Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, Why B2B Needs Social Media Marketing examines the tactics of social media marketing, buyer personas and how to incorporate a viable strategy aimed at influencing potential customers based on their demographic and psychographic data. In the sales world, organizations that are selling products and services that are in high demand tend to fare much better than products and service offerings that are in decline or deemed matured. Salespeople are uniquely qualified to understand that selling in a growth market trumps selling in a down market.
In addition, selling in a growth market would indicate there are more customers that would like to buy the latest greatest offers. It's always been a numbers game when it comes to sales, and with that, marketing budgets, branding, advertising campaigns, and now social media acceptance and communications widen the competitive landscape.
What is different today is that both growth market items and mature market items can co-exist in the social media world, as product value propositions can be viewed by all. Further, regardless of the state of products that are either in a growth or downward mode, social media provides millions of potential customers unlimited access to marketing communications to make their own decisions.
At the dawn of website acceptance by the masses, and supported by Bill Gates infamous statement, dated Aug 5, 2016 - Bill Gates ... "Whether shopping online or looking for a 'business' address or phone number…those surveyed said they don't trust a business without a website." This statement indicates that the public has taken the approach of using websites to confirm the validity of what they encounter on social media channels.
However, almost all internet users initially find offerings in their respective social media channels. It's after the fact that the majority of them seek to confirm said offerings by visiting the corresponding website outside of the social media channel. This is true for most B2C offerings.
Social Media and Websites Confirm Validity
Conversely, B2B businesses are validated by visitors going to a B2B website and then validating the business by searching for corresponding social media accounts. Accordingly, it makes logical sense for B2B businesses to have both a website and social media channels under their auspices.
Therefore, B2B organizations should make the leap to establish their brands on various social media channels. That said, while the social media strategy for B2B brands may differ across product or service offerings, it should be understood that the created and posted content should be tied to specific buyer personas. In the social media world, it makes all the difference in how a brand speaks to its targeted niche groups rather than just posting a generic message to all.
We contend that it can appear to be overwhelming for B2B brands to execute social media marketing strategies on a variety of levels. Nonetheless, in today's world, B2B brands can ill afford to overlook the social media aspect relating to their marketing initiatives. Developing a social media marketing strategy is the key to attaining brand influence in the social media world. We also understand that most B2B offerings require a longer sales cycle and consequently a longer buying journey.
Using Buyer Personas
Buyer Personas have been around for ages, such as 'soccer moms,' 'stay at home dads,' 'dinks (double income no kids),' 'empty nesters,' and others. How a brand speaks to prospective and current customers makes all the difference in how the messaging is received. Moreover, it is even more important how prospects and customers respond to and engage with your brand.
B2B brands need to consider developing their own unique buyer personas which will ensure that the right type of communication messages are created and disseminated. For example, creating a buyer persona avatar with corresponding demographics, interests, behaviors, and generalities will greatly aid in the buyer persona identification and subsequent messaging.
In an effort to describe and build various targeted buyer persona demographics, a spreadsheet should be developed and contain the following attributes: Geography, Age, Generation (Baby Boomer, Millennial, etc.), Relationship Status, Work, Education, Income Level, Home (Owner - Renter), Average Family Size, and other attributes specific to your brand. Apply that same schema to interests, behaviors and general information prior to starting a social media marketing initiative and then continue on with category development.
Consistent Rotating Categories
Brand association is critical among creating viability in the social media field. Therefore, B2B brands will need to decide on what categories they feel compelled to post content. Selecting exact categories is less important than deciding which ones make the most sense for the brand.
For example, a marketing agency could select categories such as brand images, best TV ads, team photos, design ideas, and animals. The trick here is to create an advanced schedule to post in the chosen categories and rotate them. The key to winning is to post consistently and post to impress, engage, reach, and ultimately to sell.
Number of Posts
All advertising campaigns require frequency, from television to radio to blogging to social media posting. B2B brands must make the determination as to how many posts are necessary. In addition to the number of posts to be determined, it is critical to understand that these posts are for social validation and not just sales, although sales can come from a B2B brand being validated from their social media channels leading to their website and vice versa with the website leading to their social media channels.
Create a Spreadsheet
Depending on the budgeting levels of the brand, spreadsheets and dashboards are available across a number of price points. That said, it is more economically efficient to just create a simple spreadsheet in either Excel or Numbers for Mac users. The columns could start simply by listing the Month, Content Type, Order, Text, and Hashtags.
The order can be switched to Number of Times, or any designation that will be able to determine how many posts for a given channel can be tracked in a given month or week. For example February - Animals - New animal emojis available - Provide your email address to get them free while supplies last - #animal emojis #free animal emojis #daytonohio #hotanimalemojis.
One of the hottest trending social media channels is Instagram. In the Instagram world, businesses are allowed to post up to 30 hashtags per post and it is recommended when possible that businesses strive to use all 30 whenever possible.
Display Purposes is a tool that can assist in locating high-traffic hashtags and is quite easy to use. Just type in the hashtag you wish to use and 30 related, high-traffic hashtags will appear. It is up to the brand, however, to decide which of those 30 hashtags are most relevant. It is also recommended that brands try combining various search types which may deliver different, if not better, results. When completed, paste these hashtags next to the corresponding Content Type in that spreadsheet.
Consistent content is also heavily reliant on image creation for all that content. Creating a bulk type image content creation environment is the preferred way to go. The most efficient manner for creating a bulk image content application is with Adobe Illustrator. It's pretty simple actually to create a bulk file format.
Start by creating the number of "artboards" in Illustrator to match the number of posts outlined in the social media strategy contained in the spreadsheet. Once the artboards have been created, arrange the artboards and set the columns to the same number as Content Types in the spreadsheet. Lastly, once the images have been created, go back to the spreadsheet and add words to the images in the 'Text Cell.' Whatever words are added, they must correspond to the image being used.
Now that the content has been created for the posts, the last step in the process is to schedule posts by the week, month, quarter or year. This process may take some time to complete, however, once completed, will free up time for engaging sales activities and sales marketing strategies.
B2B organizations now need to engage in the social media landscape more than ever before. Websites and social media channels are now being used by all consumers and B2B buyers to establish validity and credibility in a brand. The process to implement a realistic social media marketing strategy is a necessary tactic that will build brand trustworthiness. The points outlined in this post represent a great starting point. Thanks for reading "Why B2B Needs Social Media Marketing!"
Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.
If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.
Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "New Marketing Strategies for 2020," examines what marketers, digital innovators, and brands are now contemplating if they want to re...