3 Simple Ways to be More Effective in B2B Social Media Marketing (Part 2)

b2b social proof This is part 2 of a blog series on ways to be more effective with B2B social media marketing. Click here for part one. 

2.  Pay attention to your metadata

When most people think of content metadata, they are thinking about SEO. However, metadata can also be a big part of what drives engagement on social media. Many companies today post blog content without specifying an ‘exerpt’ or ‘meta description’ to be displayed on social media sharing sites. These small details, like the title of the article and the quick blurb that describes what its about, can really make a huge difference when it comes to engagement.

To learn more about sharing best practices and how to optimize your content to generate sharing, check out these tips from Facebook.

3.  Use visual information like infographics and video

If your in B2B marketing currently, you’ve likely been a witness to the amazing rise on popularity of visual content over the last few years. The huge amount of visual marketing content like infographics, videos, webcasts, Slideshare presentations, etc. out there today shows that companies are finding success with this approach. A recent blog from Atomic Research suggests that one reason for this may be that “Your brain processes images faster than text and attaching a graphic to your content can create a mental foothold for your audience, which will result in reads, clicks and leads.”

This means that anything you can do to make your content more visual will likely make it more engaging for your audience on social media. For more tips on creating visual content, you can check out Atomic Research’s article here. For more on video in B2B, you can read last week’s blog that discusses recent barriers to success.

For more tips on B2B social media marketing, you can read 3 Ways to Use Twitter More Effectively for B2B Marketing.

3 Simple Ways to be More Effective in B2B Social Media Marketing

b2b social media marketingIn March, a story came out that found that stated the average American adult now spends 11 hours with digital media a day. While some of that time may be spent doing tasks like sending emails or surfing news sites, a 2014 marketing survey found that “than one in four minutes spent (28%) using smartphones is using social networking apps.”

Because consumers now spend more time than ever before interacting with digital devices and engaging in all types of digital content, it is no surprise that the social media marketing industry is still growing at a near exponential rate. With so many businesses now competing for their customer’s attention via digital devices and social media, it can be hard for smaller B2B companies to break through the noise and generate real value from social media marketing.

To help you be more effective with your B2B social media marketing efforts, here are three things that we see to be working right now:

  1. Get active on Google+

Most people have heard this by now, but in case you haven’t, it is worth repeating. Google’s social platform, Google+, is now arguably one of the most important social media platforms for business. This is in part because of the close relationship between +1’s (Google+’s version of ‘likes’) and high rankings on Google’s regular SERPs. Essentially, the more +1’s and shares a piece of content gets on Google+, the higher it will rank in Google overall.

For more tips on using Google+ in B2B, you can check out this infographic that has great step-by-step instructions for getting started and offers advice on what types of content to share, how to find influencers and more.

Continue reading the second half of this blog.

Barriers to Successful B2B Video Marketing in 2014

b2b video marketing 2014Last month, the results of a B2B Video Marketing Benchmark Survey were published—showing that video marketing is on the rise in B2B, with 69% of respondents currently using the tactic.

For those that are engaged in B2B video, 82% reported experiencing at least some type of success in their efforts. While the other 18% prove that there is still room for improvement, this is a good sign for those who have been wary that video could work in B2B.

However, the survey shows that significant barriers remain to achieving success with video. The top barriers listed include:

  • No budget (47%)
  • Lack of internal resources (45%)
  • Creating compelling content (45%)
  • Lack of effective strategy (33%)

While it is unsurprising that lack of budget tops the list, the survey suggests the budget barrier may weaken over the next year as the majority of companies plan to increase their video marketing spend. But, the next top barriers on the list show that once budget is taken care of, problems remain.

“Lack of internal resources’, ‘creating compelling content’ and ‘lack of effective strategy’ all point to the same problem: lack of expertise. It seems that even if companies can find the budget for video marketing, they often lack the personnel, skill and strategy to really move the needle in terms of business value. They know they need to do B2B video marketing, but they don’t really know how.

It is no shock then, that “65% of B2B organizations outsource all or part of their video marketing campaigns, gaining the specialized skills and resources not available internally.

Companies that outsource video marketing generally gain several advantages. First, you don’t have to waste time figuring out what works and what doesn’t. The outsourcer has already done that and will offer their best practices, saving you countless hours and dollars. Second, hiring a full-time video expert might not make sense financially if your company only wants to make one video per quarter. With an outside agency or outsourcer, you gain all the skill and expertise needed without incurring the cost or risk of hiring internally.

To learn more about why B2B video marketing is a great idea in 2014, read this quick blog. Feel free to contact us with any questions, or check out our services page if you are interested in B2B video production and management.

How an Outsourced B2B Sales Team Can Help Your Marketing Efforts

outsourced b2b sales team In our last blog, we discussed some of the main challenges B2B companies are having with sales and marketing today. To summarize, the three main challenges are technology implementation and use, developing content that engages customers and proving marketing’s value in a business sense.

This blog will discuss three ways a B2B outsourced sales team can help your marketing efforts by helping to solve these challenges for their clients.

1.  They can tell you what types of content you need and what types of content you shouldn’t waste your time with.

Many B2B companies entering the complex world of content marketing know they need content, but they don’t what type of content works in B2B and what type is needed for their specific sales. B2B sales outsourcing teams generally have experience working with dozens of clients in multiple markets and industries and therefore can offer insights and best practices based on what has worked in the past.

For example, engaging in social media marketing can be a lot of work. A B2B sales outsourcing team can tell you which platforms are most and least effective for your solution or market, and save you from spending hours on Twitter when your customers use LinkedIn. An outsourced team can also help in optimizing the content you already have so it is more engaging for buyers. For instance, they may tell you to break up an hour-long webcast into 5-10 minute chunks, making the content more accessible and less overwhelming for those on a time crunch.

2.  They can help you use technology to make sure the content gets to the right people.

In addition to helping you create content that delights and engages your customer base, an outsourced B2B sales team can also help you to target the best decision makers and implement technology solutions to help manage and streamline the entire sales and marketing process.

In regards to complex software solutions like marketing automation, an outsourced team can help you through the implementation process and give you the do’s and don’t they have learned along the way. Additionally, they generally know how to integrate content with marketing technology through features like email drip programs, content/lead scoring and real-time alerts.

3.  Their reporting yields insights that enable you to quickly improve and refine as time goes on.

An outsourced B2B sales team should report on the work that they do. The type of reporting you receive may vary depending on what company you work with and what your specific sales and marketing goals are. For example, at Gabriel Sales, we provide our clients with at least 12 different types of reporting on a weekly basis—including conversion ratios, email campaign analytics, verbatims of cold calls, etc. We also have weekly or bi-weekly status meeting to discuss progress and needs for improvement.

With this level of detail and transparency, it becomes much easier for companies to understand the value that marketing efforts contribute to the overall business. With all of the relevant data in front of them, companies are able to make better choices regarding strategy, and spend less time trying to figure out whether or not something is working.

If you’d like to know more about the value of B2B sales outsourcing, read 3 Ways B2B Sales Outsourcing Can Turn Around Stagnant Sales. Feel free to check out our services page to learn more about what we do and how we can help.

B2B Sales & Marketing: Digital Challenges in 2014

b2b sales and marketingIt seems that B2B sales and marketing today is dominated by a whole bunch of acronyms that didn’t exist twenty years ago—CRM, SEO, MA, SEM, MLM, PPC, SMM—the list goes on.

As these acronyms suggest, the world we now live in is a digital one. In order to succeed and thrive in it today, companies need to not only be sales and marketing experts, but digital experts as well.

For many companies, entering the digital game has been somewhat of a struggle:

Struggle to implement marketing automation

In a 2014 report published by Regalix on the State of Marketing Automation in 2014, it was found that two of the top obstacles to implementing marketing automation were lack of expertise to use the data and intelligence offered by the tool (55%) and complexity of marketing automation software (34%). Additionally, the report found that it took 64% at least six months to see results from their marketing automation implementations.

Struggle to engage customers via content marketing

A July 2014 report from the Online Marketing Institute found that while over half of B2B marketers claim their content marketing efforts are ‘very mature’ (51%), most are finding it difficult to develop content that engages customers (87%). The report suggests that the reason for this disconnect may be in B2B marketer’s focusing too much on closing the deal and not enough on creating compelling content for the entire lifecycle of the B2B buyer.

Struggle to prove marketing’s business value 

The same report from Online Marketing Institute found that B2B companies are also having trouble tying their content marketing efforts back to real business value. 85% admitted that their content activity is only somewhat effective (or less) at delivering business value in terms of generating revenue, retaining customers, or winning customers’ long-term loyalty. Additionally, “when asked to look back at the past 12 months and rate the effectiveness of content marketing efforts, only 14% of those surveyed gave their content practices high marks for delivering value back to the business.”

Given these findings, it is no surprise that many B2B companies out there are looking for solutions to improve technology use, create more engaging content and prove the value of their efforts. One solution many B2B companies are finding success with is B2B sales and marketing outsourcing, and our next blog discusses three of outsourcing’s main advantages.

Continue Reading – 3 Ways an Outsourced B2B Sales Team Can Help Your Marketing Efforts