- Posted by Janina Bernardo
- On April 21, 2020
- 0 Comments
Currently, many around the world are facing a global pandemic brought about by COVID-19. While this is first and foremost a health crisis, many are also struggling with the economic repercussions.
Majority of business owners are fearful about the future of their companies. Will they still be able to provide for their families and keep their employees? They need steady cash flow to stay in business, but is it a good time to keep doing B2B digital marketing and selling to customers? We believe that B2B digital marketing is still vital to get sales moving but it is certainly not going to be business as usual. We need to be more mindful and sensitive to the needs our potential and current customers. Here are a few B2B digital marketing tips that can help you navigate these times of uncertainty.
Reassess the Needs of Your Potential and Current Customers
In the middle of this pandemic, it’s important to stop and put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. In the past you may have identified buyer personas who are the best representation of your ideal customers. But because this global crisis has hit certain industries more than others, you may want to identify into those industries that may take a while to bounce back from it. It may not be the right time to focus on them.
In our company, we have a client that offers a portable source of energy. Before the crisis, one of our targets are event organizers who may need the product for outdoor festivals throughout the year. But now that people are asked to stay at home, most events are postponed or cancelled. By going back to our buyer personas, we identified that the need for our product have shifted to those in the medical and healthcare field, so we have shifted our marketing outreach to them.
One of the best sources of information on the needs of your prospects and customers are your own salespeople. They know the market dynamics and are familiar with the situation on the ground. Have a dialogue with them so you can learn more about the changing needs of the market. This will better inform you on what messaging is appropriate and what solutions will resonate with your target so that you can optimize your b2b digital marketing efforts.
Review Your Blog Content Strategy and Aim to Provide Value
You probably have a blog editorial calendar that you and your team have been planning and developing for months. But because of the pandemic, certain topics may no longer be applicable or may even seem tone deaf to the situation. Review your subject matter and be sure that it takes into account current realities. When writing your blog or article, be also mindful of your tone.
Focus on providing value. People who are staying at home may find that they have more time to read more resources and learn about a relevant topic. If you have a unique point of view and can help them make sense of the uncertainty, it can be an opportunity for you to establish yourself as a trusted authority in your space.
Don’t overlook evaluating key metrics to understand which topics provide more value to your audience. Google Analytics is a good place to start.
Use Social Media Appropriately
It may be tempting to ride on the current situation to grab more attention towards your social media accounts. But this could easily backfire. Most people are experiencing anxiety and feel overwhelmed. Be extra mindful of how you word your social messages. You don’t want to be seem as overtly self-promotional and insensitive. This may not be the time to use exuberant language or funny emojis.
Many companies curate and share third party articles on social as part of their social media strategy. Be extra cautious that you are not sharing fake or misleading news. Do a background check on the source. While third-party content can help add variety to your social posts and relieves pressure on your team to constantly deliver original content, sharing false information can hurt your company’s reputation.
Be Empathetic in Your Email Outreach
According to Content Marketing Institute, 93% of B2B marketers still use email to distribute content. While Adestra discovered that 73 percent of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email. So email marketing is far from dead. In fact, conversions from this platform is still higher than Twitter or Facebook.
That being said, you may be tempted to use the pandemic as a hook for your email subject line to increase your email opens. However, using too many COVID related buzzwords can trigger negative emotions and may backfire especially if it has barely anything to do with your product or service. Insensitive words such as killer, contagious, viral, etc. should be avoided.
It may serve you better to be a voice of reason and provide a sense of calm to your audience. Instead of drumming up fear, show how you can solve a problem. Think not about how to promote yourself but rather how to help your prospect or customer overcome their challenges and survive this crisis.
Be careful how you phrase your call to action, giving a sense of urgency or scarcity may seem pushy and off-putting. Instead try to appear helpful and considerate. Small details matter.
In these trying times, small business owners often have more pressure to keep sales up in order to survive. Now is not the time to stop B2B digital marketing efforts but certain adjustments must be made. We need to keep in mind that many are also fighting to keep their businesses alive. It is an opportunity to build community and develop a deeper connection with suppliers, prospects, customers and even our own employees.
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