Black Rock Guide to Content Marketing in A Recession

We don’t know when it’s coming but the reason why you are reading this is because you know it will at some point. Preparation can turn a short term negative into a long term positive for your business. I have been lucky enough to start both my businesses in separate recessions, a few months before the economic meltdown post Sept 11th ’01 and 2008 when this time it felt like the recession was waiting for me.

I believe that the key to winning during a recession is to batten down the hatches ready to take a battering but while the storm swirls outside, marketing is your way out of it. Many business owners become paralysed by fear and spend each day fire-fighting issues instead of going on the offensive.

A recession is very similar to the storm in the film Forrest Gump. In case you haven’t seen the movie, Forrest is on a small shrimping boat with his lunatic friend ‘Lieutenant Dan’. After several weeks fishing with no shrimp, the boat was hit by a hurricane and every shrimp boat in the state was destroyed, apart from one boat called ‘Jenny’. After this, the empire built itself – as they had the momentum. Your job is to be the last person standing.

In a recession money gets tighter for everyone, which means customers are looking for the safest pair of hands. They want to know that any money spent is working harder than ever to keep things moving. While budget companies can and do thrive in a struggling market, it’s not always about being the cheapest, it’s about being the most trusted – and if you’re providing the most value with your content marketing, it will get noticed.

What can you do to prepare?

  1. Trust is earned over time and every piece of great content you create builds your brand and people’s faith in it. Now is the time to show yourself off as the expert and hit home your USP’s again and again. 
  2. When the recession hits, so will the panic which means all subtlety in digital advertising will go out of the window and we will be subjected to ‘panic advertising’. We know from history that this is an ineffective strategy, however, it’s a natural reaction for people to try and keep the money bloodline flowing. The most effective content and advertising will bring value which will cut through the noise like a hot knife through butter. This is how you can make your marketing budget work 10x harder than your competitor’s.
  3. Utilise this time. While we are all worried about it, we haven’t hit the dreaded ‘R’ word yet, and people are still spending – so if you are not at full capacity and can get more customers then start now so you can have a head start, and maybe even stock pile some cash for reserves. 

Is your content working hard enough?

Are you utilising your digital ad spend well enough?

If the answer is no then it’s time to have a think about how to turn that around before it becomes harder and the panic advertising sets in. When the next recession hits you can do what most people do and go on the defensive or like Lieutenant Dan you can go on the offensive and punch it right in the face. 

Thanks for reading, if you are struggling with your digital marketing or online ads, why not give us a call and let us help you make a plan to maximise your budgets? Black Rock Media is digital social media and advertising agency based in Brighton. For more information or to chat to one of us in the office, drop us a line on