B2B Social Sharing – All You Need To Know
How many times have we heard marketers say, “We are a B2B business, we don’t need social marketing or engaging content for our audience”? I would say many, many times. But in last five years we have seen an emerging trend among B2B marketers and their marketing strategies. Even if your consumer is another business, he is looking for information to gain trust in your services before getting into a partnership deal. B2B marketing is definitely difficult, but with emerging digital technology trends marketers are acclimating to the idea that campaigns need to go social to drive engagement and capture attention. Corporate blogging has become a crucial element of every business today to communicate brand’s values and industry expertise. CMO’s are communicating the company’s success stories and achievements through blogging and content sharing.
According to research, having a blog on the company website drives 55% more visitors and 67% more leads for a B2B business. Corporate blogs can help to attract the right buyers. For a B2B business it is essential to provide accurate and relevant information. When brands create and promote great content, it gets shared and re-shared, establishing a more direct connection with the target audience. B2B brands may have finally realized the benefits of social sharing, but are they actually reaping the rewards or leveraging from it? There is no definite answer to this question because marketers who value social relationships will be willing to adapt to the social way of doing business, but there is still a percentage of marketers who refuse to accept that B2B businesses can benefit from social sharing. The table below highlights the use of social media by B2B marketers in the US from 2011 to 2014. (Data extracted from Statista)
With clear, measurable goals, B2B businesses can effectively measure ROI through social sharing. For a B2B business, a successful campaign delivers both brand awareness and leads. The product offering is often complex, and not easy to promote through social messaging, so the communication needs to be relevant to buyers and highly scrutinized. As we can see from the above table, LinkedIn and Twitter have proved to be the most effective and widely used tools for B2B marketers in last 5 years. But in-spite of the above statistics, 65% of the marketers have not promoted nurturing campaigns through social sharing. But based on recent research, it is anticipated that B2B social campaigning will see a 28% growth in upcoming years. 2014 just saw some of the best B2B digital campaigns ever. Let’s take a look at computer giant IBM.
IBM and Wimbledon
In 2014, IBM employed all possible digital channels to talk about its 25 year old partnership with Wimbledon Tennis. Its intention was to drive social conversations about the brand and increase fan involvement. Ultimately, the campaign helped the brand drive revenue. The result: 84,000 web views and 144 press mentions.
Knowing what to share and when to share is the key to marketing success. B2Bs can engage audience effectively if they develop a broader and exciting social content plan. The objective of B2Bs has to be brand awareness first, and lead generation second.