With talk of an oncoming recession, we at B2Linked have been reminded of a previous podcast episode on the effects COVID-19 had on LinkedIn Ads.
During the pandemic, we experienced a mini recession of sorts. Though we can’t expect the exact same things to happen again, if a recession does hit, we may see some similar effects.
Here are our predictions for how a recession could affect LinkedIn Ads and what you can do as an advertiser to either be prepared or take advantage. Let’s hit it!
A Decrease in Costs
The pandemic resulted in a lot of advertisers cutting back on budgets, especially at the beginning. If a recession does happen, we can likely expect the same thing to happen again.
As advertising budgets are cut, this decreases the amount of competition on various social platforms, LinkedIn included. For that reason, it’s actually a huge advantage for advertisers to continue investing in LinkedIn Ads during a recession.
The decrease in competition typically leads to lower costs per click because not as many advertisers are bidding or spending on the platform. Lower costs per click tend to result in lower costs down funnel, so lower costs overall.
A recession is by no means something to look forward to, but news of a LinkedIn Ads discount is hopefully a little bit of a silver lining.
Some Industries Will Fare Better Than Others
It’s no secret that if a recession hit, it would negatively impact a lot of businesses, but it likely wouldn’t have a negative impact on all. In fact, some industries may fare better than others.
Those industries that would be negatively impacted would be “nice-to-haves” or nonessentials. Those that are more of a necessity may still do well during a recession.
As an example, a couple industries that could struggle might be those that offer sales training or recruiting services. They make our jobs easier, but businesses can get by until the recession is over in order to save and survive.
On the other hand, businesses still need a way to manage and nurture contacts, so CRM software is an example of an industry that could thrive during a recession.
For those in industries who might have a harder time, framing your ad messaging in a way that positions you as more of a necessity will be key.
Focus on your customer pain points and how you solve them. Remember that their problems need to be so severe that they’d be willing to overcome any amount of friction required to relieve their burdens.
If applicable, help them understand how investing in your business could actually save them during the recession.
A Hiring Freeze
With new employees comes new expenses, so we might expect employers to hire very minimally during a recession.
In addition, businesses will likely cut third party vendors in order to save, just as they’ll likely cut budgets in certain departments, like Marketing.
This could either be good or bad for agencies.
On one hand, an agency partnership could be severed in order to save a company money. On the other hand, companies may find more value in hiring an agency for their expertise rather than hiring someone internal to keep it in-house.
So if you run a digital marketing agency, follow the same recommendations outlined in the previous section: focus on your customer pain points–the ones that keep your prospects up at night–and how the services you offer are necessary in relieving them.
Adjust Messaging to Be More Empathetic
This one goes without explaining it too much. A recession is going to make it hard for everybody. No one is exempt.
So be sensitive to the feelings and struggles your audience might be experiencing. Be understanding and empathetic in your LinkedIn Ads messaging. Use humor. Anything to lighten the load or add value to your audience.
Focus on Efficiency
As already mentioned, marketing budgets are likely to get cut in the case of a recession. That means that, if there’s any budget leftover to continue running LinkedIn Ads, there’ll be a much greater emphasis needed on efficiency vs volume.
Here are two simple ways to improve efficiency in your LinkedIn Ads:
- Bid by Manual CPC. More often than not, this bidding strategy will help decrease costs dramatically. Just be sure to bid lower than what LinkedIn recommends. You should be able to spend your full budget without bidding nearly as high as what’s suggested. We did a whole post on why Manual CPC bidding beats bidding by impressions 90% of the time, so feel free to check it out for more on this subject.
- Cut underperforming campaigns and focus on those that are performing well. This strategy really only works if you’re micro-segmenting your audience, which we highly recommend doing, because it allows you to drill down on those segments of your audience that are driving meaningful results, improving efficiency and decreasing LinkedIn Ad costs. For more on how to execute an audience segmentation strategy on LinkedIn Ads, see this post.
The thought of a recession is scary to most of us. We know that with anything like this comes a level of uncertainty, but our hope is that the predictions and recommendations outlined in this post will arm you with what you need to prepare and maintain LinkedIn Ad success.
We love this community of LinkedIn Ads enthusiasts and, by extension, the digital marketing community. We greatly appreciate the chances we have to learn from and collaborate with you.
The times ahead may not be easy, but we’re confident we can get through it together. That said, is there anything you might add to this list? What are your predictions or recommendations on the forecasted recession? We’d love to hear from you, so comment below!
If you found this article helpful and your LinkedIn Ads performance is important to you, consider applying to work with our team of experts. We’ve managed some of LinkedIn’s largest accounts and have been in the business for 11 years. We know the ins and outs of the platform and are confident we can help you optimize and scale your efforts.
Thanks for reading and happy advertising!
Written by Eric Jones