B2B Social Media Marketing: 5 Reasons Companies Skip Social Media And Why They’re Wrong

January 28, 2015

Today we have a guest post from Carli Evilsiver, Marketing Coordinator at WTWH Media.

Social media marketing is becoming common across all types of industries, but some B2B companies are still hesitant to jump on the social media bandwagon. B2B companies have many reasons for believing they should not be on social media, but they are misinformed. Keep reading to find out why.

Photo courtesy of Carli Evilsiver, WTWH Media

Photo courtesy of Carli Evilsiver, WTWH Media

I’m not sure how to do it: Companies might avoid social media because they do not understand it. They are sometimes intimidated by social media marketing because it is new, changes every day and can be difficult to create a strategy for social media.

Solution: Companies should research social media platforms, learn the basics and determine which platforms would be a good fit for their company. A common mistake is joining every platform. Not only is doing so a lot of work – as social media needs to be updated regularly – but the audience may not be there. Prospective manufacturing customers, for instance, probably are not on Instagram. Companies can also seek out social media training.

 

I don’t have time: Possibly the most common and valid reason a company isn’t on social media is the inability to devote time to another task. Social media marketing uses time and energy to set up and maintain.

Solution: Marketers who have too much to do and too little time should consider outsourcing their B2B social media marketing. Outsourcing social media is a great option for companies who want to be on social media but don’t know how to begin or don’t have enough time. By handing over the responsibilities to a professional social media manager, companies can rest assured that their social media channels will be updated daily in the correct format. An added benefit of outsourcing social media is the analysis and measurement that an experienced professional can provide.

 

There is no ROI: Any time resources are invested in a project, a boss will want to know what their Return On Investment is. It can be difficult to determine the effectiveness of social media marketing and unfortunately some companies think there is no ROI from social media.

Solution: Every social media strategy should include specific goals and a way to measure success. Tracking likes, follows and re-tweets is just the beginning. Other ways to measure success include website clicks, downloads and other measurable actions originating from social media.

 

Social Media is only for B2C: A common misconception is that social media marketing is effective only for companies marketing to the end-user. They might believe social media marketing is just for fun, creative and sexy industries, or that their clients aren’t on social media. Many B2B companies set up a LinkedIn and think the other social media platforms wouldn’t work for their company.

Solution: Marketers should recognize that if social media is used correctly it is effective for B2B. Success on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter requires companies to share interesting and relevant content. A mistake many companies make is sharing only promotional content. They should be engaging in conversations and sharing based on their audiences’ interests.

 

I don’t have anything to post: Another reason companies avoid setting up shop on social media is the worry they don’t have anything to say. Companies don’t always realize the amount of content they have already that could easily be shared on social media.

Solution: Companies should follow an 80/20 rule when posting on social media. Only 20% of content should be directly related to the company while 80% should be industry-related news. Social media is a great platform to promote a company’s brand, share blog posts or send out press releases. While marketers should take advantage of the opportunity to promote their company they need to remember that the audience will get bored of sales pitches. Try sharing a funny blog post or a great article about something going on in the industry. The re-tweets and likes received will expand reach and could lead to more followers.


Email Marketing: Still a top performer

January 27, 2015

Do you know that the average office worker checks their email 30 times an hour? Can you imagine what the stats are for contractors out in the field?

The point is that emails are very acceptable ways of communicating with each other. The key is to have relevant and timely info for your prospect.

Heidi Cohen gives us several reasons why email trumps social media:

  • Email provides directly measurable ROI - You know immediately how many opened and read your message.
  • Email is content format agnostic - It’s user-friendly and you can use text, images, videos, audio, PDFs.
  • Email can deliver both long and short content – Content can vary from a link to several pages in length.
  • Emails you can control delivery - Whether it’s now or delayed.
  • Emails can be read on anything - Smart phones, tablets, laptops, no apps required.
  • Emails build customer relationships - Once someone allows you to communicate with them, it represents a certain level of trust.

So since you have such a powerful tool, we need to make sure we’re using it correctly to get the best bang for the buck. eMarketer, in a recent article, stated that we all should get ready for more personalized emails and companies plan on spending more money to accomplish this.

These triggered and transactional emails can be part of a nurturing campaign. The key is getting the right message in the hands of the right people at the right time. You need to ask the right questions to see where they are in the sales funnel so you can address that immediate need.

If we use and target emails correctly, whether you’re going after a contractor or a plant manager, the result improves with the more segmenting you can do. So do your homework and take advantage of a great marketing tool.


Why PR Should be a Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

January 21, 2015

Everyone today is so focused on Content Marketing that they may overlook an old standby, PR, that could help in getting that all-important content out there. Content marketing drives long-term thought leadership goals. PR can help you short-term to meeting these objectives. After all, both disciplines are working toward the same goals.

Here are a few reasons to use PR in conjunction with your content marketing program:

  • PR builds corporate credibility - Foster good relationships with key editors in your field and let them tell your story.
  • PR increases brand awareness - Use your new content to attract focused audiences and new leads.
  • PR makes your content team focus on your public - Instead of selling features and benefits, use fresh insights and angles on how others have solved similar problems. Be relevant and timely on issues.

If you like this post you might like:

8 Tips for Media Interviews

The Scary Side of PR


Do you have a B-to-B Video Strategy?

January 20, 2015

We are a visual society and it’s a fact that videos are a unique way of delivering your message to a targeted audience. B-to-B companies using this media sometimes are too set in the old ways (or another way of saying it, they want to present the facts and videos are boring). No wonder their videos aren’t being watched, those that are putting folks to sleep!

Videos can be a powerful tool for any manufacturer but they need to be done right. You need to have a video strategy before doing your first one. Don’t do them because your competitor is. Do them because what you have to say is relevant, timely and well done. Yes, people would like to be entertained a bit, but what they’re really looking for in our space is a solution to a problem.

I recently read a post by Jess Osteoff, managing editor of Convince & Convert, that talks about the 8 New BtoB Video Content Marketing Trends.

Here are some highlights:

  • It’s all about the experience - We need to capture the attention of the viewer.
  • People love to laugh - Think about the videos you’ve seen. I’ll bet most had some sense of humor included.
  • Problem solving - We must not get away from the real reason why they are watching.
  • Emotion trumps logic - Emotion captures their attention.

The key to a successful video program is first, have a strategy of what you’re going to say and how are you going to say it, and second, put yourself in the viewer’s shoes. Lighten up and make them memorable. Yes, it’s ok to have a sense of humor.


Are You Getting Your Fair Share of Customer Testimonials?

January 14, 2015

I have found that there’s no better way to position yourself as a credible source than by having a third party sing your praises. Most companies, if pleased with what you did or supplied, would be happy to not only give you a recommendation, but in some cases, a testimonial.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Keep the requests to unique applications or markets. This helps you focus on something that sets you apart.
  • Ask when the project is complete - when everything is fresh in every bodies mind.
  • Get proper clearances upfront - when dealing with bigger companies or unique situations, it’s smart to get an approval upfront and let the customer know what you want to accomplish and assure them that they will have final approval before it’s used. If you have a PR department or agency, they are used to vetting out potential before you waste time and resources.
  • It’s best you control the writing. Most customers are not writers, they’re contractors. Besides, they aren’t aware of the big picture of what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish. Write an outline of what you want to accomplish and then let someone interview the contractor and write the story.
  • Utilize info in multiple places – try to get it featured in a leading trade magazine. Post it on your website. Have a sell sheet made up for your salesmen to use. If you’re on social media, post it there with links back to your web. Here’s a good example of Viega that uses case studies very effectively.

ViegaMercyHealthProfileDon’t miss out on one of the best ways to have customers tell your story and build your credibility.


Landing Page Tips

January 13, 2015

Hopefully, as part of your strategy to move prospects along the selling cycle, you are using landing pages in order to deliver on what you promised. It’s also a great way to track responses. It could also be a way of losing a potential customer.

Here are some tips that might help results:

  • Keep it simple - Deliver on what you promised to get them there in the first place.
  • It’s not about you - How can you help them with a problem that got them there in the first place.
  • This is not an ad - They’re not looking for a sales pitch, but answers to specific questions.
  • Powerful content - Keep it relevant. Don’t focus on key words. Instead, make what you say useful and valuable.

Copybloggers infographic gives you some great pointers.

abcs-of-landing-pages-that-work-infographic

 

 

 

 

 


From MAGNET: Attracting and Retaining Manufacturing Talent

January 8, 2015

Each month we be feature a blog post from our friends at MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network). MAGNET’s mission is to support, educate and champion manufacturing in Ohio with the goal of transforming the region’s economy into a powerful, global player. You can visit MAGNET online at manufacturingsuccess.org.

Attracting and Retaining Manufacturing Talent

By Judith Crocker, Director of Workforce & Talent Development, MAGNET

Recent surveys of manufacturers consistently identify one of their top three priorities as workforce issues. Companies— regardless of size— recognize that a highly skilled, qualified workforce is critical to their success. Whether manufacturers are seeking to develop new products, enter new markets, or improve overall productivity, their workforce will be key to their ability to remain competitive and achieve their goals.

Companies that are successful in attracting and retaining talented people  realize they must be pro-active and become part of their workforce  solution.

Fewer young people are choosing manufacturing careers. They don’t know  the opportunities or the educational requirements.  Coupling that fact with  smaller numbers of students in high school means a smaller pool of qualified candidates for employment.

To overcome that obstacle, smart manufacturers are actively engaging with educational institutions in their communities, informing students, teachers, guidance counselors and parents about the many stable and well-paying jobs they have available.

Starting with middle school age students, these manufacturers are sending young scientists, engineers, technicians and machine operators to visit local classrooms and talk with students about their work.

Students, teachers and parents are also invited to open houses to see the inside of plants and facilities they likely drive by on a daily basis, but have no idea of what is actually taking place inside. They tour the facility, are introduced to the young professionals in the company and see for themselves what takes place at that facility.

Many manufacturers are also sponsoring teams for the FIRST Robotics or Robobot competitions giving students valuable hands-on experience and also the opportunity to work as team members with engineers, technicians, and scientists to solve technical challenges.

Promising high school students can be provided shadowing opportunities that could lead to summer work-based learning experiences and possibly part-time employment during the school year.  The students learn the company culture, its products, processes and customers and can contribute to the overall company goals.  Many students who start out as part-time workers in high school often progress to achieve consistently higher company positions, becoming supervisors, managers, and executives.

October will once again be celebrated as Manufacturing Month in Ohio. This would be an ideal time for you to start your proactive campaign to build your workforce of the future by sponsoring an event in your local community. If you start planning now, you should be able to hold a successful community event at your facilities this October.

Click here to read the original post.


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