Do This Not That: Switching Marketing Tactics During the Coronavirus

Trade show cancelled? Digital engagement tanking? Welcome to the new reality of marketing your B2B tech company during the coronavirus crisis. Should you throw in the towel and just give up on marketing for the short-term? (Hint: this blog post tells you why that’s a horrible idea.) Of course, not! 

Instead of panicking, try adjusting your strategy. Here’s a list of our favorite ideas to do “this, not that” when it comes to specific marketing tactics.

 

Instead of trade shows, try webinars.

While our research shows that the best leads for B2B tech companies come from trade shows, those are obviously out of the equation for the foreseeable future. What’s the next best way to gather large groups of people together in a digital way? Webinars, of course!

Silver Lining: If you’re the one hosting the webinar, you’re not sharing the proverbial “trade show floor” with anyone else. Of course you’re going to want to be waaaaay less “sales-y” than you would be at a trade show booth, but the idea of not having to compete for attention is a big bonus.

 

Instead of Google Ads, try paid social media.

People are obsessed with news coverage about the coronavirus. Instead of Googling topics related to your tech solution, they’re glued to social media 24/7 for updates. So pause your traditional PPC campaign and take out paid ads on Facebook or Instagram instead. When people are endlessly scrolling through their feeds, you’ll be right there with ‘em.

Silver Lining: The cost-per-click on social media can be a bargain compared to traditional PPC! An article by Wordstream cited the average CPC in the B2B industry as $3.33 on Google Ads vs. $2.52 on Facebook. In the technology industry, the average CPC was $3.80 on Google Ads vs. $1.27 on Facebook.

 

Instead of polished videos, try motion graphics or smartphone footage.

Traditional video production requires high-end equipment (locked back in the office), on-sight locations (closed down because they’re non-essential) and subjects (all working from home). Instead of shelving your video plans altogether, create motion graphics, repurpose old footage or ask co-workers to submit clips taken on their iPhone…get creative! 

Silver Lining: Videos that look too polished may come off as disingenuous during a crisis—like you’re trying to continue on with business as normal. Since videos shot on a smartphone have become mainstream over the past couple years, your tech brand may actually seem more relevant and authentic with non-professional footage.

 

Instead of mailers, try personalized landing pages.

There’s nothing more fun than getting a package in the mail. But there’s nothing more creepy than asking a prospect for their home address so you can continue your ABM campaign. Instead, create cool n’ customized digital content via a personalized landing page!

If you use a service like Unbounce, take advantage of a cool feature called dynamic text replacement (DTR). In HubSpot, this functionality is called a personalization token. Basically, it lets you automatically swap out landing page copy to be super relevant to readers. You’re probably used to this in emails—Friend—but you can also customize company name, job title, location, industry and more on landing pages. Any data that you record in your database can be dynamically populated on a personalized landing page.

Silver Lining: Personalized text is fun, but personalized graphics are epic. With the help of a third-party tool like Cloudinary, you can customize image thumbnails by changing out the text for each individual name. Or, take it to the next level with personalized video; platforms like Vidyard can create a large number of unique videos instantly by weaving in individual viewer data, like a user’s name or company. Try it out for yourself on their demo page.

 

Instead of long-form content, try short-form content.

Your prospects are probably still getting used to working from home, with attention divided between kids, news updates and maybe even a bit of real work. Let’s be honest…no one is wanting to read a 12-page white paper right now.

Instead, focus on producing short-form content, like quick infographics for social or blog posts that take less than five minutes to read. Anything that’s quick to consume and easy to share is a winner in today’s climate.

Silver Lining: With conditions changing multiple times a day, any long-form content you create now may be out of date by the time it’s actually published. By sticking to short-form content that’s fast to create, you can adjust your tech marketing plan on the fly…and not be too upset if you have to shelve anything.

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As you can see, marketing during a pandemic or recession isn’t impossible…just different. With a bit of creativity, you can adjust your tactics to be effective with a distracted and remote audience. 

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