A man sits in an empty cafe in front of an open laptop. He has gray hair and is wearing glasses and a chambray shirt. His hands are folded and held to his mouth in concern.
Recessions are tough for business owners, but there are ways to keep your business steady and retain your customer base without cutting anything essential. — Getty Images/ljubaphoto

When a recession hits, most business owners start looking for ways to cut costs and lower overhead. But it’s important to continue marketing your business, so you don’t jeopardize your long-term growth. Here are six ways to market your business during a recession.

Build customer loyalty

Hanging onto your current customers should be your primary goal during a recession. Marketing to your existing customers is more effective and less expensive than trying to find new ones. During a recession, a loyal customer can be one of your business’s biggest assets.

To build customer loyalty, you should start by listening to your customers. Talk to them on social media, send them surveys, and encourage them to provide feedback on your products and services. This will help you build a relationship with your customers and learn what they’re looking for.

You should also look for ways to improve the customer experience. For example, could you launch a loyalty program that rewards your customers for doing business with you? Or would your customers appreciate more flexible payment options?

[Read more: B2B Sales Techniques for Building a Loyal Customer Base]

Develop a unique selling proposition

During a recession, consumers are more selective about what they spend money on. So you’re going to have to work harder to build their trust and let them know why they should invest in your product or service.

You can do this by creating a unique selling proposition (USP) — this is a specific benefit that sets your business apart from its competitors. Your USP explains how you solve your customers’ problems in a way no other company does. And once you understand your USP, you can use it in your marketing copy and advertisements.

Invest in content marketing

Content marketing is an excellent, low-cost way to continue to market your business. It involves creating informative and relevant content to engage your target audience.

Instead of selling your audience, you’re creating helpful content and providing value to them. Over time, many of these individuals will become loyal customers.

During a recession, making any major changes to your marketing strategy is not a good idea.

To get started with content marketing, you want to create a content strategy. This is a plan that outlines your goals, your audience, and the type of content you’ll share. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 65% of the most successful content marketers have a documented strategy in place.

[Read more: 10 Best Ways to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing]

Pay attention to your competitors

During a recession, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your competitors and how they’re handling the situation. If you notice that your competitors are cutting back on their marketing, this presents an opportunity for your business to get ahead.

[Read more: 6 Steps to Market Your Business in a Competitive Market]

Offer tiered services

Tiered pricing is a great way to attract customers with a wide range of budgets. You may offer three to five different pricing tiers and gradually increase the value with each package.

Most customers like tiered pricing because it gives them more choices. They can start with a low-priced service and then upgrade later once they’re financially ready.

For that reason, tiered pricing can be an excellent way to upsell your current customers. And tiered pricing makes it harder for customers to compare your prices to what your competitors charge.

Stay consistent

During a recession, making any major changes to your marketing strategy is not a good idea. Don’t use a recession as an opportunity to rebrand or make any significant changes to your company name or business model.

Making significant changes is unlikely to bring in new customers; it will likely just confuse your current customer base and cause you to lose sales. Instead, focus on staying consistent with what you’re already doing. Recessions don’t last forever, so your main goal should be to remain in business once it’s over.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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