With pretty much all of the conventions, trade shows, and marketing shows being canceled, many B2B businesses are having to leverage digital marketing to exhibit their corporate offerings for 2020.
Many companies, especially in the oil field given the recent cancellation of OTC in Houston, are frustrated by the tens of thousands of dollars that they have allocated to their exhibits at these events.
Recent figures published by data intelligence company PredictHQ indicate that in February alone, concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) led to a 500% surge in cancellations and postponements of significant events.
The company said that more than 225 events that were ranked as "high impact" were cancelled last month and the number of events canceled in March is expected to be significantly higher, estimating loss totals at billions of dollars.
For many of these companies, this is all they know. They have been utilizing these trade shows and conventions as their primary public marketing tools for years.
This Is Not Your Grandpa’s Marketing
For companies in 2020, it is important to remember that even though shifting their marketing habits may be tough, this pandemic should be a sobering reason to realize that times are changing and other tactics for driving revenue are necessary.
As much as we wish our 2008 marketing tactics and campaigns would work in 2020, we are literally seeing before our very eyes that believing in that mindset is but a pipe dream.
Reallocating vs Cutting Marketing Budgets
If we learned anything from the 2008 financial crisis, cutting marketing budgets as opposed to reallocating funds to more effective digital avenues, is a sure death sentence for most businesses.
By shifting budgets to more digital marketing avenues, companies are playing to the current trend of more and more organizations minimizing their sales face to face interactions and instead are focusing on acquiring more and more digital leads.
Why should companies look to Inbound Marketing at this time?
Many companies fail to take the time to create and execute on effective online strategies. However, with the recent COVID-19 isolation requirements, many companies are doubling down on their efforts and building effective Inbound strategies; strategies that will be in front of most of their leads’ faces given how much time customers are on their phones and computers while stuck working from home.
It does not require face-to-face interaction
The primary reason for companies to look to a more “Inbound Digital Marketing” strategy is due to its major advantage of not requiring face to face interaction.
It allows your customers to be driven directly to you based on their internet searches
Inbound marketing also allows your customers to be driven directly to you based on their internet searches and their interactions on social media.
Instead of hoping the right customer walks by your booth, you are now accessible to them through another medium that they are in front of 80% of their waking hours… their devices!
Besides, now that marketers and the sales team are stuck at home, this provides a ton of time that can be put behind a killer online marketing strategy.
Utilizing Your New Marketing Time Wisely
While having to pivot your sales and marketing strategies in light of the recent cancellations, most companies would benefit from spending their time focused on enhancing the following areas of their strategy.
Polishing up their website:
Double check that your website still exhibits the primary services that you offer or that the industry needs right now. Nothing is more crippling to a marketing budget than getting leads to view your website and it not showing exactly what you offer or worse, what they are willing to buy from your business.
New content for future campaigns:
Take this time to get creative and generate new ideas for hot topics for blogs or to make sure that your pillar content is accurate so that Google can do the heavy lifting for you.
Speaking of Google’s heavy lifting, by having the right SEO criteria in your blogs and on your website, Google will literally hand your website or landing pages over to hot leads as they are googling your exact service offerings.
Learn how to properly leverage social media:
Most companies are not even utilizing Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, much less using them correctly to find leads. Just because your company has a Facebook page doesn’t mean it “isn’t working” for your business.
That’s like having a car but being to lazy or ignorant to put gas in it. The right fuel and the right marketing strategy can have leads entering your contact list quickly.
Utilize more video:
Most companies are right about one thing: face to face business deals are usually more engaging and effective. BUT aside from being able to be in front of your customer in person, video marketing can be just as or even more effective than some face to face interactions without having the proper initial relationship.
Use this time to increase your video footprint in the market place and literally show customers exactly what you want them to see about you and your incredible offering.
What’s next in the marketing industry?
While we don’t know how long this isolation will last or what will happen in the industry, we do know that digital marketing is NOT going away anytime soon.
In fact, the current pandemic may have quite literally put the nail in the convention and trade show coffin given the return on investment companies are about to see in their new digital marketing budget allocation.
As a certified Platinum Tiered HubSpot Partner Agency, we not only understand the benefits of using the inbound marketing platform to increase traffic and engagement, improve SEO, generate leads and boost sales, we know how to make it happen.