Summer is coming.
For months we’ve been dreaming about barbecues, sun-filled vacations, long weekends at the lake, and the glorious start of summer office hours. It’s so close.
But for B2B marketers, summertime often means distracted or out-of-office target audiences, prospects, and customers. We marketers may even sneak out of the office for a few days. And from dips in organic website traffic and social engagement to being short on internal resources while the sales team begs for more leads, the “summer slump” sets in.
The good news is that summer opportunities do exist for entertaining, nurturing, and strengthening connections with your audiences throughout the funnel, as well as help you test and refine your approach to finish out the year strong. Here are some tips worthy of consideration.
Tip #1 – Revisit and fine-tune your B2B content marketing strategy.
Keeping a pulse on results and taking steps to optimize performance are par for the B2B marketer’s course. And with summer marking the mid-year point, it’s the perfect time to take a deep dive into year-to-date performance—not just the last 30, 60, or 90 days—and compare to years past. This gives you a more holistic look at how your content marketing strategy is moving the needle, if you’re making consistent progress, and if you’re on track to hit this year’s goals.
If you don’t have a documented content marketing strategy, stop here and make that your summer priority. Your strategy is your roadmap; your single source of truth that everyone has access to.
If your strategy is documented and your results review has indicated that you’re losing some ground, put additional efforts behind what is working. In addition, consider testing something new such as interactive content or piloting an influencer marketing project—or try to break out of your stuffy B2B mold to make a summer splash.
Here’s a little something that combines all three—an asset that has been affectionately named “Laser Bear.”
Click Here to see the Break Free from Boring B2B Guide in Full Screen Mode
If you don’t have the internal resources or expertise to test something new, partner with an experienced B2B content marketing agency. If you’re looking to partake in some summer relaxation, an agency partner can take the pressure off and reduce your stress level.
Tip #2 – Reconnect with your sales team to gain new insight and provide extra support.
Generating leads is one of your primary objectives. But as the volume of incoming leads slow down or the trajectory of some prospective deal closures comes to a crawl in the summer months, there’s no better time for you to check in with your sales team.
It’s not only worth diving into challenges, opportunities, or key insights for the year thus far, but also working to identify specific summer buyer behavior trends and the types of conversations sales reps are having with prospects. This may help you identify opportunities to refine and optimize your larger strategy for the year or personalize content to target specific summer buyer needs.
Also, if sales team members have upcoming events or conferences they’ll be attending, this is a great time to realign on objectives and refine any existing marketing strategy. From organic and paid social campaigns surrounding the event to constructing personalized nurturing campaigns for leads captured at the event, there’s likely an opportunity to help their presence at an event generate more ROI.
Tip #3 – Experiment with social engagement and content promotion.
Content promotion on social platforms is an integral part of your marketing strategy—and it could be ripe for a summer shake up. Depending on how your current tactics are performing, now may be the perfect time to experiment with new methods of promotion and engagement to nurture your audience through the summer months.
For example, consider repurposing some of your existing blog or website content into longer-form content on your social media channels to serve as inspiration and foster conversation. This could be customer profiles, tales from the trenches, company culture snapshots, and the list goes on.
You could also create original content around trends, providing some thoughtful commentary and encouraging discussion. Or, if you haven’t tried them yet, consider conducting polls or experimenting with 3D photos that can help you increase your engagement over social media.
Tip #4 – Create convenient content experiences.
In the summer, your target buyers are pressed for time. So, make it easy for them to consume and engage. Investing more in content curation can help.
For example, you could start a weekly news post in which you curate information from the top news articles in your industry. Then, you can break those articles down for your audience providing key takeaways and learnings. This saves your audience the time of having to read and analyze each article— instead, you’re doing the work for them.
Tip #5 – Double-down on showcasing who your company is.
Your target buyers desire human connection. And you’ve likely taken some steps to humanize your brand to become less stuffy and more credible in your target buyers’ eyes. Summer can be a great time to take that human element to new heights.
One option is to create a blog series focused on company culture and how that fosters the service you provide. Or consider a weekly #TBT post featuring photos and mini stories from team members. Better yet, sit down with select members of your team for an in-depth Q&A video. This not only helps you put faces with your company name and mission, but you’re also highlighting subject matter experts who can provide insight and thought leadership your audience will connect with.
Injecting some thoughtful humor is another testing consideration if you feel it makes sense for your brand and audience.
“Comedy is the most powerful way to humanize a brand because it demonstrates empathy,” seasoned B2B marketer and comedian Tim Washer told us not long ago. “Let’s face it, a lot of true comedy comes from pain. So, when we can come out and touch on a customer pain point, we show them that we understand their point of view. When we do something that is self-deprecating, when we look vulnerable, and when we let our guard down a little bit that’s when we make a connection.”
Read our full interview with Tim for more tips on how to create unique, memorable experiences for your audience.
Hot Fun in the Summertime
Summer is a busy time for everyone—and your marketing results can take a hit as a result. But you can still stay engaged with your target buyers if you tweak your content strategy to include new content types and tactics to entertain, engage, and nurture your audience.
*Cue the music*
Looking for a little summer reading to help improve your approach to B2B content writing? Check out this post on cutting content bloat to create better audience connections.
*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.