Come Q4, everyone—from the board of directors to the interns—will be completely exhausted. And understandably so. The workplace has gone through significant changes, both physical and mental, in the last eight months; Zoom fatigue is certainly real.
Marketing as a whole, however, never takes a break or completely shuts down—even as exhaustion starts to settle in. Instead, marketing, and B2B digital marketing specifically, must transform to continue to interact with its intended audiences. And it can be draining, for both the team creating and executing campaigns as well as the audience on the receiving end. When you’re already enduring a global health crisis, continuously generating fresh, effective ideas for email marketing or programmatic advertising is difficult. And the intended audience now working from home—while simultaneously making sure their kids are paying attention to their virtual teachers—is probably not as receptive to one more annoying ad or copy-and-paste email bugging them about a free demo.
Yet the B2B world must keep spinning. As a marketing professional, you must continue to provide value to your company. That means you must find ways to combat your audience’s (as well as your own) digital marketing fatigue and continue to generate conversations and conversions. Here’s how to do just that.
1. Don’t repeat what everyone else is saying; find a unique angle.
Falling into the trap of merely repeating what another company is saying, if only because it feels safe, is the easiest thing in the world. Remember in March when it felt like every company, both B2B and B2C, was chanting something along the lines of “brighter days ahead” and “we’ll get through this” and “how are you holding up?” No particular message stood out from the crowd. To create buzz and traction on your next marketing campaign, challenge your content marketers to find a unique way to get your point across. No shortcuts allowed.
2. Use the “yes, and” rule of improv comedy.
Those familiar with the world of improv know this rule by heart. It’s all about expanding the conversation—which directly relates to the previous point. Nobody wants to hear they need a service or product, much less be told they need to shell out more money; they want to know how their problems will be solved or how you differ from your competitors. Always provide context and resources (like white papers, e-books, or case studies) to help provide clarity and more information. Because if you correctly identify a possible client’s issue and share how you can eliminate it, your return—and the chance of a big win—will increase significantly.
3. Go the route of account-based marketing and tailor every message.
Businesses and consumers have seemingly unlimited options when it comes to the exact service or product they’re looking for, so marketers have to work even harder to make an impression—which is why account-based marketing is on the tip of every B2B CMO’s tongue. ABM is the exact type of marketing that thrives in an environment like the present; it’s utilize tailored, personalized content that’s created for a specific audience or individual account.
Like we said in the previous point, it’s about identifying the exact type of buyer or target audience and marketing directly to them. Take email marketing, for example. According to Michael O’Neill of Brafton, “Personalized emails have proven to increase transaction rates six-fold.” Think about it this way: Putting in the ABM effort will result in more successes in the long-run as your content targets the right people and speaks to them in a way that resonates. It also saves your marketing budget—leaving you more flexibility to test out new strategies.
4. Don’t be afraid to fail.
Here’s the problem: Your email list is stagnant. No one is signing up, or they’re unsubscribing at an alarming rate. How do you handle it? Clearly, you’re not creating content your intended audience wants to consume in their inbox. Maybe they’re engaging with your paid social ads or they’ve browsed your site—but as far as email, they don’t see any value. That has to change.
Spend some time looking around your industry; sign up for a few newsletters you don’t normally subscribe to. Now think: What content can you provide your email list? What’s something you’ve never offered before? Consider hosting a webinar with an exclusive email invite. Try a giveaway. Or simply provide new, valuable information they can’t get from a simple Google search. Growth (and engagement, for that matter) won’t come without trying something new; don’t be wary of failure.
5. Always, always use analytics to inform your decisions.
If you’re a marketer who believes in the power of creative but has never run a report in Google Analytics, you’re doing it all wrong.
Let’s stick with the previous email example. You’ve finally started to see list size growth, but according to the sales team, “it’s not working.” After looking at the numbers, you now know the open rate is, on average, terrible. It’s on you to now determine what will excite your audience. How do you do this? Analyze past trends; what worked and what didn’t? Test new creative and copy; you cannot rest on your laurels when the numbers don’t lie.
Our society, especially in this day and age, lives online nearly 24/7. This constant availability of information and connections breads opportunities while simultaneously tires out all participants in the sales cycle. Attempting to defeat digital fatigue can often feel like a never-ending battle. But by using the above strategies, you can beat back exhaustion and ensure a victorious marketing win.