It can be quite a shock to the system when something you rely on to help build your business can be taken away at a moment’s notice. That’s what happened when flights and major conferences were canceled around the world. Even when the news was explaining the gravity of the situation as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, many people were skeptical about its effects on businesses worldwide. The lack of face-to-face interactions left a gaping hole in the way we relay important information.
No one expected the severity and swiftness of seclusion that took place due to COVID-19. As a result, the situation forced many companies to scramble and accelerate plans to increase online activities.
One of our SaaS clients was hit the hardest, with almost a quarter of their leads coming from trade shows, conferences, and face-to-face meetings in 2019. Although the budget we were going to spend on these live events were saved, our client was not convinced that the saved budget should be transferred to online advertising and virtual events.
We were challenged to prove that even with the current SaaS marketing budget, we can overcome business gaps and manage to bring relevant business opportunities despite the situation. So (spoiler alert!) over the last five months, we were able to implement B2B lead generation strategies that generated a higher goal conversion rate than the previous year during the same period. And in the coming months, our client has agreed to double our online advertising budget due to its success.
Hope on the Horizon
For once technology was ahead of the game and ready to fill the gaps as best as possible. Webinars, virtual trade shows, and zoom meetings became the new norm, however, we did not know if they would generate the same numbers in attendance. After a few online events, it was clearly not going to accomplish the same ROI. The saturation of the number of webinars occurring only showed us a fraction of the attendance we expected, and our marketing team needed to adjust.
This is when our creativity and strategy shifted. We realized that we had to use a combination of online events and integrate them into online advertising. Hosting a webinar or attending a virtual tradeshow was not the end of the activity.
It’s not what it looks like
Once we saw that the number of leads with webinars were not going to reach our in-person event numbers, we started to look at how we could use the webinar sound bites for separate promotional campaigns. This was an opportunity to extract ideas discussed during the webinar for resources that we could then use for online campaigns to drive traffic to the website.
From the webinars, we were able to create testimonials, questions that we could use to poll on social media, and topics for blogs and eBooks. With more in-depth pieces like an eBook, we were able to collect leads by making it only accessible by filling out a simple form that captured important prospect details.
Let’s talk numbers
The content we generated increased traffic by new users compared to the previous year during the same period in the following ways.
1 March 2020 – 1 August 2020
1 March 2019 – 1 August 2019
- The more content we added to the website, the stronger the SEO became, and traffic from organic searches grew by 32%, and our goal conversions from searches by 15%.
- We used our paid online campaigns (PPC) to promote the eBook, which increased our traffic by a whopping 243%, and our goal conversions by 62%, and the cost per lead (CPL) was reduced by 7.5%.
- By partnering with other organizations, we were able to share our content on 3rd party social media channels and increased traffic by 26% and our goal conversions by 50%.
The repurposing of the online events information has helped us increase the goal conversion rate. By pivoting to this strategy, SAGE was able to generate important information from online events that we can share on a variety of channels to engage our target audience. These are just some of the B2B marketing tips during the coronavirus pandemic that SAGE Marketing can offer to keep your business growing.