Adapting your digital marketing strategy could help your business overcome the effects of inflation
Inflation as a consequence of the pandemic has affected most if not all industries, and digital marketing is no exception. As businesses try to overcome the challenges caused by the current economic state, it is necessary for companies to evaluate their digital marketing strategy to ensure they are reaching the right audience online.
What is inflation and how does it affect businesses?
As a marketing professional rather than an economist, it is probably best to give you a more official and informed definition of inflation! According to the IMF, inflation is a broad term used to describe the increased cost of living or an overall rise in prices. It is often mentioned in relation to a specific country.
Inflation: the global picture
With consumers spending less on non-essentials and focusing more on the necessities during times of inflation, we believe businesses will need a strong digital marketing strategy now more than ever, to ensure their product or service still entices new and existing consumers. As prices increase, so does the importance of having clear and consistent digital marketing.
Many countries are reporting the effect of increased cost of living on their economy, so adapting your digital marketing strategy to ensure you are correctly targeting consumers is the recommended approach.
Headlines from across the world
Is the economy in a recession?
Recession imminent in UK
Why a US recession could cause trouble for India
How can businesses adapt to meet the needs of consumers facing inflation?
One way to ensure that your business meets the needs of consumers is by remaining up-to-date with economic news. By doing this, you make sure that your business is sympathetic towards consumers’ needs in the current climate and can adapt to meet such needs.
As a female, UK-based consumer, whether it’s the weekly food shop, beauty products or any other purchases, I actively try to buy from brands that are ethically aware and do their part to help their community. Yes, I would say the cost of items is a factor in my decision-making - and it may become more important with the rise of inflation - but I honestly do pay a lot of attention to branding. Is the brand and its tone of voice consistent? Does the business have a user-friendly website and/or a well-designed shop? What is it doing to help its users and the environment?
The more a business, whether local or otherwise, has a strong overall brand, the more likely it is to gain my attention and make me think about purchasing the product or service.
A key point to remember is that as inflation rises, so does the need to have a strong digital marketing strategy to stand out from your competitors. This is because, as a business owner, the need to adapt to better target your consumers increases during challenging times.
“Production is the only answer to inflation”
Chester Bowles, American diplomat and co-founder of Benton & Bowles, an advertising agency (now part of Publicis Groupe).
But what does this really mean?
While there is more than one way to interpret this quote, I would say Chester is stating that the one solution to combat inflation is to continue innovating. By providing a product or service that uses new technology and is frequently updated to offer better solutions, you will help your business to remain relevant during such challenging times.
If you put yourself in the shoes of a consumer (and prospective customer of your business), then you can carefully think about, and truly appreciate, their need for innovative products and services. This is where customer personas are also really useful, as creating and refining personas helps you visualize your customers and critically assess their goals. The better your understanding of the target consumers’ aims and business needs, the more you can tailor your product or service and position it as a crucial resource for helping them reach their goals.
How does a digital marketing strategy fit into the process of adapting your business?
Well, to be frank, for many industries there is little point in adapting your product offering or service if you don’t ensure that your target audience is aware of the improvements you have made and how it can benefit them.
By adapting your digital marketing strategy, you can ensure that both existing and prospective customers are informed of changes and reminded of how you can help them. From email marketing to using social media to share business updates, digital marketing channels are broad and will enable you to spread the word about your business effectively and in the way you want.
How to adapt your digital marketing
So, how do you adapt your digital marketing strategy to grow your business? Be sure to consider the following points:
Maintain a consistent tone of voice across digital marketing channels
While LinkedIn will require a more formal tone than say Instagram, you still want your brand messaging to be consistent. You can achieve consistent brand messaging by ensuring you use an authentic writing style across all platforms.
Don't use language that feels 'forced' or isn't in-keeping with your brand: consumers can see right through this! Just because you’re adapting your business, doesn’t mean you should completely change the language you use to communicate with your followers.
Don’t forget, many of your existing followers on social media will already be familiar with your brand and some are likely to be existing customers of your business. So, a sudden or drastic difference in brand messaging or tone of voice could be picked up by them and may seem unauthentic and off putting.
Always keep your customer personas in mind
Whether you’re sharing a new blog via social media or you’re promoting a new product you’re offering, always consider customer personas when you adapt your digital marketing strategy. Think about their pain points and how your product or service enables them to overcome or minimize these.
Perhaps you’ve launched a new IT solution to reduce computer viruses, or you’ve updated your accounting software to make payroll more efficient - either way, you need to establish how this helps your target audience and communicate that to them.
Once you’ve identified the benefit of your product or service, make this clear via digital marketing and prospective customers will recognize the value your business could bring them.
Stay up-to-date with the latest news - both economic and general
Remaining informed about world events is very helpful, as you can then adapt your digital marketing to meet the needs of your target audience.
If you’re a local business, make sure you’re staying aware of local and national news, so your digital marketing remains topical.
For larger businesses, global news will help you maintain an awareness of what’s affecting your different markets. Again, your digital marketing will be relevant to your customers and will demonstrate compassion and understanding.
Understanding the importance of current affairs in how you position your business and your brand can help ensure you stand out from your competitors and may even help you gain engagement on social media too.
To find out more ways to adapt your digital marketing strategy and help grow your business during inflation, download our free 10 growth insights resource.
If you think this blog is helpful, but you don’t have a comprehensive marketing plan yet, don’t worry. Our free RACE resource will explain how to create this plan, so you can transform your digital marketing.
Do you now feel more aware of how to adapt your digital marketing strategy? If not, what other information would help you optimize your digital marketing? Comment below and let us know.
Perhaps you’re already adapting your marketing strategy to meet the needs of consumers during inflation. If so, we’d love to know how this is benefiting your business.
Know somebody who would gain something from reading this article? Why not share it with them, or with your social network, so you can help others find ways to improve their digital marketing and share tips with each other?