Everything is changing due to COVID, including B2B Marketing.
In-person meetings are over, and trying to reach someone by phone, unless you have a cell number, is next to zilch.
Not only that, but voice mail may also have run its course. Even before COVID, many prospects indicated they no longer checked their voice mail messages. Now, with the pandemic, most voice mail messages go unheard.
So, what can marketers involved with B2B marketing do to reach specific prospects?
Further, because the pandemic will be with us for a while, what can they do now that might still be effective six or more months down the road?
The good news is that B2B marketing is still strong and growing stronger. However, we may need to ramp things up a bit and make some strategic adjustments to make B2B marketing even more effective, such as the following:
Review what you have done before. If B2B marketing strategies worked before the pandemic, then continue with those, but bump them up. One B2B marketer, negatively impacted by the pandemic, said he used to spend an hour each day prospecting, using LinkedIn. Now he prospects two to three hours per day and is doing better than before the virus hit our shores.
Paid and organic searches. PPC (pay-per-click) marketing appears to be rebounding since the pandemic began, this according to Wordstream, a search engine marketing organization. Before the pandemic, many B2B organizations were walking away from PPC. However, it now appears to be much more effective.
Related to this, now is a perfect time to review search engine optimization programs to improve organic search. Some, such as Rank Math, are free and excellent. However, if you want to go further, hire an organization to help you optimize your site and its content.
TIP: Ask for references – then – contact those references.
TIP: Make sure they are experienced with B2B marketing. Its a lot different than B2C
Make online your focus. According to a recent report by IBM, the pandemic has sped up the shift from shopping in brick-and-mortar locations to shopping online by about five years. If yours is a brick-and-mortar B2B business, this means your focus now should be online.
Example: A few years ago, a remarkably successful electronics store in Chicago was considering opening another store north of the city. Instead, they decided to make a significant investment in their online presence. Today, they are selling products all over the world. Sales have risen far more than could have ever been expected if they had opened a second store.
Fine-tune email marketing. One of our clients decided to end their newsletter program last year. At the time, many B2B marketers were considering doing the same. However, that may be a mistake.
Adweek reports a major spike in email marketing since the pandemic, up more than 86 percent. What is more, click-through rates have increased by 22 percent. When click-through rates go up, that typically means sales are not far behind.
Those that are most successful with their email marketing, since the pandemic began, have restructured their messages so that they are much more concise, get right to the point, include different formats such as videos and infographics, and contain a clear call to action.
Make sure everything is aligned. We often worked with organizations that hire us to promote their company with content – blogs, publishing articles in trade magazines, preparing white papers, case studies, etc. But they have an advertising or marketing team working separately to promote the company in other ways. Make sure everyone is aligned. Whether PR, content, or advertising, all marketing platforms must all work together, using the same messages and messaging words, about your company, the value of your products and services.