With changing environments during COVID-19, reworking your marketing and engagement strategies have been necessary to ensure you are capturing the attention of your current customers and potential leads.
According to Gallup, research shows that engaged B2B customers lead to 50% greater revenue and 34% higher profitability.
Customer engagement is critical, but it is easier said than done, especially during a pandemic. Reflecting on the past 18 months, we thought it would be nice to share some of our findings on ways B2B marketers can engage with prospects. Since COVID started, our team has been in demand to research and document customer journeys, develop valuable content when creating inbound lead generation campaign, and support with putting together marketing automation plans.
So, what engagement marketing methods can you use as a B2B marketer that would resonate with your target audience and prospective clients during COVID-19? Let’s explore four methods to engage with customers and qualified prospects that have proven to work – straight from our clients and partners.
1. Engaging with B2B Prospects Online – Going Virtual
Virtual events, such as webinars and conferences, took a big leap up in importance, with more than 56% of businesses having sponsored virtual events in the last 18 months. Additionally, a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute has also highlighted virtual events as the most successful form of content marketing throughout 2021. To learn more about planning successful virtual events, read our Virtual Events Playbook.
One great example is developing an inbound lead generation campaign using a virtual tour as the core piece of content. This is exactly what FoodChek did as a leader in the testing of harmful food contaminants.
The primary purpose of the virtual tour was to develop a step-by-step, workflow-testing training tool for current B2B clients to improve efficiency. The virtual tour was then repurposed as a targeted B2B lead generation campaign. Having virtual tours allowed FoodChek to showcase its products effectively and safely while still engaging with customers and prospects productively.
To learn more, take a look at the FoodChek Lab case study.
2. Customizing to your Customers Needs
Custom Tools (Nice CXone)
The purpose of a custom assessment tool is to act as an outbound lead generation tactic focused on user-centric customer experiences. In the consideration stage of the customer journey, NICE CXone’s custom assessment tool prompts users with a series of questions to determine where they are in their buyer journey and to better understand their needs. Each step provides users with customized advice on how to move to the next stage in the outbound lead generation campaign to generate MQLs for the sales team to nurture. Having custom tools goes a long way when connecting with clients and providing personalized interactions.
NICE CXone supports more than 275,000 contact center agents in enterprises, mid-market companies, government organizations, and business process outsourcers. And with the custom assessment tools like the one we created, NICE CXone can cater to every client’s needs as well as support their team of outbound marketers.
The assessment tool is so popular that we are working on a new assessment tool for their next campaign. Get in touch to learn more!
3. Targeted Messaging to Connect with Prospects
Targeted Integrated Ad Campaigns (Dell)
Targeted ad campaigns are based on a tactic that increases success rate through engagement and conversion, and for a good reason. After establishing your personas and customer journey, the next step in the process is to develop valuable content to reach your prospects. When targeted display ads appear in front of prospects with relevant messaging, they’re more likely to click on the ad and engage.
Take Dell, a leading information technology company, for example. They wanted to develop a more customer-centric brand awareness ad campaign. Using display ads, online ads and social media posts to promote Dell’s hardware and parts, the ad campaign targeted owners of two-year-old+ computers who might want to upgrade the memory instead of purchasing a new computer. With Dell’s goal at the top of our minds, we created a brand awareness and customer engagement strategy, which led to concepts that met their business goals to develop greater brand awareness and target those working remotely from home.
Dell’s first customer-centric campaign resulted in an 30% increase in their online conversation rate. This is proof that having targeted ad campaigns increases conversion rates, reaches prospects who care, and creates a successful digital customer experience.
4. Webinar Campaigns
Webinar Campaigns (Siemens)
A webinar campaign is an online seminar to connect with a broader audience, provide valuable information and, when done correctly, can promote your business as a part of your B2B lead generation strategy. They are also great ways to digitally engage with prospects and directly cater to their specific needs. Each market and sector has their unique challenges, so personalized content marketing campaigns for specific markets ensure that respective attributes and needs are met. Siemens’ recent campaign is an excellent example of a successful B2B webinar campaign.
With COVID-19, events needed to go virtual. Siemens wanted to pivot its existing in-person conference into a virtual format, rebranding it into the Siemens Virtual Symposium. The virtual symposium targeted existing and prospective clients in the finance industry, and more specifically, private equity firms. A focused and engaging strategic content plan was made, along with tailored graphics that followed a consistent theme throughout the campaign, to create captivating emailers sent to prospects that offered engagement opportunities for attendees before, during and after the symposium.
Prior to the pandemic, we had also helped Siemens with an in-person conference. This experience informed our ability to help Siemens pivot to the online webinar platform. We worked with them to help develop the event theme, messaging, the look and feel, as well as the print, online, and digital marketing assets. In making sure these elements were all aligned with the trade show strategy, Siemens’ participation in the conference was a huge success! Check out our case study to learn more about the in-person sales conference project!
We only touched on a fraction of the many ways you can engage with customers and prospects during COVID-19. But if you’d like to learn more about what else is out there, our full-service agency offerings, or to request a free marketing assessment, reach out to Pace Creative here.