With companies allocating the largest chunk of their marketing budget towards exhibiting at events, Demand Generation marketers are facing unprecedentedly difficult times.
Events across the globe are cancelling, postponing and even failing due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). One of the largest tech events in the world, Mobile World Congress has cancelled, leaving hundreds of vendors out of pocket. Not only have these exhibitors lost their initial investment but more disappointingly, they have lost any return on that investment. Sadly, MWC 2020 is just one example of many. Figures published by data intelligence company, PredictHQ, indicated that 850 events scheduled for February and March have cancelled or postponed due to Coronavirus, with a further 35,000 scheduled events meant to take place over the next three months!
Despite this huge impact to demand gen operations, it is imperative that companies continue to strive for business as usual. CFOs are unlikely to reduce targets by much and therefore Marketing & Sales teams will be under increased pressure to perform during these hard times. But with events being off the menu, how can demand gen marketers maintain a steady flow of leads for the sales team to nurture?
Naturally, marketers are shifting their event budget towards digital marketing campaigns. These include email, display, content, SEO, pay-per-click, etc. As digital marketing campaigns only require the use of an electronic device and the internet, they are perfectly suited to social-distancing protocol. In fact, as more and more people are confined to working from home, these avenues are expected to have higher engagement rates than usual.
For Demand Gen marketers though, who require cold hard leads, revising their content marketing strategy is a smart move. By using this downtime to create new content (or re-purpose existing content) with the aim of generating interest, we can minimise the disruption and maximise our efficiency.
IT decision makers consume 17 pieces of content on average when researching a complex B2B purchase. It is therefore essential to get your company's content in their hands during this research phase. Publishing content on your 'Resources' page will only get you so far, so working with third parties to run outbound marketing campaigns will help you reach target quicker.
Content Syndication is a fantastic vehicle for this. This is the process of distributing your best assets (whitepapers, eBooks, webinars) to your target audience in return for their contact information, typically by publishing the content online and allowing prospects to download it organically (accelerated with email, telemarketing and display campaigns).
The benefit of content syndication programmes are:
Guaranteed lead generation activity
Does not require face-to-face engagement
Charged on a cost-per-lead (CPL) model
Reach a new audience
Easy to calculate ROI
Can use Intent or ABM targeting
Delivers leads at scale
Over the last two months, we have witnessed a huge surge in demand for content syndication campaigns as they continue to generate leads in the face of Coronavirus, enabling companies to keep afloat until this storm passes.
So, if your marketing plan has been affected by Coronavirus, don't worry too much. Realise that most marketers are in the same boat and are shifting their event budget towards digital marketing activities.
Whether it be email campaigns, display advertising or content marketing. Keep calm and carry on... online!
I'm Ryan Young, Managing Director at My Outreach, a lead generation company helping B2B tech marketers to generate demand and grow their customer base. We use a hyper-modern approach to lead generation utilising the latest technology available to the industry. If you need support with your demand gen goals, get in touch today and I'll be happy to talk with you directly.