Social media is a cornerstone of B2B marketing—84% of B2B marketers are using social media in some way, and with all that social outreach happening, marketing teams are challenged to churn out new content ideas.
But if all that content isn’t leading to conversions, it’s time to make a change.
B2B marketers need to utilize social content that converts.
B2B marketers need to utilize social content that converts. It might be nice to have thousands of Facebook fans and hundreds of Twitter followers, but if those prospects are simply “clicking” and aren’t engaging with your brand, having conversations with you, and ultimately entering your sales funnel as qualified leads, a lot of the potential of social is left on the table.
Here, we’ll talk about how to use your audience demographics, social post performance, and trends in your industry to gather ideas for content that works—and converts.
1. Use Audience Demographics to Gather Social Media Content Ideas
Your audience has needs and wants and if your product meets those needs it’s up to you to get the benefits across to them.
Chances are you’ve already gained an intuitive understanding of your audience. This can come across from communications with your current customers. From your interactions with them you often know why they’ve bought your products and services, what attracted them to your company, and how relationships have evolved over time.
However, if you want to increase the ROI of your social content by adopting a targeted approach, it’s worth taking the time to look more closely at your audience demographics. When reaching out to prospects via social, every feature—from company characteristics to the buying mechanics typical of your customers—may make the difference between social media marketing campaigns that bring in new customers and those that miss the mark.
Here are some ways to utilize your audience demographics to create higher-yield social content:
Revisit your buyer personas and customer profiles.
Take note of your loyal customers. Understand their buying habits, the characteristics of both point persons and the companies at large, and any quirks that arise in your relationships with them. Brainstorm with your marketing team about aspects of your ideal customer profiles that haven’t been previously emphasized in your social campaigns, and think of ways—based on both customer feedback and future goals—you can tap into those things. Crafting social content that addresses customers’ specific needs will likely do well with future, similar buyers.
Segment by both “firmographics” and by customer buying behaviors.
“Firmographic” segmentation tells you a lot—company size, location, and point person roles—that will help you create social content that speaks to each customer. However, a deeper understanding of the mechanics of your customers’ buying procedure, including the factors that influence their purchases, the buying approval chain-of-command, and the types of social media posts and gated content that draw them into your sales funnel, will make your social campaigns much more effective.
Increase participation in social groups as a listener.
An active presence in LinkedIn Groups, Google+ Communities, and Facebook Groups can help you stay on the pulse of what your prospects wants and needs are. By investing time in social listening, you won’t be left out of the conversations your prospects are having.
Investigate your competitors’ customer base.
Your competitors might have publicly-available case studies or web copy that reveals who some of their customers are, along with some insight about the tone, style and consistency of content those customers respond to. All of this can be invaluable info for your company—not to directly copy of course, but to keep in mind as you customize your lead generation approach.
Have a roundtable discussion with marketing employees and sales staff.
You never know who will have an idea that will spark new life for your social campaign. One of your salespeople might have noticed a certain trend among recent customers via social media or in-person interaction, and it might translate well into a certain tone or a new direction for LinkedIn content or Twitter posts. Or, a marketing team member might have studied some blogs that are frequented by your prospects and share certain distinguishing characteristics (long vs. short, in-depth vs. topical, newsworthy vs. evergreen). Meeting to review these insights can lead to stronger social media initiatives and improved response and conversion rates.
Institute employee advocacy.
Have some ready-to-share content available to company employees, and encourage them to distribute that content every now and then via their own professional social outlets (e.g., via LinkedIn). This will only increase the reach of your brand. The more you pay attention to your audience and what they’re already telling you, the more your social content will work the way should—generating leads and opening up your sales funnel to an ever-widening array of customers.
2. Use Post Performance to Inform Effective Social Content
Creativity is a cornerstone of marketing, but the wheel doesn’t necessarily need to be reinvented. One of the best ways to increase social content ROI, is to let your best social content from today inform your future content!
This underscores the value of tracking the performance of all your social posts. Only by defining KPIs that matter and refining social content accordingly will you ultimately turn social leads into fans and followers.
Here are some of the KPIs you should measure post performance against and keep in mind for upcoming posts:
- Social conversion rate. Let’s start with the obvious—it’s important to look directly at how your campaign, via each social outlet, is resulting in new conversions.
- Engagements. These could be comments, shares, reviews, and questions. It’s important to know that prospects aren’t just seeing your content, but are taking the next step to interact with you through it.
- Traffic. Think about sources of traffic to your social presence and traffic from your social profiles to your company website. Knowing where prospects are coming from can help you design social content that both reaches them where they are, and compels them to invest more time in learning from your company directly.
Another important aspect of your social content is how well it’s in tune with your industry. You’ll want to keep in mind these aspects of social as you review past posts and create future ones:
- Keywords. The words you use to attract visitors and improve SEO still matter. Make sure you’re using industry terms that let your prospects know you understand their needs and know what you’re talking about.
- Competitor tactics. You of course want to differentiate your marketing from competitors, but keeping an eye on the type of posts and qualitatively assessing publicly-available engagements with their customers might bring to light some ways you can strengthen your social outreach.
Using a social media management tool is instrumental in the process of keeping tabs of your social post performance, as well as monitoring industry changes over time to keep your social campaigns strong.
3. Infuse Your Social Media Content with an Awareness of Industry Trends
Are your prospects flocking to a new technology or process? Are they revamping the way they do things because of new, popular research findings?
If any of those things are true, it’s important to make sure your social media outreach reflects them.
It’s important to keep up with the ebb and flow of industry change, and such things should be prominent throughout your social content, alongside “evergreen,” stable topics. 86% of Twitter users—that’s almost 9 out of 10—utilize the network to get the news, proving that a sizeable portion of your social prospects are interested in learning about real world happenings that will affect them. And being the provider of that info, specifically for their industry, can help drive your social conversions up.
There’s a few things you can do to keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends, and translate that to effective social content:
Integrate the live networking events you attend with your social marketing strategy.
In fact, don’t just attend such events—present at them! Conduct original research from the sales data you have, along with customer insights and your opinions on big trends, and present them to your prospects. In-person networking adds a human touch to your marketing, and is an important part of presenting yourself as a thought-leader in your industry. Of course, encourage your prospects to connect with you via social.
Stay informed through blogs and webinars in your industry.
Industry blogs and webinars can be great firsthand sources of trends and big happenings. Whether it’s a giant merger or a new standards in efficiency procedures, you should be among the first in your market to know about it—or at least, the first to share the knowledge with your prospects via social.
Use software to monitor industry movements.
If you have a social media monitoring tool that keeps you abreast of industry news, you have an indispensable ally at your side. Oktopost lets you monitor several streams of information, including social channels and blogs, to help you discover what people in your industry are talking about, as the conversation unfolds in real time.
As you identify industry happenings and trends, make sure your social media content calendar is flexible enough for you to insert a status update, Tweet, or new discussion group topic without overloading your current content stream and overfeeding your audience.
In addition, add your own perspective on those industry trends. Providing a unique interpretation of the news, beyond simply reporting it, is part of what will compel prospects to follow you and eventually convert to paying customers.
Social content ideas are on hand—if you know where to look.
Knowledge is power. And knowing where and how to gain new ideas to drive your social campaigns forward and increase social media conversions relieves much of the pressure of creating high-performing, impactful content.