How Social Media and Influencer Marketing Will Propel Your CPG Brand Through a Recession

When facing a downturn in the economy, we often look to the past for lessons on how to deal with the present. What did other CPG brands do to weather the last recession? Which brands increased profit and exposure when consumer spending was down? Which marketing tactics helped them gain traction, and which were a bad use of their budget?

While we can learn lessons from the past, we must remember that consumer behavior is ever-changing. Attention spans have gotten shorter. Audiences are fragmenting into smaller niches, and new niches are overlapping every day. In other words, throwing content at the whole world doesn’t work. Instead, targeting is crucial, especially during a recession, because you need to reach the audience most likely to engage with and buy your products.

So, what can you do to ensure you’re reaching the people who are most likely to engage with your brand, buy your product and then tell their network about it? Following are a few tips to reach buyers with influencer marketing during a recession.    

Make the Most of Organic Social Media

Think of social media platforms as what they are: FREE marketing tools. Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users. TikTok has almost 2 billion monthly active users. Right now, 59% of the world is on social media, where they spend an average of two and a half hours per day.

Don’t overlook the power of organic social posts—they can reach your audience with engaging content that keeps your brand top of mind every day, so that your buyers think of you when purchasing online or in a retail outlet.

Tweak Your Paid Social Strategy

There is also a place for paid social media strategy, but you must know your target audience.

Where do they live? Where do they shop? Do they prefer to stock up on staples or shop only when they need something? What is their household income range? Who does the household shopping? Are they luxury buyers, or do they seek out discounts and coupons?

You must also understand where your audience spends their time online. Are they on Facebook, like many Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers? Are they exclusively on Instagram, like most Millennials? And don’t underestimate TikTok, which is increasingly drawing audiences of all ages.

When you understand where the bulk of your audience spends time online, you can then determine howthey’re spending their time. For example, are they viewing static images on Instagram, or are they only watching reels and stories? Are videos and stories the only stops they make when scrolling their Facebook feed? What TikTok hashtags do they search for?

With this information, you can create and target social media ads that will find those buyers exactly where they are on their social platforms.

Harness the Power of Influencers

No matter how stable the economy may be, one thing remains true: Consumers are more likely to trust other consumers over brands. In fact, 92% say they’d trust a person—even a stranger—more than an ad from a brand. That’s the power of influencer marketing, and it’s even stronger during a recession.

As belts tighten and wallets lighten, it makes sense that consumers will get even more discerning about who they do and don’t trust. Recent reports show that influencer marketing shows no signs of slowing down, and that nano and micro influencers continue to outperform their own engagement rates from last year.

When you work with influencers, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of your budget.

With influencers, it’s about guiding the message, not controlling it. If you insist on creating the messaging, influencers won’t want to work with you because they’ll lose the trust of their audience. They’ve worked hard to build their followings and won’t accept a partnership that makes their personal brand seem inconsistent. They are content creators and storytellers; you’ll get the best value when allowing them to showcase those skills. Work with them to ensure they understand your brand’s mission and your guidelines, and then let them do what they know best.

Not only will influencers create photos, videos, and written content for your brand, but much can be repurposed and reused for paid media, landing pages, and more.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help crafting social media and influencer marketing strategies for the suspected recession.