B2B sales requires you to build relationships with prospects and what better way to do so than through the most relationship driven marketing platform: Social Media.
The possibilities this channel provides are endless – as long as you have a strictly managed social media strategy and your very own segmented social ecosystem in place. Social Media plays a vital role in your B2B Marketing strategy if, like most things, you know what you’re doing!
The B2B buying cycle has changed because of the access to information by buyers on the internet before engaging with suppliers. With different needs, expectations and trigger points, social media marketing should now play a vital role in your marketing strategy.
1. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO CREATE A COMMUNITY WHERE PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
Creating informative commentary within social media, provides B2B marketers with the opportunity to earn access to far wider audiences over an extended time period. You can build a following and create a community around your business and, when the time is right, you can engage with certain prospects and provoke a conversation.
2. DELIVER VALUABLE CONTENT
If you are going to really nail social media marketing and widen your sphere of influence you’ll want to ensure your posts are both relevant and thought-provoking to your potential prospects. And this demands that you invest the time and resource in social editorial, social media management and, most importantly, the analysis in order to ensure your posts are both relevant and thought provoking to your prospects. You need to create that intrigue and appeal to establish relationships and engagement in conversation. B2B marketers are required to understand and map out both horizontal and vertical points of influence so that the narrative created and executed across social media is meaningful, whilst positioning your company in the right way and at the right time.
3. DELIVER CONTENT THAT REACHES OUT TO AS WIDE A SPHERE OF INFLUENCE AS POSSIBLE
As a B2B marketer, your sphere of influence includes not only your direct targets but their managers, the finance team, their suppliers, agencies and advisers. It includes industry ‘gurus’, consultancy bodies and others. To truly understand their sphere of influence, you must take a moment to step into the shoes of your buyers.
A content driven social media strategy that strikes the balance between what people are talking about in your sector and the possible challenges they face can position your company as experts in the field, and will also grow your target customer’s knowledge too.
In turn, if a prospect can relate to the content you are producing, and feel they have gained something from it, they should be more willing to consider doing business with you.
4. MIX THE CONTENT TO SUIT DIFFERENT BUYING PERSONAS
Mapping out the buying journey and matching buying personas with content is not a simple task (but it’s still vital!) You can begin by starting to differentiate your content feeds (Google+ circles, LinkedIn groups etc) and segment your email marketing in order to directly appeal to different buyers. On another level, you can also create a multi-faceted social media marketing content strategy by mixing up the content between generalised information on a subject matter, detailed pieces of research, insights into industry trends – and others!
5. HAVE A PLAN!
In all honesty, to create such a fluid and focused social media marketing strategy requires dedication and time. The starting point (no small task!) is to fully understand your market from the point of view of your prospects and those you wish to influence and to generate a social media plan to address their needs. But, once a concrete plan is in place, the proliferation of content across a number of channels can spark debate, encouragement, engagement and (hopefully!) provoke prospects’ need to get in touch with your business and buy from you!
For a review of your marketing strategy, arrange a free consultation where one of our experts.