Dealing with COVID-19 is the answer made many small businesses a difficult year. There's a lot of talk every day about how the corona virus affected (and in some cases financially destroyed) small retailers and restaurant owners.
We don't hear as much about how the global pandemic affected B2B companies. How have you been doing in 2020 and what are you facing? Alex Rynne, Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, offers some great suggestions and ideas on how B2B companies can weather the current crisis.
In her blog, she first suggests that we change the meaning of the acronym SMART (as with SMART goals). Instead of ensuring that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, she publishes the change from "relevant" to "revisable" but "only for 2020" because "what if target revisions are the only way." is to keep our goals? " relevant and accessible? ”
Rynne has one point – a good one. Why not reset instead of complaining that we missed our targets? The new goal, she says, is "to achieve a great end for a subsequent year". Of course, this requires a new attitude for some – one of positivity and hope.
Before you start, Rynne says you should examine what you've learned so far in this tumultuous year.
It is not surprising that we have learned that positivity counts. By that she means "thinking about what is possible instead of thinking about what is not".
For B2B companies, she points out that content is in demand. But it should be helpful and not opportunistic, she warns, adding: "The demand for helpful, differentiating content is higher than ever."
And she notes that if you can afford it, advertising in a downside market tends to produce results as so many other companies cut their marketing budgets to save money. If your voice is one of the few in a vacuum, your message will stand out.
The good news is that you can use affordable marketing options these days – it is no longer necessary to spend a fortune to get your message across. The key is to focus on digital marketing channels, especially the web and your social media platforms.
“Bio [marketing methods],” says Rynne, “will always be there for you. Regardless of the budget, all marketers can build online communities that feel welcome and offer opportunities for connections and inspiration. "
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While things have definitely changed – maybe not as much as you think – Rynne quotes research showing that "the ability of advertisers to connect with people is not limited, though … ads with to better connect certain characteristics during an economic downturn. "
So instead of throwing away your playbook, she simply advises to modify and adapt it, "based on the requirements, strengths of the [your] team, and available resources."
If you were planning to hold an event, for example online, Rynne says: "Can be more successful." If you hold events online and not in person, you can also save a lot of money. And since the participants don't have to travel and pay for accommodation and meals, they also save what can attract a larger audience.
And yes, we are all aware that things are still so uncertain that it is difficult to know or even predict what to expect for the rest of the year.
According to Rynne, however, LinkedIn is already seeing more companies "returning to their regular activities". She expects marketing spending to return to normal, "because advertising during a recession correlates strongly with the growth in market share, and partly because advertiser audiences generally pick up again." She cites data from the Great Recession of 2008, which shows that companies that increased media spending during this downturn had 4.5 times annual market share growth.
According to Rynne, customer stories and third-party validation are now even more important because credibility is an important factor for companies when deciding which vendors and partners to work with. The key is to find providers with "proven success in practice".
Businesses need content that "helps them achieve their changing goals, content that is tailored to customer needs," says Rynne.
According to a study by Forrester, credible and empathetic content is more engaging and exactly what customers are looking for today. And don't forget that content is available in different formats these days. So look at all of them.
The coronavirus situation is still so fluid that one cannot know how 2020 will end. But Rynne says, "B2B marketers should prepare for the future by taking a pragmatic approach to monitor and meet customers' changing needs."
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