When considering social media marketing, B2B companies tend to be excited by the opportunities to forge deep customer relationships through LinkedIn and Facebook, but they often struggle to find effective ways to execute social media tactics without a strategy.
Before diving in, it is important to set objectives to understand what your B2B social media efforts hope to accomplish.
If your organization is struggling to launch a social media strategy, check out the fifth annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report. It shows how B2B companies have embraced social media and content marketing as an essential part of their overall marketing strategies.
1.) Learn to Measure ROI for Content
B2B marketers have three key areas to concern themselves with as they craft and execute their content marketing strategy. Start by focusing on measuring content effectiveness and overall ROI of any strategy. The two other areas include knowing how to generate engaging content and where to distribute it.
B2B may use different content marketing strategies than B2C, but when it comes to measuring overall effectiveness and ROI, success is determined through website traffic, sales lead quality and higher conversion rates. Despite knowing which metrics to use when determining overall ROI, only 21 percent of those surveyed indicated they were successful at tracking it.
This year, survey respondents also chose “brand awareness” as their most important content marketing goal. Social media is the key to building brand awareness among their audience, so content marketers, particularly B2B marketers, must ensure they are using the right platforms to distribute their content.
2.) Enhancing Your LinkedIn Effectiveness
B2B marketers make heavy use of LinkedIn, with almost 94 percent of those surveyed using the platform, followed closely by Twitter and Facebook. Marketers also used an average of six different platforms to distribute their content. Usage across the various social media sites has also increased from year-to-year, especially as more B2B marketers realize its value.
When considering where to distribute social content, B2B marketers should evaluate which platforms are most effective for overall marketing goals. LinkedIn ranked as the most effective of those sites listed, with 63 percent, and Twitter and YouTube rounding out the top three. It was also noted that overall confidence in Twitter’s effectiveness has increased by 5 percent.
3.) Embrace Content Variation Through Tactics
The third key to an effective B2B content marketing is knowing which tactics to use and in what combination. B2B marketers must remain proactive in their distribution of content and keep a continuous stream of content flowing to continue engaging followers. Keeping this idea in mind, 42 percent of those surveyed claimed they were, at least, posting either daily or multiple times per week.
B2B marketers continue to keep a diverse content marketing strategy, averaging 13 different tactics in use. The leading content marketing strategies include social media content (other than a blog), eNewsletters, articles posted to their own website, blogs and in-person events. These five tactics listed were used by over 75 percent of the B2B marketers surveyed. Aside from website articles, every tactic has seen an increase in usage in the last year.
When considering the tactics they use for their B2B marketing strategy, 69 percent of survey respondents rated in-person events as the most effective tactic. Others with the highest effectiveness rated were webinars/webcasts, videos, blogs and case studies, despite case studies having lessened effectiveness by 8 percent. While these tactics are seen as highly effective, many B2B businesses find these tactics to be more difficult and time-consuming to implement.
Embracing Social Media Within B2B Marketing Strategy
Social media marketing is not just for the B2C companies. Creating and distributing content can be very effective for B2B marketers, so long as they can ensure that they are choosing the best tactics to reach their target audience.
Written by Danielle VanZandt
Danielle VanZandt is a Public Relations Coordinator with the Communications team at esd & associates, serving a dual role as a social media account manager and content writer. With a degree in both Business and English from Southwestern University, she assists with client projects through event planning and coordination, social media promotion, and content development.