B2B Marketing Strategies – Do’s and Don’ts During a Crisis

Business leaders around the globe are now faced with extremely difficult challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While most are struggling to survive, opportunities may still exist but may unfortunately be missed if potential customers are unaware of your company or unable to find you online. That is why the right B2B marketing strategies are vital to ensure that you can keep generating leads and fill your sales funnel.

But we are now dealing with the so called “new normal.” The way we do content marketing in the past might not necessarily work now. Your prospects are dealing with much more uncertainty and their budgets are tighter. Here are a few tips on how to adjust your B2B marketing strategies not only to survive but thrive in a post-Covid-19 world.

1. Do Reassess Your Audience’s Needs

Gathering data from customer-facing team members are a great way to learn more about the changing needs of your current clients or new prospects. Salespeople and customer service support may be able to share what product features or extra services your target market is asking about or requesting. Having a reliable CRM system helps your company capture this valuable information. Encourage them ask the right questions and to leave notes on the system that can help management better understand evolving needs.

2. Don’t Sell, Educate

During a crisis, companies that inadvertently appear to take advantage of the situation and are seen to profit from vulnerabilities and hardships of customers will lose their trust and business in the long run. Avoid aggressive B2B marketing strategies that focus on hard selling during this sensitive time.

Instead, try to help struggling business owners by offering them your expertise in your industry or particular vertical. Provide technical content or deeper analysis to address their pain points. While it’s true that the internet is already flooded with Covid-19 related content, you can still rise above the noise by providing your unique perspective and unconventional solutions. If you have the time and resources, offering webinars or free consultations to support your content marketing efforts can enhance your brand image and improve your company’s brand recognition even further.

3. Do Re-purpose Evergreen Content

We know that as a small business owner, you may also be handling content development or manage a small marketing team. This means that the time and resources to develop new content is limited. One strategy to overcome this limitation is to rewrite old blogs or evergreen articles that are still relevant today. You may want to make a few tweaks to make it more appropriate for the current situation or chose a different angle when rewriting your content. You can also re-purpose them into new types of content by turning an old blog post into video, podcast or even a simple infographic. Your prospects and customers are looking for answers right now and re-purposing content helps you maintain consistent visibility in the community.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Platforms

Chances are you are already on Linkedin. But aside from researching for leads and networking, have you also tried publishing articles within the platform? LinkedIn lets you syndicate blog posts on your personal LinkedIn profile as articles. This is a great opportunity to showcase your expertise to your target audience. Long-form articles between 1,900-2,000 words perform the best and gain the greatest number of post views, likes, comments and shares.

Medium is another platform worth exploring. It is a blogging platform for almost every topic under the sun. The algorithmic timeline suggests articles to readers that they may be interested in. It can be a good way to increase traffic to your website.

If you have Powerpoint presentations, that may be of value to your audience. They may be worth posting on SlideShare. It is dubbed as the biggest presentation sharing community on the Internet. Slideshare receives an estimated 60 million visitors a month comprising mostly of business owners and professionals. One of the greatest benefits of being on the platform is that it can help you with SEO and increase your audience reach.

5. Do Pay Attention to KPIs

To know if your content is resonating with your audience, one of the first places to look into is the bounce rate of each blog post as well as the time spent on the page. A high bounce rate means that the reader didn’t find the content useful and immediately moved on to another page or link. Just as important to note is how long they are actually spending reading the content. It is useless to have a sizeable number of unique visitors if they are not absorbing information.

Legitimate comments are also a good indicator of engagement, not only on your website, but also on social media platforms. It opens two-way conversations that allows you to learn more about your target market.

Another vote of confidence on your content is social sharing. This means that they found the information relevant and are eager to share it with peers or colleagues. What better way to find new fans and brand advocates. Make your content easily sharable by adding a widget.

6. Don’t Use Misleading Headlines for More Clicks

Unfortunately “clickbait” has become a common practice for digital markers. They usually craft a sensational or controversial headline to elicit more clickthroughs. These are often negative and misleading. Using this tactic will damage your brand in the long run as you lose your audience’s trust. Your subscribers will feel duped and will think twice the next time you share new content. This may prompt them to unsubscribe from your newsletter or unfollow you on social platforms.

7. Do Check Appropriate Visual Imagery

Because many people are experiencing a lot of anxiety brought about by the pandemic, they are in a more vulnerable emotional state and are more sensitive to what they see online. You don’t want to fuel outrage or stir fear by choosing inappropriate images. Take extra care in avoiding the use of pictures that show big crowds or people handshaking or hugging. While this was normal before Covid-19, these might illicit negative emotions at this time.

8. Don’t Forget to Include a Call-to-Action

A Call-to-Action (CTA) lets your audience know what step they should take next after absorbing your content and hopefully you can close a sale. While it’s important to include a CTA at the end of your article or content piece, make sure that it is thoughtful and not too aggressive. The key is to choose a softer tone. Hard selling may rub your audience the wrong way. Be more sensitive. Trying to get them to buy your product now by introducing a sense of urgency might not be the best move. Aim to point them to educational materials instead of pushing them to make a decision to buy your product right away. Remember that the aim is to gain trust and that takes time.

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