This is going to be one of my “tough love” blog posts. You have been warned.
Right now, I’m hearing a lot of B2B blanket statements like, “All companies have eliminated their purchasing. There is no budget out there. We’re pulling back on our marketing until things are back to normal.”
Here’s the thing.
It’s true that many B2B businesses are taking a tremendous hit and pulling back on expenses — assuming they can stay open.
But, what’s important to remember is, things aren’t going to “go back to normal” next month — maybe not even next year. What’s happening now will have a huge impact on B2B buying decisions for a long time.
In the meantime, companies ARE spending (some) money. Maybe even with your competitors.
Want some of that market share back?
It’s time to give your B2B messaging a much-needed facelift.
This popped into my brain when I saw the Search Engine Journal video, Why updating your messaging is the best strategy right now.
Brad Geddes and Michelle Morgan showed specific ways brands have shifted from “BUY OUR STUFF NOW” to a softer, more educational approach. One that reflects the current situation.
It doesn’t mean that the brands stopped marketing. In fact, one recent study found that 58.4 percent of B2B marketers planned to maintain or increase their marketing budgets during the COVID-19 crisis.
It means that they changed their overall approach.
You can do this too.
Refreshing your messaging is one thing you CAN do now that will help to drive dollars in your virtual door.
But if you want to do it right, you’ve got to do one thing.
Have an actual conversation with your customers (and prospects, too.)
Why customer interviews are even more important in today’s world
Because refreshing your buyer persona and chatting with your customers is the only way you’ll understand what your customers need from you right now.
For instance, you may learn that your B2B prospects want a “pay over time” option, and that’s what’s been holding them back from making a purchase.
Or, they may need to know they can engage with you on a very small scale and can build on that engagement as their budget allows.
Or, you may even hear feedback like, “I want an extended product trial, additional freebies, or a short-term discount.”
Heck, you may even discover a new “type” of customer who purchases your services.
That’s all good information. Information that you’d never learn in an informal survey.
And it’s actionable information too!
You can change your messaging (and maybe even your keyword focus) to get in step with what your customers want now.
You can promote special sales, limited-engagement deals, freebies with every purchase, and installment plans.
You can listen to how your customers say what they say, and use their words (and fears, and desires, and information about what makes them happy) in your product or service content.
You can post educational content on LinkedIn and reach target prospects.
You can change your messaging to be more conversational and less hard-sell (and honestly, that’s something that should have been done ages ago.)
You can test your messaging and dial in on how to say what you say to your B2B prospects.
You can pivot and change and evolve.
You can make your content easy to read and more approachable.
And you can bring more money in the door.
There’s no better time to tweak your messaging.
While it feels like every company is pulling back on their marketing spend, I’m working with multiple B2B clients who are charging forward.
They may not have the resources to change everything right now, but they’re doing the work and developing a re-messaging strategy.
They’re dialing it in for the new normal.
So, what should you do now?
If you work in-house for a B2B company, take this time to run customer interviews, tweak your customer personas (if needed,) and test your messaging. Yes, it will take time. Yes, it will be worth it.
If you freelance, know this is a fantastic opportunity. Your B2B clients may not have time to do the research, persona tweaking, and message testing. After all, how many of your B2B clients could use a messaging tweak right now?
What do you think?
Is it time to give your B2B messaging a little Botox? Or, does it need a full-on facelift? Leave a comment and let me know!