There’s plenty of debate online about the merits of marketing spend in a recession, but the reality is that many B2B firms are currently cutting back on large-scale investment. If your company is one of those scaling back or even hitting “pause” on external spend, there are still plenty of ways to invest in marketing content, infrastructure, data, creative and other areas that will pay big dividends when things get back to normal. Here are 10 ideas to consider.
1. Map your content.
Audit your existing content library and map each asset by form factor, persona, vertical and funnel stage (early, mid, late). A content map is a great way to take stock of your existing assets and identify gaps, particularly for ABM, where content that speaks to very specific personas or industries is key.
2. Audit nurture streams.
Nurture programs need care and feeding to make sure they’re performing as well as they should. Now could be a great time to take a hard look at metrics like email performance and conversion rates (e.g. Lead to MQL) and identify emails or even entire tracks that might need a refresh. Consider adding segmentation (a separate track for a key persona, for example) as a way to add relevance and increase click-through rates.
3. Fix your blog.
Corporate blogs are some of the most neglected marketing assets in a company’s arsenal. With the right design, frequency, and content, however, a blog can be a key driver for SEO and lead generation. If someone found your blog through search results, how easy is it for that visitor to subscribe to the blog or downloaded related assets? Here’s a recorded Webinar that provides tips on how to get leads and more from your blog.
4. Assess social media strategy.
Is your organic social media working hard enough? Are you able to track leads resulting from organic social and show real ROI? Is there an editorial calendar, or is social media simply an adhoc dumping ground for press releases and product announcements? Use this opportunity to develop a more purposeful social media strategy that drives measurable results.
5. Host a survey.
Regardless of the economic climate, business audiences love to benchmark themselves and their organizations against their peers. Hosting a survey can be an effective (and relatively inexpensive) way to generate meaningful data, data that can then be converted into offer assets like a survey report, blog posts, infographics, etc.
6. Create a podcast.
One silver lining of the current crisis is that the standards for production values on videos and podcasts have shifted. At a time when everyone is working from home, people are much more accepting of Webcams and living room backdrops. That makes an ideal time to record conversations with customers, partners, analysts or thought leaders and create a podcast series. Like surveys, podcasts are ideal fodder for social media (especially LinkedIn), lead nurturing, and demand gen.
7. Update and refresh email and landing page templates
Are your email designs consistent with current best practices as well as brand guidelines? Are they fully responsive and render correctly across all devices? Do you have a library of approved templates, or does everyone create designs on the fly? How easy is it to make global changes across all your existing designs? Are your landing pages and forms compliant with data privacy laws like GDPR? This relative downtime in marketing activity is a perfect opportunity to make sure that email campaigns – and landing pages – are up to snuff.
8. Clean up your data.
Good marketing data is more important than ever. Conduct a thorough database audit (there are data vendors who will do this for free) and take stock of old, unresponsive, unmailable, and duplicate contacts. Use this opportunity for a good housecleaning – at the very least, your email performance reports will be more accurate, and a smaller database may even save you money on software licenses.
9. Update your resource center.
How easy is it for your Web visitors to find resources like white papers, ebooks, and recorded Webinars? How much does your current resource library reflect your newest and best content? Are the assets categorized or tagged and easily browsed by topic or asset type? A well-designed, well-curated resource center can make a big difference to the rate at which Web visitors convert to actionable sales leads. (If you have the budget, consider a solution like Uberflip to maximize the content experience and show visitors content based on their Web behavior, CRM profile, or third-party intent data.)
10. Talk to sales.
Your sales team is probably hurting right now. Use this time to solicit their input on where marketing can best help source new leads, drive engagement, or close new deals. Now may be the best time to finally create a full-funnel demand generation plan, with properly defined lead stages, a comprehensive nurture strategy, and sales enablement programs. Or work with sales to identify key target accounts and create “value narratives” that customize your company’s message (and value) for that specific organization.
11. (Bonus!) Set up an email preference center.
If you don’t currently have an email preference center (also called a subscription management page), your unsubscribe rate is almost certainly much higher than it should be. Sending unsubscribe requests to an email preference page gives people the option of reducing frequency or choosing only the types of emails that most interest them. It also increases overall email performance by delivering only those emails on topics that subscribers have designated as most relevant.