After more than a year of restrictions, offline events may seem like a thing of the past. You may find them irreplaceable. However, research by McKinsey* shows that online interaction can replace the standard offline events of the B2B segment, and is often more efficient, especially due to speed.
We divided the online formats according to the marketing plan and compared their biggest advantages and disadvantages. Reaching a potential customer is the first stage of the buying cycle. In this section, we will focus on the widely used formats.
Reaching new potential clients
Trying to interfere as much as possible may seem irrelevant, especially in B2B where there may be only a limited number of potential customers. However, the targeting available in online systems is not specific enough, so the way to reach everything relevant is to actually reach everyone. A specific enough topic for a particular online event can even appeal to the general public to the individuals you really want to reach.
The best option in order to obtain the most relevant possible interference are the so-called asynchronous formats, that is, those that are not deployed, but are prepared in advance. A podcast can be in the form of an interview, group discussion, professional monologue, storytelling, lecture, or online discussion.
The main advantage of these formats is that they are also suitable for beginners, because you can modify, edit and improve their content. Since they are typically published on at least one online platform (YouTube channel, audio streaming platform, or social network), they gain long-term insight into organic research.
Podcast Marketing for lunch can be seen in organic search on Basta Digital and on the Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube platforms:
Zdroj: digital seat
At the same time, longer forms provide enough time to “process the audience”. Public participation is not necessary.
In contrast to the online lecture and discussion, we also encounter one drawback during broadcast, which is a long-term commitment. Creating a podcast for 2-3 episodes would be a waste of effort.
Summary of advantages and disadvantages of broad forms of intervention:
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Engaging existing audiences
At the point where our target audience is already registering us, we need to get to their active awareness. This audience can be of two types**:
- An audience that can name a problem but doesn’t know we can solve it.
- An audience that knows the problem and the solution, but is not convinced that our solution is the best on the market.
An example of the first audience is the owner of a smaller craft company, who realizes that few people know about it at the moment and that it negatively affects his business. As an agency, we would be interested in such an individual with content that we present in it for the possibilities of drawing the attention of the general public to his company.
In the case of the second audience, we can again imagine the owner of the said craft company. However, this time he knows that his company is not very well known and that he needs to hire a marketing agency to help him spread awareness of his brand and services. Therefore, the content we provide to him should answer a different kind of question that he asks himself when making the decision.
At the point where we want to “persuade”, more interactive formats are welcome. Also, where our audience has the opportunity to ask questions or otherwise participate.
The appropriate format is a webinar. It is a professional online presentation where the audience has the opportunity to ask questions via chat or another platform and the presenter can answer. The advantage of this format is a relatively simple setup.
The second format that can be used is an online workshop. Like a webinar, it is used to share knowledge. However, the public must actively participate. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure a smooth alignment of the expert leading the workshop with his audience.
Online conferencing is another option. However, this is the most challenging form of organization. You need to provide amplifiers, a medium, a suitable platform from which to broadcast the conference, quality equipment and much more. This also makes it the most expensive option for this segment.
Summary of the advantages and disadvantages of audience interaction formats:
Zdroj: digital seat
potential customer conviction
The final step on our potential client’s path is the final decision. He can do this, for example, when he can “touch” our product or service.
We can offer the most authentic experience possible to our potential customers with an online experience. The advantage is that if it can be generated from a specific product/service, it is a one time investment that can be used for all of our other valuable contacts.
For cases where an online trial is not available, a video call may be a good alternative to present your product or service in more detail. This format gives you one very useful option – to answer any questions that the beta itself will not answer.
Summary of advantages and disadvantages of formats for persuasion:
Zdroj: digital seat
With the aforementioned online options, you can stay in touch with your target audience even from the comfort of your home or office, often more time efficient and cheaper than offline meetings.
However, do not forget that high-quality content is not enough and the format is also important – experienced presenters, the right structure and perception of the presentation and accurate technical parameters.
* Search can be found in www.mckinsey.com
**Based on lead rating according to Eugene M. Schwartz in Breakthrough Advertising from 1966.
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