How to Adapt B2B Marketing during Turbulent Times
Businesses that market to other business can and should keep engaging with their clients and prospects during the disruption we’re all enduring right now. Let’s take a look at why this is so and how a B2B brand should stay visible.
The B2B Customer Journey Is More Complex
The B2B customer journey is more complex, and the sales cycle is lengthier. The decision-making process for purchasing a product or service for a business requires more research and approvals. So in a B2B setting, it’s even more important for a brand to maintain frequent outreach to stay on a prospect’s radar screen. During a disruption of operations, your prospects may postpone their decisions, thus making the sales cycle even longer. But if you fall off their radar screens, it’s going to be harder for you to re-connect with them when they are ready to re-engage.
What You Should Do
So what should you do to remain engaged? Here are a few tips:
1 Examine Your Analytics
Your B2B customer is just like a B2C audience: likely stuck at home during a period of social distancing (unless their profession dictates otherwise) doing their jobs exclusively online. We’re seeing dramatic shifts in both desktop and mobile search behavior across the board while people practice social distancing. Now, dig deeper into your own audience behavior. For instance:
- What changes do you see in click-through rates for different paid media campaigns you’ve been running and at what time of day? They’ve probably changed depending on the type of product you offer.
- What changes do you see in the content your prospects are searching for?
- Where is your audience spending your time? It’s quite possible they are engaging more on social than they ever have while they combine professional and personal priorities while they work at home. A social platform such as Facebook, which might not have been your natural choice to advertise, might make more sense right now.
- In addition, if you are a global B2B brand, your mileage may vary depending on where you do business, as different countries are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with varying degrees of severity and with different recovery time frames.
2 Be Ready to Adapt Your Tactics
Depending on what your data tells you, be ready to adapt the nature of your campaigns, for instance:
- Adapt your keyword strategy to be more in tune with the topics they are looking for right now. Carefully manage your keyword exclusions to avoid having your name appear next to COVID-19 content.
- Be prepared to invest more into paid social media if your audience is navigating there. In addition, consider that Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s audience targeting tools make them ideal for experimenting with the type of audience segments you want to reach.
3 Mind Your Tone
B2B audiences are experiencing the same feelings of doubt and uncertainty that B2C audiences are. Re-examine the tone of your content. Be prepared to tone down overly salesy, chipper content that will come across as tone deaf. Use phrases and images that emphasize that you are here for your customer and seek to partner with them during a difficult time.
4 Invest in Thought Leadership
Sharing thought leadership (such as blog posts and white papers) is a great way to augment your digital advertising with top-of-the-funnel awareness. Why? Because during a slowdown in operations, it is not uncommon for B2B customers to brush up on professional knowledge, and they’re also going to be more receptive to practical ideas for managing their businesses during trying times.
Contact True Interactive
True Interactive knows how to create and execute digital marketing for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business clients. We’re here to help you. Contact us to learn more.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay