During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve experienced the importance of marketing and communications, and realize that brands and companies that invest heavily here will emerge stronger on the other side. With a lack of face-to-face interaction, the traditional B2B model is not adequate and has forced B2B buyers and sellers to go completely digital, bringing the need for a transformed marketing strategy to the fore. Adding more relevance to the theme, Kanika Mittal, Business Head @ Twitter India and Hitu Chawla, CMO, Microsoft India explore how content marketing is here to stay and thrive for B2B brands.
While many pandemic challenges evaporate over time, a few are here to stay for a long time. Forrester Forecast that in a post-pandemic world, 80% or more of the sales cycle will continue to take place in a digital or remote environment. Sure, sellers and marketers have to overcome these hurdles they’ve never faced before, but effective engagement with B2B buyers is still achievable. However, this requires a shift in mindset, as well as adopting methods for teams to deliver the seamless experiences that B2B buyers have come to demand over time.
- Delivery of personalized content to the buyer with the right media mix: For B2B buyers, content marketing is essential on the path to purchase. Marketers are increasingly under pressure to break through the content clutter to reach the right people with the right messages in the right places – content and delivery methods must keep pace and aim for ongoing innovation of road.
Traders must be prepared to provide personalized content related to the key demand of the sales team. It is imperative to ensure that they have access to and can personalize all approved branded content in a streamlined way from one place.
The medium is as important as the message— not only the content must be relevant, but also the medium must be innovative and engaging to make it appealing to buyers.
B2B marketing is not just about reaching businesses. It’s about reaching the people of these companies, and social media is where the entire ecosystem of business decision makers – from the C-suite to managers who influence the C-suite – form an influential community that B2B marketers can tap into. Identifying the target audience and relevant content themes aligned with measurable business goals can help scale chosen marketing goals.
Hitu Highlights, “AI and data security span the spectrum of responsible innovation enabled by trust for @MicrosoftIndia— it was critical for them to engage and leverage voices of influence in the business space to generate credible share of voice. Global trends such as artificial intelligence and advances in cybersecurity have ensured that there is enough and more conversation around the topics and subtopics of endpoint automation and security. . the conversations are driven by decision makers, industry experts and influencers, opinion makers, journalists and bloggers, and the general public who easily voice their opinions on platforms like Twitter. This is where the partnership with the social media platform was very timely. This led to a rapprochement with a publisher, in turn leading to engaging conversations, which were later amplified.
- Leverage video as a powerful and engaging delivery source:
Kanika discusses the power that video has on audiences right now, “ Video has already taken over the media and is quickly becoming an integral part of all marketing strategies. According to Emerging Marketing Trends for 2021, online videos are only here to multiply and absorb internet traffic significantly for years to come.
She further adds:The return to fostering a connection with the audience on the back of empathy is visible today. Instead of a hard-hitting message, marketers can consider wrapping the area of interest with creative video assets, infusing them with the relevant emotional touch. Identify themes aligned with the given industry and reinforce these themes with well-crafted brand stories can help build a deeper connection with the audience – to bridge the gap between people’s opinions and the platform where those opinions are expressed.
Urging brands to raise consumer awareness and build an ecosystem of targeted audiences, including small business owners, large buyers, and marketers, can enable more innovative content partnerships. Brand videos, customer testimonials, success stories and case studies, employee presentation videos, webinars connected with different publishers and distribution channels can amplify meaningful interactions and capture important insights from prospects – to create more interactive and engaging B2B content marketing experiences.
On the same lines, @MicrosoftIndia launched its AI Innovation series with a focus on video as a medium for delivering content on Twitter. The goal was to increase awareness around AI and data security and promote widespread association with the brand. They collaborated with credible content delivery partners to tap into tech influencers and experts and ensured the authentic transmission of knowledge through them.
Apart from this, leverage virtual events for wider reach, better monitoring of commitment and selling on social media for networking, and sharing pieces of thought leadership through company spokespersons can help broaden the network for effective torso and tail content engagements.
The pandemic has changed the face of B2B commerce for the foreseeable future. Companies able to adapt and effectively deploy new marketing techniques will emerge as survivors and winners., like Twitter and Microsoft, brands that make these efforts individually and collectively. Paying attention to emerging trends and positioning and promoting your business – for people, product and service – is imperative.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and in no way represent the opinions of exchange4media.com
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