Content teams

Cutting Content to Save Your Budget? 5 Reasons to Think Again

When shit hits the fan, content’s first to go. 

It’s an easy target for the finance department looking to cut costs. It doesn’t have the same instant, clear-cut success metrics as other business activities. It’s an easy way out.

However, when has the easy option ever been the best option?

Halting your content output is an easy route to dissatisfied, unengaged customers. It puts your brand identity building and evolution on hold and pushes your SEO efforts back to where you started.


  • SEO content needs at least two months online to start creating real impact
  • Big names have historically increased marketing spend during tough times
  • Quality content retains existing customers and attracts new ones
  • A recession is an opportunity to gain an edge over competitors
  • Content is flexible and adaptable to tough business climates

Here are five reasons why you should reconsider putting content on the chopping block.

5 Reasons to create content during a recession

There’s never a bad time for great content—here’s why.

1. Content is a long-term investment

Content—especially that backed by SEO research—is a long-term investment. You’ll create articles that target specific keywords but won’t see results until search engines have had time to recognize, crawl, and index them. SERPs need to compare your content to other websites competing for the same keywords to give pages the authority they deserve.

See, back when SEO first hit the content scene—people were quick to try and trick the system (shocker). Google—the go-to search engine for a lot of the world—was quick to catch on, and made changes to how it ranks pages. It did this to ensure users got the results they needed, not the results that rammed their content full of keywords.

The algorithm now looks at a combination of on-page, off-page, and technical factors to rank pages, such as domain authority, page load speed, backlinks, and more. It’s high-quality, human-focused content that ranks highly, but it takes some time. 

So, you need to get ahead of the game—especially during a recession. Economic downturn lasts, on average, 11(ish) months—but for at least six of those months, it’s still not called a recession (and therefore alarm bells aren’t ringing with the same intensity). 

It’s not until after two financial quarters of negative GDP growth that economic institutions declare a recession—and by that point, it’s typically more than halfway done. During those two quarters, businesses don’t have the same sense of doom that accompanies the confirmation of a recession—even if they’ve started to feel the pinch.

It’s for this reason that SEO-informed content is a good recession investment. It sets you up for a great post-recession recovery and a returning economy boom. As business recovers—both yours and your customers—and the pressure starts to alleviate, your content and website pages are positioned to make the most of increased demand. 

And, if you’re thinking: what if I just pause it temporarily for a month or two?think again. SEO consultancy for SaaS companies needs to be a continuous effort for strong results—cutting SEO content efforts can put you right back at the end of the line.

2. Content builds your brand

Another reason you should reconsider getting rid of content during tough times is that it’s a long-lasting way to build your brand. Picture this: you’ve got $6k towards your marketing budget. Do you:

  1. Spend $2000 on three different ad spots that run for a couple of weeks, or
  2. Spend $6k on a three-month SEO plan that includes a technical SEO audit, keyword research, SEO briefs, and content creation, and more (Interested? This is our go-getter plan)

Find an SEO content plan that suits your budget and needs. 🤩 Get in Touch with the team 👋

Even half that budget can get you ten steps ahead of where you are in terms of building your brand identity. See, brand building requires consistency. Decision-makers engage with hundreds of businesses every day—whether that’s via content, social media, physical ads, or something else. If you go silent, they likely won’t even notice—and that’s a hard no for your brand identity.

Don’t believe me? Then don’t—but you can’t ignore this: following the 2008 recession, brands that didn’t cut marketing spend saw 3.5 times more brand visibility than those that did make cuts. These brands gained a crucial edge over competitors who decided to halt marketing efforts—which leads me nicely to my next point.

3. Your competitors face this decision, too

Your business isn’t the only one facing this tough time, nor is it the only one facing these tough decisions. Further research into the 2008 economic crisis found that 60% of brands that ‘went dark’ during economic downturn faced a decline in at least one key brand metric. When faced with the same decisions and circumstances—some businesses prospered and others fell behind.

There’s a reason why big names like P&G and Coca-Cola don’t cut marketing spend during a recession. Unlike newer businesses—the Ubers and the Airbnbs of the world—this isn’t their first rodeo. They’ve been in business for years; P&G, for example, was founded in 1837. They’ve done business through the Great Depression, multiple World Wars, and countless periods of economic downturn. 

They know what they’re doing when it comes to handling tough times—and they’re not about to let the opposition get a competitive edge during crucial periods. Neither should you.

4. Your current customers still matter

Ok, we’re nearing the end now—but not before I talk about the importance of content as a tool to retain existing customers. It’s a well-known statistic in B2B that the cost of acquiring new customers is five times higher than the cost of retaining existing ones. The last thing you want following a recession is an urgent need to bring in new customers.

An informed content marketing strategy is a powerful method of retaining customers. High-quality content helps build trust amongst your audience and highlights that you’re still invested in their success and engagement during tough times. It helps turn your detractors and passives into promoters that can’t help but rave about your business.

WOM marketing continues to be one of the most powerful forms of marketing out there—especially in B2B. When it comes to making spending decisions during tough times, what are you more likely to believe?

  • An advert that details a product’s features, or
  • Another founder giving you a trusted recommendation

I know which I’d pick.

Content that works for one business, may not work for another. A recession is a great opportunity for high-quality, informative content about your product and how best it can be used to support businesses during tough times. I’m not telling you to throw money at any and all content marketing efforts—I’m saying that there’s such a thing as the right content at the right time, which leads us to…

5. You can pivot your content strategy without cutting it 

Our final point. Your content strategy—if you have one—isn’t set in stone. It can be adapted to suit your current needs—even if those needs appear seemingly overnight. This is even easier if you’re debating creating a content strategy during tough times.

If there’s a shift in the economy, your content strategy can be altered to meet new requirements. Say up until now you’d focused on targeting the top of the marketing funnel—a recession might be a good time to focus on the middle/bottom of the funnel. Businesses don’t stop spending entirely during a recession, they’re just a lot more cautious when it comes to parting with their budgets.

Content marketing is an umbrella term—and there are lots of approaches to content marketing that are beneficial for different reasons, during different times. It’s about finding the approach that works towards your current goals—not just the goals you were working towards when it was plain sailing.

Find a content marketing agency that adapts to your business

Stormy seas are a lot easier to navigate with a reliable team experienced in finding a way through. Nobody can take a storm from the sky, but there’s certainly a way to hold down the fort and prepare for when things clear up.

In this case, your reliable team is experienced B2B content marketing specialists equipped with content strategies and B2B SEO best practices to make the most of turbulent times. It’s not about finding the biggest, flashiest agency that promises the world and more, it’s about finding an agency with a proven track record that can give your content strategy the personalized touch you need at this time.

Remember this: we’re all weathering the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boats. Choose your boat wisely, and let it sail you safely and confidently into smooth waters and beyond. 

We’re ready to chat when you are.

guest writer
Ella Webber
Ella Webber was the first full-time team member at dslx, and now works as Lead Account Manager. Born in South Wales and raised in Mallorca, Ella currently lives in Leeds—where she’s stayed since graduating from the Uni of Leeds. Ella manages writers and clients to ensure both are happy, and handles a lot of the knowledge management and process optimization at dslx. She loves the outdoors, lifting weights, and playing video games!

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