As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are being forced to examine how, where and when to market themselves. It can be seen as a reputable tightrope, as businesses and brands delicately balance having a sensitive and compassionate tone and finding opportunities to remain operational in uncertain times.
During the first few weeks of the pandemic, many businesses flooded customers’ inboxes with messages about how they responded to COVID-19. So, what are you going to say, or do, next? Some companies impulsively cut back on their marketing efforts during a crisis, but now it’s not time to take your foot off the marketing pedal.
Instead, take a closer look at your current marketing strategies and adjust them. You can maintain and even gain a competitive advantage during this crisis by investing more, not less, in your marketing strategy.
Here are five ways to pivot your B2B marketing plans to effectively position your business during the pandemic.
1. Adapt Your Messaging
Look for ways to put your audience first through sensitive, relevant, authentic and compassionate messaging, and make it your priority to address their needs, questions and concerns. In our last article about inspiring COVID-19 marketing campaigns, we took a deep dive into this topic. This message should show how you help customers while showing respect for the gravity of the situation. If you have a service that can help businesses save money during this time, adjust your mind and message to be customer-centric and not sales-focused.
Press releases and social media posts don’t need to stop, but rotate your content to match the current tone. Consider the timing of product launches and news by measuring news media and social conversations to ensure that your announcements are relevant and appropriate to the current business environment.
2. Virtually Engage Face-To-Face
If you were planning to invest money in trade shows or other on-site events that have since been cancelled or postponed, consider investing that budget in virtual events. By using virtual meeting programs such as Zoom or Google Meet and Facebook recently launched its chat room, with these apps you can transform in-person events into virtual gatherings. Hosting or attending virtual events and webinars is a quick, interactive, effective and efficient way to connect your customers and prospects in real-time.
3. Redirect Marketing Expenditure To Expand Your Virtual Exposure
As you reallocate marketing budget, consider using digital advertising to increase your brand presence and your online business. Social media ads can help drive consistent messaging to your current customers, networks and prospects. With people currently spending more time at home and online, it’s time to jump into digital ads if you haven’t. Not only can ads help you build brand awareness, they can also capture new leads and help you build your email marketing list. To get even higher quality leads, consider using LinkedIn’s lead generation forms with your sponsored content on the platform.
You can also work on improving the SEO of your business. Invest in your SEO so that you can improve your organic rankings now and be better positioned when the pandemic is over. With so many people online, this is a critical part of keeping your digital real estate up to date.
4. Focus On Existing Customers
Lasering on your existing customers has never been as important as it is now. Please be present. Listen to your existing customers, please. Find out what your customers are doing and say by monitoring their behaviour and feelings about your industry or brand on social media channels. You may discover a new problem that your business can solve or find an opportunity to communicate something that your loyal customer base desperately needs.
It’s also critical for your business to show sympathy and put customers first in every communication. Not sure where to get started? Consider the following questions:
- How are we going to help our existing customers?
- Can we offer more products and services?
- Can we offer them discounted rates or extra value?
- What partnerships can we have to improve our products and services?
5. Share More Content And Make Sure It’s Appropriate
As traffic on news websites and social media platforms is on the rise with more people at home, a strong content marketing plan is crucial.
Businesses can provide value and assistance during stressful events. Let your brand tell your story by leaning on the human side of your business. For example, share more personal and charitable stories so that you can become more connected to your audience. Furthermore, the use of employee-generated content is a sincere approach to humanizing your business during the pandemic.
Content should revolve around the value that your product or service provides and how customers will benefit when they are ready to purchase. Remember to keep the focus on helping people so that it doesn’t look like you’re bragging or self-serving.
Here are some tips for churning out the appropriate content during this unfamiliar time.
- Make sure you adjust and re-evaluate campaigns and content that were scheduled before the pandemic.
• Ensure that your message is empathetic and not tone-deaf.
• Create useful content to educate, entertain and inspire people.
• Add value by keeping people informed of your business operations, closures or policy updates.
• Communicate the value of your brand during this critical time.
Don’t pause your marketing plans as we move through this crisis. A strategic pivot with global awareness and tact can be your guide to continuing brand awareness and outreach in this new marketing landscape.