5 B2B Digital Marketing Must-Dos [Infographic]

When it comes to B2B digital marketing, there are certain priorities that marketers need to ensure are top of mind.

For B2B marketers, there are certain subtleties that make for significantly improved campaigns and results. While the evolution of marketing has led to a melding of both the B2C and B2B worlds, there still exist a handful of differences that may appear small but are actually hugely important to the success of an organization. These B2B digital marketing focal points have been highlighted by MDG Advertising in the infographic below.

What stands out most with regards to these B2B digital marketing must-dos are the focuses on data-centric strategy and quality content. With so much noise, it is all too easy to create poor content simply with the goal of getting your brand seen. With a better understanding of your data and a devotion to creating the highest quality content that you can, your B2B brand stands a much better chance of beating out the competition online.

B2B Digital Marketing Tips

4 Reasons Why B2Bs Should Leverage Social Data

Though it is no secret that social data is important, B2B brands are not taking enough advantage of it.

Data mining – whether on a large or small scale – is a critical component when it comes to a successful social business strategy; this is especially true when it comes to B2Bs. And yet, so few B2B brands are taking advantage of the values that social data can offer when building a comprehensive, goal-oriented strategy.

The reasons listed below should be enough to convince any decision maker as a B2B enterprise to start paying closer attention to their social data.

Optimize Your Content Strategy

Recently, we published an article discussing the difference between content strategy and content marketing. Essentially, your content strategy is the strategy with which you are going to generate interest from your target audience on social platforms.

As a B2B, it can sometimes seem difficult to find a message that resonates with your audience. After all, with so much content from which people can choose, the message from a B2B is not always going to make it to the top of the pile. By keeping a close eye on your data, however, you can see exactly what types of content and what motifs generate the most interest from your audience, and share information geared towards garnering their attention.

Monitor Your Competition

It’s one thing to look at superficial measurements, like the growth of a competitor’s network. It is another thing entirely to dive into the public data that exists about your competition’s social presence and see where they are succeeding, where opportunities exist for your brand and, most importantly, how you compare in terms of share of voice and sentiment when it comes to key criteria.

Because we might not necessarily be looking at increasing sales directly through social media as B2Bs, it is important to find a way to set benchmarks for measuring success. Often, identifying KPIs among your competition’s data and striving to surpass those benchmarks is a great way to work.

Reach Broader Audiences

Understanding when your target audience is most active and where they spend the majority of their time is going to be essential to reaching the broadest audience possible.

At the outset of any social business program, you are going to want to ask yourself who you want to reach. Do you want to reach your buyers, or would you rather reach the end users of products or services to whom you are selling? Knowing what kind of audience you want to reach with your content will help you better leverage this data in order to ensure that every piece of content you share is shared strategically so as to reach the broadest audience possible.

Understand Your Buyers

On the surface, social is all about sharing stories. But just beneath there is a world of opportunity in the form of data, and that data can be leveraged not only on these social media, but in your business operations.

Studying the data that concerns your buyers – either as individuals or businesses – on social media can help you optimize your offline and off-social marketing initiatives in order to ensure that they resonate with your buyers.

Traditional B2B marketing tactics need to incorporate, at least to a degree, social data. By understanding your buyers’ habits, preferences and knowing what it is they are looking for, you can better prepare yourself offline to make the sale.

The potential that exists within your social data is virtually limitless. With so much being published every day, and more insights being made available at every second, it is hard to understand why more B2B businesses are not taking the time to study social data.

Are you leveraging your social data? What are you using it for? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

And next week, don’t miss our Director of Global Social Business Strategy, Corey Padveen speaking live in Las Vegas! Find out more here.

Top Content Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

We can expect to see some of these content marketing trends pick up steam in 2014.

Content marketing is storytelling. It is, essentially, what attracts people to our brands online. Last year, we saw a major explosion is the concept of content marketing. Now that it is an established practice, we can expect to see some of these content marketing trends take shape in the coming year.

Research by Content Marketing Institute noted that most business plan on increasing their involvement in content marketing in some form or another in 2014, particularly through the use of social media.

If you have not yet involved yourself in content marketing, or taken the time to learn more about it, now is a good time to start.

How do you plan on engaging in content marketing in 2014? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

Top 6 Content Marketing Trends to Watch Out This 2014 (Infographic) - An Infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines

Ideation and the Secrets of Content Marketing

Content marketing is all the buzz in social business, and the secrets of content marketing start with ideation.

ideation successful content marketingWhat is ideation? Well, it is quite simple. Ideation is the formation of concepts or ideas. Easy, right? Much easier said than done. One of the great secrets of content marketing comes down to that simple task. In order to find success, you are going to need to have a great idea. Those aren’t always the easiest to come by. Luckily, there are ways to give your ideation a boost.

The strategies below are a few ways to go about finding inspiration for your next great content marketing campaign.

Use Tools at Your Disposal

There are plenty of tools out there that can give your ideation process a major boost. Trendsmap tells you what is trending on Twitter in different areas. Creating content around a popular event is always a great way to generate buzz, and Trendsmap is a good start.

There is also Ubersuggest, which describes itself as ‘suggest on steroids’. Type in a keyword, location and medium and watch the results populate with suggestions for other keywords and phrases with every letter of the alphabet!

Soovle is an incredible tool that provides you with the most searched terms based on your typed keyword – as it is being typed! See what popular searches look like and begin working with those terms to create highly sought after content.

Monitor Industry Chatter

Something as simple as watching your Twitter feed can give you the inspiration you need to create a great content marketing strategy. There is no greater inspiration than your industry’s conversation. Social channels offer us an opportunity to see what people are thinking, and what interests them at this moment.

Opening your eyes and ears to trends in conversations – either by simply monitoring your social feeds or with the use of a higher end listening tool – will help you better understand what people want to see. You can then use this insight to create a multi-channel campaign that generates significant engagement.

Incorporate Every Channel

The 2013 content marketing study by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs shows that the most successful content marketing campaigns are using upwards of 14 social channels to share their content. You can’t ignore any channels when it comes to creating a successful content marketing campaign.

When searching for an idea, consider one that can expand onto every one of your social channels (and then some). Your story should be capable of being told on any platform, with a variety of media types (e.g. text, video, photo, etc.).

These are just a few of the ways in which you can create a successful content marketing strategy starting with ideation. The secrets of content marketing are pretty simple; success is going to start with an idea.

What does your ideation process entail? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

 

Fun Facts from the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Report

These facts and figures from the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America Report showcase why content marketing is crucial – particularly when it comes to B2B.

b2b content marketing reportFor the fourth straight year, MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute have released this B2B content marketing report and the results are quite impressive.

Once again, the numbers have increased year-over-year and B2B content marketing is becoming both more widely used and more structured. Below are a few of the key findings when it comes to B2B content marketing and some analyses of these findings.

93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing

There’s not much to analyze when it comes to this stat. Long story short, if you are not engaged in content marketing in a B2B company, you should be.

66% of B2B marketers with a ‘Most Effective’ content marketing rating have a content strategy

A content strategy is going to be your best friend when it comes to content marketing. Every brand’s strategy may differ; you are going to need to test content across every channel to see what works best. At the end of the day, however, there needs to be a clear strategy in place in order to measure the effectiveness and success that your content marketing drives.

‘Less Effective’ marketers do not have a designated content marketing point person

86% of ‘Most Effective’ content marketing companies have one individual overseeing nothing by the brand’s content marketing initiatives. By contrast, only 46% of ‘Less Effective’ companies have a point person when it comes to this. This ties in closely with the need to have a strategy in place. If you are going to take your content marketing seriously, then do just that. Have a strategy and department (one or several people) devoted to making the program successful.

Social media is a key area of focus

To all those naysayers who speak out against the use of social media when it comes to B2B brands, the numbers are in and all signs point to the contrary. 87% of B2B content marketing programs use social media as a means of sharing content to broader audiences and driving results from a strategy. In fact, sharing content on social networks is the most widely used tactic when it comes to content marketing.

55% or more of B2B marketers are using five of the main social networks

91% use LinkedIn, 85% use Twitter, 81% use Facebook, 73% use YouTube and 55% use Google+. More importantly, LinkedIn is seen as the most important network with YouTube ranking second in terms of importance (not use).

‘Most Effective’ brands are using content marketing for revenue-generating goals

While Brand Awareness tops the charts (82%) for the most common goal among marketers, Lead Generation comes in second at 74% followed closely by Customer Acquisition at 71%.

Content marketing is not done growing

58% of B2B marketers plan on increasing their involvement and budgets for content marketing in the next twelve months. Compare that to only 1% of marketers who plan on decreasing their budgets.

There is a lot more where that came from in this year’s report, so take a look.

Let us know what you think is most significant finding! Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

t2social social medis marketing strategies

Important Social Media Analytics [INFOGRAPHIC]

Based on some of these social media analytics, there is no denying that social marketing is continuing to grow.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, there are still naysayers out there who suggest that there is no significant value when it comes to social media. When you look through some of the social media analytics in the infographic below, it is very hard to agree with that viewpoint.

You have undoubtedly seen them: articles and blog posts talking about the ‘end of Facebook’ or the ‘death of social media’ and frankly, they simply do not match the numbers. Every year (heck, every week!) more and more businesses are involving themselves in social media marketing.

According to the data below, 94% of businesses are involved in social media in some form or another. 94%. And with each poll, it becomes increasingly clear that marketers from every industry – both B2C and B2B – are planning on furthering their involvement in social media. You simply can’t justify the argument that social doesn’t matter. It matters in a very big way.

Take a look at the infographic below and see just how important social marketing already is and see how its growth shows no sign of slowing down.

Which statistic do you find most interesting/important? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

important social media analytics

Social Media for B2B Companies [INFOGRAPHIC]

Can there be a place for social media for B2B companies?

There is a lot of debate over whether or not there is a use of social media for B2B companies. Why? Because many people do not see just how important social media is – for any industry!

There is a very important place for social media when it comes to businesses in the B2B world. The reason there are so many skeptics is simply due to a lack of understanding of how to properly use social media, a hesitancy to take on the task and, most importantly, not knowing the phenomenal results that other B2B brands are already achieving!

In the infographic below, some insightful data is provided by Clearpoint that illustrates just how important social media is for B2B companies. Perhaps the two most interesting sections of data are the reasons why B2B companies are using social media, and how they are measuring their results.

So many marketers – particularly those in the B2B field – fail to see the benefits of social media marketing outside of brand awareness. While this may be the top reason for the use of social media by B2B companies, the four additional uses are extremely important, particularly thought leadership.

With regards to measurement, there is no shortage of criteria that can be used to measure your success on social media. Again, this applies to any industry.

Take a look at the infographic and let us know which data you find to be most interesting. Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

social media for b2b companies

Social Media Case Study: Standard Life

Standard Life provides savings and insurance services and has been doing so for nearly 200 years – nothing so exciting to warrant a social media case study, right?

social media case studySocial media is everywhere. Whether you are a major cutting-edge tech firm or a staple of the insurance business, social media has a place in your industry. Despite the long standing of Standard Life, Craig Johnston, in an interview with econsultancy, explained how and why the insurance giant decided to dive into the world of social media marketing.

Though the company took a crack (with some success) on Facebook and YouTube, they have found their true social media calling on Twitter and LinkedIn. Why? The marketing team took the time to develop a strategy, target influencers and reach out to very specific audience. The results have been outstanding.

Standard Life wanted to use Twitter as a means of providing additional resources and to engage with influential advisors. Well, after creating a functional content strategy and targeting the 30 users they deemed most influential to their target audience, they managed to garner nearly 67% of them as followers, and are now sharing content with them (and their clients, future prospects) on a regular basis.

On LinkedIn, Standard Life also wanted to reach out to influencers, so they created a private group for advisors and reached out to several they found to be most influential. By speaking to these individuals on a personal level, they managed to persuade many of them to join the group, which prompted several others to join (without an invite) as well.

There are quite a few great points that marketers can learn from this program.

Find Out What Works

This goes for both your industry and your brand. Facebook has a billion users so it must be the best network for you, right? Not necessarily! Maybe you will find that YouTube is where you generate the most referrals and social media success.

What is important is testing each market (with a clearly defined strategy, of course) in order to determine which one is going to work best for your business.

No One Is Bigger than Social Media

This is not saying that social media should replace your other marketing efforts. However, as we pointed out in an article about Social Media Marketing Myopia, thinking your brand is above the consumers’ preferences will leave you clamouring for business you once took for granted.

Insurance may not be the most exciting field, but there is still room for a social media presence. Johnston and his team realized this, and it is important that other marketers realize it as well.

True Value Rests with Brand Loyalists

The longevity of a company rests with its brand advocates. When word-of-mouth spreads far beyond product evangelists, you can feel safe in the future success of your brand. As Johnston notes, “The funnel has now changed so we are always trying to drive advocacy. Companies have to offer customers free stuff, such as information and advice, to add value and help encourage a purchase.”

Showcase your expertise and keep them coming back and wanting more.

What other examples can you think of where companies in relatively unsocial industries found room for social media? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

t2social social medis marketing strategies

18 Twitter and Facebook Business Facts

At the end of the day, it all comes down to numbers, and these Twitter and Facebook business facts are some good ones.

The marketer in us wants to pursue the power of social media because we have studied and understand its potential. However, the business person in us (and those in our companies) want the cold, hard data to back up business decisions.

Social media measurement and social media ROI are still some of the most heavily debated points on the topic. We thought we would make the conversation a little easier for both the marketer and business person in all of us by sharing a few notable Twitter and Facebook business facts.

twitter and facebook business factsTwitter

  • 37% of people on Twitter will purchase from a brand they follow.
  • 79% of Twitter users are likely to recommend a brand that they follow.
  • 67% of users on Twitter are more likely to buy from a brand that they follow than one that they do not.
  • In the last two years, there has been an increase of 663% of users asking for business recommendations on Twitter.
  • 70% of small businesses in the United States are on Twitter.
  • 33% of people on Twitter follow a brand.
  • 40% of Twitter users use the network for information gathering.
  • 69% of Twitter users follow brands based on recommendations from friends.
  • 77% of online shoppers use Twitter and other reviews and comments before making a purchase.

twitter and facebook business facts facebookFacebook

  • On average, ‘fans’ spent an additional $71.84 on products for which they are fans of, compared to those that are not ‘fans’ on Facebook.
  • Fans are 28% more likely than non-fans to be loyal to a brand.
  • Fans are 41% more likely than non-fans to recommend a brand they are a fan of to a friend.
  • The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased by 75% in the last year.
  • 77% of B2C companies have acquired at least one new customer through Facebook.
  • 43% of B2B companies have acquired at least one new customer through Facebook.
  • 80% of social media users in the U.S. prefer to connect to a brand on Facebook.
  • Local businesses’ Facebook pages average 645 million views per week.
  • 23% of users check their account 5 times or more daily.

These are just a few stats that should get your marketing side and your business to agree that, at the very least, Twitter and Facebook are important.

Which statistics do you think is the most interesting? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

t2social social medis marketing strategies

(Sources: HubSpot, Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, The Huffington Post, Search Engine People)

Social Media Case Study: Volkswagen

Through the strategic use of LinkedIn, Volkswagen India was able to garner nearly 3,000 car recommendations in under a month.

social media case study volkswagen t2socialWe often think of LinkedIn as a B2B social network. Often times, that is true. After all, LinkedIn is the professional social network, and rarely do we hear of instances where companies use the platform for direct B2C campaigns. However, through the strategic use of LinkedIn, Volkswagen India managed to receive 2,700 recommendations in just 4 weeks.

In this week’s social media case study, we look at how Volkswagen used a carefully laid out LinkedIn strategy that paid off.

The Challenge

Volkswagen India was looking to increase their exposure in a relatively new market among professionals. But rather than simply running a conventional ad campaign, they wanted a viral component that emphasized the loyalty current customers had and influenced decision-making.

The Campaign

While Volkswagen began their marketing strategy outside of social media, they knew that social would be a large component of any successful campaign. The decision to go with LinkedIn was one that was carefully calculated. According to the Head of MArketing for Volkswagen India, Lutz Kothe, “We knew that for many people, their car affects their professional life and their professional identity affects their car choice. This made LinkedIn a natural choice to connect with current and potential car buyers among the growing professional population.”

optimize your linkedin profileVolkswagen India launched a Company Page on LinkedIn and opened it up to the public to begin posting reviews and comments about the product. As engagement increased, they created a series of Recommendation Ads, which showcased some of the brand’s recommendations from their page to other LinkedIn users that fit their targeted demographic. The idea here was to increase engagement and drive traffic to the Company Page and, eventually, the dealership.

Overall, their modest goal was to receive 500 recommendations from current and prospective buyers. Ultimately, in less than a month, they received 2,700 recommendations, over 2,300 new fans asking for more information about the models available and nearly one million viral updates about Volkswagen models.

The Lessons

There is a lot that marketers can take away from this tremendously successful campaign.

Build a Community Around Your Product

If you have a great product, don’t wait for people to figure that out. There is no shortage of competition out there, and the only way you are going to stand out is if you actively seek out a community of fans and continue to engage with them and build that community until, eventually, they are selling your product for you!

Establish Your Goals

This was a very precise, calculated effort on the part of Volkswagen India, and that paid off. If they had gone in without any goals, they would not have known where to begin, and, as the next lesson points out, would not have been able to formulate a strategy.

social media strategy t2socialStart with a Strategy

A strategy is going to be one of your greatest assets when running a social media campaign. One of the most important takeaways in this social media case study is the need for a detailed strategy. Before the program began, the marketing team at Volkswagen India had a challenge, a step-by-step approach, a target demographic, a landscape of where that demographic is located and a plan of execution.

It may sound like a lot to do, but without that kind of planning, it will not only be impossible to measure successes and failures, but it will be impossible to launch a proper campaign!

Take Advantage of Social Media’s Marketing Features

Each network features different elements that are designed to help marketers. In this case, there was a Company Page and Recommendation Ads. On other networks, there are other such features. Use them! They are not there purely for aesthetics, they are there to provide resources to help you effectively grow your business on social media.

You can argue that this was as successful as it was because of the major brand behind the campaign. But as we noted in the introduction of this social media case study, Volkswagen was brand new in the Indian market when this was launched. The successes here can be achieved by any brand, all they need to do is execute efficiently, just like Volkswagen did.

Have you tried to market your product on LinkedIn? Why or why not? Does this social media case study make you see the network any differently? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

t2social social medis marketing strategies