Social media is no longer just a place to find the latest doggo memes & fail compilation videos. Now it is a space where businesses are connecting and growing, and honestly, if your business isn't engaging with the conversation on social platforms, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Here’s the lowdown on how to take advantage of the social media advertising space to generate quality leads with a B2B focus.
Human beings are social creatures and we have always drawn on our experiences to help us make key decisions.
How do I feel about this person?
Do I trust them?
Do I feel like they understand me?
Businesses will often get caught up in trying to explain all the great things their business does without trying to build a genuine relationship with another person on social. As a business marketer, you have to recognise that you are still engaging with an individual person who has their own problems to solve. Often an individual’s decision making will be influenced by a combination of emotion & logic, so it is crucial to strike a balance between communicating the two through your marketing strategy.
Here at Rocket, we are big fans of how Xero are using social media to communicate their B2B message. Xero takes the opportunity to connect with individuals at all stages of the buyer journey funnel, ensuring that each message is catered towards what that individual is seeking during the stages of their decision-making process.
Xero never uses impersonal or confusing business jargon in their copy. Their product may be accounting software, but the content on social is never dry or tedious (like accounting can often be!)
You might notice that Xero’s approach on social is a combination of offering valuable content and resources towards the top of the marketing funnel, before offering their services in the form of a free trial at the bottom of the funnel. It is crucial to note that B2B marketing on social will often succeed or fail based on the quality of the content they are offering as part of their marketing strategy.
To jump straight to a pure conversion or lead-generation based approach is not as effective as the prospect has had no time to familiarise themselves with the business, and they have not been offered any value, you’ve just asked them to part with their money.
Having a content-led strategy on social also allows you to build retargeting lists to optimise your bottom of the funnel campaigns for increased conversions. Using the above examples from Xero, we could populate a retargeting list of individuals who have visited either the Awareness or the Consideration content pages and then serve them the “Free trial” advertisement if they had not converted on the main website.
B2B marketing on social media comes with the additional challenge of needing an executive buy-in of sorts before you have generated a truly qualified lead. Executives are often concerned with risk and compliance whenever they reach out to another business for help with a specific problem. It is crucial to ensure that your marketing establishes trust whilst also making the executive prospect’s life easier. Changing their state of mind is how to really get them on board with the idea of working with your business.
B2B products are often harder to dramatise in the form of advertising than many B2C products are. The buyer journey is usually much longer and requires multiple touch points along the way and many B2B services are often not considered to be absolutely critical purchases. Keep these three challenges at the forefront of your mind as they have a major impact on your messaging. To further help you get into the mind of a B2B prospect, consider the analysis of these three challenges below:
Well, they don’t have to be! Many B2B marketers get stuck on this point because they only focus on what it is their product does rather than focusing on the impact it has on people’s lives. Stop getting bogged down on the technical features of your product and instead talk about how it is going to change an individual’s mindset and approach to their average day. In the case of Xero, they focused less on what their accounting software does and rather how it would give an accountant more time back in their now much easier work day. If you want to find out more about turning the features of your product or service into benefits, check out this article.
Don’t view this as a challenge – but instead as an opportunity!
A longer buyer journey gives you the chance to nurture your prospect and add value to their customer experience. It is crucial to be engaging on all platforms – not just social media – to nurture a prospect during the longer customer journey. An intelligent Email marketing welcome series in conjunction with relevant tripwire offers on social can be a highly effective way to stay relevant in your prospect’s mind, with the added value of potentially turning them into a customer if they opt into your tripwire offer.
If you’re wondering what combination of channels and social media platforms could work for your business, check out the winning combinations our fastest growing clients are implementing!
This is a tough one. You must contend with the financial concerns of your prospect and convince them that the benefits of your service outweigh the costs. It is important to serve the right content on the right social platform at the right time to combat this problem.
What we mean by this is that piquing the interest of the prospect with a TOFU piece of content might make them aware of your business – but if you then fail to communicate with that prospect again and continue to reinforce the essential nature of your business in their lives, you will fail to move them along the buyer journey and convert them into a customer.
A quick illustration of using the right platform at the right time can look like this:
Hypothetical Business: Office fit-out services
Ideal prospect: Combination of Office managers & Executives who would make the decision to undertake a new office refurbishment.
This is just a hypothetical skeleton of a very simple campaign – but you should be able to see that timing is crucial when it comes to B2B strategy on social. Imagine serving an ad to “book your free office fit out-consultation” before the prospect has ever heard of your business. Chances are they will be spooked and less likely to engage with your offer. Additionally, once the prospect is ready to contact you – it is pointless to pour more money into awareness campaigns served to that same individual.
This approach to your marketing will help your prospect see your product or service as essential rather than just a luxury because you have made the effort to address their pain points & concerns throughout the entire customer journey, not swoop in at the very end to grab their money.
If you still have unanswered questions – you can download this e-book that goes into even more depth about B2B marketing strategy.
Good luck with your B2B campaigns! If you need any more assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we’d be happy to help.
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