There’s been a lot of buzz in the air at INBOUND16–from the celebrity speakers to the state of inbound marketing, we’ve had a lot of information and inspiration already! But breaking away from the buzz pack, there’s one phrase that’s being praised above everything else and that’s social media.
With the rise of account-based sales and marketing strategies, it should come as no surprise that the focus at INBOUND has been how to harness social media to move your buyers through the funnel in a highly targeted way.
So, why is this a huge theme? As social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk explained in his keynote, social media is coming in hot because attentions have shifted away from tv towards the phone. And think about it, most of us automatically open our favorite social media app whenever a tv commercial comes on. Essentially, wherever the most attention is, is where you should market—even for B2B.
I think INBOUND16 put a spotlight on how social media isn’t just about brand awareness. It’s becoming a powerhouse tool for impacting your businesses’ bottom line. We’ve had a lot of great tips on how to do just that, so let’s dive into the details!
Concentrate Your Social Efforts
Account-based social was definitely top of mind for our socially savvy INBOUND speakers. In his keynote, Gary V also spoke about how B2B companies are actually doing better than B2C brands with social advertising because of progressive marketing trends like ABM. He then added that early B2B adopters of ABM are enjoying this success because, “they know what they want, who to target, and have already identified the decision maker within that company.” Gary V then went on to express how he believed that hyper-segmentation of social media ads was the key to winning the attention of your buyers.
How exactly do you do this?
- Step One – Find out what your buyers want. This involves understanding the buyer’s journey well before you write a blog post, ebook, or tweet. In her session on omni-channel marketing Rebekah Radice, CMO of Post Planner, stressed the fact that 72% of B2B sales ends in a ‘no’ or ‘no decision’ because sales and marketing teams fail to understand their buyer’s pain points. A good place to get started on this path to understanding is to define what pain points your business can make easier before you start writing.
- Step Two – Focus on your target audience. Mass marketing has become a dying art form with the rise of account-based marketing and this step is all about concentrating efforts to display social content in front of your optimal audience. Michael Reynolds, co-host of the popular podcast Spin Radio, explained that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have made it easy for businesses to become segmented in their content targeting on social. These big 3 platforms allow you to define your target audience based on information like interests, job title, company size, revenue, and more. Using these parameters then enables you to serve more personalized content about the buyer’s journey (remember step one!) to the audience that cares about your subject matter. Pretty cool, right?
Creative Content is Key
If you build content, they will come. In his session on social media hacks, Wordstream founder and Inc Columnist, Larry Kim, built upon the foundation of social ads to say that they are empowered by our ‘content unicorns’. Unicorns, you ask? Let me explain, Larry has built this concept of content unicorns around the fact there are 3 very big challenges facing social content today:
- Organic social traffic is down
50% of content gets zero social shares
The typical conversion rate via marketing is <1%
Less than 1% conversion rate? 0 shares? What are marketers doing wrong?
We’re not harnessing the power of our content unicorns–the rare, pieces of content that have a high engagement rate before being boosted through paid social programs. Instead, we’re doing what Larry calls, launching ‘donkey rockets into space’. In other words, we’re using paid social spend to promote any ol’ content piece to a wide audience. Not good.
So, how does Larry think we should start hacking the system to launch only the great, unicorn pieces of content? The good news for marketers is that Larry believes every piece of content has the potential to become a unicorn. First, by being a timely piece of content. Use tools like Google ad words or Twitter search when you’re brainstorming content to understand what your audience is thinking and caring about.
Next, write your piece of content and launch your content spaceship by sending targeted social ads to specific audiences. This step involves putting together everything we mentioned above to ensure successful engagement with your ads. And lastly, Larry mentioned how the higher your engagement is with your social content, the lower the cost will be to promote it. Amazing!
If you want to learn more about targeted social media ad and need help launching your social strategy, we recommend checking out our free ebook, A Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Account Based Social Strategy. Happy tweeting!