7 Ways to Adapt Your B2B Content Marketing During the Coronavirus
There is no doubt that the coronavirus has a major impact on how you do business, calling for adjustments in your B2B content marketing approach. HubSpot measured a collapse in total ‘deals created’ over the last weeks in their CRM data. This implies a big impact on the commercial process, expected revenues for this year and the role of marketing to bend the curve. So how should B2B content marketers adapt to the new reality of the coronavirus? In this blog we will share 7 responses you need to look into.
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B2B Content Marketing Coronavirus Response 1:
Review and refine your buyer persona’s
Starting point for effective B2B content marketing is a clear insight into your most important buyer persona’s. As a marketer it’s your job to help them in their buyer journey by offering relevant content in each buyer stage. A buyer persona is a fictional description of the most relevant persons in the decision making process of your goods and services. It is based on your actual customers’ demographics, behavior, lifestyle, motivations, and challenges.
As the coronavirus will most likely have a big impact on elements like behavior, motivations and challenges, it’s time to adapt them. Even the role of your key persona in the decision making process itself might have changed as a result of the crisis. So step one is to review your knowledge and assumptions of your key buyer persona’s as a starting point for your marketing approach.
B2B Content Marketing Coronavirus Response 2:
Adjust your content
Great marketing content is focused on helping your buyer persona in their buyer journey. When the coronavirus has changed their motivations and challenges, this should be reflected in your content. Especially now you can be relevant and break through the clutter by adjusting your content fast.
Also the most effective formats might have changed, especially in terms of time they are willing to spend on your content. Many people work from home and have some more time. While others are more busy then ever before as they play a viral role in fighting the virus.
B2B Content Marketing Coronavirus Response 3:
Intensify the involvement of your subject-matter experts
The best people to involve in your content creation process are your subject matter experts. Think of consultants, trainers and product specialists. Normally these people are among to most busiest within your organization. But with new business dropping, this might be a good moment to pick their minds. By involving consultants in content creation that are not fully billable at the moment their time can be made more productive.
B2B Content Marketing Coronavirus Response 4:
Find great media deals
By the end of march, digital ad spend was down 33% and traditional media was down 39%, according to IAB. Whenever demand lacks behind supply, you’re in ‘a buyers market’. This means it’s a good time to make paid media deals, potentially also for the remainder of the year, when prices might rise again. Look back at your most effective media deals over the past 2 years in terms of conversion and negotiate for good deals with the media companies behind them.
B2B Content Marketing Coronavirus Response 5:
Intensify webinars & virtual events
In-person events are cancelled over the coronavirus, in many cases webinars or virtual events can be a great alternative. Off course you will miss out on the personal contact side. But interactivity in webinars and virtual events can be a great alternative, stimulated by for instance adding polls and chat. Everything you do in your webinar is logged and recorded, so you can see who asked that relevant and get in touch after the session. Also you can invite the registrars who didn’t show up for the live session to watch the recording afterwards. In addition, your audience is working from home, so participating in your webinar has a low barrier.
B2B Content Marketing Coronavirus Response 6:
Rationalize your marketing technology
Technology can be your friend in rationalizing marketing technology costs. There are now over 7,000 tools available to support you, many of which are very affordable. An important first step is to decide whether you opt for a marketing automation system, covering a wide range of functionality in one central solution. Or that you decide to go for combining best-of-breed marketing tools into your own ‘marketing stack’. Marketing automation systems such as HubSpot, Pardot or Marketo provide the advantage that all their functionality is neatly integrated. But that comes with a price, as you will pay a hefty premium. In addition a choice for a marketing automation solution will make you depend on the vision and functionality of the vendor.
API’s, integration services and CDPs have made it easier and cheaper to build your own ‘marketing stack’, and can potentially save you 70% to 90% of your monthly technology costs. For example, to activate an email workflow in MailChimp based on a download on your WordPress website and to transfer the lead profile to your Pipedrive CRM system when it can be followed up by sales. Manceppo is a great and free solution to help you do cool stuff like this.
B2B Content Marketing Coronavirus Response 7:
Extend your lead nurturing
With ‘in person’ sales calls ‘on hold’, a larger part of the buyer journey needs to be managed online. Marketing can play a role by rethinking their current lead nurturing stream and potentially extend them and personalize the future. Interestingly, as the number of sales emails continues the grow, their open rates show a rapid decline. But the open rates of marketing e-mails has seen an increase during the pandemic. It’s an indication that marketing can help to further nurture leads until their lead score is really sales ready before the handover to sales.
The coronavirus implies a true challenge to the commercial process of B2B companies. But despite the dramatic fall in potential deals, there are also interesting opportunities for marketing to break through the clutter, save on media & technology and claim responsibility to further nurture leads. Improvements you make today can help your company now and potentially increase the ROI on B2B content marketing going forward.