Coronavirus has forced massive shifts throughout the world in the past 6 months. How we spend our time, where we consume information, how we spend money and do business have all changed. It may be a natural reaction to cut spending and halt marketing in preparation for unforeseen world events in markets such as small businesses or vulnerable consumer industries like hospitality. But this is the perfect time for B2B companies to double-down on marketing.
How can businesses continue to generate leads during a pandemic? The old lead-generation tactics of tradeshows and conferences aren’t available but that doesn’t mean throwing out the marketing plan is the best course of action. Companies just need to adapt by understanding how their customer’s needs have changed and how to reach them. Here are a few recommendations we’ve identified on how to optimize your B2B marketing strategy during COVID-19.
Build Your Brand Loyalty
When we first went into quarantine, brands were quick to assemble messaging that was reassuring to their customers. And it worked. A survey showed that, “30 percent of respondents said that [messages they received from] brands made them feel less anxious about the global coronavirus pandemic.” (source) But now that we have moved past the initial shock of being in lockdown, it’s important that companies continue to act as a resource for their customers.
That means providing them with solutions to the unique pain points that quarantine causes—not just for businesses but also for people. Creating marketing platforms that incorporate a sense of humor, generosity, and humanity has shown to be really effective during this time. That means leaning into customer testimonials and success stories, and a direct but friendly communication strategy. The goal is to build your brand and create loyalists in order to attract businesses during the pandemic and capitalize on rebuilding businesses afterwards.
Focus on Content Value
With tradeshows and in-person conferences cancelled for the foreseeable future, it’s the perfect opportunity to get creative with additional or unallocated marketing budget. There is a lot of hype around digital events, which can be effective for the right audience. But “zoom fatigue” is a new buzzword that most have heard, and almost all have experienced. So what is the best way to reallocate budget for maximum results?
In order to make the best long-term investment, businesses should be investing in compelling, useful content for their audience. This means looking at all of your online marketing materials and seeing if there is a better way to communicate your value proposition or explain different use cases that your product solves. And with most businesses defaulting to moving everything online, think carefully about how you can maximize your digital impact in unique ways. Things like interactive landing pages, explainer videos, or client testimonials can be a great way to add dimension to your products.
Rethink How to Reach Your Audience
It’s no secret that we are all spending more time in front of a screen than we ever had before. For most of us, a series of simple meetings still means staring at a screen over zoom or google hangouts for hours. And it is well documented that zoom fatigue is a real thing with serious mental consequences. Even outside of work, social media has been a particularly polarizing and unpleasant place. So how do you cut through the noise right now?
As more and more people are relishing in their out of home time, consider meeting them there instead. It seems like a step back in terms of marketing tactics but Out of Home (OOH) marketing has been particularly effective lately. In a recent survey, 83% of respondents remembered seeing an Out of Home advertisement in the last week. Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising is seeing a huge resurgence right now, with brands using it in really unexpected ways in order to connect with their audience.
Even though the business landscape has changed and presented all of us with new challenges, now is the time for B2B companies to invest even heavier in marketing for both short and long-term growth. Being strategic about what your customers want and finding creative ways to reach them is more important than ever. We can help! If you’d like to bolster your brand for success, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.