The business-to-business model, which aims at building a business relationship between companies and does not count on the participation of the end customer, has a number of its own laws. And this also applies to the world of social networks. This article will walk you through the most important steps to help you achieve great marketing results.
Step 1: Determine your goal
By investing in social media, you can achieve a number of goals that will lead to the fulfilment of your sales ambitions. Choose at most three main objectives that are relevant to your business. For inspiration, here are a few of the most common goals, along with a few of our own tips:
Building brand awareness in the right target group
Building trust in your brand
Educating your target audience
Strengthening the loyalty of your existing customers
Generating new leads (enquiries) for your sales representatives
Expanding your newsletter subscriber base
Growing sales on your B2B e-shop
Ensuring traffic to your website that has fine-tuned sales strategies
Consider the right balance between branding and sales activation objectives. Only a small percentage of your target audience is ready to buy immediately. Long-term investments in brand awareness within your target group offer a longer payback, but lead to significantly more stable growth. We generally recommend investing at a 60:40 ratio in favour of brand building.
Sales activations reaching existing customers typically use:
rational appeal and FOMO ("15% off by the end of the week")
narrow targeting (repeatedly reaching out to already interested prospects - remarketing)
cost per click or cost per conversion tracking
Building a brand that appeals to future customers typically uses:
broader targeting (by interest, business sector, company affiliation, etc.)
tracking memorability (Ad Recall Lift, etc.)
Step 2: Which platform to choose?
Over 31% of users use the internet for business purposes. So where to find these users? Global data from the Content Marketing Institute confirms our experience from the Czech market: B2B marketers use LinkedIn (96%) and Facebook (76%) primarily for their communications.
How does LinkedIn compare to Facebook?
A lot of end customers that your business doesn't target aren't on LinkedIn. So you have the chance to invest your money in a better quality audience of real B2B customers and get relevant leads, conversions or interactions.
According to LinkedIn itself, 4 out of 5 of its users make business decisions. Their buying power compared to the average site visitor is reportedly double.
Reaching users on LinkedIn is much more challenging. The average user spends only 17 minutes a month on LinkedIn.
Many of your potential customers don't use LinkedIn at all, while Facebook does. In some industries, the difference is more noticeable.
LinkedIn is more expensive for the above reasons. While the usual price per thousand impressions on Facebook in the Czech Republic is around 20 CZK, LinkedIn is around 100 CZK. The typical price per click on a website is then in the order of 10 CZK vs. 150 CZK. However, you still need to think about the relevance of the results delivered - does Facebook really reach your customers?
Step 3: Content is King
The free translation of the well-worn phrase "Content is King" suggests that even with perfect targeting or a high budget, it is important to attract attention with interesting and valuable content. A study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions found that the impact of creative on campaign success is almost half that.
See your content as the useful value you are going to offer.
Think about how and what you're going to help improve the business life of your target customer. Will you save them time? Will you reduce costs? Improve their working environment? Help him grow his business into new areas?
Choose one key message for each post.
Test different formats. Take inspiration from competitors, follow trends.
Each type of business lends itself to slightly different content pillars. We offer a few general ones for inspiration: stimulating professional debates, product posts (preferably linked to the e-shop), free product samples, invitations to thematic webinars/seminars/conferences, competitions (beware of invasions of unwanted end customers), brand building built on the association of your B2B brand with your known customers, links to inspiring blog articles, etc.
Producing quality content for social media, from subject line to image attachment to engaging text, is no simple discipline. Don't be afraid to get in touch with our specialists, who are ready to get to know the nature and goals of your company and prepare tailored content together with you.
Step 4: How to promote correctly
Targeting is essential
Test different target audiences on the same content and compare campaign results.
Targeting by profession, interests or skills: this way, you rely purely on the social data you pay to promote. There are limits to the reliability of this data, and if you have a better option (see below), it probably won't give you the best results.
Targeting your existing customers: with proper consent to the handling of personal data, you can provide the social network with a database of your existing customers. The advertising manager will then work on matching your database with your users.
Targeting your followers or existing interacting users within the network. This can only be handled for established profiles.
Targeting existing visitors to your site: if you go through the somewhat complicated process of setting up conversion pixels, cookie approvals or web analytics, you can celebrate success here.
Lookalike targeting: you can expand the above remarketing groups by orders of magnitude with the help of artificial intelligence. It will detect common similarities between users defined by your scope and try to find other users with similar characteristics, i.e. your new potential customers. Do not underestimate this targeting method, it can help you significantly.
If you do not know how to set up targeting or other related problems, contact our specialists with years of experience. Together we can take your business to the next level.
Optimization according to the nature of the contribution
Narrowing the boundaries for targeting content to the right audience is not just happening at the level of the target audiences mentioned above. If it's not appropriate to use basic brand awareness optimization that maximizes the number of impressions at the lowest possible cost and doesn't place any other significant constraints, other options should be considered.
Web conversion: if the goal of the campaign is to make a purchase on your e-shop.
Lead generation: if you want to reach a potential customer with the help of your sales representative or an automated series of emails.
Event attendance: for those who offer an interesting seminar.
Web display: do you offer an inspiring article and have a fine-tuned website with functional processes aimed at sales? Go ahead.
Video playback: try to engage an audience ready to watch a longer video and spend a good amount of time with it. This will filter out leads that you can approach again in the future to target with a sales offer.
Interaction: are you opening a discussion on a topic that sparks passion in your industry? By targeting your post for "engagement" you'll more easily attract new relevant commenters. You can reach out to them repeatedly and more frequently in the future.
Step 5: How much to invest?
Data from the Canadian bank BDC shows that companies with a B2B model invest 2-5% of their revenues in marketing (note: start-ups should plan according to expected revenues). Of that, less than 15% goes to social, CMO research found. However, this proportion will tend to increase.
Choose a reasonable ratio between the investment in content production and the investment in campaign setup and execution. Quality content and smart targeting can get you more even on a limited media budget.
The size of the budget is also the answer to the question of how much content to create and how often to publish it. The limits of your potential are high in testing different content, on the other hand it doesn't make sense to keep producing new creatives in large quantities if the results are not satisfactory. For a simplified comparison, you can use the advertising rates we present in the second step.
Bonus: active community management
You can build your brand on social media beyond your profile. In addition to engaging in community management under your posts and in your inbox, you can also make your brand visible on the profiles of your existing and potential customers.
Whether as a brand or brand ambassador, comment on posts: praise successes, post suggestions for improvement. Be active and show that you understand your potential customers' business and can offer them added value.