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Digital Strategy

At this point you should already realize that social media isn’t just a place where friends and family connect, share photos and like posts.

Social has become a repository of knowledge, similar to the search engines, but more affinity driven by relationships and trusted sources.

If you want to know who to use for internet law, who can help you with an ESOP or what company is building quality apps, then social is a great place to get real feedback and reviews from people who have ACTUALLY used those services or know their work.

A B2B Social Media Strategy

Understanding how your target customers are using social media is key to gaining visibility, providing education to and engaging with these targets.

  1. Customers are asking their network for recommendations
  2. They are qualifying your company on social media
  3. These targets are educating themselves on your products & services

Has Anyone Heard of this Company?

A go to question asked by many business owners, executives, directors, buyers, managers, etc.
This is very powerful.

If an executive reaches out to their network asking for personal feedback on a company and one of their peers responds with good things to say, then you are on your way to landing new business.

While not every business will get a personal recommendation, if you have been marketing yourself well, then someone will at least know of you and respond with something like “I’ve seen this company and they look like they know what they are doing.”.
This is the next best thing, because you have built a small amount of social capital and trust with this target.

This stage of discovery is very important and completes the infinite loop of growth through marketing, which you can see clearly in our content marketing funnel (which is more of an hourglass), where past customers become salesmen for your business.

Who Are You Really?

Once a customer has been made aware of your business, whether it was from a referral on social media or they got nothing on social and asked the wise search engine Google, they will absolutely look your company up on social media.
Again this is a critical B2B Social Media step.

While the majority of B2B product & services companies are served well on LinkedIn, it is important to understand that these same customer targets have social profiles on many platforms and will look to find you where they are at in the moment (this could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest in addition to LinkedIn).
Plus, you will have a more diverse result in the search engines with a cross-platform social media presence. More results, Knowledgegraph inclusions, image results, Twitter feed, etc.

These customers will look to see if you are a legitimate business and size you up to see if you are a good fit.
Questions like “Are they too big?”, “Are they too small?”, “Do they think like I think?”, and many more. This is where being clear on your own brand and business is important, because it will qualify buyers for you in a very efficient way, driving better leads into your sales funnel.

At this point two main things will happen.
A customer will contact you via phone, form submission or email (they will find this info on your social profiles, if you have built them out completely).
Or the customer will educate themselves more on a specific product or service.

How Will Your Product or Service Help Me?

This is what most businesses think of as soon as they hear B2B Social Media or Social Media Strategy.
And rightfully so, because it is so critical.

Customers need to understand:

  • What problem you solve
  • What you sell / solution you provide
  • How it works
  • Why it fits their needs
  • Why you are better or different
  • Your process

Social Media is a great place to get this clarifying, compelling and enlightening content in front of prospective buyers.
These customers are comparing you to your competitors and the more you can educate them, the better chance you have of winning that business.

While you will want this content to primarily live on your website, social is the channel you will distribute this educational material to ensure it gets seen and gets the buyer back to your site where you can convert them or reach back out and communicate in other ways.

Types of B2B Content for Social Media

  • Blog Posts
  • Whitepapers
  • Ebooks
  • One Sheeters
  • Video
  • Infographics
  • Research Papers
  • Webinars
  • Case Studies
  • Podcasts

Depending on your product or service the mix of B2B content types will differ and the tactical strategy for each channel can be tailored as well.

B2B Social Media Research & Tactics

As with any marketing you should conduct research to identify key information to that will guide the marketing efforts. B2B Social Media is no different.

Our recommendation is to take the research beyond social as well by using Google search query data (the keywords) and pair it with social media research on your target customers social platforms, including the less thought about forums and groups such as Quora and LinkedIn groups.

Creating an inventory of who your target prospects is very important and taking this even further by identifying the stakeholders in those companies and engaging with their personal accounts on social will drive massive results.

This leads us to a few specific tactics that we recommend for a superior B2B Social Media Strategy.

Following and engaging with the business accounts of your prospective customers, the individual accounts of the decision makers of those businesses and the same for your current customers will create much-needed visibility, awareness, affinity and trust with the organizations that you want to do business with.

  • Like, Comment & Share Posts
  • Favorite, Reply & Retweet
  • Like & Comment using Video

This exposes you to the businesses you want to work with and gets your customers talking about you more, while at the same time you are indirectly getting in front of other potential customers who also engage with the same companies you are targeting.

This works like a charm and very few businesses are doing this!

You can learn more about our approach to social media here: http://acumenstudio.com/social-media-marketing-agency/

How Do I Know If It’s Working?

To be 100% Honest, this isn’t easy for most businesses.
Tracking, monitoring, analyzing, measuring and reporting to identify an ROI on your B2B marketing and social media efforts takes using platforms that can help you measure impact, attribution, and sales.
Most businesses are not equipped to do this (as are most marketers!).

You will either need to educate yourself on using platform specific social media analytics, social media tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, SproutSocial, etc. or hire an agency to help you with this.

What we can tell you is that social media for B2B companies Pays Off BIG!

 

Download a Social Media Case Study Below to Learn More

Or, You can give us a call now at 866-357-7422 to talk.

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We often see companies, agencies and marketers using the term Marketing Strategy interchangeably across a broad number of initiatives and tasks that are really different from each other and need to be defined as different up front to make sure everyone is on the same page which will eliminate work overlap or double up and make the work more effective.

Where we see this the most is a B2B business has Strategic Objectives where part of solving for those objectives is having a B2B Marketing Strategy and to solve for that marketing strategy you need a B2B Marketing Tactical Strategy and finally you’ll need to execute the tactics that are a part of the tactical strategy.

 

That’s a Mouthful! But let’s break it all down through an example.

 

B2B Marketing Strategy

The B2B Marketing Strategy should support the businesses strategic objectives by giving a clear plan as to how it will accomplish this overall.

 

For example:

A Manufacturer wants to launch one of their products into a new market in the next year.

They need to achieve $200,000  in sales by the end of the first two quarters to feel the new market will be sustainable.

The sales team tells the marketing team that they will need at least 4 leads per day to close that sales number.

 

The Marketing team would need to know several things…

  • What is the product
  • What is the target market
  • What is the budget for the marketing initiative

The Marketing team would then create a plan that reads something like “Over the next 30 days we will build a campaign plan that uses this message, includes these assets, targets these buyers, using this ad spend budget, with a goal of generating this number of leads per day”

 

Obviously it has more detail, but you get the point.

There’s your Marketing Strategy.

 

B2B Marketing Tactical Strategy

The Tactical Strategy should support the marketing strategy in it’s goal.

 

For example:

The Marketing Strategy was “Over the next 30 days we will build a campaign plan that uses this message, includes these assets, targets these buyers, using this ad spend budget, with a goal of generating this number of leads per day”

The Individual Marketing Team Members would need to know several things…

  • What is the goal (x number of leads)
  • What is the ad spend budget)
  • What is the target market

Those team members can then research their available platforms to identify where the best opportunity is for targeting and distribution to reach those goals and come up with a Tactical Strategy that reads something like “We will use these platforms, with these ad types, targeting this criteria (keywords, geo, industry, company, job title, etc.), using these budgets for each of the platforms, which will generate this number of leads per day.”

 

Again more detail would exist, but again you get the point.

There’s you Tactical Strategy.

 

So then all that’s left is to get approval and execute on the tactics of the tactical strategy, which satisfies the marketing strategy that satisfies the business strategic objectives.

 

Are you interested in having someone work on your Tactical Strategy?

 

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The Project Shuffle – When One Client Takes Priority Over Another

The project shuffle – gets tedious and exhausting, doesn’t it? However, it happens more often than not when you work in the constantly changing digital marketing landscape. This is where your project management skills are put to the test. It is where you learn the quirks of the client and how to move the processes along with each task to meet the deadlines.

 

How Do You Prioritize with Project Management?

Determining priorities with client projects means that you have to sit down and take a look at the bigger picture. It is not the simple shuffle of tasks that will make things run smoother, its the negotiation in your mind that tells you okay this makes sense and it will not interfere with the workflow. That it will benefit the team.

  • Read the client contracts
  • Learn your client’s quirks and what they pay the most attention to.
  • Sit down with Team Members to discuss tasks at hand.

 

Agreeing On What Needs to Be Reprioritized

Project management with multiple clients is not just about you and the client. The bigger picture is to make sure that projects are getting done correctly and efficiently without overloading team members with tasks for that project on top of other client projects. When it comes down to making these changes, an internal meeting with all team members involved is important. Sit down, write out what is happening on a whiteboard, and reach a consensus as to what can be put on hold and pushed back. More often than not reprioritizing can be difficult if one team member is responsible for major portions of work and already has a lot on their plate. Talk with them and discuss what can be done to alleviate the stress and make it possible to reprioritize projects.

 

Talking it out with all team members involved is more important than just deciding on your own as the Project Manager.

 

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Project management tools come and go. There are those that work for a while and then they lose their value as your workload increases and the functionality does not meet your needs. This is why I keep my project management starting at a basic old school technique of my trusty notebook and pen while using the Wrike project management platform.

 

As 2019 rolled around we gained a handful of new clients and that meant my workload doubled within a short amount of time. In order to keep up with the fast pace of an increasing workload, I continued using my notebook and list system to keep track and prioritize items that I had to check and follow-up on in Wrike.

 

The 6 steps I take every morning to manage daily tasks

  1. Make coffee (the most important step)
  2. Sit-down and go through emails
  3. Make my to-do list
  4. Discuss priority items with specific team members
  5. Go through current Wrike tasks for clients and check-in
  6. Create new tasks in Wrike and assign them out.

 

Repeat this step as needed and daily. It helps me keep track of progress and what is moving forward or on hold. Missing those important emails in the sea of subscriptions and newsletters will push you back in progress on projects. Not everyone works in the same time zones, some people get started on work super early, and some work late into the night.

 

It is also important to understand that when managing multiple clients with various projects, that not everything can be done at once and that prioritizing is important. Each project has its differences, but the best thing to do is to sit down, organize, and get things together before seizing the day. Think strategically about how the workflow will play out for not just you, but your team as a whole.

 

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You are working on reporting for a client and you open Google Ads to look at the conversions for the last 30 days, the cost per conversion, etc. You then go look at All Conversions by going to the tools section, measurement then conversion expecting to find the conversions you set up. But instead, you find these new Google Hosted local actions that are generating a higher number of conversions.

 

If you’re like most digital marketers, you were in that situation and found these new conversions in your Google Ads account. Sure, the more conversions are great but if they aren’t an accurate representation of the work you are doing, you probably don’t want them being reported on.

 

That’s the position we found ourselves in, however, we have not successfully found a way to remove these without contacting Google support OR even figured out how to get these conversions to show up for all of our accounts. So that leads me here, writing this blog on how I think these might show up in some accounts but not all and what they mean.

 

Here is Google Ad’s explanation on what each of these conversions means https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/9013908?hl=en

 

Depending on the company, some of these conversions will be more helpful to you than others. For us with B2B, the only one of these local actions we would justify as “accurate” and “relevant” is website visits.

 

After a lot of digging, I found that the accounts with these Google Hosted local actions (sometimes) only show up if their Google My Business is linked with their Google Ads as a local extension.

 

The accounts showing these Google hosted conversions were linkedin Google My Business under linked accounts.

Google My Business Linked Accounts Linking Accounts

Be careful, because even if you think the accounts are synced, they may not be linked. After adding a local extension for an account, that business showed up in this section. BUT, still do not have the Google hosted conversions showing up in the Google Ads account. *eye roll*

 

So here we are. Still reading forums and asking questions to try and figure out how these conversions show up in some accounts and not others and how or if they can be removed.

 

These are the things that keep marketers up at night am I right?!

 

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Are you struggling to understand how B2B Social Media and B2C Social Media are Different?

Some marketers believes that there is no difference, but if you’re in the the B2B space then you know that is completely wrong.

But what is it about B2B Social that is so different from B2C?

 

John Bracamontes of Acumen Studio breaks down the strategic & tactical differences between the two in this video.

 

How is B2B Social Media Different From B2C Social Media?

In general it’s about providing different types of information.

But more importantly it’s about understanding your business goal and what you want Social Media Marketing to do for you.

For most Mid-Size B2B Companies the goal for Digital ( and  B2B Social Media ) is to generate leads.

This is where most B2C marketers fail because they don’t think like lead generators and sales closers!

 

Watch the Full Video to learn Exactly How they are different and HOW YOU can do this well for your company.

 

 

If You Want to Speak With Someone About Generating More Visibility, Leads and Sales for Your Company

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At it’s core Remarketing is the ability to show ads to individuals who engaged with one of your digital properties.

How most people are familiar with Remarketing is with B2C ecommerce. The perfect example is when someone looks at a product on Amazon.com and then sees the ad on other websites they visit (the ad follows them around).

The premise is that those who visited and didn’t purchase will see again what they were looking at and will choose at that moment to complete their purchase by clicking on the ad and finishing the checkout process.

 

But How Do You Use Remarketing for B2B Businesses?

In theory the idea is the same where you targeted those who previously engaged with you to turn them into customers or get them to buy more from you.

Listed here are the ways you can retarget individuals:

  • Tagging & Tracking Visitors from Your Website
  • Uploading an email list of leads or customers
  • Uploading a physical mailing list of leads or customers

 

When using the Tagging & Tracking method you are using a pixel or cookie (code the browser uses to track the visitor) that will allow you to show ads to those same visitors across the internet.

Uploading email lists and/or physical mailing lists let the platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google) run a matching algorithm to find those users in their target pool to show those contacts on your list, your ads.

This is one of the easiest ways to get in front of leads and existing customers at the lowest cost.

And this targeting method is highly effective as the leads & customers already have some affinity for your company.

 

How Else Do B2B Companies Use Remarketing?

One of the most compelling ways we use remarketing for B2B is to use the targeting capabilities of one platform to extend that criteria across onto other platforms.

Not all ad platforms have the same targeting criteria available to choose from, so we will use the targeting criteria of one platform to drive in visitors and them remarket to those same visitors on other platforms that don’t have the targeting criteria we need.  This way we know the audience being targeted on the 2nd platform is specific to our campaign needs.

 

For Example:

LinkedIn will allow us to target a job title within a specific industry at companies with a specific number of employees.

Facebook does not give you this capability.

So we will target on LinkedIn, Retarget those same visitors on Facebook where you cannot target the industries and size of the company accurately.

 

Do this to increase your lead gen and revenue generation results when building our our B2B Content Marketing Strategy.

 

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Steps on How to Research Blog Topics

Did you know that nearly ALL CEO’s, Executives and Marketers answered YES when asked if they could come up with good blog topics.  But when they were immediately asked to give one good topic only 2 out 10 were able to give any topic at all!!!

 

Then when asked if they could prove if that was a good topic, 0% could prove it or even tell how they would prove the validity of the topic.

 

That is BAD NEWS for these companies.

 

What this typically leads to is inaction, meaning Nothing gets published.

We believe that something is better than nothing.

But having the knowledge to research and create Good High Converting Blog Topics is best.

Doing this research is easier than you think and will deliver 10X or more on your current content efforts.

 

The three important steps we’ll cover are…

  • Keyword Research
  • Social Media for Validation
  • Back to the Search Engines for Final Refinement

 

Start with Your Topic & Validate with Keyword Research

The easiest advice we give to everyone on blog topic research is to start with what YOU Think is a good topic. Typically you’ll come up with a decent topic that can be refined through the steps we’ll share with you here.

But if you are truly stumped to come up with even 1 blog topic idea then keyword research will also be your guide to choose a good one.

  • Come up with a blog topic of your own (example: Top 3 Print Finishes for 2018)
    • If you can’t come up with a topic list the product or service you want to sell more
  • Enter as many variants of the topic, product or service you can think of into the Google Keyword Planner (https://adwords.google.com/ko/KeywordPlanner)
    • Examples: 2018 print finishes, print finishes 2018, top print finishes, print finishing options, finishes for print
  • Look for keyword results with volume and modify your blog topic to include a higher volume variant
    • Example: We were shown “Printing Finishing Options” as the only keyword with volume.  In the related keywords section it shared with us that “Print Finishing” had a higher volume but that is more broad and included in your topic anyway.

Using this blog topic research model we would go with this topic: “Top 3 Printing Finishing Options for 2018”

You can see how we modified our original topic to include what / how customers are searching for this product / service.

 

Use Social Media to Refine and Validate Your Topic

Social Media is the greatest place to find real conversations for the topic you will be writing on.

These conversations will help you form supporting statements, rebuttals to arguments, and new questions or needs you hadn’t even thought of.

  • Use google to search for your topic on Quora.com
    • Use the site: command in Google to find conversations specific to your topic on Quora.com by including your highest volume blog topic variants ( example: site:quora.com + printing finishing options)
  • Read through the Quora.com results from your search and note good questions and answers from across the top 10 results for potential use as Q&A or examples in your blog topic.
  • Use BuzzSumo to find current relevant articles from across the web that may be trending to generate even more ideas to create greater value in your blog.
    • Example: Search “Printing Finishing Options” in BuzzSumo

  • Read through the BuzzSumo results from your search and note good questions and answers from across the top 10 results for potential use as Q&A or examples in your blog topic.

 

Go Back to the Search Engines to Refine & Finalize

Now that you have refined your blog topic through this comprehensive research and identified inclusions for the body of the blog post itself, it’s time to go back to the search engine to refine even more if necessary by manually looking at the search results to ensure you will show up, beat the competition and provide Massive Value to potential customers.

 

For example: Search in Google the term Printing Finishing Options

You need to identify if this search is bringing up relevant results to make sure that the search engines believe that the search term should result in pages that are listing options (or answers) to the term itself.  If you see results that don’t make sense to you then it may be that the term is not the best to be using as a blog topic and you should start over. Google for example uses behavior to rank results and if more people want to see results of a certain type that is what the search engine will show.

 

The other things to look for are..

  • Does the search engine show Maps Listing Results
  • Does the search engine show Image Results
  • Does the search engine show Knowledgegraph elements on the right side of the page

All of these things can affect if this is a good topic.

 

Each of the above listed elements can all be optimized for but for now just know that if the results are relevant then you have a good topic and your research will set you up for success.

 

Will This Really Help?

Yes!!!

Having done this research will give you the opportunity to be found first in the search engines, will get more potential customers clicking through from social media & email and will provide Huge Value to the people you want to do business with.

 

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90% of marketers say that Segmenting Your B2B Content Marketing is important.

BUT only 45% of marketers are actually doing this!

We’re not surprised by this because we know it’s not that easy.

The thing is that by doing this level of market segmentation will provide BIG Results.

It’s not our opinion, This is a Fact!

 

Here is a real example of how we’ve seen this work (and it’s really simple)

An Engineering company had a service that was specific to servicing public parks.

They wanted to get their offering in front of the decision makers who could hire them to do this work.

They wanted to run ads in specific cities to promote their service.

But that was it, run ads targeting all people in those cities.

 

BAD IDEA!

 

While targeting specific cities is a level of segmentation, it’s not even close to good enough.

They would have wasted a ton of money.

So we investigated with them further and found that the people they really needed to get in front of were Parks and Recreation Directors, City Managers and Mayors.

And guess what? We can target those people!

We put a campaign in place targeting All Three of those job titles on LinkedIn and Facebook. Created ads that messaged directly to them and led them to a landing page that again spoke directly to them.

City + Job Title = Winning Combination

 

“To be honest we went even deeper with them but we’ll keep it simple for our example.”

 

This is a perfect example of how this works.  Especially when this campaign was generating 5 – 15 leads per day for months!

Takeaways are to Know Your Audience / Customer / Buyer / Investor demographics, traits and characteristics so they can be targeted and Know their Pain Points, Questions and Philosophies so you can message them correctly.

 

Know Your Audience for Segmentation

This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of all because it will maximize your effort.  It’s getting in front of the right people.

  • Geography (country, state, city)
  • Industry
  • Company(ies)
  • Job Title(s)
  • Age Range
  • Sex
  • Etc.

These elements allow you to target very specifically, not waste ad spend and generate way more leads than you ever have in the past.

 

Messaging for Segmentation

Saying what they want to hear and need to hear.

For us message segmentation is more about solving a problem and speaking very clearly about how that is done.  We don’t fluff it up with ambiguous words that will leave people confused as to what you actually do.

  • What are current industry wide problems
  • What are trends your prospects are talking about
  • What problems do you solve that these prospects are facing most often
  • What does your prospect care about
  • What is your prospects asking most often?

Answering these questions leads to clear and compelling messaging for your campaign and content strategy.

 

If you have been struggling to create a content marketing strategy that actually delivers results, leads, customers and revenue then follow the steps we outline in this post or call us with questions if you need help.

 

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Do you know what channels produce the leads you get?

Do you know if Social Media is even helping your company grow?

Do you know if your Ad Spend is being Wasted?

Of course you don’t.

 

Not to be mean, but 53% of CEO’s and Marketing Leaders claim they don’t actually know how their marketing efforts are performing across all channels and when we surveyed these same people it was 87% who didn’t actually know how their efforts were truly performing.

 

Simply Knowing what efforts are delivering you performance leads to a 35% boost in results!

This is due to better decision making guided by these results and findings.

It is important to establish integrated tracking across all of your efforts and ensure that everything you do is attributable so it can be accounted for.

 

Audit Your Tracking

This is simple. If you aren’t tracking it then it doesn’t exist.

What we are saying is that YOU MUST track everything.

  • Simplify Tracking by using tag managment
  • Use pixels & tags available from each platform you are on
  • Ensure all traffic sources, pixels and tags are firing and tracking correctly
  • Establish tracked conversions and events (form submissions, click to call numbers, etc.)

 

Audit Your Conversions & Attribution

Knowing what parts of your efforts led to traffic, leads, customers and revenue is critical to making sound marketing and sales decisions.  And it mitigates wasted ad spend.

  • Define KPI’s that will guide your decision making
  • Create reports to easily view performance

The thing to remember is that all digital marketing is trackable and attributable so if you want to understand how your marketing is performing allowing for better decisions, better results and spend more efficiently then audit your digital marketing with a focus on tracking and attribution then set it up!

 

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