In a relatively short amount of time, the coronavirus pandemic has undeniably had a significant impact on the way businesses across a range of industries operate. You can see this play out in the B2B sector. Unable to participate in events such as trade fairs, many B2B companies have responded to the limitations the coronavirus pandemic imposes by turning to digital marketing. This recent development could potentially mark the start of a long term shift in the way these companies do business.
Why Digital Marketing Is Now A Priority for B2B
It’s nearly impossible to overstate the degree to which coronavirus has affected how B2B companies will need to allocate their marketing budgets. According to research from 2018, on average, B2B companies dedicate approximately 41% of their marketing budgets to exhibitions, and only a little more than 10% to digital marketing.
That’s changed very quickly. Once again, due to the pandemic, the events B2B companies would typically participate in are frequently being canceled. They’ve begun to respond by reorganizing their marketing budgets, spending more on digital marketing.
This makes sense. These businesses no longer have the option to promote their services in person anymore. Depending on where they are based, they may even be legally forbidden from conducting in-person business until the outbreak has been contained. Luckily, digital media still provides them with the opportunity to promote their services without requiring actual meetings or events.
Those who do choose to focus more on digital marketing in the coming months should keep the following points in mind. They’ll help them spend their budgets wisely, which can be difficult when unforeseen circumstances have forced you to switch to a new strategy so quickly.
Look at the Numbers
Forcing people into isolation has been one of the coronavirus pandemic’s most noticeable effects on society in general. That said, marketers who now have more free time due to isolation should take this opportunity to review their past marketing data thoroughly.
It’s essential to take this step before deciding precisely how you’ll spend your budget. After all, digital marketing consists of a range of channels and techniques, including email, social media, ads, and more. You need to take the time to determine which channels typically yield the greatest return on investment to better understand where you should spend the most money developing.
Exhibitions and networking events have been valuable for B2B companies because they allow them to meet with a large number of potential customers in a relatively short time. While it is true that such companies may no longer participate in those events in the same manner, you could develop alternatives if you’re creative.
For example, you might decide to organize the digital equivalent of a networking event via a platform such as Second Life. The fact that you need to modify your strategy thanks to the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change it completely.
Consider Your Customers’ New Pain Points
As a marketer, you probably already understand that you need to think of your customers’ pain points when developing your content and strategy. You need to know how your business’ services can benefit their businesses. What problems can you solve?
However, don’t overlook the fact that your customers’ pain points have likely changed thanks to the coronavirus. Once again, it’s disrupted numerous industries quite substantially.
For example, perhaps you offer payment processing tools and services for both eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retailers. You won’t be promoting your products for brick-and-mortar shops that heavily in the near future. Instead, you’ll want to focus on explaining how you can help your customers who’ve had to make the sudden shift to eCommerce do so seamlessly.
Now, More Than Ever, Valuable Content is Essential
Again, people are going to continue isolating themselves as the pandemic spreads. Many of your customers probably have a lot more free time on their hands than they’re used to. More and more people have dealt with their new circumstances by consuming both educational and entertaining content to a greater degree than before.
Remember this when planning your B2B digital marketing strategy. In their downtime, what type of content would your customers find valuable? For instance, depending on the nature of your business, you might market your services with a guide explaining to CEOs how they can prepare for the bounce back once the coronavirus pandemic ends and business gets back to normal.
Keep these points in mind going forward. In the next year, digital marketing will be crucial for B2B companies. These points will help you leverage it properly.