5 Ways Manufacturers Can Leverage Short Form Video Content

A 2022 HubSpot survey found that short form video content has the highest return on investment compared to any other marketing strategy. 

That sounds like a good marketing tactic for any industry, especially manufacturers. 

And let’s be honest – Many manufacturers haven’t had to market to the public unless you’re talking about specific industries like fashion and lifestyle brands, who, for years, have built corporate marketing strategies that drive sales.

Manufacturers who create goods and services rely heavily on their sales team. Their approach has to be specific with tradeshows, industry advertising, or while cultivating customer relationships. Today’s landscape is competitive, and it’s time for manufacturers to adapt their marketing.

Here are five ways manufacturers can leverage short-form video content.

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The Best Paid Media Dashboards for Measuring Success

Paid media dashboards are a critical tool to utilize in your marketing efforts if you aren’t already. Dashboards help you make quicker decisions, increase sales, reduce costs per acquisition (CPA), improve conversions, create engagement, and increase brand value. But not all dashboards are created equal. In fact, the wrong visualization or KPIs can do more harm than good when trying to communicate to others or identify trends.

Continue reading below to discover the most effective paid media dashboards for your campaigns. 

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Python Custom Code for HubSpot

Why is python custom code necessary? Better yet – why is it important to HubSpot? 

With the introduction of Operations Hub, HubSpot has opened up a whole new world of solutions to previously unsolvable problems within their application. 

With the ability to adjust data in-app, add custom-coded solutions to workflows, and sync data with apps that were previously tricky integrations, relying on third-party tools to solve these issues is becoming a thing of the past. 

Learn more about python custom code for HubSpot and how it can help your business below.

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B2B Sales Leaders Dish: Top Strategies and Tools for Digital Sales in 2021

The countdown to 2021 is on. Oh, who are we kidding? For many of us, this countdown started back in March. Regardless, this past year has left an impression on businesses, good, bad, or otherwise. One area of business we were especially interested in gaining some outside perspective on was sales. So, to help jumpstart your 2021 digital sales strategy, we invited some of the best and brightest in B2B sales strategies and technology for a discussion on breaking through to buyers when business environments are turned upside down.

Our Experts

Lou Orfanos | General Manager & VP Product – HubSpot

Joshua Fedie | CEO and Founder – SalesReach

Dan Wardle | VP, Revenue – Vidyard

Hindsight is “2020”

They say that hindsight is “2020”, so we wanted to reflect on a year that was anything but business as usual and see what could be learned from it. There are some things we’d like to keep and others we’ll be sure to leave behind. Ultimately we wanted to learn how this pandemic shifted sales processes and how HubSpot, SalesReach, and Vidyard adapted to this change.

Buyer Expectations and Experiences

When asked about 2020, our panelists all agreed there was no question that COVID caused sales to change the way they engage with prospects, but the reality that sales needed to start working in a more digital-first way, was not recent news.

Orfanos noted that you should really be looking at everything you’re doing and calibrating your go-to-market and digital sales strategy to the new expectation. “It’s been moving that way for a while, but COVID made it go into warp speed.” That said, he cautions that you shouldn’t just rush to do whatever is new. Look at your services through the buyer’s lens and what they expect, and then determine what new strategies you want to adopt.

It’s also essential to make the buyer experience seamless from the start. Wardle encourages people to create the best experience possible from the minute prospects hit your website. “Whatever the customer needs is what you should be thinking about.” Things like the ability to directly book meetings online or adjusting your sales process based on customer needs.

Reducing Friction in the Sales Process

With so much change in how we do business, all of the areas you would expect to reduce friction in the sales process are spiking—things like online chat and videos. People want answers now. How does a sales leader get a sales team over their own friction when the speed of change is so fast, especially when it comes to video, online sales demos, and more?

Watch the Entire Discussion

Video for Sales

When it comes to video for sales, Wardle says the best way to start is just to start. He notes that the more authentic you can be, the better, only with some decent lighting. We know not everyone has time to make high quality, custom videos all day long. Nor should you.

Wardle recounts an example of his team making a quick “really excited to see you” video sent to leads. It got a 10% response rate! That same team decided to make a more professional video for another segment of leads and had half as many responses. Why is that, we asked? “You can see it was human-made, it wasn’t marketing, wasn’t polished. Think of it as a handshake at a conference. That video you send is that handshake. Make it personal- not overproduced. Just get started.”

Online Sales Demos

When it comes to your sales strategy, in-person sales demos were likely a very common occurrence for many pre-COVID. And while many of us might be facing “Zoom fatigue,” it’s still important for sales to get that face time with prospects, even if they are virtual or online demos. In fact, research has shown that the more face-to-face time or time spent on camera vs. sharing slide decks, the better. The closed/won deals were 41% more frequently pushed through the sales cycle. That’s how powerful face-to-face is.

Drift sales video webcam usage and successful deals

So, what do you do when you can’t meet in person? What lessons have been learned to break through with B2B buyers?

Fedie says, “You really need to embrace the fact that the best sales professionals – they’re all great entertainers. This digital thing through us for a loop, though, because it’s easier to take prospects to a restaurant or a golf course to build that relationship. So now you have to figure out how to be an entertainer on sales calls or demos.” He advises:

  • Be more interactive
  • Make it an experience
  • Have some Q&A
  • Call out specific stakeholders during demos to address their questions
  • Work harder to make sure they’re entertained, informed, and educated

While keeping prospects engaged and entertained is important, Orfanos takes it a step further to say that you need the value to back it up. At HubSpot they have a saying, “Add value before you extract value.” So take your demos and sales process and try to add as much value as possible. He says this is most impactful mid-funnel. “If you can nail personality and value that’s amazing, but if you had to choose one of the two- value first.”

Coaching Reps

It’s also important to remember what you’re coaching your reps on now. When it comes to friction and how to reduce it, Orfanos pointed out that 82% of managers and leaders say that they’re providing coaching but when those reps were asked, less than 50% felt they were being coached. Can you say low hanging fruit for reducing friction?

Your Sales Training Is Broken. Here's How to Fix It.

2021 Digital Sales Strategy Top Priority

When looking to drive and start pushing forward modern, digital sales strategies, we wanted to know what’s a top priority for these sales leaders—knowing that resources aren’t unlimited. Where does one start? What’s the top priority in creating a strong digital sales strategy?

Choose the Right Tools

Fedie suggests asking your team what they’ll actually use and what they’re comfortable using. He also said he sees many times that it isn’t sales leaders choosing tools for the sales team, it’s marketing, without having the necessary conversation with sales about what they actually need. “You’ll have a lot more success and rate of adoption if you get input from sales when choosing a sales tool.”

Adapt to Change

For Wardle, tools are secondary. He says, more importantly, it’s taking a step back. Businesses have changed, and maybe your sales reps haven’t changed yet. Understand what’s changed and how you’re going to coach the reps and be more effective. If you’re doing things the same as you were back when we could go to conferences and meet in person, it’s time to reevaluate. Once you’ve figured that out, then you can get into tools and strategies.

Align with Your Buyer

Tools, coaching, and last but not least, aligning with your buyer. Orfanos says in addition to tools and coaching, if there was ever a time to do this, it’s now, and that is your need to ruthlessly align with your buyers. Ask yourself:

  • Are you really locked in with marketing on who the target accounts are?
  • Are you fully aligned across the company on the target accounts?
  • Have you done the map of how your prospects expect to buy from you?
  • Are you actually delivering on those expectations?

How to better align your sales with B2B buyer's journey

Looking Ahead to 2021

Despite the challenges that this pandemic brought to businesses and the sales process, there’s still a lot to look forward to in the year ahead. We wanted to know what our panelists were most excited about for 2021.

Orfanos enjoys seeing the outside rep become more of an inside rep and inside reps moving to more e-commerce. He says, “If you can figure out the right blend of selling online and selling through reps, you can create a really efficient customer friendly model.”

Fedie says he loves seeing how quickly people have embraced technology, in good ways. “We’re starting to see more good come out of tech than bad. You’re still able to create meaningful relationships without having to travel to prospects and I don’t think that’s going away. That brings me the most joy and excitement.”

Wardle sees the world moving to broader adoption of video – that the default will be FaceTime for the enterprise and will live long beyond this pandemic. “Virtual selling is here to stay.”

Key Takeaways

  • Look at everything through your buyer’s lens and then work to create as seamless a buyer experience as possible.
  • Work to reduce the friction in the sales process, whether in your videos, online demos, or sales coaching. Things have changed and sales needs to change with it.
  • Align with your buyer, but don’t change for the sake of change. Find out what your buyer expectations are, and create your digital sales strategy around that.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things. You need to embrace new technologies, new efforts, and new ways of doing things.

A big thank you to our three panelists and all of you who joined in! It was educational, informational and entertaining.

The Role of Google Adwords in Your B2B Strategy

Google and Google Adwords are complex and continue to change rapidly. For B2B businesses, Adwords can be very challenging, but it can also be the catalyst to success in your overall campaign. 

You’ve used Google before, right? Given that Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day, it’s probably safe to assume you have. You {likely} use Google to search for things like clothes, housewares, and more… As a consumer. But what about as a business professional? Do you ever search for work-related things? Search for an answer to a problem? I imagine if you’re using it for that purpose, your customers are as well, which is why it’s important that you consider it in your strategy. 

In this post, we’ll cover how Google Adwords can play a role in your B2B strategy, including:

  • What role Google Adwords plays in B2B specifically
  • How B2B and B2C Adword strategies differ
  • How to successfully target your B2B buyer with Google Adwords
  • Goal and budget setting for your PPC campaign

10 Google Search Statistics You Need to Know [April 2020]

Image Source: Oberlo.com

Google Adwords and Your B2B Strategy

To better understand the B2B Adwords strategy, one must first understand the role it plays in the overall B2B marketing strategy. Just like any other tool in your toolbox, Google Adwords plays its own critical role. Put simply, its main role is to find the right people who are directly or indirectly searching for your products or services and provide them with the answers they’re seeking. 

Your target personas have many questions and pain points and will almost always turn to Google for those answers. To put this into perspective, Pardot surveyed over 400 B2B buyers and found that 78% of B2B buyers turn to Google search after consulting with a colleague. Google Adwords allows your business to be there as soon as your personas hit that search bar. What’s more, if you’re not using Google Adwords, your competitors likely are. They will be there to answer those questions even if you aren’t. 

B2B vs. B2C Adwords Strategy

So, how do you adjust your strategy to tailor it to B2B buyers? B2B and B2C marketing in general differ mainly in their target audiences and the strategies used to reach them. Adwords is no different. This means there will be significant differences in your overall account structure, how you target your personas, what types of keywords you use, how you write ad copy and how you remarket. It all starts with knowing your B2B buyer persona. 

The B2B Buyer Persona

Your persona and how you target your persona can arguably be the most important part of your campaign. The B2B and B2C persona actually have a lot in common. They both have a goal, a problem to solve, change drivers, and a sales cycle associated with them. That said, the B2B buyer is much more complex. Unlike the B2C buyer, their main goal isn’t focused on personal things like entertainment and other luxuries. Their goals are focused more on ROI, increased efficiencies, solving a problem, and their organization’s needs as a whole. An important question to ask yourself is not only what your persona is looking for, but what their organization is looking for. Once you answer those questions, you’ll be better able to target that persona more effectively. 

B2B vs B2C marketing

Image Source: Wordstream.com

Targeting the B2B Persona

Just like any other campaign, ask yourself what the key demographics of your persona are:

  • Where are they hanging out digitally?
  • What age group are they in?
  • What is their job title and role?
  • Do they have the power within their organization to make decisions?
  • Do they have to consult with many others before taking action?

All of these questions are a great place to start and can help you narrow down your audience. A great way to target these factors of your audience is by utilizing audience lists imported from analytics, custom intent audiences, and custom affinity audiences. 

These features in Adwords help you target users based on things like what they’re interested in, what sites they frequently visit, what they search for most often, and what “market” they’re in. Learn more about these strategies here

Keep in mind not to get too narrow with your targeting. Each time you apply an audience, interest, or category, you are decreasing your reach. Try to test a few aspects at a time and different combinations of them. For example, you might have one campaign that targets people in the market for sports and nutrition items, and another campaign that targets people who frequently visit websites about sports teams and healthy recipes. Test combinations of audiences and tailor your ad copy to be helpful and relevant.

b2b buyers journey

Selecting the Right Keywords

As mentioned above, search intent is essential to a B2B Adwords strategy. You won’t always know what keywords are most likely to convert right off the bat. B2B buyers often ask much more complex questions when they search on Google than B2C buyers. They typically use long-tail keywords and phrases when they search instead of directly searching for a specific product or solution. 

When setting your campaign keywords, don’t get too granular. Start by casting a wide net using:

  • Broad match
  • Broad match modified
  • Phrase match keywords

This allows your campaign to pull in search term data. Next, give your campaign a good amount of time so you can gain insight into how your customers are searching and what they’re looking for. As the data comes in, analyze the search terms report to find potential keywords to add to your campaign and to add as negative keywords. 

Over time, you’ll start to notice trends in the search terms report that point toward a specific customer action. Keep your eye out for search terms that may express an opportunity for a new keyword group.

Pro Tip: Put the higher-performing keywords in their own ad group so you can treat them individually. You may add bid adjustments, ad copy changes, or add highly relevant extensions.

Carefully Approach Your Ad Copy

The biggest thing to keep in mind when writing Google Adwords copy for a B2B buyer is that you aren’t going to be the only company on their radar. You need to make sure the ad copy is relevant and will get their attention. This applies to almost every Google Ads strategy but much more in a B2B Adwords strategy because the B2B buyer tends to do a lot more comparison shopping and research than a B2C buyer. 

So, when you think about creating your ad copy, ask yourself how you would stand out to the user. Look at your ad and put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. Ask yourself: 

  • What would make you click on it? 
  • What elements or phrasing tend to catch your eye? 
  • What would make it more appealing than the others? 

Try to highlight your organization’s strengths and showcase the value you add as much as possible. Most people aren’t looking for a list of features, they’re looking for a solution to a problem. Focus on how you can solve that problem and what you can do for them. 

Pro Tip: Once you have ad copy you like that’s tailored to your buyer, give it time to see how it performs. With a little data under your belt, we suggest doing A/B testing to see which ads perform better than others. Adjust accordingly. 

Setting Your Goals and Budget for Google Adwords

Last, but certainly not least, when building your campaign, ask yourself “what is my main goal?” and “what is my budget?” Your campaign goal and budget will help you dictate what the overall account structure will look like and how you approach its various components. Start by defining success and what KPIs are most important. 


A goal or measure of success could look like a lead: 

  • Contacting you via phone
  • Filling out a form
  • Downloading a resource
  • Spending a certain amount of time on a page
  • Registering for an event or blog subscription

If the main objective or goal is to have leads contact you via phone, followed closely by filling out a form, then you may consider having a campaign for each of those things. Segment out your campaigns by these goals. This way you can tailor certain settings and targeting to each. 

Pro Tip: No matter what your goals are, make sure they’re SMART. Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Relevant – Timely.


You should have a sense of what your budget is as you’re creating campaigns and have hard and fast numbers ready for launch. It’s ideal to have different campaigns with different campaign types, strategies, and then run tests within those campaigns. However, your campaign and what you’re able to do is restricted by your overall budget. 

It wouldn’t make sense to bid on top of funnel keywords with a small budget. So, if your budget is small, focus on what will be most profitable for you, and dedicate a few keywords at a time for things like testing and data mining. 

This is just the tip of the Google Adwords iceberg and the role it can play in your B2B strategy. But once you understand the role it plays, how to target your persona, identify keywords, and set up a campaign for success, the next thing to do is to try it out for yourself. 

Still not convinced or looking for some guidance on how to successfully set up, launch and manage your Google Adwords strategy for B2B? One of our strategists can help. Let’s chat Adwords!

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A Roadmap to a Sure-fire B2B Sales Enablement Strategy

Implementing a B2B sales enablement strategy can align your internal teams and empower your sales personnel with the tools they need to close more deals. A solid, collaborative strategy can create more effective sales teams and stronger marketing programs. Here are the elements every leader needs to consider when developing their sales enablement strategy.

Creating a B2B Sales Enablement Strategy

What is Sales Enablement?

First, what is sales enablement? According to HubSpot, “Sales enablement is the iterative process of providing your business’s sales team with the resources they need to close more deals.” It involves the creation, distribution, and use of marketing collateral and content within the sales process. The goal of B2B sales enablement is to collaboratively create and use marketing material that sales can use to nurture and close their deals.

Why is Sales Enablement Important

The alignment of sales and marketing is at the forefront of what makes sales enablement important. When up and running smoothly, a sales enablement strategy will create a symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing teams. This facilitates a culture with an open, continual, and constructive feedback loop with the insights to spur progressive change. It also empowers both teams to create and utilize better, more effective content. Sales teams are able to utilize content in their lead nurturing that’s on brand, optimized for conversion and SEO, and written for the persona.

how to achieve sales and marketing alignment

Furthermore, sales and marketing alignment has concrete, real benefits. When teams are aligned, they are 67% better at closing deals and drive 209% more revenue. Read more stats on smarketing alignment here.

When sales teams are enabled with content from marketing, both teams win. According to Seismic research, enabled sales reps generate 65% more revenue. What would your company do with a 65% increase in revenue? They also see a 275% increase in conversions. And the benefits to marketing? A 350% increase in content utilization, according to the research. 

sales enablement strategy

Found on HighSpot 

How to Budget for Sales Enablement

In order to ensure you’re creating a successful B2B sales enablement strategy, you’ll want to make sure you have the budget to support it. Providing the right tools, resources, and technology to increase sales performance is a must when you’re looking for innovative ways to get ahead.

When creating your sales enablement budget, consider costs that are consistent and unavoidable, as well as costs that are unexpected or a value-add to the sales enablement efforts. Here are four core areas that will help you build the foundation of your sales enablement budget: 

  1. Fixed costs: These are your expenses that stay pretty consistent even as things change. For example, salaries for the sales team, the must-have tools and solutions, cost of training, and more. If it’s necessary for the day-to-day operations, include it as a fixed cost. 
  2. Unexpected costs: No plan is perfect, so adding a little bit of padding in your budget to account for those unexpected expenses can help lessen the blow when things pop up. For example, maybe the sales team has an urgent need for an unplanned sales meeting. There are likely costs associated with that meeting or event. 
  3. Variable costs: These differ from your fixed costs in that they might fluctuate as needs change in your business. For example, travel and associated travel expenses, professional development training, contract work, etc. These aren’t necessarily must-haves, but they can help increase sales enablement’s impact. 
  4. ROI/Measurement of Success: Here you should make a case for the investment you’re making in sales enablement. Why does sales deserve the resources you’re requesting instead of a different department? Show what you anticipate the return on investment to be. For example: If you can pull in existing reports and data to support the return of each cost, that will help when you’re building your business case.  

Once you’ve created your budget, you’ll have to make a business case for each aspect of the budget in order to get the buy-in and support you need from executives, to secure the funds and resources you’re requesting. 

Getting Sales Enablement Buy-In Across the Organization 

Even though the business case for investing in sales enablement is strong, you will undoubtedly find that there are some executives and other company decision-makers who fail to see the purpose, value, and ultimately the benefits of it. According to CIO Insights, that could be why 40% of companies don’t have a dedicated sales enablement professional or program. 

Knowing that sales enablement buy-in can sometimes be an uphill battle, how do you go about getting the support you need? 

Related Reading: Sales & Marketing Automation: What it is & what it can do for B2B

Step 1: Know your Audience 

Who you’re talking to will dictate what areas of importance you should highlight. Learn what’s important to your leader or the executives you’re trying to get buy-in from. For example, when it comes to sales enablement, your CFO will want to know the potential to increase the sales reps’ contributions to revenue. A CMO will want to understand how enablement will affect and support the marketing team’s sales content creation. Your CEO might be most persuaded by improvements to profitability and retention rates. 

b2b sales enablement strategy

Identifying the key stakeholders up front and what’s most important to them will help build a stronger case for sales enablement. Each of these conversations should highlight how your b2b sales enablement strategy will improve sales productivity. 

Step 2: Let the Data Do the Talking 

Data can be a powerful tool for making a case for sales enablement. For example, take a look at the day-to-day activities of the sales team, you might find that they spend too much time creating presentations, responding to corporate emails and more. All of these things take away from the time they could and should be selling, which incurs a higher opportunity cost. 

Step 3: Show Results 

If and when sales enablement activities are established, create a regular cadence to review the results of your efforts with company leaders. This will provide insight into what activities are actually effecting change. You want to do activities that produce the desired outcomes, but that might require some trial and error to find which ones yield the best results. That’s why it’s important to monitor performance regularly and adjust accordingly. Being transparent and working together with leadership will allow you to identify what sales enablement activities are actually needed and which ones you can do without. 

Step 4: Start Small 

Getting buy-in from internal stakeholders for your sales enablement efforts can be tough if you come out of the gate full force. Especially if you go from zero to sixty with your enablement efforts. This goes back to knowing your audience. Find out what’s important to your leader and where sales can add value and start there. Once you’ve demonstrated results and built that credibility, you can make an even stronger case for expanding your sales enablement strategies. 

MarTech Assessment

At the end of the day, the goal of implementing a B2B sales enablement strategy is to empower your sales team so they can close more deals and drive more revenue and profitability for the company. By doing this you not only support your sales reps, but you create alignment between sales and marketing and everyone can work towards the ultimate goal: company success.

Onboarding Remote Employees: How to Build Culture, Rapport and Support

Running a remote marketing firm provides a lot of benefits for our team and our clients. But having a team working from home most or all of the time isn’t without its challenges. One area that I get asked about a lot is how to successfully onboard a new work from home employee? How do you make sure they feel like they are part of the team quickly? How do you make sure they have the tools and access they need to get up and running quickly?

Here are some of the strategies that have worked for us. We also reached out to our network of business owners, managers and talent leaders to get their thoughts on strategies for managing onboarding remote employees. Their insights are included throughout. 

Clearly Layout 30 and 90-day Plans

Whether your new team member is working from home or not – having a clear 30 to 90-day plan is so critical. SHRM points out that 69% of employees are more likely to stay based on their onboarding plan. At Lake One, we turn to the same tool we use to plan and manage our client Marketing Springs – Asana. We build out all the tasks and milestones for our new team members and link it up to the essential resources they’ll need to accomplish their onboarding from links to our standard operating procedure to the company drive file structure. 

Jennifer Zick, Founder and CEO at Authentic Brand adds, “New employees – whether working in a physical office or remotely – need clarity in two primary areas in order to get up to speed and become productive in their roles. First, any new employee needs to know where to find what they need to do their job. Secondly, they need clear definitions on what they are responsible for, and what success should look like.”

Diversify Training and Communication Styles

Mix up the training schedule to make sure your new team member gets to spend time with a diversity of folks. This helps the new employee develop connections within the company and absorb information better. Not to mention, putting the responsibility on one person to get a new employee up to speed can be a lot.

Tyler Anderson, Principal at Andcor Talent states, “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to communicating during onboarding and beyond.  Each leader (and team member) needs to understand communication preferences and needs. Some may prefer and are comfortable with email.  Others need verbal communication and interaction. And others want a combo of both.”

Outline Subject Matter Experts

Make it clear – who in the organization owns what. This not only saves time across the board, but it sets expectations for both the new and existing employees. If you have a standard operating procedure (see below) this is a great place to put this information. Some HRIS systems also have a place for this in an org chart. 

Anderson recommends, ”Getting them up to speed fast and hit the ground running by pairing the remote employee with an on-site employee or if everyone is virtual, another remote team member who they can go to for advice.”

Onboarding Remote Employees

Zick notes, “Many companies may not have well-organized online databases or platforms full of training materials, sales collateral, HR documents, or other resources that new employees can quickly locate. In these situations, it might make sense to align an employee with an internal guide – a “sherpa” of sorts – who can answer questions to help them quickly get to the right person or place to find what they need. Collaboration tools – like Slack – can be invaluable in these cases, allowing employees to quickly ask questions and crowdsource answers from their peers. The key is to open as many pathways to answers as possible, as quickly as possible, to help the new team member feel fully equipped to do their job.”

Set Up All Accounts in Advance

One simple thing you can do to make sure your new team member is ready to hit the ground running is getting all their account access set up in advance. There is nothing more frustrating than over the course of 30 days constantly having to ping a supervisor to get access to this, that or the other thing. Make an account run through a task in the onboarding plan. That way your new team members on their first day can go through all their welcome emails from systems, make sure they can access everything and feel good about checking some things off their onboarding plan. 

Anderson suggests, “Break up onboarding/training tools. Don’t throw too much at them all at once. Also, if you can get started on setting those tools and accounts up before official day one, all the better.”

If Possible, Have an In-Person on Day One

Depending on where your team is actually located and where the new team member is, this work from home onboarding idea may not be doable. But if it is, even grabbing lunch or breakfast with your new employee can help defer any jitters on day one. If you can’t do it, is there another team member that’s close by? 

Anderson notes, “When this whole C-19 thing is behind us if you have a physical office, bring the new hire in and go to lunch or a happy hour. But don’t just let it be a one-time thing. Hold quarterly gatherings and continue to make them feel like part of the team.”

Break the Ice 

Like with any new job, the first few days can feel like you’re an outsider. That can be especially true for remote employees who aren’t onsite. Find ways to break the ice with new employees. Whether it’s fun facts, a game, or something else. Keep it light and fun. 

Cami Zimmer, EVP Sales & Marketing at Glympse says, “Use “Reply All”: Send out an email to the group with an icebreaker question, asking everyone to respond via email and “reply all” so that everyone gets to know each other a bit more. 

Don’t cut the Chit-Chat: It’s personal chit-chat that actually helps employees relate to each other!  When working remote, team members do not have a chance to make small talk with others in the coffee area. We have to build time for this small talk into group meetings.  Try to spend a few minutes at the start of each meeting to discuss personal or department updates. Ask that team members send in recent photos through Slack or other chat tools.”  

Anderson says, “Learn and share fun facts:  “What are three (3) things people you know well would be surprised to learn?”  Give examples – e.g. survived a plane crash, world-class chess player, child actor.  Give the new hire a couple of days to mull over the questions and share what other team members have said in the past. After learning what teammates answer, they might be more willing to open up.  This exercise is great for building rapport and humanizing remote team members.

Schedule Video Meet n Greets

A key part of our operating procedure at Lake One is daily standups and regular check-ins. Get your new team member looped in on these ASAP. Even though they may not be fully up to speed – the face time with the team is crucial and they’ll also start to get the habit of how the team works remotely. 

Anderson advises, “Set up a series of orientation calls/video chats within the first few weeks with the CEO and each member of the leadership team to learn about company history, culture, goals, structure. In addition, set up calls with team members in other departments within the first month.  Maintain this going forward in long-term across functions and combining new and tenured team members. Depending on the individual’s communication preferences, at a minimum suggest starting the call with a video chat to do a quick wave and know who you’re talking to and then turn it over to a phone call.”

Have a Standard Operating Procedure? You Should

We run on EOS ® Traction and our standard operating procedure is our north star. If you don’t have one – start documenting one. This is also a great way to help familiarize them with how y our organization operates and executes consistently. In an office setting – it’s easy to pop up and ask a question. Virtually, that’s not always possible. Standard operating procedures help give guidance on how the business handles key situations. 

Zick says, “What has been effective for us, and for many of our clients, is having a very regular and predictable cadence of communication – whether through in-person or virtual meetings. People quickly feel included, valued, and aligned when they know that they are “in the loop” on the company’s strategy, decision-making, and work efforts.

Because our company runs on EOS – The Entrepreneurial Operating System – much of this cadence is built into how we operate. Our executive team meets weekly and quarterly to work on the business. Additionally, our consultants – our Fractional CMOs – come together twice per month as part of our “mindshare” community. In-between these planned meetings, we use collaboration technologies (Slack and Basecamp) to stay connected, share ideas, celebrate milestones, and reinforce our company values.”

Setup Regular One-on-Ones

Another holdover from working face to face – one on ones are key. But even more so with your work from home team. In the first few weeks, it may feel like overkill but do this at a minimum weekly. First, it’s a great way to build up that comradery and second, it’s a chance to identify any early questions or concerns that might be harder to pick up on working way from each other. 

Rob Weber, Managing Director at Great North Labs says, “Productivity should be measured and greater expectations of asynchronous work should be accepted. When not working in a face-to-face environment, you’re much more likely to see work schedules drift and become more flexible. This flexibility though should still require certain regular check-in meetings or standups to ensure collaboration and free-flowing discussion. I’m also a big fan if possible to occasionally still meet-in person, such as for onboarding, annual planning, etc.”

Anderson suggests, “Maintain a consistent communication structure.  Include regular check-ins and checkpoints that are mandatory for every team member.  Sets expectations of how each team member should interact, communicate and adhere to the plan for every team member. I also suggest leveraging visual communication tools.”

Closing Thoughts

Anderson says, “Keep in mind, not everyone is built to work remotely so before you onboard be sure you have the assessment data to identify who will work well and who will not.  Some really need face-to-face interaction and the structure of an office environment. Others will work well independently and thrive in a virtual one. There aren’t enough tools in the world to turn one into the other. They may be successful but you run the risk of losing them to the environment that’s better suited for them.”

Zimmer notes, “We were/are lucky in that we had a remote policy in place before this all happened. We all have laptops, Zoom, Slack and are used to working remotely part-time. Thus, we really haven’t noticed much of a pause to business.  Being in the Last Mile industry, we are experiencing an increase in inquiries, even, keeping most of us here at Glympse rather busy.”

Weber reminds us that, “The characteristics of a well-managed business are similar for all businesses, regardless of whether they support work from home operations or face-to-face. Accountability is created through transparent delivery of key performance information which empowers the workforce to make decisions wherever they are working from.”

Zick advises, “Through this time of chaos and uncertainty, the very best advice that I could offer to leaders and employees is to give one another abundant grace. Everyone is adapting. Everyone is coming up to speed on our “new normal”. And everyone’s workplace experience is being radically changed. The silver lining in all of this is that – as a global community – we’re learning how to work differently, and the lessons that we learn through this time of disruption can carry us forward with new skills, deeper empathy, and an even higher level of workforce productivity. Together, we will get through this.”

Related Reading: Benefits of Working with a Virtual Marketing Agency

Marketing in a Time of Crisis: Inbound and Automation Strategies

In a time of crisis, there can be a lot of uncertainty. Whether it’s knowing how or if you should change your inbound programs, turn your ads off, or adjust your automation. As marketing professionals, it’s our job to remain calm and advise clients on the best course of action when it comes to inbound marketing and marketing automation. So, what would you advise? What would you do?

We reached out to fellow members of the HubSpot Solutions Partners Facebook Group and here’s what they had to say about marketing in a time of crisis. 

Course-Correct the Messaging and Adjust the Automation

Jeff Schneider | Founder & President, Marketing Ninjas – “This is a tough one for sure. We’re advising our clients to stay the course, but to shift messaging and content towards what could be considered to be more helpful, knowing that people are hunkering down and social distancing. This way they’re still adding value and still staying front of mind with people. Strange times these are. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.”

Eric Foutch | Managing Partner, Red Branch Media – “We have adjusted all of our client’s messaging so that we show their current customers how they can leverage their solutions during this time. For prospects, we have also shared similar messaging by extending free trials, offering white-glove implementation, etc.”

marketing in a time of crisis

Lucas Hamon | Founder & CEO,  Orange Pegs -“No, I would not recommend staying the course. It’s completely tone-deaf. Every single person on this planet is impacted by this event and for many, it’s all they want to talk or hear about. I say lean into it. Help your customers find paths during these times to prosper vs weathering the storm.”

Myrna E. Arroy | Growth Consultant, Pepper Inbound Marketing – “Update messaging, turn off automatic marketing that’s not relevant.”

Suzanne Marsalisi | Marketing Manager, Communico – “Agree. Make sure to check workflows and sequences as well as scheduled social media posts.”

Break-Even Clients are Better Than No Clients 

Elliot Miller | Partner, Chief Marketer, BrackenData“Reassure clients (especially the executive teams) that at times like this it’s better to let CPL go up, ROI go down, margins go down than it is to reduce the volume of incoming customers. You can keep the lights on with many break-even customers but not with no customers. Tactically, messaging has to be a lot softer. Tone shouldn’t be too whimsical right now. Better time to focus on TOFU, not BOFU. If you don’t have something actually helpful to say about coronavirus, stay away from the topic

Not All Ads Are Bad- Just Watch Your Tone 

Tracy Gorenflo Graziani | Founder, Tog Loft / CEO, Graziani Multimedia – “I think it’s tone-deaf and in poor taste to run certain ads, so I think it really depends on the content. Right now people are terrified. My advice is to only focus on content that is immediately helpful.” 

marketing in a time of crisis

A Time of Crisis Might Also Be A Time of Opportunity

Dave Roma | Founder, Drive Agency – “I’ve been seeing posts in some of my Google and Facebook Ad groups about CPCs declining… so research that to see if it’s true and then offer them the opportunity to double down on paid traffic acquisition at a discount… or use this as a reason to keep the ads running and this should lead to lower CPAs” 

Related Reading: 3 Follow Up Processes That Turn Off Your Inbound Leads

What is Data Telling You? 

Whitney Parker Mitchell | Founder & CEO,  Beacon Digital Marketing – “We ran an analysis across all our media campaigns and have seen: CPC is down, CPL is up slightly. We haven’t seen a drop in conversions. Agree on the strategies above though about the focus on TOFU in the immediate next week and then reassess. We also talked to our programmatic ad vendors and they said they are seeing clients pull spending from B2C ad buys, but so far B2B is still pretty steady for now. We have had many ask for advice on it; as of today, I haven’t seen indicators in ad performance that suggest people should pull back. Financial reasons are another matter though.”

marketing in a time of crisis

Take Advantage of Doing the Right Thing in a Time of Crisis  

Susan LaPlante-Dube | Owner/Principal,  Precision Marketing Group – “This is so client-specific, but don’t take blatant advantage of the crisis. People can see and feel it. We have some clients whose businesses have been destroyed (they live by the interest rate) and others (hello, virtual meetings) who will thrive. I think it is most important to be genuine. If you know that your client’s offerings are at “the bottom of the food chain” in a crisis, encourage them to pull back. If you know that these challenging times are beneficial, encourage them to spend and capitalize… but, please, in good taste. Don’t take advantage of others misfortune, take advantage of doing the right thing with your good fortune… My two cents.”

Michelle O’Keeffe | CEO, EngagingIo – “Some business services will be needed more, and others less. It really depends on what they’re product/service is. Do the right thing in advising them.”

Have something to add? Share your strategies here. We’ll update this post regularly.

We hope that the need for this advice is infrequent and short-lived. But remember, when marketing in a time of crisis, don’t take advantage of the situation. If your organization legitimately has a product, service or content that can provide value during unpredictable times by all means – share it. But otherwise, maybe rethink what you’re pushing into the eco-system.