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7 Advertising Strategies That Can Work During A Slowdown

Kate William

9 min read

It’s been a while since the coronavirus has been with us and changed our entire lives. From our lifestyle, work to the way we do business, everything has changed drastically. In a moment like this, many businesses put an end to their promotional activities. Investing money in advertising seems like a luxury to some businesses. 

If you’re stuck with your business and not sure how to market your service, then we got your back. Here we’ve shared seven creative advertising strategies for you. Because putting an end to advertise is not an option! So, what’s the wait? Let’s get started with some real-life examples to convince you why advertising during a slowdown may not be a bad idea! 

Why You Should Continue Advertising During Slowdown

When we talk about advertising during a slowdown, you will start thinking negatively. But continuing advertising during slowdown will help you to grow your business for the long term. You see, when you invest in advertising and show up in front of your customers during a crisis, they’ll remember your brand. And when everything ends, and your customers gain money, they’ll go to your company first. 

During the 1990-91s recession, McDonald’s decided to stop their advertising and promotional activities. On the other hand, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell used this opportunity to market their product. And the result was surprising. Pizza Hut managed to increase their sale by a whopping 61%, and Taco Bell increased by 40%. In contrast, McDonald’s sales decreased by 28%.

Another great example of marketing amid a slowdown is Amazon. During 2009’s recession, the tech giant didn’t stop advertising and continued innovating new products. One such product is Kindle. In 2009 Amazon’s customers bought ebooks more than printed ones and helped the company grow its sales by 28%. Their innovation created an attractive image of Amazon as they introduced a cost-effective alternative option during the recession.  

Cutting down your advertising expenses may seem a profitable option during a slowdown, but in the future, it will impact positively. This will create a positive, kind, empathic brand image in front of your customers.

Changes that Shape Advertising Strategies During Slowdown

Back in the month of March, when the pandemic hit and everyone was entering the uncertain zone, several brands took a back step with their advertising strategies. The economic industry was suffering from supply issues, and the travel industry was struggling with an uncertain future. When everyone was trying to settle in the new normal, online educational platforms, gaming, and entertainment industries witnessed a huge hike in their profits. 

During the slowdown, people start to engage more with social media and social ads. According to a research report, people spend 36% more time online during a crisis. As people are spending more time, online businesses have a tremendous opportunity to advertise their brand and engage with their customers through social channels. 

Here we can give you an example of L’Oréal’s advertising strategies. One of the biggest names in the cosmetic industry- L’Oréal, changed its advertising plans by shifting its channel preference, creative strategies, formats, etc. Recently, L’Oréal launched its first digital-only make-up tool to advertise their brand more to social media users. 

The digital make-up tool will allow you to wear various make-up looks virtually. Their target audience, who are active on Snapchat, Google Duo, and Instagram, can use these make-up looks even while attending video conferences! Cool, isn’t it?

Just like L’Oréal, your business too can grow amid uncertainty. Read on to know why your company should adopt creative advertising strategies during slowdown….

Why Your Business Need to Adopt Online Advertising Strategies Right Now

Several brands may think their customers are not interested to see their advertising during a slowdown. But the fact is, your customers want you to show up more during the time of a crisis. A survey by GlobalWebIndex stated that 77% of the respondents said they want to see advertisements to know how brands are providing value in the time of a slowdown.

According to Brain & Co, businesses that stop taking action during a slowdown end up losing their market share, while brands that take action during a crisis tend to grow remarkably.

When your competitors are cutting down their costs during a slowdown, you can fight back with an online platform. We can give multiple reasons why you should go online to advertise your brand:

  • In this uncertain situation, online advertising platforms will give you real-time consumer data. You can use this data to identify your customers’ behavior and recent trends. 
  • Online advertising campaigns are flexible. You can modify your ad campaigns based on real-time data.
  • The online ad is way cheaper than any other advertising strategies. With online advertisement, you can easily turn your leads into customers without spending a huge amount.
  • As we mentioned before, due to the crisis, people are spending most of their time online. That’s why you must shift your advertising strategies online. 

Now that you are well aware of the importance of online advertising, here are seven tested and proven advertising strategies for your business:

1. Listen to Your Customers

Every crisis leaves a major impact on your customers’ behaviors. During a slowdown, you’ll always witness a massive change in their spending or buying behavior. Their decisions will be based on isolation, fear, anxiety, etc. 

In this situation, you have to show empathy to your customers. Your brand should listen to your customers’ expectations and frustration during the slowdown. A recent survey by Statista said customers want to receive hopeful and positive messages from the advertisements. And to give them a positive message, first, you have to listen to them carefully. You have to provide them with care and support.

Customer survey tools are perfect for social listening. You can craft engaging surveys to know what your consumers are talking about your company, competitions, and their needs. That’s why SurveySparrow designed their customer survey tools to listen to them with empathy. You can even customize the surveys with logos, fonts, and colors to reflect the brand’s identity. Here’s a survey created using SurveySparrow to check customer pulse.. 

To create similar engaging surveys, you can create a FREE account on SurveySparrow

For instance, during the covid crisis, most companies shifted online to keep their business running. As a result, most business teams and individual employees faced several communication and collaboration problems. SurveySparrow decided to resolve their customers’ problems by offering free accounts, a self-help portal & an exclusive ready-to-use form catalog to help team members and employees stay connected even when they physically miles apart. With this non-profit initiative, SurveySparrow helps employees, communities, companies, governments, and NGOs worldwide during this crisis. 

2. Advertise using Email Marketing

If you have a tight budget and you can’t spend your money on online ads- always count on email marketing! I mean, why are you even building that email list for so long? 

According to Campaign Monitor, you’ll get $44 for every $1 spent. Also, nearly 82% of marketers spend only 0-20% of their marketing budget on email marketing. By now, I guess you realized the value of emails during a slowdown! 

Emails are probably the most cost-effective advertising strategies you can leverage. You can reach out to your target audience and expect high returns by providing a special offer, discounts to your valuable customers to show them empathy. You can even send offers to your target audience to advertise your brand effectively. 

Another example of email marketing would be sharing tips and hacks related to your product. For instance, if you are a fitness brand, you can send newsletters to your subscribers with health tips, workout routines. The main goal of your emails will be to sell your products while providing value to your customers. 

3. Go Live

If you are a small or local business owner, then we suggest you advertise your service via Facebook and Instagram live. We already know that live videos have a better engagement than pre-recorded ones. According to HubSpot, in 2019, internet users spend more than 1.1 billion hours watching live videos. Wait, there’s more; the video streaming market is expected to hit 184.3 billion by 2027.  

So, you already understand the value of live videos in advertising. With live videos, it will be easy for you to connect with your customers. You can go live and answer your customers’ questions, conduct webinars, interview with influencers, etc. For instance, if you are an owner of a beauty brand, you can go live and give your audience a demo to keep them up to date with your business offerings. 

4. Build Brand Awareness

It’s true that you have to put extra effort into advertising plans during a slowdown. You have to be more consistent with your brand presence and engage with customers. At this time, you must develop different advertising strategies to promote your services. For example, during the 1920s Great Depression, famous brand Kellogg’s doubled their advertising expenditure. The results? They saw a whopping 30% of profits. And, they are still in the top position! 

You can start by building a strong presence on several social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. Next, move on to building brand awareness through blogs, PR content, emails, newsletters, paid ads, etc. So, the point is, you should never stop advertising your brand, even in the time of a slowdown.

5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

One of the most profitable advertising strategies you can adopt during a slowdown is- PPC ads. When the market is going down, you’ll want to get potential leads and increase sales as quickly as possible. Pay-per-click ads are the best way to generate quick leads, promote services, and level up your business game. 

Online advertising allows you to build brand awareness, engage with customers. On top of that, PPC ads are very cost-effective. When you run PPC ads on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms, your potential consumers will know about your business. Through this platform, you can target your customers by their work, interest, what they’re searching for on social media, etc.

6. Automation is the Ultimate Solution

You can always trust automation and digital advertising to cut down your costs and save money during a slowdown. Automation tools save your money and time by performing multiple operations efficiently. 

For instance, you can integrate a chatbot on your website to resolve your customers’ questions. Chatbots can also help you to take orders and share Important resources with your customers. This will save a lot of money on customer service. Also, you can collect actionable data from them to sell your service later. 

According to Business Insider, approximately 67% of customers used chatbots in 2018. It is also expected that the chatbot market size will grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion. So, during a slowdown, you must invest in a chatbot. If you provide services like consultations or if your customers need to book appointments, you can integrate chatbots easily. 

But before integrating a chatbot on your website, make sure it has features like no-coding, logic-branching, pipe, and personalization, etc. With our SurveySparrow Feedbot, you’ll get such features. For instance: 

  • No-Code Creation: Use a chatbot that allows you to create a chatbot without any programming knowledge. Make sure it lets you embed it on the website easily and conduct changes automatically.
  • Real-time Data: A perfect chatbot will allow you to analyze the customer data in real-time. Chatbots will help you to filter responses, export reports effortlessly. 
  • Themes & CSS: With customizable themes and CSS, you can easily style your chatbot to engage more audience. You can even customize the bot with an avatar, picture, and actionable responses. 

7. Increase Your Website Visibility

During a slowdown, invest more in online visibility. Cybersecurityventures predicted that by 2022, there would be 6 billion internet users and 7.5 billion users by 2030. As modern customers spend more time online, they will search for your online presence. You can optimize your website to target them easily. Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to increase your website visibility. 

However, you may get disappointed to read this, but website optimization is not a one night game! You can’t expect immediate results right after optimizing your website. But, the thing is, the slowdown may affect some of your competitors. Now, if you’re fortunate enough to thrive during the crisis, then think long-term and use this advantage to improve your online visibility. Here are a few steps you can take to invest in your website and shine after the slowdown:

  • You can run a website audit to identify what’s happening in your industry and plan SEO accordingly.
  • If your website has any technical errors, fix them. It will be easier for Google to read your website. 
  • Keyword strategy is another excellent part of boosting your site visibility. 
  • Create valuable content that is not available in your industry or missing from your competitors’ websites. 
  • Invest in long-term SEO to get traffic in the future and always stay prepared for the next economic slowdown. 

There you go; here is your list of seven different types of advertising strategies. Experiment with these ideas to understand what works best for your business. But, before jumping to a conclusion, let’s take a glimpse at some more advertising tips you can try during the slowdown. 

Things to Consider in Your Advertising Strategies During Slowdown

You can follow different advertising strategies during a slowdown, but make sure to adopt a few more techniques to advertise your business effectively. For instance:

  • During the time of a crisis, businesses that sell necessary services or products can thrive in any situation. So, if you aren’t selling must-have products during a slowdown, it’s time to rethink and shift your business offerings.
  • During a slowdown, you must pay special attention to the advertising budget. You have to decide whether you want to cut down your advertising expenses or want to keep it the same. Whatever you decide, make sure your advertising plans are matching with your budget. During a slowdown, focus on different online channels like Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and YouTube to advertise your service.
  • In a moment of crisis, always stay true to your brand voice. Your brand’s voice must reflect emotions so that it attracts more customers’ attention and loyalty. You can convey your same brand mission and values. However, while advertising, try to stay away from controversial or incentive messages.
  • When advertising on an online platform, try different versions of button copy, ad copy, keywords, and colors. You can A/B test your advertising campaigns to understand what works best for your business. Next, you can prioritize which ad is generating more leads and profits. This will help you to drive sales and save money.

That’s All Folks!

There’s no question that advertising during a slowdown or crisis can be challenging. Because in the middle of all the uncertainty, you have to trust your instincts and take a risk. Moreover, your customers’ behavior will change rapidly during this time. Amid all these tensions, if your business manages to survive through hard times, consider yourself lucky, and share this news with your customers. 

Strong advertising will reflect your brand’s strength and let customers know that you and your employees are available for them. So go ahead! Because now is the perfect time to plan your advertising strategies and market your business wisely. Provide your customers offers, discounts, free services; in short, make them your priority. And always remember that during a slowdown, your focus should be on serving first and selling later!

Kate William

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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