- Posted by Janina Bernardo
- On August 10, 2017
- 0 Comments
Many B2B companies have realized the benefits of social media to generate leads and ultimately close sales. While many have incorporated social media in their marketing strategy, it isn’t enough to stop there. These social platforms are dynamic and continuously strive to improve user experience to maintain high engagement rates. Thus, there is a need to keep up with new developments and tools to reach your audience. It’s a must to review your strategies regularly to remain effective. Here are some important trends that you should take note of.
Video Content Will Be King
Cisco reports that by 2019, video content will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the United States. A whopping 96% of consumers report that videos are helpful in making purchasing decisions. Because of this, social media marketers need to be prepared to transform their content strategy to cater to the preferences of their audience.
In fact, popular social channels are beginning to optimize their platforms to allow for more video content showing up in their users’ feeds. A recent study predicts that US digital video ad spending will reach $28.08 billion in 2020, up from $9.90 billion in 2016. While YouTube will continue to be the top video platform of choice, its dominance is expected to wane as Facebook and Instagram gain more traction.
If you are using Facebook as your main social media channel, you might have noticed the decrease in the social reach of text or images. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated that the social network is focusing more on native video content rivaling Youtube. Facebook’s algorithm now favors native videos and prioritizes them in news feed visibility. Nicola Mendelsohn, head of Facebook’s operations in Europe, opined that in five years time Facebook “will be definitely mobile, it will be probably all video.” Facebook also prefers original content creation over content that is simply shared from other accounts. But it’s not just about creating videos, they must be engaging and relevant to the target audience since Facebook’s algorithm now factors in the length of time the viewer spends watching, in addition to the shares it generates.
As a B2B company, videos that you should consider include product demonstrations, tutorials, thought leader interviews and customer testimonials. The type of video you show your prospects should depend on where they are in your sales funnel.
Many small business owners and startups are still intimidated by the cost of producing quality videos. But there are now a number of cost effective tools at your disposal to experiment with.
Improvements on Social Platforms to Benefit Marketers
Twitter recently created the ‘Moments’ tab, which allows B2B marketers the opportunity to use their Tweets to tell interesting stories. It’s basically a content curation tool that allows you to gather and share a collection of tweets about a specific topic. This is especially popular at the end of the year when businesses round up their most noteworthy Tweets. If you haven’t tried this new functionality, you can check out this guide.
LinkedIn has launched a new Company Page with a much cleaner design, allowing companies to better promote their business, develop relationships, and find leads. Because Google ranks LinkedIn pages in search engines, make sure your Company Page is written with relevant SEO keywords. You should also start to follow Company Pages of potential leads. Doing so will give you updates that may clue you in on the right moment to reach out and offer your products and services. If you haven’t set up your company profile, you can follow these easy steps.
Because B2B buyers are shifting to their mobile phones when doing research, Facebook has developed slick ad units called Lead Ads that easily promote events or downloadable assets such as a white paper. It eliminates the need for users to fill out a form by using pre-populated data which translates to more conversions.
Facebook’s superior targeting technology allows you to expand your target market through Lookalike Audiences. This tool uses machine learning to match your offerings with potential customers who are similar to those who visit your site or are already in your CRM.
Social Selling to Generate More Leads
Social selling simply means using social media to introduce prospects into your funnel. The idea is to utilize social platforms to find people who might be interested in your product and slowly develop a relationship with them by giving relevant information through content. B2B buyers are savvier than ever and are initiating the purchasing process on their own. They sift through product reviews, visit forums to find solutions, and evaluate how well companies are rated by their peers through social media. In fact, 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media. By the time they talk to an actual sales person, they’ve already made up their mind to try what’s on offer.
Although LinkedIn is the most popular platform when it comes to B2B prospecting, Facebook and Twitter are also becoming a viable source of leads. Here’s a breakdown of B2B leads generated through social media by Marketing Profs.
Social listening is all about anticipating signals to know when the prospect is ready to buy. This entails understanding the buyer journey, channel preferences and content consumption patterns. Monitor Facebook groups, relevant hashtags on Twitter, and online communities such as Quora for ongoing discussions that might be related to your company. If you feel that you have something valuable to offer, then jump in and join the conversation. This gold mine of data may present you your next opportunity to close a sale.
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