Why do you login to your various social media accounts? Is it to be entertained by videos and images? Catch up on the latest news in your industry? Engage with colleagues? My hunch says you do all of the above.
Nobody has time to sift through every piece of content on social media though. We quickly scroll through our feeds, bypassing updates that do not grab our attention. So how do we as social marketers create content that is not ignored? Here are some absolute musts for creating engaging B2B social content.
The content must be a balance between entertainment and education
Let’s look at marketing content as a spectrum. On the left we have lengthy and boring technical data sheets and white papers. On the right, we have funny videos, memes, and other amusing pieces. While we all need to push the left content to our audiences, we need to incorporate aspects from the content on the right to grab our audience’s attention. The middle of the spectrum is where we as B2B social marketers need to be.
Gary Vaynerchuck writes in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, “If we want to talk to people while they consume their entertainment, we have to actually be their entertainment.” But not only is our B2B audience looking for entertainment, they are also seeking information and new insights so they can be ahead in their industry. Some examples of good content for this include infographics, informational short videos, and visual SlideShare decks of key highlights. We must strike a balance between informative and entertaining content, such as the examples below.
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Tags: b2b marketing, facebook, linkedin, social media, social trends, twitter
Last week I had the privilege of attending and speaking at the Ad Age CMO Strategy Summit in San Francisco. It was great to spend the afternoon with hundreds of fellow marketers who were taking time out of their busy schedules to discuss how brands are innovatively delivering new, fresh ideas to their customers.
There were truly inspiring presentations by amazing brands such as Target, GoPro and Coca-Cola discussing how the marketing landscape is changing due to all the data we are can access and collect. Here are some of my reflections on the powerful marketing programs being deployed by some of my fellow CMO’s:
B2ME (Business to Me) Marketing is in, B2B or B2C Marketing is Out:
With the explosion of data, new target audiences, new media vehicles and new selling channels, understanding the individual behind who you are marketing to is extremely important. As Kraft Foods’ CMO Deanie Elsner pointed out in her presentation, there is a new era of “agile marketing” or marketing in a digital age, where we are moving from broad buying media to buying individuals – agnostic of medium – driven by fragmented media consumption on multiple devices. With all the rich, customer data available, brands need to provide the right message in the right medium at the right moment to stay relevant with customers to drive purchase decisions.
The Innovation Pipeline is Key to Growth and Differentiation with Brands
Target’s “Made to Matter” campaign is doing this well by cultivating a partnership of shared values. Target CMO Jeff Jones spoke on a panel with Neil Grimmer of Plum Organics and Eric Ryan of Method on how Target works with various leading organic, sustainable and natural brands like Plum Organics and Method, giving them a platform to launch their products and make them more accessible to the general public. In return, Target has been able to secure a pipeline of unique innovation to offer its customers. As a mom of three children and a frequent Target shopper, I personally love this campaign!
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Tags: b2b marketing, blair christie
In February 2012 179 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 38 billion online videos, according to industry research. Predictably, YouTube statistics are colored with consumer viewing behavior. But B2B online video viewing grew 27% from 2010 to 2011 and eMarketer estimates that B2B spending on online video will rise as much as 55% this year. Which makes it the fastest growing ad format in 2012. In fact, your B2B audience expects you to engage them via video. Companies that don’t utilize video as part of their marketing efforts are likely to use lead generation opportunities to competitors that do.
Having online video in your mix is a priority for marketing in the coming year. Here five tips to help you create compelling videos to drive your business:
Content is all around you – You already posses a wealth of content that can be reused, recycled and repurposed into online video. It’s tucked into the deep recesses and dank corners of your business. White papers, promotional materials, training videos, presentations developed for product briefings, keynote presentations given by your executive teams at conferences, panel discussions, interviews – the list is endless if you really look. Identify it, categorize it, and leverage it to engage your customers and prospect.
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Tags: b2b marketing, business video, Cisco partner marketing, online video, video, youtube
I was recently asked by a Cisco partner which social platform was better for B2B marketing – Facebook or LinkedIn? My response went something like this – We’re all using Facebook to connect and share with our family and friends and with 800 million users, Facebook is hard to ignore, but do we really want our professional networks and personal lives to intermingle to this extent? There is always the option to create a separate Facebook page solely for business purposes. However, these types of pages are more likely to be successful for B2C companies where the target audience is already a regular Facebook user and the product or service they’re selling is a lifestyle fit.
On the other hand, LinkedIn is a social platform designed specifically for the business professional. It’s used by over 160 million people worldwidewho did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches within the platform in 2011 and are set to surpass more than 5.3 billion this year. If I only had $10 to spend on social marketing and I had to choose between LinkedIn and Facebook, I would choose LinkedIn. The audience is more targeted, more qualified for the B2B technology market we focus on and the platform offers many ways to engage with this audience.
Here are five thoughts on how to maximize LinkedIn for business:
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Tags: b2b marketing, Cisco partner marketing, facebook, linkedin, marketing, social media, social media marketing
Sometimes as B2B technology marketers, we experience a little tunnel vision when it comes to our target audience. There’s a tendency to think that there is a hard line dividing business buyers from consumers; that the marketing methods we must use to reach our intended audience are so unique that they are unrelated to consumer marketing techniques and that practices from consumer-oriented marketing can’t possibly be applied to B2B buyers. As it turns out, IT decision makers have a lot in common with personal technology buyers when it comes to online behavior, media consumption and brand reception.
Consider these similarities noted from a recent TechTarget report and their implications for marketing:
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Tags: b2b marketing, Cisco, Cisco partner marketing, digital marketing, IT buyers, IT decision makers, online advertising, online marketing, TechTarget