For many ‘marketers’ events, tradeshows and user group meetings are a key part of their marketing plan and all of these have just been cancelled for the foreseeable future. This is creating a significant gap in both customer engagement and demand generation; a gap that we need to find a way of filling.
Every challenge presents an opportunity and personally, I see this as a chance for many marketing teams to accelerate their path towards effective digital marketing. Over the past few years we have seen more buyers starting their journey with online search and we have seen a growth in engagement of content over digital channels such as websites, social and content syndication sources. As we now adapt to a new normal, I believe that it will be these channels that offer the potential for businesses to out-market the competition.
AN INCREASED APPETITE FOR CONTENT
With less meetings and no commuting time, we are seeing a significant increase in the consumption of content. Potential buyers are searching for information, whether that be looking for inspiration to drive change, ways to overcome challenges or exploring areas they never before had time to progress.
There is a real opportunity for businesses, through smart digital marketing, to maximise this appetite and tell their story, shape the thinking of buyers and to start a digital relationship. This is why we believe that now is the time for marketers to accelerate their digital path and to double-down on digital marketing.
YOUR WEBSITE IS KEY
For years organisations have viewed their website as supporting their sales efforts. The reality is that websites are the ‘focal point’ for these sales engagements. According to SiriusDecisions, 78% of buying journeys start online, so for 8 out of 10 prospects, your website is likely to be their first impression. Ensuring it is fit for purpose is key. It’s no longer good enough for it to be an online brochure; it has to work hard. It needs to grab their attention, demonstrating your understanding of their business, their challenges and offer unique and differentiated value.
Your website needs to guide people through your story in an intuitive way and provide those all- important hooks to engage with browsers and turn interest into intent.
Being found is even more important now as other methods of filling the top of the marketing funnel have disappeared. Paying attention to SEO is important to generate traffic to your website, but ensuring that it is not just about volume, but also about quality. Paid Search can help you get quick wins in this area, but you need to get this right otherwise you can quickly spend a fortune with little return. You need to focus on ‘context,’ not just keywords, and design ads that attract people with real interest and have effective landing pages that convert clicks into form-fills.
Leveraging other digital channels is also key. The aim is to be where your potential buyers are. What social media channels are they likely to be engaging with, where do they go for content and is there an opportunity to leverage content syndication? Spend time profiling the personas of potential buyers and then selecting the right message (content) to serve up through the right channel (social, content syndication, emarketing).
DEVELOP DIGITAL RELATIONSHIPS
Digital Marketing is not just about a click and a form-fill, it is about establishing and nurturing a digital relationship. Another SiriusDecision statistic is that over two-thirds of the buying cycle is conducted before engagement with a salesperson and this figure is likely to be even higher now.
Marketers need to be focusing on creating and refining digital journeys for prospects and customers. Once someone has engaged, how do you align your marketing process with their buying cycle? How do you serve up the right content at the right time? How do you become the trusted advisor in their mind and get them to a point where they want to do business with you?
Aberdeen Group found that those organisations that nurtured prospects with content generated 5x more conversions and we see examples of this every day of the week.
This is the perfect opportunity to start pushing the boundaries with Trigger and Nurture campaigns ensuring that if someone engages with your content, you follow them up with a trigger campaign that logically steps them through additional content to fuel and qualify their interest.
Although at the moment we are seeing a significant increase in the amount of people engaging with content, due to circumstances we are also finding that people are not ready to engage with sales yet. Leveraging Nurture programmes that drips relevant content to these people over the coming months will be key in ensuring you cultivate their interest and develop a strong marketing pipeline.
HOW CAN CREMARC HELP
We are a digital marketing company focused on the B2B technology sector. We understand this market and more importantly, the personas of the buyers in this space. We help our clients to raise their digital marketing game by both injecting the relevant digital marketing expertise and providing them with the resource to make things happen.
We would love to explore your ideas for scaling up your digital marketing and share our thoughts on what can be highly effective during these times. Simply reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.cremarc.com.