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Social media for B2B marketing: A whistlestop tour – Part 2

Following on from my previous blog on social media for B2B marketing, in this blog I look at social media content, some ideas around what to focus on, how to utilise the talent of your teams and why you should seriously consider video content as part of your strategy.

Get Your Organic Right First

Organic social media is basically free stuff – anything that you don’t have to pay for. Paid social media absolutely has its place and can be immensely valuable, but a lot can also be achieved organically. It’s also worth remembering that social media platforms’ algorithms reward regular, well-written engaging content. So if you launch in with paid-for advertising without having paid attention to your organic content, you will have nothing to benchmark against. This means you’ll never know what you could have achieved without incurring advertising costs, nor will you know have an idea of what works and what doesn’t before spending your valuable marketing budget.

Content is King

“Social media success formula: Content + Engagement + Conversion. Rinse. Repeat.” — Mari Smith, Facebook marketing expert, social media influencer, speaker and author

One of the many challenges faced by financial services companies is that, and how do we put this nicely… is that it can often be a little dry and dull. White papers and research may be essential reading, but simply posting a link to them on social channels or retweeting some industry news is not going to light anyone’s fire. In the same vein, sharing technical information and new product specs may be appropriate for your audience but they should not be the focus of your social channels.

Whilst your clients and potential clients will have an inherent interest in your expertise, you are competing with a huge number of social posts. Social media users have the attention span of fleas, and most people will idly scroll through their feeds in the way we used to flick through magazines in a dentist’s waiting room. So what you post must jump out at them to entice them read on or click a link.

You need to be creative and take the time to consider not just what you are saying, but how you present it. There’s no harm in being a bit more fun (or funny) in your social channels. As long as you aren’t damaging your brand, social media is a way of expressing the warmer, lighter, more human side of your business. You are after all competing with cute kittens for people’s attention!

Don’t limit yourself to standard text posts; use photos, videos, infographics, utilise polls (both LinkedIn and Twitter offer these), memes, trending topics, hashtags to spark conversation and debate.

And how do you know your content is relevant? Increased social traffic to your website, engagement and ultimately, quality leads are your benchmarks for success!

Video killed the radio star

Video content makes up around 80% of internet traffic and 84% of people have said they have been influenced to purchase after watching a brand’s video. This means that video is definitely worth investing in. 87% of LinkedIn video marketers describe it as an effective channel and 72% of people, prefer videos over text when learning about a product. It is an incredibly useful resource throughout your entire sales funnel and will improve your search rankings.  Some quick tips for using videos on social media:

  1. Keep them short
  2. Use captions – most people scroll social media on their phone with the sound turned off.
  3. The first 3-6 seconds needs to be impactful
  4. Include a call to action
  5. Tell a story – not a sales pitch
  6. Don’t spend a fortune – creating videos in-house is not difficult. Key requirements are microphones for decent sound, good lighting, a tripod and someone who knows about video editing. Your younger staff have probably been doing this since they were 13!

Use your people

Social Media gives us the opportunity to humanise our communications and make our companies more approachable.” — Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B marketing strategist, marketinginteractions.com

People sell to people. It is often said (and proven) that people are more likely to engage with social media posts that have a person in the accompanying image. Consider how you can use your employee’s talents and go beyond just using stock photo people in your social media activities.

Employees can be your brand’s best advocate. Employee-generated content (EGC) is anything created by employees in the form of videos, blogs, podcasts, profiles, and interviews which can be shared as social media posts. It can also involve directly sharing employees’ own social posts.

EGC tends to produce more engagement than content produced by the marketing department. According to PostBeyond this can be around 8X more engagement  and up to 24x more reshares than branded content  – and B2B companies that blog, generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. More importantly, when those blog posts are created by employees or clients of the firm, they are viewed as more trustworthy.

Your employees are experts in their fields, engage regularly with your clients and will have different perspectives to the marketing team. Allowing employees to create content also encourages a culture of trust and inclusiveness, which can impact their wellbeing.  You may even have someone on your team with hidden talents for starring in videos or writing blogs, who is just waiting to be discovered!

However, you do need a strategy – and the team needs to be trained in social media use and guided when creating content. A free-for-all could confuse your brand message or potentially backfire with inappropriate content so it is important to get the balance between letting the team use their own voice, but not veering wildly off your brand narrative.

And finally, a simple win – encourage your employees to add your company as their place of employment to their personal profiles. LinkedIn has a couple of handy features that will help you maximise this link between individual employees and your company. Firstly, each time you post as a company, you can ‘notify employees’ so they can see your new content and then comment on, share and like it. Secondly there is a tab to list all content posted by employees to their personal profiles. If its relevant to your business, you can then share it, with a comment of course!  Buy-in and support from your whole organisation is essential so ensure your social media plan is shared with the entire team and ask for ideas.

As I mentioned in my earlier blog, social media can and should be an essential part of any marketing strategy and ignoring it or doing it half-heartedly is a wasted opportunity.  However it’s crucial that it’s part of a bigger marketing plan and well executed so that it can create brand awareness, educate audiences and build credibility and trust. This blog series outlined key areas of consideration and useful tips on how do that, so that you can maximise social media for your B2B business.

If you would like help with social media strategy for your FinTech or RegTech brand, get in touch with the MD Consulting team today.

 

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