There will be huge mental shifts coming from all of us after spending a few months social distancing. We’re already seeing it: how we do business is changing forever. Our job right now is to understand those shifts and look ahead to where this crisis is taking us. COVID-19 has left us in a recession that we will likely be in for the next several years.
How can you continue to build your business during a recession?
Right now, the best thing you can do to get your business through this recession and set yourself up for success on the other side is to build and foster relationships. We’ve talked about the three goals of B2B marketing during a recession. That’s the WHAT. Now let’s talk about the HOW – the three pillars of B2B marketing – and how we can utilize those pillars to build relationships and grow word of mouth – even during a recession.
- Mobile-First Responsive Website
First of all, you need a great website. Your website works for you 24/7 and you need to think about the great content that’s going to drive your website. Start with what you want to communicate. In times of crisis, communicating your fundamental values is even more important than ever. People want to work with companies that they believe in, that share their values. Starting with your WHY is one of the best ways you can do this.
That means clearly articulating your story: WHY you do what you do, WHO you are, and then HOW you do WHAT you do, then create a mobile-optimized design (70% of first-time visitors to B2B websites are mobile).
A good website also considers the journey you are taking visitors on. You want the user experience to be good and for visitors to know what to do next. The right Calls-to-Action (CTAs) can help your visitors always know where to go next and what to do. They also help you capture emails so you can add them to your audience and talk to them at any time.
- Use LinkedIn to Expand Your Audience
With everybody home during the pandemic and more people spending time online, LinkedIn engagement is up 55% and Facebook use is up 70%. Those people are looking to connect, to communicate, and to learn, and they are more engaged than ever. Use this opportunity to grow your audience on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn allows you to expand your audience and target exactly the right prospects. You’ve taken the time to produce all this great content for your website and email marketing. Now it’s time to leverage it on LinkedIn and use it to build your network. A lot of networking had already gone digital prior to COVID-19. But with less business travel and fewer face to face meetings, online networking is more important than ever.
LinkedIn is the ultimate networking event, allowing you to meet exactly who you want.
Take the time to optimize your profile and really define who you want to talk to. Then take advantage of the features of Sales Navigator to target the audience you’re looking to connect with. Finally, start the conversation. Become a thought-leader by posting insight-driven content to your website and sharing it on your LinkedIn profile. Then drive that audience to your website so you can capture their email addresses and add them to your audience.
- Insight-Driven Email Marketing Keeps You Top of Mind
Good email marketing allows you to follow-up on prospects and stay top-of-mind. Staying top-of-mind in today’s saturated email communication streams means, perhaps counter-intuitively, that you need to be sending more email. Your content needs to be insight-driven, valuable information that helps your audience navigate this difficult period by helping them better understand or solve problems they are facing. And it needs to be sent out consistently.
You’ve built an audience by being a thought-leader and producing great insight-driven content. And you’ve captured their attention and their email address. Now you need to continue to stay top of mind. Engaging content is the best way to showcase your expertise, provide your audience with insights they care about and keep you top of mind. Make sure that you’re following up with captured leads by providing them with valuable content that helps them in some way during this difficult period. It’s the number one way to stay top of mind.
These three pillars form the foundation of your marketing strategy, and they are all devoted to engaging with and building your audience. What do these three pillars do? They take what is already working – word of mouth – and amplify the effect. By focusing on building a relationship with your audience, you’re setting yourself up for success on the other side of this recession
All the best,