The digital world has changed the way we as B2B marketers communicate with prospects and customers. We’ve adapted our practices to measure every possible metric and meet the ever-increasing expectations of buyers at every channel and at every level of the sales funnel. But the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that we are now even more reliant on a solid digital strategy.
As we navigate through the ever-changing world of technology, the most successful, future-facing companies will build out their digital capabilities and strengthen their online presence – filling in the gap that in-person proceedings such as events, trade shows and factory tours filled. It goes without saying that technology is more important than ever, but how exactly can your brand utilise tech to stay top of mind?
Video conferencing isn’t just useful for daily Microsoft Teams calls with your colleagues and networking groups. You can also harness the power of video to showcase your expertise to customers and generate leads in an interactive way, much in the same way as you would at a trade show or an in-person meeting. Although not a new platform by any stretch, webinars are coming into their own during the COVID-19 lockdown, offering tools such as automation and extensive measuring capabilities.
By using tools such as Demio, Zoom or GoToWebinar, webinars allow businesses to establish their brand as a trustworthy source, pitch solutions and create valuable content that, once the webinar is over, can be used time and time again as a nurturing tool. And webinars don’t need Hollywood levels of production – with a camera, a working microphone and a convincing presentation, this is an excellent way to sell your solutions in today’s socially distanced world.
2. Live social media
Aside from webinars, businesses are also seeking to become more sophisticated in their use of live social platforms as a way to maintain brand equity. For B2B marketers, tools such as LinkedIn Live (which was launched just last year) offer a fantastic, conversational way to talk to audiences directly, without the formality of a 1 hour-long slide presentation and with the same intimacy as a sales meeting. Indeed, video has fast become the most popular and engaging form of content among LinkedIn’s users, with visitors being 20 times more likely to share video on the platform than any other type of content.
3. Virtual events
When lockdown and social distancing measures were implemented earlier this year, the immediate sacrifice that many marketers made was their live face-to-face events – and now, businesses are seeking virtual alternatives that still offer the same lead generation and customer contact potential. With industry professionals looking for increasingly innovative and engaging ways to do this, while standing out from the competition, solutions such as AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) could be the answer.
Creating interactive real-world spaces (i.e. exhibition stands and booths, or product demonstration settings) in 3D, and enabling your audience to explore and interact with them, is the perfect way for B2B businesses to reach prospects all across the world. Whether you choose to deploy an immersive experience through a headset, an AR experience on a mobile or tablet device, or an interactive 3D web-based experience, this not only provides the ‘wow factor’ for potential customers, but also allows you to track and measure every interaction in a way that traditional events don’t offer.
Sound complicated? It doesn’t need to be. Tools exist which allow you to essentially move your in-person events online and harness the benefits of an unlimited audience and second-to-none tracking. Take Virtual Visitor, for example, which has been specifically created as a response to our current challenges. By providing a virtual environment that can immerse customers, prospects and your team, Virtual Visitor empowers your brand to provide buyers with the holistic experience they are craving – and that goes beyond a brochure, a website page or a PowerPoint presentation.
Combining technology and creativity
For B2B brands, technology has always been an excellent way to reach more audiences and track activity – and in today’s socially distanced world, these tools are really coming into their own. Whether you launch a virtual event or supplement your sales funnel with a series of webinars, the latest advancements in technology will ensure that your brand stays top of mind both throughout and following lockdown.