Businesses are looking for solutions to the disruption caused by COVID-19. Marketing teams, including Conductor’s team, face new challenges as once successful B2B marketing strategies have fallen flat as the situation has unfolded.
For B2B brands, the experience is common: events have been cancelled, email campaigns don’t deliver as well, and media budgets have been slashed.
Because putting customers first is in our DNA, we wanted to share how we went about adapting our marketing strategies to make up for lost leads.
Search and You Will Find
When things began to shift, we took stock and realized organic search is not just what we do best, it’s the best investment right now. Businesses are retrenching and looking to cut costs, and those managers are searching for business solutions online, now more than ever.
Marketing professionals can use this time to dive deeper into their customers’ wants and needs and stay ahead of trends that will only become apparent to the wider world after the crisis has passed.
Keyword Research: What Does Your Audience Want?
When thinking about how to help your audience, it’s critical to start with “what are THEY looking for?” not just “what do I THINK they’re looking for?” You can’t help them unless you know the questions they’re asking and the problems they’re looking to solve. At Conductor, we use organic search data, social media, and demographic insights to discover content topics that will resonate with our audience across all channels.
Tip: Use Explorer in Conductor Searchlight to research different topics to find trending keywords, as well as understand your target audience, who they are, their age, occupation, and location.
To dig deeper into both your customers’ intent and how your competitors are addressing that intent, you have a giant toolbox of tools to choose from. There are many free tools, like Google Keyword Planner that can help get you started, but for the sharpest insights, you may want to consider an enterprise solution like Conductor, that helps you understand your audience, identify opportunities, create powerful content, and measure your performance.
Answer Customers’ Questions and They Will Never Leave You
Now that you’ve done keyword research and know what your audience is searching for, it’s time to create content that efficiently but exhaustively answers those questions.
This is your opportunity to help your audience and customers at a time of need, and if you do it well, they will reward you with their trust, which during uncertain times is worth more than its weight in gold.
SEO-focused content built from the ground up to answer customers’ questions, is a win for businesses because, in the long run, it is less expensive to produce than paid campaigns, and has a higher ROI.
According to Google, paid search spend returns only 2x, while, according to a Forrester report, organic search spend with Conductor returns 5-6x.
This is especially true during difficult economic times when businesses aren’t as willing to spend money and are more diligent about choosing a product. By answering product questions truthfully and fully, you put yourself top of mind for when money is available for purchases.
This is what it means to build brand trust and brand equity. You meet your customers where they are — searching for answers online — and give them what they need, for free. That act of goodwill, especially when we are proving to each other day by day that we’re in it together, is memorable. This Conductor study gives numerical proof that brands that provide consumers with educational content are considered in a more positive light and more trustworthy than brands that don’t offer educational content.
Conductor Recommitted Ourselves to Adding Value
At Conductor, beyond just creating new content, all initiatives — from campaigns the marketing team is running to sales lead initiatives — are about how we can help our audience and add value.
Currently, we are running campaigns offering free assessments and access to Conductor’s research capabilities. Our sales initiatives are also shifting. Demonstrations aren’t about just exposing prospective clients to our platform but guiding them on in-the-moment research that can help them to immediately help their customers.
Even though trade shows and in person events are cancelled, there are new opportunities to connect and to help your customers navigate these times. At Conductor, we made the decision to shift our cornerstone event, C3, from an in-person to a free virtual event, and have launched a new daily webcast series, Search From Home, where we connect with our network of marketers and industry experts. Think outside the box, how could you help more people at a time like this?
We’re All in This Together
We hope this look inside will be helpful to you and your marketing team as you use this time to reevaluate and retool your own B2B marketing plans.
Knowledge sharing is the most powerful tool ever invented by humans, and we have to use it collectively to keep moving forward. Right now it might feel like your marketing plans may have been blown to pieces, but keep your eyes on the prize: helping others by giving them what you can — the best information on the internet — is karma that will repay you over and over after the storm has passed.