This blog was originally posted on Medium.com.
The effects of COVID-19 have taken their toll on businesses around the world, but all isn’t lost as some might think. In fact, it’s given B2B companies a unique opportunity to build brand trust with customers using digital content.
If your B2B company is looking for ways to reach your audience online during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out these tips to make your digital content as impactful and useful as possible.
1.Provide informational and authentic communication
It’s time to pivot your content strategy. Now is not the time for pushy sales emails or braggadocios content, even with the looming economic threat caused by nation-wide quarantines. Instead it’s time to be authentic and empathetic. Answer these questions in an email, blog or section of your site:
1. What do your customers need right now?
2. How are you going to give it to them?
3. What’s your promise to them during this pandemic?
And don’t just say it once. Say it over and over again. If there was ever time to over-communicate with your customers, it’s now.
2. Feature curated content with accurate information on COVID-19
You don’t need to become your customer’s one-stop-shop for COVID-19 news. Rather, focus on topics that are relevant to your industry and present a unique point of view that your audience can connect with.
Businesses are dedicating entire sections of their app or websites to accurate news about COVID-19. This is a fantastic way to earn trust with your customers because there’s a ton of fake news out there about the COVID-19 pandemic. Having accurate and credibly sourced digital content readily available on your site tells customers you don’t just care about their business but also their wellbeing. This strategy is working for tech giants like Facebook who are using digital content to rebuild trust following years of heavy criticism over allowing fake news to spread.
3.Help customers navigate through uncertainty
Businesses are facing a lot of uncertainty, so give them content that helps build their confidence while setting realistic expectations. For example, a blog with tips on handling organizational change or analyzing the impact COVID-19 is having on their business can be of more service than a blog on how your product or service is “best in class”.
B2B SaaS company, Slack, has done this with their blog, “4 tips for delivering genuine customer success in a virtual world.” This is also true for ecommerce heavyweight, Shopify, in their blog on short-term revenue strategies for brick-and-mortar retailers.
Another great source for digital content to build brand trust are your customers themselves. Monitor social media channels, like LinkedIn, to hear what they’re talking about right now. Get your sales reps involved. Ask them about what they’re hearing from customers and let it inform your content.
4. Use digital content to give your product away
B2B companies have been using digital content to announce that they’re giving away some of their product for free or releasing a free version. This serves two purposes. The first and most obvious is to get people using your product, especially if they’ve never tried it before. The other is being empathetic to the financial state that a lot of small businesses are in. By proving you’re a company that not only creates a good product but cares about its customers, you’ll build trust with your current customers and potentially acquire new ones.
Video conferencing service provider RingCentral is an example of this. They announced in a blog that they’re offering their software free to organizations impacted by the pandemic, nonprofits, healthcare providers and teachers.
Using digital content strategically like this will allow you to serve your audience well in times of crisis and ultimately build loyal customers. They will come back to your brand in times of certainty because you’ve proven yourself trustworthy in times of crisis.