As the repercussions of COVID-19 make waves through our personal lives, we are also quickly shifting strategies in our professional lives. At Sköna, the health of our team and our clients are our number 1 priority. As a member of our global community, we’re doing what we can to follow all precautionary measures and have swiftly switched to a remote team in both our San Francisco and Stockholm offices.
This also means we need to embrace technology and lean into digital marketing to make up for the loss of physical networking and events. As we all know, most tech conferences over the next 3-4 months have been cancelled. The loss of in-person events is a pretty hard right hook to marketing and sales. We rely on these events for networking and most importantly – for lead generation and revenue flow. But where there’s a will (and technology) there’s a way!
We believe it’s key to think about your digital marketing holistically, and not like individual tactically executed one-offs. We’re already helping many of our clients develop overarching BrandGen campaign themes to help drive both brand awareness and MQLs. From a strategic perspective, that starts by honing in on what we call your company’s ‘nugget’, or your special sauce, your true USP.
Without sounding opportunistic, we also have to realize that there are a lot of people working from home at the moment. And the common thread we’re hearing is that most people’s calendars have opened up. Meaning this is actually an opportunity to once again delve into creating engaging digital experiences that push our brands forward and help build future funnel. Although B2B Microsites (and anything not directly relating to the core brand) have been unfashionable for a while, we believe thinking about immersive digital experiences now is going to help us build funnel this fall when the effect of the missing events will be most strongly felt.
We’re also of course seeing a surge in Webinar uses. The traditional approach to webinars is to get your product marketing expert to deliver analytical content. We all know this takes a long time to pull together and promote. What we recommend is to create lighter lift webinars. Do you have any customers or partners you could do a webinar together with? And could it be on something in your vertical industry as opposed to the more further-down-the-funnel content that product marketing usually focus on? Perhaps repurpose collateral and keynotes from the events you had been planning. Another technology to try is the LinkedIn Live discussion forum just launched! And let us know how it goes!
The big prize is of course to shift your event to a live virtual summit where you can host a panel, have a Q&A and even offer similar networking to attendees. Host a virtual summit – or attend one! We’re all living in a virtual world now and attending digitally is a great starting point to hopefully interact in real life later!
Consider some learnings from the consumer world! We saw @joannagaines promote a virtual vendor fair on instagram. Instead of what was supposed to have been a physical sale, she took to her instagram stories to promote each of her vendors.
MAKE IT MOVE
Video is, naturally, the most engaging way to reach people. And this is your opportunity to step up your video game. Whether using personalized video messages in your sales and marketing outreach or creating more visual content throughout, you can’t miss that boat anymore. Don’t overthink it, videos can be short and ‘made from home’ or you can use animation design to create visually appealing stories. But as the digital space continues to get more crowded, videos will be a good way to rise above the noise.
CASE STUDIES, TESTIMONIALS, BRANDED PODCAST
Keep producing content! Even though people aren’t in a buying-frame of mind at this very moment, you need to think long term and stay top of mind. Start thinking and acting as a thought-leader for when things return. Now is the opportunity to add value, be a trusted advisor and build a community. Your clients might also have more time on their hands right now, talk to them, interview them and use that to create content. In today’s world, everyone-especially marketers-is a content creator.
REUSE, RECYCLE, REPACKAGE
You probably have tons of interesting content, sitting somewhere on your site. Now is the time to be creative and find new ways to promote it. Think about being useful to your audience rather than trying to push that sale. Package content in different ways – by verticals, for a specific paint point, or even a specific account (depending on how advanced your ABM strategy is). Think like your audience think rather by focusing on your product features – and create a campaign around it. You might also want to open up some of your previously gated content and rely on building a trusted community, and let people come to you for more!
YOUR DATABASE IS STILL YOUR STRONGEST ASSET
Don’t forget about the power of email marketing. Of course you need to be sensitive to the current times and you don’t want to be perceived as opportunistic, but you can still use email to remind people you’re there. In the meantime you can be there for them to help with resources and questions. Obviously as everyone is working from home direct mail to the office is not an option, but you could explore digital direct mailers – think about how to make emails more fun but in more personalized discussions you could also send out coupons and gift cards to use now (our later!) at their favorite coffee shop. Especially if you’re buying local gift cards, you’re providing a much needed life-line for small businesses.
And one last idea – host a Zoom after-work with colleagues, customers and partners. We’ve had several virtual cocktail parties the last few days. You can even send people a bottle of wine and then toast them via your webcam!
We look forward to hearing your ideas on how to ride this out, and how to continue building for business success once life returns to normal. We’ll continue to keep you updated on what we’re doing from our end. Stay safe and healthy out there – and wash your hands!