At The Marketing Optimist, we’re serious about social media marketing.
The approach to social content (and of course, social strategy generally) will differ greatly for businesses marketing to consumers, and those marketing to other businesses, as the desired outcomes are often different.
In this blog, we explore how to create B2B social content that converts, drives results, and provides you with a return on your social efforts.
The Basics & Defining the Goals of Your B2B Content
While many social platforms can be utilised for B2B marketing, to great effect, LinkedIn is an essential B2B tool, and an incredible way to reach professionals from every conceivable industry across much of the world.
We’ll be focusing on Linked-in throughout this blog.
The next crucial thing to establish is the goal, the outcome, of your social marketing.
For B2B organisations selling products, this will likely be sales, and for B2B organisations selling services, the goal is most often lead generation (enquiries). Occasionally, some businesses benefit from a blend of the two.
Yes, you want your social content to generate likes and comments too, but the real value lies beyond the social post itself.
Whatever the goal, whether it be sales, lead generation, or even a combination, the point of conversion is not on LinkedIn. It’s over on your website. It’s the page of the product or service you’re sending people to from your social posts, or a particular landing page you’re tracking.
The art of B2B social marketing is to create content so compelling, that the user will not only engage with it across social platforms, but follow through to your website and convert, providing you with valuable sales or leads.
Are you selling products or services?
What is your conversion point?
How can your social content drive users there?
Content for the sake of content, isn’t helpful. Targeted content, created with the audience in mind, generates results.
It’s essential to not only identify the businesses your organisation could sell to, but the specific role titles within those businesses with the authority to buy your products or hire your services.
Who are your commercial customers?
What kind of businesses are they?
Who within these businesses should you target?
Spend some time to use LinkedIn’s People Search function on your personal LinkedIn account, and connect with professionals with your target job titles, in sensible locations, to build your personal network of possible future customers.
The content you create and post via your LinkedIn business page will need to be shared to your personal profile, where this network of target customers can see it. Your content should drive your connections towards the business page, helping to increase its followers, and in doing so, widening the audience for your content with truly valuable contacts.
If your personal account is given admin permissions on the LinkedIn business page, you’ll be able to invite contacts from your personal profile over to the business page, to further increase its audience.
See how much rides on the quality of your content?
Creating B2B Social Content that Converts
When it comes to creating content strong enough to not only engage your audience in your social content, but drive them to your website towards your conversion point, this understanding of your customer base is essential.
What problem do your products/services solve for your commercial customers?
How can you appeal to the targeted individuals within these businesses?
How can you make your content speak to them, driving action?
In addition to this, when your connection requests are accepted, start to have a look at the content your targeted individuals are sharing, or engaging with.
Depending on the kinds of organisations you’re targeting, and their industry, different content types may be more suitable or reasonable to the individuals you’re trying to reach.
While written content may not be the “featured” content in each post, it is central to all social marketing. Identifying the correct voice to use across your social marketing is key.
Your brand voice is your business’s consistent character/personality, and the lasting impression prospective customers/clients hold of your business. The emotion with which you write may change per audience or content type but should not stray from the overall voice.
Of course, your brand will have an established voice already, however, if this voice doesn’t speak to your target audience across social, and help to build confidence in your products/services, your content won’t convert.
When it comes to crafting copy for B2B social content that converts, an authoritative, practical, helpful tone will help to establish credibility and trust in your business and offering, though this approach may change from industry to industry.
Other organisations have utilised a more bold, humorous, and even contrarian voice to great effect, when marketing to a commercial customer/client base that is accepting of a more unique voice.
Reserve colloquialisms, and a conversational voice for your personal brand, B2C social marketing, or your personal social profiles.
How can your voice best position you in your industry and that of your clients/customers?
How can your voice gain the trust and confidence of your prospective customers/clients?
How can your voice help to ensure conversion?
Think of each social post and its different elements:
The post (copy)
The link to the conversion point
The featured content, such as images/videos etc.
Remember, the copy is where you begin to appeal to the audience, it’s the substance, the detail.
However, substance and detail alone, in the real world of LinkedIn, where our feeds are awash with thousands of posts a day, has a habit of blending in.
Featured content, such as stock or business photography, infographics, and videos, can help you stand out on social feeds, and more boldly communicate an idea, or summarise the points explored in the post.
Videos specifically are a hugely effective way to bring an idea introduced in the copy to life, or to expand impactfully upon it.
With so many combinations of different content types to explore, there’s no shortage of ways to bring your business/products/services to life via LinkedIn social marketing.
A post, conversion point link, and image(s)/Graphic(s)
A post, conversion point link, and video
A post, conversion point link, and a LinkedIn article
A post, image/video and link to a blog
Blogs are a powerful tool.
When effectively written, a blog will drive users towards a conversion point, so when linking to a blog in your social posts, it should replace the conversion point link used in the post.
There are other content types to be utilised across LinkedIn too, such as articles and polls, each with their own benefits to explore.
Capturing Your Business in Content
There is a common theme running through the initial conversations we have with clients of our social media services.
Businesses often don’t know what to say, or what their content should include.
Despite an often-impressive knowledge of their industry, that of their clients/customers, and a firm grasp on the benefits of their products and services, it seems some businesses struggle to know ‘what’ to market.
Having established the different content types at your disposal, and with the many forms of social content firmly established, start by making a list of:
Each of your products/services
The benefits of them to the customer/client
The problems your target customers/clients experience
The problem your business and its offering solve for different customers/clients
Begin to think of content ideas that speak to each point you note down, thinking about the different content types that could help you drive your point home.
Let’s take a Commercial Waste Management business for example.
They likely have multiple services to explore in their social content (Sanitary Waste, Hazardous Waste, Industrial Waste etc), and can expose what each service entails.
To go further, they could explore the superior nature of each of their services, the benefits for commercial customers/clients, the cost of each service, any savings they can provide, and how their service differs from that of their competitors.
- Each service might have a dedicated video that explores the details of each
- Each service might have a dedicated infographic providing key details, and benefits
- Each service might have a blog and LinkedIn article dedicated to it
- Posts about each service might include pictures or videos of the business deploying the service
- Posts about each service might include testimonial infographics from existing clients of each
This could also lead to content ideas related to different areas of waste management, such as Collection of Waste, and Processing and Sorting. The whole process.
- A video of individuals from the business providing details about the whole waste management process
- A blog and a LinkedIn article exploring the waste management process
Even the industries they provide their services to, and their knowledge of Waste Management within those fields, could be great content to expose.
- Posts about how each service can help to solve problems encountered in each specific customer/client industry, with accompanying industry specific stock imagery.
- Video testimonials from existing clients within a range of industries, filmed in industry-identifiable locations.
- Alternatively, a video or infographic about general services could be used, alongside post copy targeting to specific industries.
Appealing to customers/clients who will be helped by the expertise the business offers, our waste management business could explore the waste regulations commercial properties must meet, and the requirement for commercial properties to tackle their waste effectively.
- Blogs and LinkedIn articles would be a great way to position themselves as knowledge leaders in the Waste Management field.
- Similarly, a video exploring regulations, and the way in which the service offered can help commercial buildings managers to meet their requirements.
- The business could ask their customers/clients to answer a few questions via a LinkedIn poll. The results of this poll could fuel further social content, or could be turned into evergreen content such as a white paper, on the need for a wider understanding of the importance of commercial waste management, or more frequent visits from waste management service providers, for example.
To further drive home their expertise, professionalism, and credibility, and to speak to a consideration many of their customers/clients may have, they could also consider creating content about how the organisation manages its environmental impact and handles sustainability.
- Picking out different key points via infographics and exploring further in the post copy.
- Blogs and LinkedIn articles exploring how the business handles this part of their operations.
- Guest blogs from local community groups working in the field of sustainability.
And this is only scratching the surface.
Ready to Create B2B Social Content That Converts
You see, the possibilities are endless.
With the basics established, you can prepare for social media success.
When you dissect your offering, you’ll find there is much to explore and expose, and a social strategy waiting to be born.
When you dissect your audience, you can ensure you expose your content in the right way, driving them towards conversion.
Ensure your website is set up to maximise conversions, follow the guidance in this blog, and you’re ready to create B2B social content that converts.