Most part of the success of your B2B social media strategy gets designed at your own level, and you need not to depend totally on your social media agency, to find that fit. Knowing what you should be asking out of your social media campaign ROI, is the half win.
It’s stupid to talk which social media platform(s) should you start with, and it’s double the stupidity setting your measures of success & failure in the number of Likes or Followers, especially in B2B cases.
A decent B2B digital marketing agency understands that B2B businesses are the delicate accounts to handle where usually owners are the sole point of contact and shall be largely depending on the agency to understand, interpret, and revise the social strategy for long term success.
But IMHO, the marketing agency must also try to educate the client on the various strategic options, with what outcomes to expect from them respectively, and set a crystal clear goal ahead of starting to reach at the end that both client & agency desire. So I believe not alone B2B entrepreneurs, but even digital marketing agencies will find my this article useful.
The lack of a crystal clear purpose is the single most crucial reason why most of the B2B social media marketing campaigns fail. The simpler you keep it, the easier you’ll be able to see the path ahead. And below is the first secret to your b2B success.
0. The Secret.
Influence the demand. Period.
Many of the B2B social media campaigns start with variety of objectives, like having a social presence, building a community around your brand, or cultivating the relationship with your target audience group (ie. Decision makers) during their informal hours of the day; however most of these objectives are designed to fall flat.
Because these so called goals will take you to a point where you won’t have a clear answer when at the end of the campaign your accountant will ask you, “Sir, fayda kya hua?” (ie. Sir, how did it benefit us?).
So focusing on influencing the demand should be your true North.
That’s the best way you can utilize your social media marketing budget, but I accept it can still get tricky in some extreme cases.
Otherwise in most of the cases the B2B supply chain (ie. From manufacturer to retail consumers, and everyone in between) end up at a retail consumer, who’s the reason why the entire chain exists. Thus it is quite possible to influence the consumer demand with a right story in place, and a well thought strategy. So…
1. Have a solid core brand story
Check this CEAT Tyre commercial, “Roads are filled with idiots.”
Did you get the core story?
If you thought anything else than “CEAT Tyres can be life saving.”, you need a positioning consultant.
A solid core story makes your marketing communication easy to understand for the consumers at the end of your supply chain that how your product fits into their life, and how valuable that ‘fit’ is. In fact, in the case of this CEAT Tyres TVC above, it looks like a B2C campaign, and it’s all due to the right story in place.
Beside this, VIDEOS should be one of the most important part of your digital strategy, because you’re not alone who thinks you’re in a boring business, even those consumers whom you are targeting, considers likewise.
So video based story servings could actually help you break the stereotype and gains eyeballs, and deliver your story perfectly. Now…
2. Find the Right Agency
The biggest challenge you’ll find is to communicate your purpose discussed above, with your digital agency, because most of the media agencies are like engineers who talks in inches & centimeters, and cannot relate to your purpose.
They usually do have predefined offerings, and sometime I feel, as part of my industry, that it’s cheap of us marketers to offer predefined solutions to new problems, by copying-&-pasting B2C strategies for everyone.
In fact we aren’t willing to ‘Un-Learn, and Re-Learn’ on case to case basis.
Ok, let’s call it ‘lazy of us’, if cheap was too harsh, boys.
Anyway, so spend a decent amount of time making sure your agency understands what you want out of your social media campaign.
A simple hint is to go with someone that talks, branding/positioning/value instead of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Offended? See my point is digital marketing tools are same for everyone on earth, so a human’s (the marketer) perspective & strategic approach makes all the difference.
Great warriors are not judged by the weapons they use.
3. Outsource 90%Work Only
Setup an internal digital team which can translate the technical lingo for you, and help you understand what your media agency is delivering.
I recommend this not only to B2B but to any client since if you are the only point of contact for your digital agency, and you have tons of free time, you can thrive.
But in most of the cases otherwise, business owners have many different things to handle, and thus the quality of communication with your digital marketing agency starts dropping.
When you start saying OK, Good, Yes, Will revert; to most of the emails, know it that you need an internal help.
Most of the agency relationships fail because clients adopt for “Wait, Catch, and F**k” approach, instead of, “Understand, Interrupt, and Correct” approach, and that happen mostly due to lack of time & focus a business owner can allot to the agency.
First approach is destructive, and second one is constructive. The first approach means you don’t trust your team, and second one tells that you want to make best out of your team.
In fact there is no reason why anyone should pay and focus on finding faults to end up with a broken agency relationship. That isn’t smart.
Hope it helps.