Increase B2B Leads With Social Media Strategies

Increase B2B Leads With Social Media Strategies

The Unique Venues Membership Conference was recently in Portland, OR – filled with conference services directors, representatives from universities such as Yale, University of Miami, aquariums, and other unique meeting spaces. I presented a workshop called Sell 5 WAYS TO USE SOCIAL PLATFORMS TO GENERATE LEADS BETTER.

We live in a time when we are bombarded with advertisements, each and every day. In the 1970’s the average person saw 500 ads per day. Now, we see 10X as many – 5,000 ads per day.

How many ads do we see each day?

As marketers, especially B2B marketers, we have to find a way to cut through the noise and find a way to connect with potential customers in the right moment. Google talks about Micro-Moments, that is, the time when someone does a search or is actively looking for a product or service – that’s the moment that they’re open to new ideas and that’s the moment when they’re ready to become a conversion.

Several social media channels exist and are available for B2B marketers to use, but let’s take a look at some of the data regarding different channels that work best.

  • 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the second most-used B2B social platform, second only to email.
  • LinkedIn generates the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, more than 3x higher than Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%)
  • YouTube is rated the fourth most effective B2B channel marketers use behind Email, LinkedIn and Print.
  • The average B2B company is on 6 social media networks.

There are 4 important things to know about a successful B2B social media campaign that will drive marketing qualified leads:

  1. Social Media pay-to-play is a reality and it is increasing.
  2. You need to know and understand your audience.
  3. Figure out where your audience is most active.
  4. Must act fast on social generated leads.

Social Media pay-to-play is a reality and it is increasing.

On average, brands are only reaching 6%-10% of their audience without paying for ads or promoted posts. This is due to the fact that many channel, such as Facebook, are throttling the visibility for brand pages. You may have 1,000 followers, but only 100 of those people re seeing your posts. How do we find a way to reach customers better in social channels? We have to get creative with the type of content and assets that we are promoting. Promoted posts with video content are 30%-40% cheaper than image posts. We also see that native videos – that is, videos that are uploaded directly to a channel, get more visibility. Facebook rewards you with more visibility when you upload a video directly to FB and then share it. YouTube uploaded videos are more likely to show up in Google search results.

You need to know and understand your audience.

You have a story to tell, how can you tell it best to the audience that you want to reach?
What are challenges that they are facing? How do they measure success? What associations are they part of? How do they prefer to interact with vendors? What does their decision timeline look like?

It’s critical to understand who your audiences is and what they are looking for, what problem they are hoping to solve. Keyword research can help you figure this out, but keep in mind, as time progresses, the diversity in keywords that people are using changes quickly. The problems that they are trying to solve change.

Figure out where your audience is most active.

A social media campaign in a business to business environment is different than if you are generally talking through a social media channel like Facebook. Business decision makers trust the connections and opportunities on Linkedin the most, as we see that many B2B marketers list Linkedin as the top social channel for driving leads.

Interestingly, we see that Blogging is the second channel considered best for driving marketing qualified leads. In fact, blogging is a bigger channel that we realize because the format of a blog gives us a channel to be less formal and more conversational. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re really looking for, right? A conversation, a connection, a strong partnership with a person. Blogging can seem daunting but setting up a regular cadence for posting content and determining 3-4 types of posts can alleviate the mental block for blogging.

Must act fast on social generated leads.

Would it surprise you that most B2B decisions are made within 24-48 hours? They are, and in fact the speed at which you respond and start building a meaningful relationship can steer a client your way, and away from a competitor. Again, the micro-moment that someone is in makes a big difference. Consider using a chat bot to help you respond quicker and at least start building some form of relationship with customers. Also, don’t forget that customer service starts before the sale even happens, and because customer service is often done in a social manor – your social media channels are a perfect place to let that conversation happen.

How do we create the right business tactics for B2B lead generation?

Awareness

Did you know that 92% of customers trust influencer messages more than a brand’s messaging? Who really wants to hear a company talk about how great they are? We would much rather listen to a 3rd party validator that can share real insights about a company and their product or services. This is why companies like Yelp and TripAdvisor have done so well.

Engagement

Instagram’s tools are built for a business to thrive.
Use the right filters and special effects. Instagram is visual – make visually appealing content that will capture potential customer’s attention! The most popular and proven to be visually appealing filters are: Low-Fi, Valencia, and X-Pro II.

Try using Rich Pins in Pinterest – they allow you to specifically target keyword searches with better Meta Data.  Instagram’s business tools allow you to track website clicks, call clicks, and email clicks. For B2B, these are important! Don’t forget to integrate your known demographic data into ads. Partner with a nonprofit or social cause that will align your venue’s space and businesses mission.

Real Life photos vs. product/stock photos receive 30% better CTR in Pinterest.

Sales

80% of B2B marketers say they have a specific social media strategy, but only 32% have it documented. What happens if your marketing managers leaves or is unable to work, will you know where your social media channels are located and the strategy that is being implemented?

Your sales team goes beyond the person. Create an ecosystem that is always working to close a lead. Consider the different keywords that drive searches and engagement in social media and make sure that you have content that addresses each segment. Immediate response from social leads is critical – a study by Hootsuite shows that most B2B decisions are made within a 24-48 hour window – you need to respond to be part of the conversation. Drip campaigns build a longer pipeline: look at your email integration with social media (custom audiences).

Scott Fish

Scott Fish is the CMO at Off Road, responsible for the business development team and managing the marketing delivery and client management team. During the past two decades, he has worked with growing companies around the world in evolving industries such as tourism, franchises, hotels, sports associations and cultural organizations. Scott is a founding board member of SEMpdx, the largest regionally focused digital marketing organization in the US. He creates strategies to drive more business and connect better with their customers.