When markets are unstable and the economy slows down, businesses tend to take a closer look at their spending (rightfully so!). Unnecessary expenses are reduced or cut altogether, while even critical expenses are examined closely, with departments and leaders being asked to make tough decisions and do more with less.
Advertisers and marketers are well-acquainted with these economic pressures. Often, they’re asked to slash advertising budgets or reallocate to cost-effective, scalable advertising channels where value and ROI can be carefully measured and calibrated—even as those businesses are hoping to continue delivering the same results as in the past.
In reality, the best approach to optimizing your ad spending isn’t by slashing ad budgets or foregoing advertising altogether. Instead, your business should focus on ways to better manage your spending and lean into engaging strategies that optimize spending while maintaining a solid presence across television, online, and mobile advertising channels.
Here are seven tips to help you achieve this advertising overhaul.
1. SHIFT FROM 30-SECOND TO 15-SECOND TELEVISION COMMERCIALS
Maintaining a presence on cable TV is important if you’ve already been investing into that channel. If you disappear altogether, you also may disappear from the minds of your audience. But you can still maintain brand awareness and engage a TV audience by investing into shorter TV spots that lower your overhead considerably.
In many cases, these smaller spots can be created just by editing down your original 30-second ad. This saves money on production while also reducing your TV ad spending.
2. SHIFT ADS TO MORE AFFORDABLE, HIGHER-INDEXING NETWORKS AND SHOWS
Index-based buying can help you optimize your spending by identifying networks and channels that offer a high index and relevance to your business, but which come at a lower price-point. This is a useful strategy regardless of overall economic conditions, but it’s even more valuable when you’re under pressure to reduce your ad spending.
A local kitchen supplies company, for example, could shift spending from more costly programming on the Food Network to relevant cooking programs on less prominent cable channels that offer a similar audience at a lower advertising price point.
3. SWITCH TO MEDIA THAT ALLOW PRECISE TARGETING OF CUSTOMERS, AND PROVIDES DETAILED TRACKING
Advertising like TV Everywhere, digital video, and social media offer exceptional tracking capabilities that let you target a niche audience and monitor their response to your ads. A local HVAC company could use this in place of its traditional ad strategy to gather much more detailed information about their customer base and how their ads are being received.
4. LAYER IN STREAMING VIDEO ADS
About 75 percent of all consumers pay for streaming subscription services and TV-connected devices as a supplement to other types of media. These channels offer precise targeting and can be a valuable supplement to cable TV ad campaigns.
5. ADAPT EXISTING CAMPAIGNS INSTEAD OF DEVELOPING NEW ONES
Your existing ad content can be repurposed to form new campaigns, or even perform across other advertising channels. Display ads can be repurposed for social media, for example, and TV ads can be adapted for digital video.
By reducing the cost of ad creation, you can cut costs on advertising and generate more value from your existing content. This lowers the overall cost of advertising without directly reducing your ad campaign visibility.
6. CONSOLIDATE ADVERTISING WITH A SINGLE PARTNER
When you work with the right advertising partner to manage your goals and campaigns, , you generate efficiencies of scale by simplifying management and improving the coordination of ads and ad spending. You can also receive the benefit of media-buying discounts, which further economize your business advertising.
7. REVISE MESSAGING TO REINFORCE YOUR EMOTIONAL CONNECTION WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
During periods of economic instability, consumers are looking for reassuring messages that demonstrate understanding and empathy during difficult times.
For service providers, this could mean creating ads that offer flexibility to their long-standing policies, or showcasing efforts to support community members during those difficult times. Demonstrating your business’ value to your customers is vital to maintaining that relationship and positioning your company as a potential resource during times of need.
When economic disruptions send advertising into flux, shutting your campaigns down is not the best move for your business. Instead, it’s time to get resourceful and creative when seeking out strategies to maintain a brand presence through uncertain times.
About the Author
Sara is the Content Marketing Manager for Cox Media's corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than seven years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media's current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the (now virtual!) office, Sara loves spending time running, reading and supporting her favorite teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).View All of Sara's Blogs