B2B Social Media: It Can Be Your Superhero
In social media’s infancy stages, B2C companies were the superheroes destroying the communication barriers with prospects, while also strengthening their relationships with existing customers. Meanwhile, B2B companies were forced to sit on the sidelines watching doe-eyed and hopeful to one day be able to strategically leverage social media’s superpowers, take their industry by storm, and clobber the competition with mind-blowing campaigns.
The once-absent technologies needed to deliver gut-punching data are now readily available and continuing to evolve the B2B digital landscape into a powerful marketing monster. However, morphing a boring brand into a captivating, trusted, and successful campaign is only one of the marketing challenges you will face in your B2B social media marketing feat.
So dust off your cape, roll up your spandex sleeves, and get ready, because we’re about to save the day for your marketing team. Here are the 6 things you need to know to conquer the monstrous villain of social:
- Master the art of the multi-touch approach. In a B2B environment, trust needs to be established prior to purchase. It’s critical not only to start the conversation, but maintain ongoing engagements to nurture your leads throughout a lengthy and complex sales cycle. Social media is the top of the sales funnel, raising awareness and generating interest. There are several ways to keep your prospects engaged with your brand. Take the time to map out a multi-touch process that includes varied tactics such as: email marketing, webinars, blogs, contests, etc. Take the time to understand and implement processes that nurture leads, maintain communication, and establish trust throughout the sales process.
- Relying on a single channel will lead to your social apocalypse. Each social channel for B2B is unique in capability, strengths, weaknesses, and purpose. Individually, they can be great. But when banded together, they produce earth-quaking results.
Your audience isn’t seeking information from a single resource. They are conducting searches across multiple channels, using a variety of mediums, and are well-aware of alternative options to the services or products your provide. You want to ensure your business is top-of-mind and you have provided enough value to prove you are the best option available.
- Provide prospects with incentives like a B2C doppelganger. While there are significant differences between B2B and B2C marketing, there are many proven B2C tactics that can also apply to B2B.
The typical B2B relationship is less transactional, less immediate, and more focused on the long term than B2C relationships. B2C incentivizes prospects with coupons, giveaways and product deals. While the incentives for B2B brands are different, the same principle can be applied. With the decision-making process being more tedious and selective, B2B companies can prove their value-add through thought-leadership by providing an educational “give”. White papers, eBooks, blog articles, free downloads, and webinars are just a few great ways to get prospects engaged and establish your brand as the industry authority.
- Maintain a clean and stable infrastructure. The ultimate goal is to generate qualified leads, while also collecting emails and gaining a deeper understanding of your users. In a perfect world, all this data should automatically populate in your CRM and provide the information you need quickly and easily. When you have a solid foundation to support leads generation initiatives, you’re able to get the most out of your social campaigns by crafting targeted messaging, repurposing content across multiple platforms, and harvesting proven data to validate your efforts.
- Plot for success, prepare for failures. Understanding your users is critical to conversion. However, even in B2B, you have to look beyond your target audience’s business interests and learn exactly what makes them tick. The technical capabilities of social media channels and other applications allows you to collect, analyze and attribute data from what drives your users professionally, to how they spend their free time. Fully understanding your audience contains many complexities you may not nail down the first time you roll out a new campaign. Don’t be afraid to take risks, test new ideas, and experiment to determine the most effective course of action for future social media marketing campaigns. The more you strategically test and experiment, the better equipped you become to precisely define your message and deliver social content that resonates with your target audience.
- Be a creative daredevil. There’s a dirty misconception that B2B brands aren’t compelling enough to justify the time and effort required to roll out social media campaigns. Even if you think your brand doesn’t sell the most exciting products or services, a dash of creativity paired with killer execution can create a drool-worthy campaign that generates leads and puts your brand top-of-mind. Thinking out-of-the-box isn’t a byproduct of crafting B2B social media campaigns – it’s a requirement. If you’re stumped on how to wow a social audience, consider hiring a creative team to take your brand to a level you never thought possible.
From creative conception and design to building a campaign from the ground up, the superhero squad at Gate6 can help. Give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss your online marketing campaign needs with you.