Social media is ever-changing. What worked for your business a few months ago may not be working as well now, and it's always important to stay ahead of the curve. Here are a few tips for keeping your B2B social media marketing strategy fresh for 2020 and beyond.
The goal of social media is to connect like-minded people. Over time, platforms change, and how people use them change as a result. However, what never changes is that customers want real, personalized, meaningful communication with the brands they care about. Now, more than ever, authenticity and transparency drive brand loyalty, so keep this in mind in all areas of your social media strategy.
This year, strive to create deeper bonds with your customers by leveraging all the social media tools you have in your arsenal. Machine learning and the data it helps you gather can help you better understand who your audience is and what they want. Thus, you can target your audience and engage with them better.
For example, Cortex offers a unique tool that uses machine learning to find the best time for you to post on social media, and how often you should make posts. By analyzing millions of data points from your company and others, they determine how to make your social media strategy more effective.
When you create any content for social media, make sure it's useful, meaningful, and engaging. More and more, social media users are shying away from content that doesn't offer anything of value. Creating groups on Facebook or LinkedIn gives you a great platform to engage with your audience and listen to what they have to say.
Imagine using a tool like Facebook Messenger to enhance both your customer service and marketing efforts. In essence, that's what custom chatbots can do. They can answer frequently asked questions, help to resolve customer service issues, book demos, and even discover new leads. This presents a lot of new opportunities for B2B brands.
Chatbots can be customized to ask users questions about their needs and deliver the information that users are looking for. They can even manage a financial transaction. This can help to streamline your sales cycle. Customers no longer need to navigate through your website to find the information they're looking for, and the chatbot helps them feel like they're getting a more personalized experience.
For example, HubSpot offers integration with Facebook Messenger that allows you to create a unique welcome experience for users visiting your Facebook page. It also helps you manage all of the conversations in your inbox in one place. This creates a great opportunity to connect with prospects and clients as soon as they first reach out to you.
Chatbots have the potential to save businesses billions in customer service costs by providing the basic customer support that human representatives usually provide. So chatbots can streamline your sales cycle and save you money, but can they really help you close a sale? Absolutely.
Ask your customers the right questions, and you can collect a lot of valuable data. Use this data to automatically qualify leads, and then from there, chatbots can even synchronize with employee calendars and help you schedule meetings. Chatbots provide many of the benefits of automated emails but are quicker and more efficient. Potential customers can be communicating with your brand in just a matter of seconds.
Social listening isn't new, but new tools are constantly being developed to deliver you more useful insights. Social listening tools have been used by B2C businesses for years, but B2B businesses haven't embraced this technology as widely. One of the reasons is that people just don't talk about B2B industries at the rate that people talk about consumer goods, so social listening may not have the same power as it does for B2C companies.
But that doesn't mean it's not important to know when people are talking about you. You can learn valuable insights from what customers are saying about your brand. It can help with market research and can let you know if anyone is having issues with your company. You can find out how customers perceive your brand and learn more about what people are saying about your competitors.
You can start small with free tools like Google Alerts and Talkwalker Alerts, and listen for mentions of your company, your executives, your products, or even your competitors. And from there, you can engage with those who mention your brand to get even more insight about what your customers want and need.
Video is still king in the realm of social media and because of this, social media platforms give preference to video by making it more visible to users. Video can help build your brand personality by providing product demos, informational videos, and insights from members of your team. In the next few years, more than 80% of online traffic will be video, and personalized video is on the horizon for many brands.
Personalized video can include elements like a person's name, job title, and other personal information, and can really get your customers to notice you and what you have to say. More than half of customers are more likely to buy from a company that offers a personalized experience, so this is just another way to get your message out there and stand out from the crowd.
Vidyard offers a powerful service that lets you use a video you already have, or create a new one, pick out elements to personalize, and deliver it on-demand to your valuable customers or leads. Combine this with the ability to offer personalized recommendations for products or services, and you have a winning combination. A call to action that is totally unique to the viewer can convert at up to a 200% better rate than non-personalized calls to action. Personalized videos are definitely a trend that should take priority in your 2020 marketing plan.
Ephemeral content is any content that disappears after a certain amount of time. On some platforms, these are called "Stories," and they typically disappear after being available to view for 24 hours. It's easy to see how B2C brands can use this type of content to benefit their customers as well, but B2B brands can use this content in a lot of valuable ways.
First, ephemeral content is very simple to produce - no one is expecting a high production value on a video that will disappear in 24 hours. This means it doesn't take a lot of time or resources. You can post exclusive content and follow in the footsteps of Cisco and IBM, who have hosted "takeovers" on Snapchat, which simply detail the day-to-day goings-on of staff members.
And ephemeral content is another great way to add uniqueness and authenticity to your brand. Having a presence on many platforms, even if they don't drive as many leads as some platforms do, can increase brand awareness and get the word out there about what you have to offer.
Social media is going to keep changing, and staying ahead of the curve can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. But adding social media to your business's digital marketing strategy is essential for reaching the widest audience possible. Look for tools that automate as much as possible to save your company time and effort. Tools that organize and post on social media automatically, like HubSpot can help make your social media goals more achievable. Don't shy away from tech - when combined with human insight, it can be a powerful tool that can help us reach new heights.
If you're ready to take your marketing strategy to the next level, contact us. Bristol Strategy has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and one of the first team to implement Inbound Marketing. We will help you get the most out of your marketing efforts with our knowledge and deep experience.