5 B2B Marketing Strategies for COVID Recovery
By Anton Chow
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we conduct and market our businesses. Companies are rethinking their marketing campaigns, replacing in-person channels with digital and trying to stretch their budgets as effectively as possible.
Big disruptions lead to new opportunities and innovative ways of approaching B2B marketing. These innovations are an essential component to any organization’s post-COVID recovery plan.
Here are five B2B marketing strategies to help businesses navigate through the Coronavirus pandemic and stay competitive through recovery.
1. Research and Measure
In a single week of the Coronavirus shutdown, Verizon alone has found a 20% increase in time spent on the Internet. People are consuming a lot more digital content.
With the economic downturn, it’s important to understand the resulting social trends as well as shifts in consumer behaviour. You can then anticipate why customers may be engaging with your content in a certain way and figure new ways to reach out.
Right now, new buyer personas are developing within your customer base. Existing personas may have also changed. Do the research to understand how your audience is changing and how you can target your marketing efforts toward their new normal.
Your typical marketing metrics might not be following the usual trends. In uncertain environments like this, metrics matter more than ever. You cannot continue analyzing your metrics like you usually do.
If you haven’t already, integrate your CRM with Google Analytics. You'll be able to leverage behavioural data and get advanced insights in understanding purchasing behaviour.
As you plan for COVID recovery, focus on volatile metrics like blog traffic. By doing so, you can plan your content strategy around what interests your audience.
2. Get Experimental with Your Ads
As COVID-19 forces marketing departments to adapt and digitalize, now is the time for companies to experiment with different ways of marketing their business.
This means getting creative with optimizing existing and exploring new marketing channels.
69% of brands are expected to reduce their budgets due to the Coronavirus, reducing competition for ad placement and lowering CPC. With the right strategy, you can capture leads at a much cheaper rate.
Experiment with adjusting your ad copy, landing pages, and audience targeting metrics to discover what works best. Now is the time to try new channels, create YouTube ads or get on Snapchat.
To fully optimize your ads strategy, maintaining a healthy Google analytics is key. Constantly adjust and reassess your strategy to make every dollar in your ad budget count.
3. Optimize Your Email Marketing
At 3.9 billion users around the world, email marketing is expected to reach 4.48 billion users by 2024, according to a report by Statista. With the right adjustments, email marketing can be an even more powerful tool for demand generation.
Look into implementing interactive content like: CSS-animated buttons, image carousels, and questionnaires to drive audience engagement. To make more data-driven decisions, look into email marketing automation tools. With these changes, you'll speak volumes about the value you have to offer to your customers.
Remember to monitor email stats like open rates and send times to make sure to not overwhelm your audience, while maximizing your ROI.
4. Digitize Your Events
With restrictions on large, in-person events, organizations are taking a closer look at how traditional marketing venues like conferences and trade-shows fit into their B2B marketing stack.
For the time being, trade shows don’t appear to be making a comeback anytime soon. In response, companies are looking to digitize by replacing these events with webinars.
And there’s a key benefit to going digital. Compared to digital marketing channels, the cost per lead for live events is too high. Even HubSpot has moved away from using trade shows and instead, are focusing on more effective channels like its marketing blog.
Take this forced hiatus from in-person events to evaluate how leads from conferences perform in your pipeline. Do they generate vanity MQLs or do they actually progress to customers?
Moving forward, digital marketing will be an even more important part of your business and overall B2B marketing strategy.
5. Message the Moment
With average time spent on the Internet on the rise, you need to be capturing that attention. It makes sense to invest resources into humanizing your copy and overall, messaging.
Your usual messaging might not be relevant. Instead, center your content and branding around compassion. Listen and be empathetic to what your customers are going through. Put aside thought leadership. Instead of being a voice of authority, you can be a voice of reassurance during this pandemic.
Consider adjusting your CTA’s, so that you can convey the value you bring during these uncertain times. If possible, take it a step further by offering price incentives. Check out another example from video hosting platform, Vidyard.
In this Vidyard Facebook ad, they directly address a newly felt pain point: in-person meetings are cancelled. This is a great example of messaging the moment. Their message will resonate with their audience since it speaks to a problem they have right now.
Be sure not to exploit the situation, but to reframe your company values in a genuine way. Avoid being tone-deaf/overly “salesy” in your copy.
The goal is to focus on building relations with your audience and to build community on your pages.
Moving forward, the Coronavirus is likely going to alter the B2B marketing landscape with permanent effects. The future of B2B marketing is more digital than ever.
Many businesses are putting a pause on their marketing campaigns. However, you can prepare for the new normal through a solid, digital marketing game-plan.
Through research and measurement, ad experimentation, email marketing optimization, event digitalization, or branding adjustment, you’ll be able to optimize your ad spending and better connect with leads. That way, you can build onto the momentum from your pre-COVID marketing efforts.
With these five B2B marketing strategies, you can make the most out of the Coronavirus pandemic for your business.
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