The effects of the coronavirus are not going to be merely from the shutdown. The economic effects are going to stay with us for a whole yet. For a B2B company, this is especially concerning. You rely on the continuing success or expansion of other businesses. You also likely meet a majority of your prospects through events, trade shows, and conventions. For 2020, many of the Q1 and Q2 events have been canceled for the year, and the possibility of expansion in 2020 might seem limited. So what is a company that’s B2B to do in order to acquire leads?

As a B2B company, and often B2B2B, we know a few things about successful marketing and driving leads. At this time when everyone is struggling, we want to share with you ideas for marketing your business throughout 2020. Behind it all is a simple philosophy, and a powerful secret we want to share with you about your B2B marketing.

The all-too-simple secret to B2B marketing

We’ll give you the secret first. Then we can go into why it’s important, why it works, and even provide some ideas for your own strategy. Here it is: content marketing.

In case you’re not familiar, content marketing is a principle category of digital marketing. It provides non-promotional material to potential customers for no real monetary cost. This content is compelling and valuable, which incentivizes a click and satisfies the user. This can range from blog posts to a vast portfolio of rich video content.

Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing is not explicitly promotional nor a product. The concept is pretty straightforward: provide useful content, construct a narrative, and develop a relationship. It does require some up-front commitment in creating the content, as well as creativity and knowledge. However, if you’re a thriving B2B business, chances are that you have both of these in spades.

The content marketing advantage

In times like these, the content you produce will be among the most valuable resources you can provide to your clients. With most events canceled or postponed, how do you stay connected with leads or existing clients? Delivering useful and interesting content is a great way to stay top-of-mind and build your brand image. Now more than ever, this type of strategy will reflect well on your business. Plus, it has time and again proven to deliver more leads on average.
Your potential customers want to be in connection with you. That’s the beauty of content marketing. It is an opportunity to have a conversation with prospects and clients alike. It tells them that you are still active, still doing business, and still value them. You value your clients as both business partners, and as peers.

This can be posting regularly on social media, sure. But what is critical to content marketing is what you are giving your clients. Ask yourself a few questions about your content. Is it interesting? Is it useful? Is it on topic? Most importantly, is it worthwhile? Content doesn’t have to be a high-budget production. You’re also not trading corporate secrets. You just need to create something compelling that contains a narrative and is worth sharing.

Whether you have one in place or not, digital marketing is going to be integral to driving leads in 2020, Q2 and beyond. Scheduling meetings, demonstrations, and anything face-to-face won’t work for at least a while. Even after a return to normalcy this summer, companies are going to struggle even into next spring. Many will be looking to regain ground, not expand or try out B2B services or products.

Why Value-First Works

Content marketing, and digital marketing in general, gives you an important advantage in this scenario. You are able to approach businesses without seeming like you’re selling to them. That is the key distinction, and it is disarming and amicable for companies to engage. Furthermore, you’re building rapport with these businesses that engage with your content. This makes them more receptive to future contact and sales pitches down the line.

Content marketing is going to be how you communicate in challenging times and a global marketplace. By providing value first, you indicate that you want your business partners to succeed with you. You also inform potential clients that you aren’t fly-by-night; real content distinguishes you from faceless or flavorless brands that send cold emails to their inbox.

We mentioned earlier as well that you need to be creative and knowledgeable to perform content marketing well. These are also the traits most businesses look for in their B2B services. These are signs that you are solution-oriented and can tackle any task. It also shows that you value your clients enough that you provide them with rich content – without asking for anything extra. It demonstrates a centered moral character to your brand, and builds trust.

4 Content Marketing Concepts To Get You Started

  • 1. Livestreaming a Webinar
  • Even if a trade show or conference was canceled, you can still connect to clients “face-to-face.” Explaining your industry, tech demos, and more can be done online and streamed to multiple social channels. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn greatly promote such live content. As a result, hosting your own webinar can help generate leads and connect with clients, old and new.

  • 2. How-To Videos For Product or Service

    Are you a B2B that provides technical solutions for companies, like software or mechanical systems? Periodically uploading a troubleshooting video or how-to guide makes for excellent video content. It says multiple things about your company. First, that you know enough about your product or service to anticipate their needs. Second, that you are willing to provide easy solutions to their problems pro bono. Third, you are also providing a tech demo for prospective clients. This third point is significant given the current situation. Prospective clients are probably behind a computer right now, as well as watching a lot of video content. In-stream with this sort of demo seems organic and also puts you in front of the audience you want – frequently.

  • 3. Walk-Through Tours

    No one at the office or in the warehouse? Why not do a walk-through? Give a tour of your location and highlight a few of your company’s departments. Have a few employees stop by and – while keeping social distance – explain what they do and what tools they use to get the job done. Showcase your talent, create interesting content, and put a human face to your business.

  • 4. Comprehensive Guides (Like This One)

    Like we said before – we’re B2B as well! We know that putting together useful, comprehensive guides for potential clients can make a big difference. Uncertain times like these can make many feel lost. Resources backed by evidence and composed of actionable info are liable to get shared, bookmarked, and saved. If you found this guide useful at all, this is just further proof that this sort of strategy works!