March 27, 2020 - Brittany Garlin

The Power of Branding During A Pandemic

As many agencies are putting marketing plans on hold and freezing spend – the power of branding during a pandemic is becoming more prominent. Bradley Johnson wrote, “the economy needs marketers and marketing”, recalling General Motors’ “Keep America Rolling” campaign in 2001. As an agency, it can be unnerving as clients begin to pause campaigns and stop ad spend. There is a fine balance between staying relevant and coming off as disingenuine, which could further impact your business down the line. In this article, we will provide you with solutions on how to utilize branding during a pandemic through top-of-funnel marketing.

What is top-of-funnel marketing? 

When marketers refer to the top, middle, and bottom of the marketing and sales funnel, they’re referencing the concept that—in marketing—you pull a large pool of people into your website or database that may be eventually interested in your products or services. As these people move down the funnel, the pool gets smaller. Those who are actually interested in purchasing your products continue to engage with your brand and learn more about your offerings. Those who are not interested in your product or service, leave the funnel. Marketers publish content at the top of the funnel to reach a wide pool of potential customers. They do this by pushing content through channels and tactics like:

  • Blogs and websites
  • Social media
  • SEO
  • Video marketing
  • Online ads
  • Influencer outreach

Content at the top of the funnel has very little to do with products and services, and everything to do with your buyer’s interests and needs.

How to leverage top-of-funnel marketing? 

With consumers tightening their wallets, mid to low funnel marketing campaigns will not be as effective and can leave a bad impression on buyers. “It does start to feel not genuine, and like [they’re] taking advantage of the situation”, said Cecilia Gates, CEO of Gates Creative, a creative agency. 

With google suspending local reviews during the outbreak, agencies are leveraging their Agency Vista profile to generate those key reviews that drive buying decisions. Research shows that 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to make a purchase after reading a trusted review, while 67% rank online reviews from their peers as incredibly important in the buying process. If there’s one thing we know for sure is that our economy is resilient and in due time things will return to business as usual. As regular daily tasks such as campaign optimizations, managing ad spend, measuring ROI, etc. are being diminished – it leads to an area of opportunity to improve your own agency’s internal processes, on-boarding, and branding. 

As an agency or small business, it’s a great time to ask your current and previous customers for that support. News outlets are encouraging buyers to leave a review for small businesses to help them gain more positive branding if they are not able to pay for a service at this time. Agencies should follow suit by asking for some valuable feedback that can drive future business after this crisis is over. 

How to collect B2B customer reviews? 

People are busy – businesses come to an agency to help improve their productivity and efficiency. Generally, they don’t think to provide the agency with feedback or a review simply because they haven’t had the time to. Unless they have an awesome experience (or an extremely disappointing one) your customers probably aren’t going to take the time out of their day to share thoughts on their own. 

But, with the coronavirus causing more businesses to work remotely – there is an opportunity for people to have more time to read your email and act on it by providing your agency with a review. Make it easy for your past and current customers when asking for a review by linking your Agency Vista profile to them. Try to come off as genuinely as possible when asking for the review and remember to highlight how important it is for your business to receive positive branding during this time. 

Your Agency Vista profile can help your generate key branding opportunities for your agency that will improve your chances for new business once this crisis is over. When brands in-store options are back open, there will be a demand to generate that lost business during the time the doors were closed. This will be a key time for agencies to generate new business as the economy recovers. 

Reviews affect user experience, click-through rate, improve branding, and how others perceive your business. Here are a few statistics that speak to the power of online reviews:

  • 94 percent of people say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business altogether.
  • 90 percent of consumers read 10 or fewer online reviews until they can trust your business.
  • Positive customer reviews can increase conversions by 270 percent.

B2B Review Ask Email Template

Hi [FIRST NAME],

I hope you are staying safe and healthy during this time. Thank you for [describe client relationship, whether loyal, new, etc.]. It has been my pleasure to help [service you provide].

Reviews help our business build an online presence and helps others learn about us. With these uncertain times, we heavily rely on the support of others to help our business get by. We value your opinion, would you be willing to take a few minutes to leave us a review?

You can click this link <direct URL to your Agency Vista profile> to leave us a review.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day, we appreciate you!

Best regards,

[YOUR NAME]

Final Thoughts

During these challenging times we need to stick together and help out our small businesses. If you are looking for some additional ideas on how to help, you can connect with me on LinkedIn to further discuss. I hope everyone reading this stays safe and healthy.

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