By Julie Duncan Harris
“In the last six months alone, we’ve probably experienced 10 years’ worth of change,” says Allan Thygesen, president of the Americas at Google. I think we all agree.
When it comes to marketing and advertising, the struggles of consumer-facing brands have received most of the mainstream attention.
B2B marketers face their own set of COVID-related challenges. This is a group that relies heavily on trade shows, industry conferences, and face-to-face meetings to get in front of (and win!) potential clients. The pandemic has forced B2B marketers to rethink their approach on how to generate those valuable, high-quality leads.
At LMP, we are helping our B2B clients reallocate funds to use digital media as the primary touchpoint to get in front of their highly targeted audiences and fill the qualified leads gap. With those in-person connections not currently possible, digital media provides a solid and effective alternative.
In fact, B2B digital ad spend in the US has increased 22.6% year over year during the pandemic, even while ad spending as a whole is down. EMarketer estimates that US B2Bs will spend over $8 billion on digital ads in 2020:
B2Bs can pivot conference and trade show budgets to fund virtual events, webinars, and content creation with paid digital channels as the primary drivers to promote them.
Throttling Up Paid Search
LMP has also facilitated B2B clients’ higher spend in paid search for demand capture of those who are actively in market and showing intent. Paid search is performance-based and focused on lead generation; it is a great solution for filling the pipeline. With strategically built campaigns, LMP can zero in on the highest quality leads and optimize towards greater conversions. One example of a proven tactic is using site link extensions to push registrations to virtual events and webinars.
Imagine taking the budget from one trade show – say for example $30,000 – and reallocating it to paid search. Then, say for example, your paid search cost per lead is $85. That means you would realize over 350 leads. Since paid search captures users who show intent and are in-market for your product or service, these are valuable and qualified leads. It is essential for clients to have strong and relevant landing pages and meaningful user actions in place – such as prominently placed contact forms and click to call/text phone numbers – to capture these leads.
Other Channels to Consider: LinkedIn & SEO
LinkedIn is another channel that can be used to make those critical customer connections. It is the gold standard of B2B social media, and cited as one of the most trusted social media sites. We see B2B clients stepping up their LinkedIn presence from both organic and paid perspectives to highlight webinars, share new product information and content, drive registrations to virtual events, and more.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an important consideration in any climate. Especially now, while you may be thinking of bolstering your website content, working with LMP’s SEO team helps to ensure a strong, on-going presence in the search engines that will continue to yield returns. SEO also works in tandem with paid search efforts and magnifies the impact of paid search campaigns.
Challenging times force rapid change and demand rethinking business models. Perhaps this is the time to be rethinking your marketing model.