Brought on by the pandemic, B2B (business to business) transactions have become stagnant as industries struggle to keep client relations and, ultimately, make sales. Consumers during the crisis have not been rushing to buy unnecessary goods and services which is contributing to fewer sales and a decrease in overall eCommerce. Companies, now dealing with sale plateaus and consumer behavioral changes, are left with the question of how to continue to engage B2B buyers amid COVID-19.
Rethink Your B2B Marketing Strategy
Defining B2B buyers is the process of one business buying or exchanging products, services, and information with another business. B2C is one of the leading factors in generating B2B transactions; this involves businesses working together to develop and provide goods for the consumer. For example, when a customer purchases an automobile, a car company would have to work with manufacturers and suppliers in a B2B transaction to assemble the vehicle and make it available for consumers.
With the pandemic impacting customer sales, it in turn affects B2B transactions, so in response, companies need to consider readjusting their marketing strategies to fine-tune strategies during the crisis and potentially cope with lost sales.
B2B Marketing Plan
It’s evident that 68% of marketers have a documented B2B content plan, meaning it is crucial for your business to lay out a solid strategy to keep engagement and sales coming in during the pandemic. Below is a brief guide to follow when adjusting marketing to keep B2B clients:
- Existing Clients: Marketers have reported that working with existing clients was 90% more efficient than starting from scratch and scouting for new businesses to network with. Utilizing preexisting relationships is a key way to stay competitive with other companies as well as save time and money by not having to attract new business regularly.
- SEO/Advertising: A great way to attract and network with other businesses is to improve your company’s SEO keyword usage. Integrating keywords into your site’s content will grow your business’ reach and visibility on the internet. Your business should also consider adding key terms within ads to become more searchable to companies in need of your services.
- Video Content: Depending on your company’s industry, it may be smart to set up a budget for the addition of video content in your business’s marketing plan. Tech companies specifically have shown that 53% of B2B interactions have been more interested in their video content. Video formats are able to both educate and convince buyers and sellers to trust the business in a more comprehensive way than just written text alone.
- Maintain Your Website: It may sound simple, but keeping your company’s site up to date and running is important when looking to optimize trust with B2B buyers. A business is likely to be wary of doing any work with your company if the site is not functioning properly or if the purpose of the platform isn’t clear. Marketing Charts has reported that over 65% of B2B buyers consider websites to be the most influential platform to solidify sales.
- Empathy: A great way to engage B2B buyers amid COVID-19 is to show empathy to others during the crisis. Realizing that other businesses could be in the same predicament as your own will help create a bond between both parties and potential commerce opportunities with one another once the virus eases.
- Engage: In a B2B marketing plan, it’s important for your business to engage with potential clients. Using this method, your company will be able to optimize trust with B2B buyers, help the client to make the decision to buy, and eliminate any uncertainties that go along with a transaction during the pandemic.
- Adjust the Offer: The virus has created some obstacles for both B2C and B2B buyers. Your company may need to readjust what it’s offering to be perceived as a reasonable and trustworthy platform to do business with. Whether modifying the products, services, prices, or audience; this is the time to do so.
- Case Studies: Adding a successful case study to your company’s site is a savvy way to show other businesses your success in a structured, factual format. Businesses that are performing research on different companies to potentially work with can use this information towards their decision-making process.
B2B marketing during crisis periods will always consist of trial and error situations, but now more than ever, it’s important to evaluate your own marketing strategy. By staying on top of and adjusting your B2B marketing plan as needed, it’s an approach to keep your business afloat with engagement and converting sales during COVID-19.
Business Taking Action
BMW: Luxury car brand BMW has created a B2B Group Partner Portal which gives businesses an easily accessible platform to begin a relationship with the brand. By utilizing this page on its site, it allows companies to follow directions for filling out an application to work B2B. In this example, BMW created a highly functional site with valuable information on their success, as well as stating different ways businesses can create a bond with the brand themselves.
Aumcore: Our own site has taken the approach of creating a section dedicated to past work with clients through successful case studies. SEO-keywords intertwined into all of Aumcore’s content helps a company find our page, read about different campaigns, and consider the services Aumcore has to offer clients.
Guinness: Beer company Guinness took the time to create video content for not only B2C use but also B2B marketing. Guinness executed an outstanding strategy using video content to reach potential clients, showing empathy towards the recent crisis, and essentially blend a case study into their script all within a minute and a half visual clip.
During COVID-19, paying close attention to buyer behavior is crucial towards predicting how it will affect B2B buyers and their own habits. This is a time where companies should be working with existing clients, improving marketing strategies, and overall keep engagement and traffic running towards their brands. Even if an increase in sales is not accomplished, businesses will be able to feel safe and stable against the unpredictability the crisis brings.
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