Platforms for success in B2B marketing
I touched upon the importance of social media platforms for B2B companies in our previous blog, ‘5 B2C strategies B2B marketers should stop doing in 2016‘. As we’re halfway through the year, I thought I’d expand on my point as I’m still seeing B2B brands struggling to maximise the full potential of a social media marketing campaign and generate leads.
Jack of all trades, master of none
Social media is the top B2B content marketing tactic out there right now, albeit to varying degrees of effectiveness. The average B2B company is on six social platforms in the hope that a wider net can catch more fish, or prospects in this case. But focusing on too many platforms can have a detrimental effect on B2B content marketing strategies, stretching the resources of your team.
I’ve listed below the three social media platforms your company should focus its efforts on in order to engage with relevant prospects, drive traffic to your website and improve lead generation.
The company’s recent takeover by Microsoft for £18bn proves there is real value in the platform known as the ‘Facebook of business’. LinkedIn is the number 1 site for B2B marketers for a very good reason – leads. No other site has a database full of prospects and leads ready to engage with your company.
LinkedIn has over 260 million users in over 200 countries from a range of different industries. The website focuses on building relationships with prospects as well as allowing you to provide valuable information in over 1 million groups and connections through establishing your company as an expert in your field. IBA has had huge success in promoting thought leadership material on LinkedIn. One of our clients recently made half its yearly sales targets through social media. How? A LinkedIn article posted in a targeted industry group.
be seen by anyone, unlike Facebook which filters its content, and can be targeted through the use of hashtags. Using Twitter can be a great way of listening to conversations in your industry, from thought leaders, influencers and even your competitors, and finding the prospects your company can build a relationship with.
Like LinkedIn, Twitter allows users to build lists of targets to engage with, publicly or privately, and filter out all the tweets from your main news feed to focus on a particular industry or topic. For example, you can build a list of prospects to see what they’re talking about, who they’re talking with, and use this information to build a relationship with them.
You might be surprised to find Facebook on this list as the site is hugely popular with B2C companies looking to build a brand, competing against the endless stream of content produced by B2Cs. But don’t let that put you off, as the world’s most popular social media platform is a useful tool to have in the B2B marketing arsenal. 39% of B2B companies have generated leads through Facebook – only LinkedIn generates more.
If used correctly, Facebook can help drive traffic to your company’s website where the bulk of information can be found to turn a prospect into a lead. The site has a lighter tone than LinkedIn, allowing B2B companies to use images and videos to attract visitors to your page where they will find more information about how you can help their business.
Less really is more
Remember, it is better to have a strong presence on a few social platforms than have little presence on many. Focus your marketing strategy on the three platforms that are proven lead generators to optimise your social media efforts.
Jamie Kightley is head of iBAengage at IBA International