Does B2B Social media need any convincing today? Not really.
When I ventured into marketing some 13 years ago, the whole world of B2B marketing was different. Companies relied heavily on brochures and such collateral, a lot of emphasis was given on website and SEO, and a lot of energies were spent in creating solid email marketing programs. Things slowly changed with the advent of social media and content marketing.
Today, the buyers don’t want to see your brochures. The buyer is more educated and well-informed. She is searching for information online and making her own decisions. Only after getting convinced, she approaches the vendors. Yes, social media and content marketing has changed the whole B2B sales scenario. No wonder companies are convinced that they not only have to be on social media but also do it well.
At Midas Touch, the B2B Specialist Social and Digital Marketing Agency, we help customers with their social media and content marketing efforts. Based on my experience of working with several B2B companies in various industry verticals such as technology, manufacturing, and engineering, here are a few tips which I would like to share to ensure that your social media marketing program is successful and delivers on its promise.
Putting these tips in simple lines below – if you need any clarification on any of these, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @radhagiri
- Start with a strong content marketing strategy – without a documented strategy; you are preparing yourself for failure.
- A good website is a must for deriving true value from social media marketing.
- Provide answers to the questions which your target audience might have rather than talking about your expertise and skills. Remember, helpful is new viral.
- Focus on education rather than selling – nobody cares about your products and services. Your prospects are looking for solutions to their business problems. Provide those.
- Add variety to your content if you want traffic from diverse sources.
- Have a strong content promotion plan in place – Remember, “Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants”.
- Don’t debate on quality vs quantity – the point really is how well you can leverage each piece of content which you create.
- Each type of content has a different objective and its use, therefore, is different. Don’t try to force fit.
- The world’s most popular social network may not be the best one for your business – identify the social networks which work best for you and your business.
- Don’t hesitate to reuse the content – convert your whitepaper into a series of blogs, or a PPT for SlideShare or an infographic. It’s absolutely fine to represent the same content in different formats.
- Webinars, podcasts, LinkedIn Groups are your secret weapons of marketing – don’t forget to use them well.
- For B2B companies, the personal branding of the top executives plays a key role – after all, people connect with people, isn’t it?
- If you are just starting with social media, don’t start with too much which you cannot sustain and at the same time, don’t do too little that it will not show any impact.
- B2B content marketing requires some key skills and knowledge – don’t make the mistake of thinking that anybody can do it and don’t have it as a side project.
- Have a strong collaboration between teams – marketing, sales, and product teams need to work together to make social media successful.
- Don’t forget to leverage offline events on social platforms.
- Email marketing works – but requires good planning, relevant message, and right targeting.
- LinkedIn is a great professional networking platform – make judicious use of status updates, LinkedIn groups, and LinkedIn company page.
- Whitepapers and eBooks are great choices to build an opt-in list and showcase your thought leadership and expertise.
- Use your employee network – today, marketing is not a job of only the marketing teams. Encourage your employees to share and spread the word about the company content and events.
- Identify and engage with influencers – share their content, ask them feedback and questions, and engage with them.
- Constantly monitor the results – see how the efforts are delivering to the set objectives and make tweaks based on the results.
- Do social listening – know what people are talking about, what do they care about, what are their problems. Use this information to tweak your social media strategy.
- Don’t use social channels for only self promotions. Connect with others, provide value to them, share other people’s content, and genuinely engage with people.
- Hire experts who understand social media as well as B2B marketing to handle your social media.