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Don’t let your brand get left behind – 5 ways to drive growth in an economic downturn

By Alex Beddoe | Head of Social

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November 15, 2022 | 8 min read

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As economic headwinds turn and marketing budgets tighten, marketers around the world are asking the same question: “Another one?”

Toy train on a track

A quieter playground is easier to draw the right attention for your business.

Humor aside, with Bloomberg Economic models pointing towards a near 100% chance of a recession both in the US and the UK, we’d wager good money (if we had it) that you’ve already seen your organization batten down the hatches by cutting budgets for brand awareness campaigns.

We could go on for hours about why organizations need to lean head-first into brand campaigns during a downturn – something Peter Field, Les Binet and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) have proven time and time again. Instead, we’ve got five ways you can use LinkedIn to play the field to your advantage. Because the quieter the playground, the easier it is to draw the right attention.

Creativity isn’t a silver bullet, but it helps

System1 and The B2B Institute’s ‘star score’ research highlights the link between creative advertising performance and growth. But with B2B ads being 154x more likely to score one star than four to five on their scale, B2B creative has an alarmingly high chance of driving zero audience actions and 0% market share growth... ouch.

LinkedIn Pinata

How can you fix this? Well, if you want to smash it on LinkedIn, you need to optimize your content for the outcome you’re looking for. Try repackaging your content as Carousel ads. Or give Video ads a go – 75% of B2B audiences find them more engaging than other formats. It’s all about thinking creatively and trying different formats to suit your needs.

It’s not brand or demand – it’s both

There’s no denying it – brands that invest in long-term brand-building alongside short-term sales activation have a major advantage over the competition post-recession. And the same applies to your LinkedIn campaigns.

LinkedIn - Dog with Tennis Ball

Avoid getting left behind by leveraging the platform’s wealth of full-funnel advertising options to balance your brand marketing with demand. Use LinkedIn’s audience-, objective- and format-based targeting tactics to build awareness with formats such as Video ads, then drive action with tactics built for retargeting such as Message ads and Lead Gen Forms.

Capture emotions for greater effectiveness

Using emotion creatively in your advertising has been shown to contribute to growth in the long term – acquiring, on average, 198 times more followers on LinkedIn. And as video generally evokes stronger emotions than static formats, Video ads are a great way to capture the hearts and minds of your audience.

LinkedIn Camera

As a general rule of thumb, successful LinkedIn Video ads are built for sound-off experiences, use people to drive a narrative and balance information with entertainment. So, get your director’s chair out and ‘lights, camera, action’ your way to audience engagement.

You don’t have to pay to win

If you can’t get the investment you need to address long- and short-term metrics, you can always go organic. By focusing on creating a lower quantity of high-value, repurposable content, you can build your brand without any budget.

LinkedIn Teas Strainer

When done right, you’ll have content that you can splice into a range of LinkedIn’s organic formats and pair with a paid ad campaign – driving more targeted messaging to those further in your customer journey. We call that the perfect blend.

Invest in trust, if nothing else

People buy from the brands they trust. And when there’s less budget to go around, your audience’s opinion of your brand can make a world of difference – especially in B2B. When looking to aid customer attraction and long-term retention, you need to evaluate where you stand in the market.

LinkedIn Lego House

Addressing customer needs and doing what you say you do on platforms such as LinkedIn helps to effectively build brand trust. For you, that could look like an executive thought leadership strategy that ties into your brand’s long-term aims, or an employee advocacy campaign that aligns your purpose with business capability.

Looking for more guidance on crafting high-performing LinkedIn campaigns? Visit Hubbub, your go-to resource for LinkedIn content and creative inspiration, platform how-tos and best practices created by Transmission, a LinkedIn Marketing Partner.

Modern Marketing Brand Strategy Brand Purpose

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Transmission

Transmission is the world’s largest independent global B2B marketing agency.

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