Since everyone is a consumer, we are used to B2C brands making daily impressions on us. A simple Google search shows how much money consumer brands spend on digital and social media ads.
But what about the marketing efforts of B2B brands?
While the overall dollar amount is much lower (probably due to lower budgets), the trend in B2B marketing points to a higher percent of marketing investment going toward digital and social media ads.
That makes sense simply because of the intrusion of digital and social media in our everyday lives. People expect to encounter ads in their digital worlds.
The question is: How can B2B marketers more effectively employ digital and social media strategies in their marketing plans?
Engage B2B Customers with Digital Marketing
Armed with knowledge of your customers’ goals, key messages, and motivations, focus on reaching them at the right time, in the right place.
Here are three tips to guide that process:
Make the buyer’s job easier. Most buyers aren’t going to pull the trigger on their first visit to a website. They’re going to start by doing their homework and comparing options. If you know the competition you’re up against, consider building a matrix to show how your offering compares with—and beats—the others.
Other helpful tools and resources on your website might include pricing information, FAQs, case studies, an interactive estimator, or an online calculator. The more you can save your customer time and effort in the evaluation stage, the easier it will be for them to see value in your products and offerings.
Supercharge your work with better tools and technology. The digital marketing resources available today put us in a great position to reach B2B audiences when and where it makes the most sense. The trick is knowing which tools to use, where to deploy them, and how to integrate them effectively. Consider things like:
- Progressive profiling via smart web forms, dynamic email and web content to personalize the user experience.
- Account-based marketing (ABM) to help open doors that conventional media buys and geotargeting won’t.
- A/B testing to identify winning content.
- Cross-channel remarketing to bring more consistency to your message.
Measure what matters. There isn’t much in digital marketing that can’t be quantified. But too much data at once can cloud our insight. When it comes to evaluating the results of your work, stay focused on a handful of meaningful KPIs.
Keeping track of leads and ROI is a good start, but there are other ways to measure your digital campaign’s impact. Consider how other data points can help show the real value of your marketing work:
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)—Put your campaign’s revenue in better perspective by comparing it to overall spend.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)—Don’t stop at measuring the cost of leads; seek to identify what it actually costs to turn them into paying customers.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)—Go a step beyond CAC and figure out what a customer is worth to your business over the long haul. That number could significantly shape how the executive team views your marketing campaigns.
Data like this can help you assess your results in the context of not just the marketing department, but the broader business goals of the enterprise.
Target B2B Audiences in Social Media
Leverage the familiarity of social media to reach your target audiences. The main functions of social media in B2B marketing include brand awareness, relationship-building, lead generation, and market research.
DKY social media partner Jenny Worm shares how three of the top social platforms can be used strategically with B2B customers:
LinkedIn is a trustworthy platform designed to foster networking and create meaningful professional relationships. Use this platform to post engaging content about your company and industry. Take advantage of LinkedIn ads and sponsored updates. This paid option has a few benefits: being able to publish content right to the feed of any LinkedIn member, better placement on mobile devices, and the ability to publish in rich media (like video, audio and other interactive ways).
Facebook is a great platform for building brand awareness due to its size and reach. Take advantage of the tools it has to offer, such as groups (creating or joining groups), hosting virtual events (like workshops), or running ads to generate leads and awareness. Does your industry have major events at physical locations? If so, try a geofencing ad based on that specific location.
Be sure to post content that is relevant to your industry and valuable to the end user (such as podcasts, articles, workshops, etc). Keep in mind, Facebook is a place where “looks” matter. Use images that show your product in detail and videos to help tell a visual story about your brand or product.
Twitter is a great communications channel for B2B marketing but ditch the heavy sales pitch and keep it concise. As with LinkedIn and Facebook, make sure to create and post content that users will find valuable. Keep interactions authentic and become part of the Twitter community. You can search keywords and interact with others by answering industry questions, giving product suggestions, and more. Creating paid Twitter campaigns is also a strategic way to create awareness and generate leads, especially when targeting an audience for a specific industry event.
In addition to using social media at the corporate or business unit level, enlist your staff. Employee advocacy is a great way to increase engagement and grow your reach. If you’re looking for a good place to start, try Twitter or LinkedIn. Encourage employees to post or reshare company posts about existing or new products, company events, and more.
And don’t forget to use social media as a market research tool since it can provide a wealth of information related to your products, industry trends, user content, and competitors. For example, you can use the Facebook ad library to see competitor campaigns, messaging, and reviews as a frame of reference.
Finally, while LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are major players in the B2B social media marketing world, it keeps changing. Keep an eye on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and other emerging platforms for possible future B2B marketing programs.
If you want to bring more digital and social media strategies into your B2B marketing mix, please contact us today.