Social Media. Marketing Guide B2B

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1 Social Media Marketing Guide B2B

2 Introduction Social media has revolutionised how people communicate and consume information online. By harnessing the power of the social media buzz and effectively incorporating social media into your own digital marketing strategy, your business will see an effective return on investment. Both cost effective and accessible, many businesses are already using social media in some form. But are the channels you re using relevant to your business - or furthermore, to your target audience? It s easy for a business that is inexperienced with social media to fall into one of the many social media marketing pitfalls. Some of the most common oversights businesses make include not having a social media marketing plan in place, starting out with a lack of objectives or using the wrong tools and tactics. However, by taking time to understand the environment surrounding your brand you will be able to effectively harness the power of the social media buzz. By incorporating social media into your own digital marketing strategy you can ensure actual return on investment. Whatever your previous experience, here at Readysalted we know that B2B companies have a lot to gain from using social media as part of their marketing strategy. That s why we ve created this document - a brief guide to help you realise the potential social media can have for your company.

3 What? The key to effective social media marketing is through leveraging the power of the many platforms available to your business to engage with your target audience. By listening to and understanding the social media landscape surrounding your business, you can develop and execute a thoughtful and engaging strategy, focused on meeting your marketing objectives. As with setting any goals or objectives, it is important that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time constrained. Although your objectives will be unique to your business, the chart below illustrates the most common B2B marketing goals and their value. Content Marketing Survey Report 1% 9% 11% 569 Respondents 13% 18% 22% 30% 31% 33% 35% 42% 52% Note: The options Increased engagement and incremental revenue from content were phrased as increased engagement from prospects and customers and generating incremental revenue from content within the survey.

4 To effectively achieve measurable ROI your strategy needs to consider three main elements: target audience, content and platforms. Most significant are your target audience, as ultimately they will define the type of content you produce and the platforms which you use to distribute it. The more you find out about your audience, the more relevant your strategy will be. Find out exactly who your audience are, what social media channels they already use, what they like and what their problems are in relation to the products and services you offer. Content is key when using social media, therefore the more you know about your target audience, the more relevant and sharable your content will be. Percentage of B2B Respondents Using Content Marketing 9% Do not use content marketing 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks-North America: CMI/MarketingProfs 91% Do use content marketing

5 Why? Overall B2B companies see the most effective ROI when using social media to gather market research, grow business partnerships and gain sales leads. However, gaining return is not limited to these objectives and is achievable against any goal. Social media is still viewed as a less effective method of marketing for B2B companies, yet it can produce almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail or PPC indirectly reducing both time and marketing costs! Read the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Annual Report on hubspot.com» 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Annual Report Effective use of social media will also extend your brand reach and build your brand presence. For instance of 500 million Twitter users, each individual has an average of 208 followers each. Engaging with your audience by offering relevant and shareable content will increase the potential reach of your business immensely. 208 Followers each

6 Where? All social media platforms are unique in offering different benefits and levels of engagement with your target audience. There is a relevant social media platform to suit every type of product or service; by channelling your strategy through these platforms, your business will effectively reach its target audience. B2B Social Media Platforms in Order of Popularity

7 Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are the current most popular content distribution channels for B2B markers. Read the article 91% Of B2B Marketers Now Use Social Media For Content Marketing on alltwitter.com» Facebook The largest and most popular of all social networking platforms, Facebook has over 1.15 Billion active members globally. Effective for creating awareness, Facebook also facilitates interaction with your target audience offering the opportunity to gain feedback and opinions regarding your business. LinkedIn Whether you re engaging with industry experts and professionals, problem solving or gathering market research, a percentage of your time spent on social media marketing should be spent on LinkedIn. Sometimes described as Facebook for business, LinkedIn is a crucial channel for B2B networking. It has been shown to be almost 300% more effective than Facebook and Twitter for lead generation. Read article Social Media is for B2B too not just for B2C! on martechsocial.com» Twitter Limited to 140 character Tweets, Twitter is effective for creating buzz around a product, service or event. It also facilitates networking opportunities by using hashtags, handles (unique usernames, or nicknames) and direct messages to engage directly with industry influencers and experts. Blogging Blogging allows a business to demonstrate expertise, authority and credibility in their field by posting relevant and informative content, and offering problem solving ideas. Hubspot found that blogging frequency has a direct impact on customer acquisition, with 92% of companies who blog multiple times a day acquiring a customer through doing so. Blogging also increases the online visibility of your business, as recent posts with relevant key words are ranked most highly by search engines. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012). YouTube Ranked as the second most popular search engine after Google, posting clips and videos through YouTube allows you to share with and educate your audience, demonstrating knowledge and expertise in your field. Although these channels serve to be the most popular, your research may highlight other key platforms used by your target audience such as Google+, Pinterest or Instagram.

8 Type of User Visiting B2B Sites Twitter users: 59% Average internet population: 40% How? Engaging with your audience online by providing them with valuable content is vital for developing and sustaining meaningful connections, and will certify your audience as the future advocates of your business. With this in mind it s also important to factor in the B2B decision-making process, considering awareness, interest and education when planning your social media activities, tactics and content. The social media tactics you adopt will offer different benefits and results for your brand. Social media isn t about the hard sell ; companies want to be offered relevant and useful content. For example, demonstrating your businesses knowledge or expertise can be done through creating a blog post, whilst taking part in a Twitter Q&A can help you to gain valuable market insight. The most effective tactics for a B2B company include creating article/blog posts, creating research papers and creating video/audio content. How you engage with your audience all comes down to what you set out to achieve when you define your initial objectives.

9 When? Time spent on social media is completely business specific. Marketing efforts work most effectively when integrated into an overall marketing strategy, ensuring your brand is represented consistently through all marketing channels. Social media is a conversation; therefore to be involved your business needs to take the time to listen, think and respond. Social Media Pyramid Use sparingly Once or twice a month Video can be useful to your social media efforts, but it requires a high time investment. Be sure you have the resources to follow through. Add flavour 1-3 servings* per weeks (10-30 minutes) Photos add visual aids are an easy way to add personality to your social media presence Round out your social media diet 3-5 servings* per weeks (30-50 minutes) Spend time crafting thoughtful, useful content tailored to your audience. Blog Building blocks 5-7 servings* per weeks (50-70 minutes) The staples of your social media diet. Focus on giving quick hints of useful informaiton.. Bulk up your efforts 1-3 servings* per weeks (10-30 minutes) Take advantage of other social media channels that are a good fit with your industry. * 1 Serving = approximately 10 minutes of work

10 Then? One of the most commonly asked questions when dealing with social media marketing is How is it measured? Targets such as increasing brand awareness or improving brand reputation can be hard to quantify through traditional marketing methods. However, looking at the social presence of your brand, and measuring engagement with your audience (likes, shares, retweets etc.) will allow you to gauge your online impact. If one of your marketing objectives was to increase traffic to your company website or improve search rankings, then tools such as Google Analytics allow you to monitor which keywords were used to search for your website, where the traffic came from and which pages were visited most often. The key areas to look at when measuring your social media marketing are: Awareness (shareability, likes & subscribers, growth, engagement, brand awareness, traffic to website) Loyalty (engagement, sentiment, influence) Sales (click rates, social e-commerce, sales, conversion rates) So now you know the what, why and how of social media marketing you can begin planning your own strategy - and if you need any more guidance then just get in touch! We can offer help, advice or more bespoke planning to ensure your strategy is in line with your objectives. Get in touch with Alex Hedley or Simon Honeywood on: Readysalted Design Ltd Ford 13, Hoults Yard, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 2HL

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