Digital strategy helps B2B firms in Coronavirus fightback
Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the economy grew in the three months to July. Quite an achievement considering how drastic the lockdown has been. Even better news is that more of our clients, especially those in the construction and technology sector, are reporting growing order books. Mind you, it’s not at the levels that they saw pre-covid, but it’s certainly a start.
Clients that have come out of the lockdown strongest are those that have adapted their marketing strategy to suit the new world that we live in; there’s no hiding from the fact that record numbers of people are now avoiding face to face contact for their purchases and opting for an online approach. That’s not only with B2C and retail companies, either. Our B2B clients, including building product manufacturers, are finding that there is less demand from customers for face to face meetings, with more business being done online.
That’s dramatically different to how business has been done up to now. It brings into sharp focus the power of the internet and the opportunities for companies that can harness their digital strategy to grow and weather the current economic storm. In simple terms, building product manufacturers with the smartest content management and digital marketing strategy will be best placed to cope with the seismic shift in demand.
Here, we answer a series of questions that should help you make the most of these new opportunities:
My sales team find it difficult to go and meet existing customers, so how do we generate sales enquiries?
This presents two challenges. Firstly, you need to remind existing customers that you are still there - and one way of doing this when face to face isn’t a possibility is through blogs, social media and articles that are placed online. Customers that search online for suppliers – and most of them now do it as a first port of call – are then much more likely to see your brand in the search results. That’s because Google ranks new written content, so make sure that your PR agency is keeping it fresh. Its one of the reasons why our digital PR strategies work so effectively – because we are always coming up with ideas for high quality written content
Secondly, customers don’t always know the full range of products you offer. That means if your sales-force aren’t meeting them regularly they may not ask you to quote for a new product line. Again, making sure your online digital footprint is up to date and talking about all your product range is a must.
Should I put more of my budget into online advertising?
Some of our clients have increased their online advertising. An example would be a client that previously spent on outside billboard positions now switching to a digital platform. With fewer people travelling to the office, shopping or tourism, there is sense in that. However, it’s best not to put all your budget into online advertising because there is merit in investing in good quality online content creation. More sometimes, because once you stop an ad campaign, all the online search optimisation benefits disappear. However, good quality written content stays online indefinitely, helping your search rankings even after a campaign has run its course. A mix of online advertising and content creation works best.
We sell to architects, so how can we get products in front of them if they won’t meet face to face?
Earlier in 2020, we carried out a poll with architects and found that 87% of them began searching for building products online, which means the best way of getting in front of them is through an effective digital marketing strategy. Many of them said that they prefer not to meet representatives from building product suppliers unless it is to work through a specific issue they are facing. Digital display ads, social media, blogs and online video content are very effective channels to target architects and specifiers that adopt this approach.
How do I generate new business enquiries if I can’t meet prospective customers at an exhibition?
More often than not, professional buyers search for potential suppliers online and research shows that they rarely consider companies that don’t appear on page one of a search result. Certainly, if you use a search phrase relating to your product or service and end up on page 3, 4 or higher on Google then your brand is unlikely to be selected. Plus, if your website is out of date – meaning you’re not regularly uploading blogs, press releases, cases studies or social media – buyers will wonder how proactive your company is.
In summary, this is a time for all marketing managers and the businesses they work for to look at how they have done things in the past and how it can be done better now. Many are finding that the cost of a digital marketing strategy can be much less and more effective compared to, say, a trade exhibition or outdoor advertising. A digital marketing strategy is an ideal way to capture new customers or remind existing customers that you are still there. Having a strong online presence for your brand has never been more important.
For more advice and guidance on content creation and digital PR, contact our team on 0114 349 5344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.