Economies around the world might be slowly reopening. But big B2B events? Not so much.
People are itching to get out of the house but they also aren’t exactly eager to mingle in large crowds of international attendees.
Nonetheless, let’s not get too negative. 72% of B2B marketing professionals expect their budgets to either increase, stay the same, or only slightly drop in response to the pandemic – so it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s just time to shift that budget elsewhere.
It’s impossible to ignore the impact the pandemic has had on in-person B2B events, however.
84% of business leaders say in-person B2B events are a critical part of their visibility and success. Gartner’s research shows 68% of CMOs have canceled their in-person events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yes, we still all face a struggle with the economic downturn and new normal from the pandemic. However, those big tent shows are just going through the motions. It’s hard to form real connections at massive conferences and you never manage to meet with everyone you wanted to.
Instead, B2Bs now have plenty of opportunities to focus their attention inward.
7 Ideas to Focus On Now That Your Big Tent Event is Cancelled
People across the country stuck indoors have used this opportunity to work on themselves.
Folks are baking bread, discovering new hobbies, and starting new workout programs from the comfort of their home. Some people have even started focusing on things they can control while everything else feels uncontrollable – hence the rise of quarantine makeovers.
While your event is canceled, focus your attention on your brand. Look for ways to improve your branding and develop new account-based marketing strategies.
1. Focus on Smaller Local Events
Even as things start to resume some semblance of normal, people still won’t feel comfortable hopping on planes to attend international events.
Instead, take the time to host intimate events in your local community.
Are there any local businesses you’ve neglected to network with while focusing on your broader strategy? Use this time to connect with professionals through events where everyone can build their career skills.
Just make sure to rent a venue large enough to accommodate social distancing. Keep tickets limited to less than 50 and only sell tickets to people from the metro area to discourage traveling.
2. Double Down On Your Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing delivers the highest ROI of any strategy. Makes sense: ABM is highly personalized by nature.
Shift your budget away from events and towards your ABM strategy. Use this time to hone your tactics and develop new ones like:
- Study your best performing industries and accounts
- Research potential leads and market gaps
- Create fresh content for specific accounts
- Running targeted LinkedIn campaigns
- Rework your automated email campaigns or launch new ones
- Figure out what’s not working and trim the fat
3. Send Creative Gifts to Different Accounts
When was the last time you dabbled in some direct marketing? Nope, we’re not talking about catalogs. We’re talking about gifts.
Taking the time to send thoughtful gifts to specific accounts can go a long way. It shows that you’re thinking about them during this challenging time.
Companies like Alyce, Sendoso, and PFL let you send personalized – and automated – gifts to your best accounts, whether one-off or on a timed schedule. Plus, you can tack everything through your CRM software like Salesforce.
4. Get Personal with Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content strategy is dynamic so it can always use a refresh.
If your event is canceled, switch to optimizing your content marketing strategy.
- Which verticals are you lacking content for? Or which could use an update?
- What seniority levels are you missing relevant content for?
- Are you missing any content for companies in specific regions? Could you expand to new ones?
- Could old pieces of content use an update for SEO and relevancy?
Spend some time digging into your keyword research and planning your topic calendar for the next few months as well.
5. Optimize Your Promotion and Social Channels
Social media is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Unfortunately, most marketers don’t get to spend as much time as they’d like researching topics and writing engaging posts.
Now’s the time to look at what’s working and what’s not. Laser focus on your most profitable channels.
- Ask followers questions
- Engage with people who comment
- Run retargeting campaigns on your profitable channels
Social media engagement is at an all-time high so think about how you’ll fit into the conversation.
6. Build Connections with Your Best Clients
Everyone is scrambling over the state of the bear markets, crude oil prices, and frightened investors. Hold tight and focus on what matters: your best customers.
Research shows 80% of B2B buyers will churn within the first two years, citing a poor customer experience.
Reach out to your best customers with gifts or handwritten letters. You could also set up an automated email series specifically for your most loyal clients personalized for their unique needs during this time.
7. Check Your Social Listening Tools
Most of us don’t have the time to dig deep into our social listening tools to see what’s going on across the internet. Use this time to go back through old mentions in blog posts, web pages, and social media to analyze what’s happening.
Do you see any potential to network with new guest blogging sites? Podcasters?
Create a spreadsheet to save links of all your brand mentions and link to them in your own content later.
Optimize Your Personalization Strategy Today with AI
Hushly’s AI engine gives B2B marketers the tools they need to create hyper-personalized experiences for every visitor.
The Hushly software uses browsing behavior and intent data to recommend relevant pieces of content for every session – whether known or anonymous. That’s why it’s perfect for optimizing your account-based marketing strategy.
Find out how AI-driven personalization can improve your ABM content distribution now.