Use the Downturn as a Launch Pad

Can Expertise Help Save Your Business in the Downturn?

Do you believe an economic downturn is just ahead?  Many ordinary business people are pulling out their survival playbook as the government engineers yet another recession.

Hard to see a sunny side in what may be ahead, yet a downturn may present once in a blue moon opportunities to grab market leadership. It’s doable because everyone else is cutting back and checking out.

One of the fundamental ideas I promote here on the SEO blog, is that market leadership has lasting value.

Be the Challenger: Anytime you can appear as the leading brand, even in a recession, it stills counts. The main advantage of being the dominant leader is in how they block out competitors. Any lapse in their dominance, presents opportunities to get some precious visibility, and grab some leads who may have reasons to leave them.

Previously, they didn’t know you existed. But awareness can launch some great things.  Startups and SMB’s especially should be using this time to excel. Waiting for the recovery is too late, as the leading brands restart their marketing programs.

They’ve spent a lot of money, so maybe they can coast for a while, but it’s not wise. Competitors will catch them and get attention.

One particularly important point is that if the market leaders choose to up their marketing efforts, and you cut back, you may not make it through a tough recession. I had several clients decide to cut in 2009 and they went out of business. It was a short sharp recession, but recoverable. We learn through experience.

Why do companies pull back in marketing in a recession, if there’s an opportunity to jump ahead of competitors? Poor decision making arises from old business concepts, budgeting preferences, copycatting, using perceived cheap alternatives, and a lack of confidence.

The Perfect Opportunity

An economic downturn (usually of short duration) can be one of grandest opportunities for a company to take market leader position as the best brand available. While others collapse and reach becomes cheaper, you can establish a message that will last for a decade.

During downturns, customers review their product/service choices making this one of the few times you can impact them with your offer. SEO can help you achieve visibility, short term sales goals, while helping you build long term brand value as well. It’s not free, but compared to big ad budget spending, it’s a bargain.

Harvard Business Review offered their advice for business during a downturn. Their response leans heavily to conservative, hold the fort, cut spending, be cautious and all that. But they miss the competitive opportunity — the competition is withdrawing from the marketplace.

Power Right Out of the Recession as the New Market Leader

The point that should be made is that you can capture the audience and influencers, and build top brand recognition. That’s simply reaching audiences, engaging them frequently, making them re-envision their own product preferences and values so that your product seems superior.

With this, you don’t have to make expensive product improvements such as new digital services. You’re just reaching them, engaging, entertaining, and drawing their attention, and the result is they forget why they liked the market leaders.  The ultimate objective is to get them to forget their favorite and help them make the switch to yours.

“Market leader strategy simply captures full attention while competitors fade into the mist”

 

Screenshot courtesy of HBR.org’s how to market in a downturn.

SEO Offers the Highest Reach and Best Targeting Possible

You likely know all about Google ppc leads. They’re pretty good. Not as good as a top organic search rankings, but you can’t argue a first page presence.

See other blog posts about performance, brand awareness, and cost per leads and you’ll recognize how Google is a key channel in the digital marketing era. 57% of all online sales happen via Google. B2B sales is likely much higher especially in terms of lifetime revenue.

Google plus social media exposure combine to provide persistent presence so the message you establish doesn’t fade.

Google helps us achieve reach, awareness, impact and engagement, leads and customer loyalty. As a business owner, is there anything else you need?

There’s many tools you could use, but few can compete with content and search engine optimization — and they support your other channels.

SEO Has Awesome Potential

Business owners, web design agencies, and marketing managers lack insight into advanced level search engine optimization strategies, and techniques. Why? Two reasons: advanced SEO is complex, and because the word free has tainted the profession. Free means its brand value is low therefore why think about all this advanced stuff?

The value though is extremely high — the best of the digital channels.

Millions of web designers, marketeers, and web agencies added SEO to their service mix (to get leads), which has degraded its perceived value.

Outsource to Canadian SEO Consultant

This is definitely is a curse and it’s even lead to severe erosion of competitiveness for US businesses. The right decision is to outsource to a Canadian SEO expert. Businesses from Boston to San Diego to San Francisco have outsourced to me. It’s more affordable and much more value is delivered. Million visit results aren’t so painful.

Generate SEO Results Through Other Means?

Business managers believe the real value with SEO is brought out by other elements such as copywriting, promotion, technical improvements, and low cost link builders. They dance around the expert matter and maintain a limited view of what high level sophisticated SEO can do and what it’s worth.

Additionally, some companies aren’t willing to commit to high quality content and strong promotion. So sophisticated SEO then won’t have the digital assets to achieve what it might. If failure is expected, then why use it? You can hire a formula one race car driver, but if you have an old car with no gasoline, you’re not going far anyway.

Professional Race Car Driver’s Earn Millions

The crux of the matter is whether you provide the SEO strategist with the tools, resources, and support needed to plan and build a dominant position. Race car drivers don’t do much other than leverage the assets others have created. They get paid ridiculous sums for diving million dollar vehicles.

There are many tricky, clever ways to maximize Google rankings and traffic to corral the highest quality leads from it. From copywriting, UVP presentation, impactful visual assets, industry sponsorships and partnerships, timely promotions, and large scale social media engagement techniques, you can engineer an industry dominant position.

I won’t say money can beat all, but it can hire the best pros and then success is almost certain.

Poor Insight is a Big Problem

Part of an SEO consultant’s job is to conduct a digital marketing audit, or at least an SEO audit and determine what the problem is. It’s not always a lack of funding, although that is the number one factor. Other reasons for low results could be:

  • lack of insight, research, testing systems and access to important data
  • lack of expertise in content topics (industry experience and expertise)
  • lack of professional content design and content strategy
  • brand image is so poor it ruins everything
  • lack of consistent, powerful branding to keep up to top competitors
  • insufficient promotional support to ideal audiences to get the project off on the right foot
  • the in-house SEo has limited understanding of the full 360 degree marketing challenge

I think you might get the picture that excellence is missing and this erodes confidence in any and all marketing talents and assets. Opportunities take time to find and capitalize on. There’s a lot of optimism, creativity, imagination and determination needed to be successful. A good plan, expertise and stamina will win out.

Success doesn’t come easy even if you have the best SEO expert working for you.

What if you pass on the agency and instead supply the SEO specialist with what’s required? It does work, because there are websites sitting at the top of the rankings that are poorly optimized with thin content and a poor user experience. They defy all the elements that Google’s core algorithm is supposed to enforce.

The truth is, that core ranking algorithm really only applies to weak small businesses and small publishers who are trying hard to compete. Those companies have been targeted by Google to pay for ppc ads. They’ve made billions of profit from it, which tells you that top search engine exposure should be job number one.

Learn more about high level SEO and commit to a successful strategy.

Gord Collins | Advanced SEO Strategy | AI MarketingMarketing Agencies in California |  Marketing Service San Diego | Marketing Audit | Predictive Software | Software Marketing StartupsSEO Linkedin | Search Engine Optimization Company

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