers, but the ones you have now represent a strong foundation for keeping your business in a positive position. Focus on client retention and developing those relationships, as well as maintaining your reputation to instill trust and loyalty.

6. Optimize your Google Ads

When finances are tight, you don’t want to waste money unnecessarily. One area where that’s a risk is Google Ads. Digital advertising is a fantastic way to generate targeted traffic fast, but it’s also worth reviewing your ads to make sure you’re skipping any keywords that are no longer relevant or that aren’t garnering results. By telling Google you don’t want to show ads for negative keywords, you can optimize your spend and keep that marketing budget for better use today or further down the road. 

Contributed by Annie Button, an established business writer based in the UK who focuses on business growth and development, branding, digital marketing and HR trends to help businesses thrive. You can read her article about

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