At a time when the business world has a headache, is digital the Tylenol needed to see us through?
In part, yes. While there is a lot to be done in all sectors of the economy right now, digital is one area your team should be leaning heavily on now to make up for any pipeline gaps.
Because the traditional channels and levers marketers and salespeople love so dearly aren’t an option right now:
- Direct Mail: Sending a package to an office won’t get you very far right now. Because it won’t be opened, let alone distributed. And, when everyone finally gets back to work, your note or package is just one of a hundred sitting in a giant pile.
- Trade Shows: These events draw upwards of 1,000 people and often see marketing investments anywhere from $25,000 to $1M. Marketers spend months working on their booth build-outs all in the hopes of generating massive lead lists. Right now, events have either been canceled, postponed indefinitely or rescheduled for much later in the year. For the time being, this channel is essentially non-existent.
- Field Marketing: Think smaller, more intimate events. This key objective is off the table as well and likely to ramp up slowly once things get back to normal as people get used to the idea of convening in groups again.
- Telephone: Unless every organization has a robust call forwarding program for every single employee, it’s very unlikely that this channel is worth your time today.
So what exactly does that leave for marketers?
I don’t mean to paint a grim picture. If anything, I am optimistic about the new opportunities all of this change offers up. Personally, I’ve seen the team at Drift thinking more creatively and collaboratively now than they ever have before. And I don’t doubt that to be the case in companies across the globe.
So where specifically is Drift’s marketing team doubling down? And what levers do I think other marketers need to pull to weather this storm?
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Optimize the content you create to appear in searches conducted on Google, Bing, GoGoDuck and a handful of other search providers. (Note: Any efforts here won’t likely be realized for at least six months.)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Layer on paid ads so you appear at the top of searches related to your business in the channels touched on above. If you can’t optimize your way to the top (or at least not immediately), you can certainly pay for it.
- Email: It’s not dead, never was, never will be. In fact, ask any marketer right now and I bet they’ll tell you their marketing automation platform was the best investment they could have made. Marketers will definitely become more reliant on this old trusted channel.
- Video: Synchronous and asynchronous video are more important now than ever before. Why? Because everyone is online and video is the way we’re all staying connected, both personally and professionally.
- Website Conversion Optimization: If you can’t get more of what you need, which for marketers is traffic, then you need to do more with what you have. Think about what tools you can leverage to get the most out of the traffic you do get.
- Content Marketing: Now more than ever is the time to ditch your forms and open up your content. Doing so not only provides a better experience for your site visitors, it’s better for SEO. If you do still want to gather leads with gated PDFs, consider offering PDFs to anyone who wants to take the content with them and/or work with content syndication vendors.
- Advertising: In addition to SEM, considering investing in other forms of online advertising like display ads. But you need to think about how to do this economically. Display ad cost structures are largely based on CPM (Cost per Thousand or Mille impressions), which means it’s up to you as a marketer to ensure these impressions result in as many conversions as possible.
- Virtual Events: Everyone everywhere is hustling to find alternatives to their in-person events. Expect to see a surge in webinars and virtual events for at least the next 6 months.
So, what do these channels have in common?
You might have guessed…they all leverage digital.
But if everyone is pivoting to push more on digital, how can you be sure you’re going to get a decent return on your investment? The secret lies in conversational marketing, which has the power to amplify your efforts on each of the channels touched on above.
How? Take a look ?
Search Engine Optimization
Once you get people to your website by creating content that ranks for search engines (which, remember will take months, not days or weeks), you need to do the most you can with that traffic. That means providing actually engaging conversion points like chat. Because your inline text CTAs and your own display ad embed will only get you so far.
Using a chatbot to engage with high volume traffic is a perfect conversation starter. See how Marketo does it with Drift ?
Search Engine Marketing
81% of tech buyers are going to turn the other way when they see your form. So, how do you create as many conversions as possible in order to reduce your cost per lead?
Use a form + conversational marketing to give yourself the most ‘at-bats’ possible. That’s what SalesRabbit did. Learn how they increased their demos booked by 40% with Drift here.
Now more than ever you need to provide value in your emails. Attention spans are shorter than ever right now. So if you’re not reaching out with something useful, in an empathetic and human way, you might as well forget it.
It’s your job as a marketer to demonstrate to your prospects and customers that you know their problems, have solutions to these problems and can help them solve them. And that’s exactly where conversational ABM comes in.
Through tight integrations with marketing automation platforms, you’re able to take your nurture streams online to meet the buyer where they are when they come back to your site on their terms. When they do come back, greet them with “the next best action” for where they are in their buyer’s journey, conversational marketing will help you do just that.
See how Yotpo serves up just the right experience from emails around pricing ?
So more people are online, more people are consuming video, more people are looking for human connection. What if you could extend the human connection your video content provides by also extending the opportunity for people to start a conversation while they’re watching your videos?
Adding a bot to your video pages helps you engage someone when they’re at their highest intent. They’ve made a commitment to watch your video, now you need to extend your hand and start a conversation. Like the bot we run on Drift Insider ?
Website Conversion Optimization
There are a lot of long games in marketing. But getting more traffic, launching the right new offers, developing and creating those offers and the advertising around them is difficult. This doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile, it’s just hard. And seeing traction takes time. There are very few tools that let you do more with what you actually have. Conversational marketing is one of those tools.
Drift’s Conversion Rate Calculator will show you exactly how much money your site is leaving on the table without conversational marketing. Find out here.
The content you’ve worked so hard to create is an important part of your marketing strategy. With conversational content, you can give people a direct line to chat with your team while they’re reading.
See conversational content in action ?
This is where you really need to make the most of every dollar spent. Do so by using both a form and a bot as a second net to capture leads landing on your site from an ad. For people who chat with your bot, you can guide them to book a meeting with your sales team, skipping a step in the funnel entirely.
See a paid ad conversion bot in action ?
Virtual events are a great next option when we can’t all meet in person. But so many are missing the conversational element – that’s what makes in-person events so great.
If you’re the proud new host of a virtual event, you can use conversational marketing to: 1) improve the registration conversion rate and 2) power live conversations during the actual event.