While many B2B product and service organizations have embraced social media as part of their marketing plan to build brand awareness, organizations often struggle to move beyond organic awareness building (talking just to their current followers) to forming a social media strategy that builds a targeted audience, generates leads and sales. Consider:
- 75 percent of B2B buyers and 84 percent of C-level executives are influenced by social media when making purchasing decisions.
- 67 percent of purchases in industrial and manufacturing industries are influenced by digital.
- Nearly 60 percent of B2B buyers browse existing social media conversations as part of their research process.
- More than half of B2B buyers report using LinkedIn to help make a purchasing decision.
With these statistics is mind, here are four tips to help you leverage your social media to increase your sales pipeline and build loyal brand followers:
1. Provide Value
When developing a social strategy, start with your audience. What demographics do you want to reach? What are their potential interests? A 2020 B2B Buyers Survey reports that “sixty-one percent of B2B buyers now involve more people in their purchase process than in years past.” With more potential eyes on your social media content, building a variety of customer personas is a valuable exercise.
When developing content, many B2B companies go straight to selling mode, posting frequently about their products and services without much thought to WHY the reader should care. Often potential buyers and/or general searchers are looking to find information on a problem they need solved. Promotional posts serve a purpose, but don’t forget to offer your audience your unique views on HOW your product or service can solve their problem. When in doubt, ask yourself “is this content providing the reader value?”
Looking for value-add content ideas? Turn to your blog posts, industry news, posts from thought-leaders, and web site articles.Consider the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of your content should inform/educate/entertain versus 20 percent being more sales/promotional focused.
2. Diversify Your Content
GIFS, video and infographics…and more! When it comes to B2B marketing, many will argue that the subject matter can be dry. With two decades of B2B marketing experiences, we know that thinking is totally wrong, but it’s still important to come up with creative ways to present what is often technical, detailed information.
Think of ways to visually make the content more appealing. Utilize video featuring subject matter experts or voice-over, use infographics to present data, and don’t be afraid to experiment with GIFS to “stop the scroll.” A potential buyer might be coming to your LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter page and scrolling through recent posts, so diversified visuals help tell your story and make for a more interesting user experience.
3. Engage, Engage, and Then Engage Again
To seek out new potential leads and to begin the process of long-term relationship building, engage beyond “likes” and shares on your own profiles. Community management is critical (80 percent of customers expect a business to respond to their social media posts within 24 hours). Go where your buyers are and engage in conversation. Join groups and follow hashtags on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and converse with those posting about like-minded topics.
4. Utilize Organic and Paid
When developing your social strategy, consider paid posts as well (via boosting an organic post or developing an ad). While organic posts will reach a percentage of your followers, paid social media marketing allows for audience targeting (think location, demographic, interests). Additionally, A/B testing of paid ads – to see what content and images resonate with your target audience – can be useful before launching campaigns on a larger scale.
Power Up Your Social Media
As a marketing agency focused solely on B2B markets, we understand how to maximize B2B social media opportunities for clients. We can tell your story, reach a new audience, help support workforce growth and use Big Data to speak to those customers you have never been able to reach. Contact us today and let Stifel Marcin power up your social media.
Stifel Marcin – The B2B Marketing Agency
Unlike many advertising and marketing agencies, B2B isn’t just something that we do, it’s all we do. We’ll work to help your brand achieve its goals through the strategic combination of creativity, communication and technology. Our focused client intake processes give us the ability to thoroughly understand your business, products and objectives, working to identify the competitive advantages and opportunities that will grow awareness, leads and sales. We develop innovative marketing plans with strategic, data-driven processes, presenting complex ideas and compelling messages that position your business ahead of the competition. As your cooperative partner, our integrated B2B marketing agency is dedicated to your success. Our experienced team can help increase the effectiveness and value of your social media marketing. Fill out our contact form above and let’s talk.