How B2B Businesses Can Thrive Virtually During a CrisisB2B Global Access
Whether you own a small restaurant down the road or run a huge marketing company catering to many clients, the truth is “Social Distancing” due to the COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost all businesses across the globe. While many business owners are worried about their profit margin, deliveries, and their current inventory, not everything is lost.
Amid the current Covid-19 crisis, many countries are on complete or partial lockdown. This means, businesses can’t have face-to-face meetings with their employees, clients, and customers. So, the big question is how can businesses use this time wisely and build their customer base?
Is Email Marketing still Effective?
A good email marketing program helps you stay in touch with your existing customers. And if you use this tool right, you may earn new customers while you are in isolation and use these leads when things are back to normal again, which we hope is not too far away.
In this digital world, emails are one of the most sought-after tools used by marketers and advertisers to communicate with their customers and generate leads. Unlike other tools such as Social Media Marketing or SEO, when it comes to email marketing, your customers receive the message in their personal inbox. Emails allow you to communicate with your customers on a one-on-one basis and enables you to send personalized messages.
Did you know that 99% of consumers check emails everyday and around 93% of B2B marketers use email marketing? Email marketing remains to be the most effective tool even amid the crisis. Though email marketing is the way to go forward, what are the other ways B2B business can lessen the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak?
9 Ways B2B Businesses can Thrive During the Covid-19 Crisis
While many businesses who run a physical store catering to B2C requirements are adapting safety measures such as reducing the number of employees, restricting the number of customers entering the store at a given time, and maintaining a healthy gap of six feet or more between others, what are the best strategies marketing companies can adapt to stay in business?
Here is a list of the top 9 best practices marketing companies can implement to mitigate the risks expected during a pandemic and focus on their marketing growth in challenging times.
Stay calm and go virtual
Panic spreads faster than viruses. Do not panic. While you are working remotely, consider using the power of the internet to the maximum. LinkedIn is one the great social media platforms for B2B marketing. With over 95% of B2B content marketers and over 90 million users who are senior-level influencers, LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with potential clients. You can set up meetings, discuss business capabilities, and close a deal online – without having to step out of the house.
Try video conferencing for crucial face-to-face sales meetings
True, it is great to meet your clients face-to-face, especially if it is a sales meeting. However, given the current scenario, where isolation is no longer optional but a necessity, marketers can choose to have video meetings instead of cancelling it. There are many online portals that offer high-quality web meetings and webinar services. You can use these portals for internal meetings too.
Conduct virtual events or broadcast live presentations
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, many major marketing events are cancelled. However, if you have an event or a presentation planned for a long time and you have put in a lot of hard work, you do not have to cancel the event altogether. Consider conducting a virtual event or stream your presentations live. This way, you can see all your online viewers, engage with them, and build your customer base.
Start a podcast
70% of the US population are aware of the term “Podcasting” and 69% of listeners agreed that the podcast ads made them aware of new products and services. Also, podcast listeners are active on social media more than others. About 94% of listeners are active on at least one social media channel and are most likely to follow brands on online platforms. If you, as a marketer, have always put the podcast idea on hold, now is the time to introduce it. Provide information about your products, future business plans, and just engage with your customers and employees through your new podcast.
With the majority of the population working remotely with access to the internet, it is the right time to bring webinars back. In the last decade, webinars have been used as a tool to generate high-quality leads. As per a survey, 73% of B2B marketers stated that webinars are a great tool for lead generation. If you have been busy and did not host a webinar, the time is right to host one.
Social Media Networking
Most businesses focus on revenue-generating tasks and are often crunched for time when it comes to social media marketing—especially if they do not have an external agency doing it for them. If you always wanted to ramp up your business profile on social media channels, you can do it now. You can stay connected with your existing customers and also earn new ones on social media.
ChatBot can help
Having a Chatbot on your website can help you and your customers immensely during a crisis such as this. If you are away from your system or cannot access it, a ChatBot will help your customers find the answers. It is also a great way to reduce workload for your employees especially when you may be understaffed in the near future. During a crisis, it is important to be prepared for unplanned sick leaves—a ChatBot may come in handy.
Build your brand
We all are aware of the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on B2B businesses. While experts are still debating about the economic and financial impact of the crisis, it is safe to say that almost all industries took a hit. In this case, when the effect of the outbreak on your business is yet to be quantified, it is natural to worry about revenue, ROI, and profit margin. However, the best thing to do while all your revenue-generating tasks are paused is to build a good brand image. In the words of Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon- “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”. Make it a good one.
Avoid Knee-jerk Decisions
In times of crisis, it is easy to make knee-jerk decisions. This may help you feel like you are in control for a while but not in the long run. Before making any crucial decision, take time to reflect and refrain from posting your decisions and opinions on social media immediately. This will help you stay sensitive and build your brand image.
New opportunities have opened for marketers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses can now seize the benefits of the digital world without stepping outside. Let’s hope the Coronavirus crisis passes soon with minimal impact.