B2B companies will need to ensure their brand continues to deliver value, and at the same time continue building a pipeline for the future
The majority of B2B marketers will need to shift their strategies to deal with the current COVID-19 outbreak. Marketers can set up different dashboards in Search Ads 360 and Google Data Studio to monitor performance. Brands that have a global presence need to monitor trends at a country level. In the case of B2B brands, marketers should especially look for changes in front-end performance, as conversion latency may cause a delay in an impact on back-end results.
Keep an eye on media consumption and mobile traffic as it will likely increase. Make sure if the company website is optimized for mobile conversions. Also, YouTube viewership for certain content is on the rise, which is resulting in lower CPV. The current situation could be a good time to check out new digital channels. CXOs should make necessary changes in the existing marketing campaigns if necessary, considering the current situation in the targeted market.
B2B brands that want to avoid being surfaced next to content revolving around COVID-19 can exclude broader topics in Google like Health or News. It could be a good idea to exclude coronavirus related keywords such as pandemic, covid, coronavirus, corona, Wuhan, and virus, among others. Marketers should also brainstorm on alternate uses for the company’s service or product that might be relevant right now. In the case of Facebook, test turning on detailed targeting expansion for interest audiences. This will expand to a larger audience as many users are now engaging with content that they do not usually consume.
B2B sales cycles are generally longer; hence making drastic changes to paid media strategy could have lasting effects. Slashing overall budgets is necessary, but it is equally important to keep feeding the upper funnel that will allow the brand to remain at the top of mind when demand bounces back. Marketers can produce a video content series and even update the existing webinar content to connect with people remotely.
Lastly, it is essential to have empathy for consumers and their changing needs and challenges. B2B companies need to remain strategic and make quick adjustments as news cycles, and performance reports dictate.