If there has ever been a time to optimize social media advertising strategy, it’s now. Every year, social media plays an increasingly prevalent role in the world of advertising, and it seems as though 2020 will continue the trend. We want to talk about three things you can do to improve your social media advertising starting today.
There is a myth about ‘boring’ industries and social media. Often, we hear B2B companies suggest that social media is reserved for those in beauty, fashion and other appealing industries. However, we believe that every industry has an opportunity to shine on social media.
Recently, we saw a great example of a ‘boring’ company doing well on social media: a pharmaceutical service based in Switzerland. Novartis could easily avoid social platforms, but it spotted an opportunity and is now reaping the benefits. Instead of using Instagram as an opportunity to shout about its brand, it draws attention to important causes, healthcare realities around the world, and other interesting stories. What has allowed it to succeed? The company has clearly focused on the content people want to see, rather than the content they want to push.
As another example, let’s say we’re about to launch an insurance company. In earlier times, our content strategy would have included sharing dull links and talking about business insurance. Today, we can think about our audience and cater to them instead. It might be helping business owners with advice and tips, it could be helping new homeowners with financial matters, or it may even be talking to pet owners.
The companies for which social media is off limits are slim to none, even if the nature of business isn’t inherently exciting. Think about the sort of people who need your service, and design the content and social media advertising around it.
Here are three ways B2B companies can work on their social media advertising and boost results.
While some will base their goals on acquisition, others are more interested in brand awareness. There’s no right answer here; just think about what you want from social media and every decision from this point forward will be made with a view to progress towards the main goal.
At this point, you’ll need to identify the most important metrics and KPIs. You can only do this if you’ve thought about your definition of success with regards to social media advertising. For those wanting to build leads through advertising, conversions and clicks are two important metrics. On the other hand, you want to look at reach, engagement, and impressions for exposure and awareness.
Remember, all goals in business should be SMART:
While it might be a good idea to gather ideas from social media advertising campaigns of other companies, it’s important to tailor the format and meditate on the desired outcome of your own campaigns.
Top Tip - Write your goals down. According to Content Marketing Institute, only one in three B2B marketers with a social media strategy have actually written goals down. It’s equally important to lay out a roadmap explaining how you plan to reach these goals.
Answer the following questions:
Knowledge of your audience is critical. If we could speak to all B2B companies looking to improve social media advertising, this would top the list of advice. Too often, we see clever ad campaigns go to waste due to a company reaching out to the wrong people.
Though there are millions on social media, not everybody will have an interest in what you offer. It’s better to have a list of 20 names who are genuinely interested than 100 names who aren’t. That’s why creating personas is so important. What are their needs? What’s their buying behavior? How do they act online? What are their interests? What is their demographic in terms of age, gender, interests and location? You might have more than one persona, which is perfectly normal. As long as you’re drawing up a specific strategy to meet the requirements of each, you’ll be progressing towards your goals.
Top Tip - Once you know your audience, create a personality for the brand. When creating content and answering the questions of businesses in your niche, use this personality so the reader will feel a warmth and familiarity with your brand. Avoid coming across as sterile in your content.
Even as a B2B business, it’s important to use a conversational tone in your social media content and advertising. If you can appeal to the humans operating a business, there’s a higher likelihood of success.
The third way to improve your social media advertising is to consider where you do it. If we compare Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, we find three very different audiences, ways of using the platform, and advertising techniques.
Especially as a B2B service, you aren’t dealing with end customers like a B2C service. With this in mind, you need to pay particular attention to where you operate online. Back in 2016, the Content Marketing Institute listed the following platforms in terms of effectiveness for B2B services (in this order):
While you might not be surprised to see LinkedIn at the top, seeing SlideShare above Facebook is certainly an interesting insight into B2B marketing. Generally speaking, the industry has remained very similar since 2016 which means that LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are where you should spend most of your time.
LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are where you should spend most of your time.
As well as following our advice, we also urge you to do your own research. The list above is generalized for all B2B services, so your list could look very different and you may need to invest in other platforms. What’s more, paying out for Facebook advertising might actually have the better long-term effect than LinkedIn because ads on the latter are significantly more expensive. As long as you’re catering strategy to your business, objectives and budget, you can’t go wrong.
Top Tip - Many B2B companies concentrate heavily on objectives. Though we’ll never undermine the importance of reaching objectives, there’s something to be said for building a relationship with your audience. In 2020, one of the best ways of achieving this is through video content. We’ve seen that YouTube is an effective advertising platform, and you can complement this with videos that demonstrate your grasp on your industry. You’ll gain authority and credibility, people will share all over social media, and your ads will have better grounding.
If you want to improve social media advertising this year, here are three ways to do it:
While some services will operate across several platforms, the smaller ones may just concentrate on one. As marketers and experts will tell you, there’s no one formula that generates results in this game, but there are plenty of wrong routes to take.
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