According to the Content Marketing Institute, 95% of B2B marketers produce various types of social media content. That’s just about everyone who works for on behalf of B2B of tech company. While this report is a good reference point, the more important question is whether they are doing it right or wrong.
The challenge with B2B buyers is that they don’t like being marketed to. They despise it. What they do want is value. They want information that will help them solve their business challenges. They are also very passionate about emerging technologies like AI, ML, NLP, and Computer Vision. It may not even be a part of their job, but they enjoy discussing it with their peers and colleagues.
I see many marketers who don’t take this seriously and continue to post the same type of content repeatedly. They scratch their heads in disbelief because the social content never performs the way they expect it to. The content is always the same. It’s an image with all the brand colors, logo in the bottom right hard, a quote from an executive and a head shot. Or, it’s a video of the CEO being interviewed by another executive.
B2B buyers don’t want that type of content in their feed.
Too many marketers aren’t thinking strategically about B2B social media marketing and post content as if every one of their buyers will see it, interact with it, share it and then give up their email address once they go download a white paper. It doesn’t happen that way.
A smart social media plan will include 3 key elements.
Audience Analysis: An audience analysis should help marketers get a 360-degree view of their buyer and everything they care about. It will include the basic demographics like age, ethnicity, and marital status. It will also include the top channels that B2B buyers use the most as well as the top media channels where they consume all their content. A more sophisticated analysis will also include a social media analysis of all the conversations that buyers are having online.
Narrative & Message Development: This is where marketers are missing the mark. They are using the same type of messaging that they would in a press release. What they fail to do is reconcile the findings from the audience analysis and align it to their brand messaging. An example of this might be a company that building a 6G network. Their messaging will be about their product, cost savings, faster internet, etc. But the audience is talking about 6G using an entirely different narrative. They are worried about the security of their mobile phones. So a smart marketer would take those insights and weave them into their brand messaging.
Paid Media: Still today, many B2B marketers aren’t accounting for paid media (outside of demand generation) within their plans. They are still posting organically and are expecting to move the needle. With organic reach being less than 3% or so, marketers need to set aside minimal budgets for awareness and consideration to activate with these social channels.
Influencer Marketing: This is a no brainer, yet many marketers still won’t include influencers within their social media plans. It’s unfortunate because B2B and social media influence will only become more impactful moving into 2022. It’s a fact that influencers can impact the buyer’s journey at every stage and their content always ranks at the top of search results. When a B2B or tech company can leverage 3rd party influencers, they almost instantly build up their brand reputation.
In summary, the good news is that it’s never too late to rethink a social media plan and include these critical elements. However, this might bring additional challenges with securing an additional budget and persuading executives to make those investments across these areas of the plan.
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