The global quarantine has forced companies to work remotely and digitally, says Dmitri Lisitski, co-founder and CEO of Influ2. Many business practices that were adopted today will continue after the pandemic ends. We looked at recently developed digital strategies that work in the work-from-home world.
CONTENT THAT CONNECTS: WHY INFLUENCE MARKETING IS THE FUTURE OF GEN Z ENGAGEMENT
Gen Z is a business opportunity not to be missed. With 40% of the population having a purchasing power of more than $ 40 billion, modern marketers must develop compelling strategies to connect with Gen Z.
Welcome to our new reality: people are being asked to seek refuge locally, grocery stores are empty, flights are impossible, events and sales meetings are canceled, and business leaders fear the impending recession that no one expected a month ago.
I believe many things will get back to normal sooner than expected, but some could change forever. Handshakes could become a medieval tradition, we will learn to sneeze into our elbows, and the way we do business will change dramatically.
Just think about it. The vast majority of businesses will be forced to work remotely for at least a few months. We are not talking about a working day from home, but weeks from home.
Managers learn how to get their work done without people coming into their office. Sellers must meet their quotas without face-to-face meetings. What used to be in the back office now becomes “sales as usual”. Customers will appreciate remote providers, learn how to trust people, and make decisions about Zoom calls.
Customers also find ways to discover new ideas without attending events. Yes, many will miss big loot, and we will likely round up for one or two of the most fun events in the future too. However, the essence of sharing experiences and learning new ideas will digitize faster than expected.
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Businesses will be forced to work remotely and digitally, and many of the practices we learn today will remain forever. Wall Street has already recognized this fact: Zoom.us stock rose sharply while the overall market saw a sharp decline.
Digitize the future
One thing to realize is that digital marketing will be THE ONLY channel and the MAIN channel forever for the next few months. This is a wake-up call for marketers as, according to Demand Gen Report’s January 2020 survey, 53% of US B2B marketers view in-person events and trade shows as an effective channel to drive conversion!
What will your marketing strategy look like in this forcibly digitized future? I think ideas are the blood of the digital world. A great idea can spread across the internet in a matter of hours, be it a meme, a hit, or a political scandal.
But wait, we’ve heard this before: “Ideas rule the world and content is king.” I’m pretty sure you already have a decent content strategy in place. However, as it becomes the core of your marketing strategy, we really need to reinvent it to make it really effective – let’s do it together.
Why is it so difficult to spread ideas and why can it become more effective? Let me draw a painful but accurate analogy. While memes and political messages like the flu are viral, B2B content behaves like a wretched mushroom with near zero virality.
One factor is that not every B2B marketer is a Hemingway – not all of our stories are that compelling. But the topics we’re talking about would put even Mr. Hemingway to shame: we need to create a great story about network devices, a collaboration tool, or a solution to automate business processes.
Yes, these topics are relevant and useful to your customers. After all, it’s their job, they like it, they are professionals, and of course their decisions can cost or save significant amounts of company budgets. But there is a big gap between a relevant Article and a funny meme – these are completely different levels of virality.
Since your large volume B2B content is unlikely to spread to your narrow audience in a virus-like manner, you need to consider how you can deliver it more efficiently. What are your options?
Time to rediscover ads
Whether you realize it or not, if you use content marketing, you are natively using SEO as your main delivery method. What can we say about SEO? It’s barely scalable. You can’t quickly double the number of engagements from organic traffic. Syndication and earned media can increase your engagement, but their scalability is also limited.
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There is an even bigger problem for B2B companies. Much of your inbound traffic is of course unqualified. You can’t track Fortune 500 customers with scalable content marketing.
Now let’s think about paid media. Full Disclaimer: Yes, I’m on a mission to make ads great again. Hence there is a tendency here. But come on, let’s consider together: Ads have developed dramatically in recent years and have become a very efficient delivery mechanism for large B2B content.
A decade ago, buying ads for B2B meant an increase in useless traffic with no conversion. However, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and even Snap now offer much more comprehensive and precise toolkits. You can really increase engagement even on extremely niche products on very niche topics with a very narrow audience.
Now you can find CxOs of companies with 500 to 5000 employees in the Bay Area to introduce them to your idea. I’ve seen articles – half of which were acronyms – still getting huge click-throughs and loads of engagement simply because they were hugely relevant to their target audience.
In the B2B advertising universe, I’m obviously a big fan of personal ads. You can choose your audience and deliver your super-niche content to the people you choose by name.
Even with a moderate 0.3% click-through rate and appropriately engaging content, you can expect 50 engaging MMS messages from a person-to-person advertising campaign aimed at 5000 people. And each engagement is a qualified A-rated lead because you selected the audience.With the next summits being canceled and we have time to reflect at home, it may be a good opportunity to rethink our digital strategies so that they really work in a rapidly digitizing world. The focus? Fish for fresh content ideas and look for new delivery mechanisms that will help you get your content to the people you want.