#CallRailChat AMA: Strategic Marketing in a Recession

Marketing experts Elise Connors of Anvil Analytics and Ryan Steinolfson of Accelerate Marketing joined #CallRailChat to discuss strategic pivoting during a recession.

Q1. How do I create a marketing strategy that remains sensitive to global events?

A1. Pay attention to what your community is saying. Social media is a gift during this time because we can be empathetic marketers. "Listen" 4x as much as you speak, and match your approach to your audience's needs and interests. #CallRailChat

When soliciting feedback on social media, listen first. Then find meaningful conversations in which you can participate. From there, try to weave your ask into the conversation, if it makes sense. People are on social media to socialize, so keep that in mind. - Elise Conners (@GirlNamedElise) May 14,2020

Q2. How do I create an effective campaign with a reduced budget?

A2. I would refocus on your audience. Double down on vetting out your customer avatar & do some more market research to make sure that you are answering the questions they are asking w/ ur mkting. Also take this down time to get reviews to increase conversions. #CallRailChat - Ryan Steinolfson (@RyanSteinolfson) May 14, 2020

Q3. What steps can be taken to secure business in the near term?

A3. Don't be afraid to advertise what you're selling, especially if you're running search ads. It's a disservice to the people who want your product/service not to offer it when they need it most. #CallRailChat - Elise Conners (@GirlNamedElise) May 14,2020

Q4. How do I measure campaign success during this time?

A4. The best way to measure campaign success for a business (revenue generated if it’s a Ecommerce biz) is with #CallTracking #phonecalls, #formfills, and chats started. Further down the list is website traffic & rankings on Google. #CallRailChat - Ryan Steinolfson (@RyanSteinolfson) May 14, 2020

Q5. Should I address global events on social media?

1. First things first, don't shy away from the situation at hand. It's fine to talk about COVID-19 and how it's impacting the world. It's especially awesome if your company is doing something to help people who've been affected by COVID. 2. Do something that aligns with your brand. At @anvilinsights, we know that there is a large education gap around analytics, so we're offering free training to help people upskill during this crisis. 3. @B2Community put together a list of examples of brands that are maximizing social media while remaining balanced with current events. - Elise Conners (@GirlNamedElise) May 14,2020

Q6. How do I target appropriate audiences during a recession?

A6. Work on conversions like phone calls, form fills & chats started because people are not going to physical locations. Focus on your companies #corevalues to connect to your audience. Invite people to chat w/ a human or call to create that #humanconnection. #CallRailChat - Ryan Steinolfson (@RyanSteinolfson) May 14, 2020

Q7. How do I set goals with a reduced budget?

A7. It's all about prioritization. Under ordinary circumstances, I would recommend clients run campaigns along every stage of the funnel. Right now, that's not the reality for most businesses.

Start by allocating budget to reach people who are already aware of you. Your branded search. If someone is searching for you by name, chances are, they're your people. Unless you're a huge company, you don't have to spend a lot to be effective here.

If you still have budget left over, look at retargeting campaigns that are action-oriented (i.e., takes someone directly into purchasing or becoming a lead). Put a bit of money there.

If you still have budget left over (lucky you!), put dollars into bottom of the funnel paid search campaigns. Only bid on terms where it's crystal clear that the person is looking for your company. - Elise Conners (@GirlNamedElise) May 14,2020

Q8. Is it appropriate to run paid marketing campaigns during a crisis?

A8. Yes! Increase ad spend now 😀. Our Google & Facebook cost per click have both decreased by about 20 - 40% because the competition is decreasing spend during recession. Watch your #costperconversion & keep spending as long as profitable. #CallRailChat - Ryan Steinolfson (@RyanSteinolfson) May 14, 2020

Q9. How can I craft competitive product/service offers that remain sensitive to customer needs right now?

A9. It's time to put on your researcher's cap and ask your customers. Pick up the phone. Send out an email. Do something to connect with them and figure out what they need most right now. #CallRailChat - Elise Conners (@GirlNamedElise) May 14,2020

Q10. What are some creative ways you’ve seen small businesses overcome economic hurdles to drive revenue the last couple of months?

A10. I hate to say it, but a lot of it boils down to resiliency vs. creativity. Everyone is struggling in some way, and the businesses that are thriving financially are the ones who aren't afraid to pivot and, in fact, embrace the necessary change with open arms. #CallRailChat - Elise Conners (@GirlNamedElise) May 14,2020

A10. We have trained our #propertymanagers to incorporate #virtualtours of properties. To show properties via Zoom & send recorded #screencast videos when they cannot meet w/ owners live in order to demonstrate they are #marketingleaders. #CallRailChat - Ryan Steinolfson (@RyanSteinolfson) May 14, 2020