These are trying times for most of us at the moment. A few businesses continue to operate as they were before the pandemic struck, while the rest batten down the hatches. That involves things like putting services on hold, cutting budgets, taking forced hiatuses and furloughing some or all of their workforce.
The situation is, of course, far from ideal. But in times like these I think it’s important we search for the positives. And when it comes to B2B marketing, there’s still plenty you can be doing to keep the wheels turning.
Staying social, while social distancing
No doubt some of your audience will have more time on their hands at the moment. Even if they’re still working, no lengthy commutes and potentially reduced workloads could mean that they’re online and on social media more than before.
It’s important, then, that your social media activity ticks along while we’re all in near-lockdown. It’s the best way to stay in your audience’s mind and remain there for when things start to free up later in the year.
Put another way, neglecting your social presence will make it far more difficult to kick-start your strategy later on. Get out in front now and lead the way!
You could also commit some of this time to your professional development. Take that online course that’s been bookmarked in your browser for months. Read the articles and books, listen to podcasts and watch the video discussions that provide unique insight into your area of expertise. This is your chance to grow and nurture your skills and knowledge, and position yourself as a thought-leader in your field through social media.
Here are five simple things you can try right now:
- Invest in LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
The advanced search filters and functionality offered by Sales Navigator make it easy to identify contacts who match a certain criteria (job title, sector, location, size of company, etc.) and engage with them.
- Create videos/vlogs.
These are a great way to break down communication barriers and deliver a more engaging and authentic offering to your audience. If you’ve been meaning to try it, but never got around to it, why not take this opportunity to give it a go?
- Try video messaging.
Software like Loom allows you to send personalised video messages to share new content through LinkedIn. Capture your screen, voice and face, then instantly share the video.
- Make use of video chat/conferencing.
The world has gone Zoom-mad, but for good reason: these free video conferencing tools are a great way to keep in touch with colleagues and speak with clients and prospects.
- Host virtual events.
If people are available and interested, you can keep business activity up by hosting virtual events, webinars and video conferencing roundtables. These can help you to generate leads, plus you can record them and use the content to inform future blogs, white-papers and infographics.
Creating content that resonates with your audience
Maintaining a strong social presence during the COVID-19 lockdown is one thing; you need to make sure your social activity is supported with quality content that will showcase your business and your personal brand in the best possible light. Here are five more tips:
- Provide value at all times.
Don’t create content for content’s sake. Every piece of content you produce must either educate, inform, inspire or entertain (it can be a mix of these things, too).
- Mix short and long formats.
While short-and-snappy posts work well on social media, now could be a good time to add real insight with a deep dive into a topic – this will help you to demonstrate your expertise.
- Avoid ‘cashing in’ on the coronavirus.
Don’t use this pandemic for business gain of any sort – i.e. don’t use the hashtag to promote commercial posts or use the coronavirus for product or service plugs.
- Strike the balance.
If you want to address the pandemic then keep things positive without being insensitive or flippant about the situation. If you’re in a place to do so, give away knowledge (if constructive) but don’t ask for anything in return.
- Speak from the heart.
Don’t be scared to draw on your personal experience and use anecdotal evidence to support your message.
The world may have ground to a halt, but your B2B marketing strategy needn’t – and shouldn’t. Use this time to build and maintain your social presence and personal brand, so that you can hit the ground running when the pandemic is over.
In the meantime, we can all do our bit by keeping our distance from one another while frontline staff work tirelessly to support us and those in need. Stay safe, everyone!Ben Hollom
May 20, 2020