Being a human is hard enough these days, the world feels like it is in a constant state of chaos. Which makes us all crave the meaningful interactions which can be so hard to foster in the era of social distancing. So how can we be more creative about how we foster more unique engagement while staring into the computer screen? Here are some unique ways you can show your customers you care about them and want to create a strong, supportive relationship while working remote.

Turn video conferencing into a great experience

We have all experienced Zoom fatigue, that state of exhaustion while attempting to communicate with multiple people at a distance of  13 inches. The novelty to online video conferencing as a tool of engagement is rapidly wearing off. All early technologies feel crude and evolve into richer more meaningful experiences and now is the time to start making your Zoom meetings and webinars better. 

Send over physical materials in advance of the call. Give your attendees a break by sending hard copies of the presentation materials or a product sample they can interact with instead of staring at the screen during your conversation. Or, for a change of pace, have some fun with your next Zoom call. Do a custom background that is specific to the person you are talking to or have everyone use their pet’s picture or favorite animal as the avatar and don’t require people to be on video. 

Trade shows: in-person to online

Every year the biggest debate in a B2B marketer’s budget is trade shows. The sales team feels strongly that they provide valuable face time with customers, but the C-suite questions the ROI and marketing bemoans the hundreds of hours of energy it takes to get the booth perfect. This year the decision has been made for you with the postponement of the top trade shows—but the sales team is still asking for ways to create customer engagement with something that has that same ability to intro new products in a consolidated format. 

Consider what Travis Industries did by filming product walkthroughs at their trade show booth set up from the safety of their own warehouse. It leverages an existing asset (their booth) paired with a production style that isn’t overly produced. This creates content that demonstrates new product offerings, showcases the sales team and gives the marketing team content that can be used in a variety of channels and marketing programs for weeks to come. 

Show and tell

Turn trade show budgets into sampling budgets and get products in the right hands of those customers that want your products of potential buyers. Sampling is a great way to generate leads, interest and sales. We’ve seen success time and time again in programs that deliver a physical sample of a product to a customer so they can get a richer product experience complemented by a digital WORD program. Save them the trip to the distributor where they can get distracted and even see products of their competitors; send them a product sample and get 1-on-1 time with them where they can focus on you. Doesn’t hurt to deliver some donuts or a six-pack along with the product sample for a virtual coffee or happy hour.

Reach people on-and-off-the-job with the right content

Content, content, content is the new digital real estate mantra. As Joe Rogan’s $100m Spotify deal proves, it’s all about content and engagement. Reach customers with a regular podcast they can experience while driving to work or a job site or on break. Think about your customers, where they are throughout the day, and how you can bring relevant information to help. It’s going to be lonelier than it was and your brand can help bridge that loneliness. 

How to be In-Person

Just three months ago being in-person with your customers was a totally normal experience. Quickly we all adapted to being comfortable being virtual. But now we are heading toward a hybrid model where some companies and teams are in-person, while others are still virtual and remote. How do you handle conversations regarding in-person meetings, your personal protection equipment expectations and how “mandatory” being in-person is?

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