As most anybody reading this post already knows, the marketing challenges faced by B2B organizations in an increasingly content driven social landscape, require vastly different social marketing strategies and technologies than B2C companies. The more B2B marketers invest time, money and resources in the creation and distribution of premium content, the more they are under pressure to deliver social media ROI. And as most social platforms continue to change the rules of engagement, I thought it might be helpful to share a few insights on what B2B marketers can control to improve the effectiveness of their social presence to drive greater levels of awareness, engagement and demand.
Because marketing departments in mid-market and enterprise level organizations are often outnumbered by their sales department brethren by at least 10 to 1 — they are looking for new and innovative ways to motivate sales organizations and employees alike to start being active social advocates in their own brand’s social ecosystem.
The good news is that new social marketing technologies enable corporate marketing to push messages down to individual reps who can then share the social content, become thought leaders and help build brand awareness in places like LinkedIn where they can now expose their entire network to new and relevant content to grow pipeline – their pipeline – and once they see that start to work for them they will become your biggest advocates.
As social networks continue to manipulate their hidden algorithms to downgrade organic promotional posts at the same time they upgrade sponsored content – paid social promotion is becoming a growing and necessary channel for brands who want to stay visible and maintain their social reach.
Paid social media offers a wide range of valuable targeting options, allowing B2B marketers to hyper target an audience with rich and contextually relevant content across a wide range of emerging social platforms. However, many of these platforms have self-service interfaces available to launch paid social ads that might appear easy to use, but are often not leveraged or used properly by the brand owner.
For this reason, we recommend investing considerable time testing and analyzing social ad performance to stay in control of ROI. And while we recommend to our clients that they continue to maintain their paid search budget, we are seeing more and more of that being directed towards the increasing demand for content development that’s necessary to feed the social marketing beast – paid or otherwise.
Most B2B marketers use a multichannel social content distribution strategy, and therefore spend more than half their annual marketing budget on the development and production of content. The problem we are seeing is that all of that rich, premium content is increasingly being consumed on mobile devices – yet not being fully optimized for the mobile user.
B2B social engagement is now almost entirely mobile – with more than 75% of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn users accessing the social network via mobile – brands have the opportunity to leverage social channels quickly get their messages out to their customers and prospects.
The key to leveraging mobile for B2B social marketing isn’t just in it being presentable in a mobile accessible format – in needs to be easily sharable with share buttons and direct links that connect users to your website and other online properties to drive engagement, demand and measurable ROI.