How Digital Marketers Can Generate Demand in 2020’s ‘New Normal’ (Part II)
5 B2B Content Tactics That Increase Traffic (With or Without COVID-19)
In Part 1 of this blog series, we explored “Seven B2B Customer Experience Tactics That Work.” These include marketing tactics, such as updating your personas, user journeys, and marketing channels to reflect the shift toward digital experiences.
Now let’s take a look at content marketing – the muscle of your B2B marketing experience. How can B2B marketers lift themselves – and their target audience – into meaningful experiences that help us move forward together? Here are a few ideas:
Find “hot topics that convert” by reviewing questions existing customers have asked since the pandemic started. Marketing teams should start by scouring customer service chats and user forums. Many of your potential customers will have the same doubts and problems as current customers. Demand generation content that addresses these issues could boost conversion rates and provide you with some “quick wins” during this troubled time.
Ask your sales team what content they need – this week. Many companies have found significant changes in their lead management analytics, along with new search trends. While you work to develop long-term strategies based on your data, craft high-quality content around your sales team’s quickly changing needs. Odds are, this near-term tactic will generate long-term insights into your marketing performance.
Audit all of your assets – whether they’re seasonal, event-based, or evergreen. In 2020, your customers consume content in a social, economic, and political context that is very different from 2019. This is a good time to update all your content to reflect your audience’s heightened sensitivity to issues related to public health, the economy, or diversity.
In the long term, the dramatic events of 2020 will change many aspects of your content strategy, ranging from the types of images you use to the pain points impacting your B2B buyers. It is also likely that, within the next year, you will find that many of your user journeys have changed and your personas have new concerns. Don’t wait until you have a perfect understanding of this year’s major shifts to begin updating your content. As Winston Churchill observed, “perfection is the enemy of progress.”
While you’re auditing your content–increase your A/B and multi-variant testing efforts. It’s time to discard many of your 2019 assumptions about personalized content. In response to the global pandemic, your company may be offering new products or services or providing pre-existing services in new ways. All this affects content. The customer preferences that defined your website experiences, and which you knew (by heart) in January of 2020, maybe changing radically and in some cases, permanently. Use data from testing programs to inform how you modify your journeys and major assets. Effective testing programs will provide essential insights into how content should be structured.
Update the nurtures in your marketing automation system. Most were probably based on messages and cadences relevant before the pandemic when customer journeys included numerous in-person events and predictable revenue forecasts. Here are simple examples of changing content needs in your nurture architecture: your leads may need new content about social distancing and COVID-19 testing at an event you are promoting, or they may require information about how to finance a large purchase much earlier in the buying cycle.
A Word to the Wise
These are unprecedented times for digital marketers. Like never before, data will be your friend and guide when you feel like you are wandering through a foggy forest. For many marketers, the most strategic change they will make in their content marketing efforts in 2020 will be optimizing their analytics and testing programs.
In the next post in this series, we’ll examine more tactics you can use to adapt to the changes of 2020, focusing on search and media.
In the meantime, if you need expert support– reach out. We are here to help you design the best approaches to personalization, lead generation, and customer acquisition. Or we can check under the hood of your CMS system, and help you optimize your content for better experiences in 2021.
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