B2B buyers and executives tend to be a skeptical lot. That’s why social selling for B2B marketing is the ideal strategy to develop the kind of trust that drives sales.
In contrast to individual consumers, B2B decision-makers have a lot of money on the line when purchasing goods or services for their company. For that reason, they do their research before they buy.
Social selling incorporates that research into its sales strategy. Using thoughtful, well-researched social media posts to generate qualified leads and nurture them on their buyer’s journey makes better sense than yesterday’s approach.
In past years, sales teams would task their content marketing counterparts with churning out cold email templates and other generic marketing materials, as Leadfeeder’s Jaakko Paalanen puts it. Just like your friendly neighborhood used car dealer.
Build Long-Term Business Relationships with Trust
While a B2C brand might use such an approach (although we’d advise against it), it’s not a content strategy that works when your prospect is a major business. Developing relationships by demonstrating thought leadership in your industry, on the other hand, does work.
Social selling empowers your brand to concentrate on building those kinds of long-term relationships. It’s a perfect fit for content teams since building trust by helping consumers and businesses conquer their challenges is content marketing’s primary goal.
In fact, a recent Content Marketing Institute study showed that 73% of the top B2B marketers nurture their prospects through targeted content. Using social media posts that lead prospects to dive deeper into your content is an excellent strategy to get the attention of B2B decision-makers.
This guide will help your content marketing teams leverage the power of social selling to advance your B2B brand.
Start with Buyer Personas
Like B2C content marketing, knowing who you need to reach with your message is critical to your success. But unlike marketing to consumers, B2B buyer personas also need to consider the overall business goals your prospects need to address.
For that reason, B2B personas need to focus more on a decision-maker’s business interests rather than their personal ones, as Brock Stechman points out. While you can use their personal interests as a hook to get their attention, be sure to shift quickly to a business-related topic.
Let’s say that you discover that 75% of the decision-makers in your target segment participate in sports. When you use a sports reference at the beginning of a piece of content, you’ll likely draw them into reading it. Then, use that reference as a springboard to introduce a problem they’re facing in their business.
Use Storytelling to Overcome the “Boring” Factor
Many B2B marketing teams struggle to turn their companies’ products and services into engaging content. While no work is boring in itself, the technical nature of some products and services often makes for dry reading.
Instead, turn your products and services into the “swords” that your customers used to slay those problems that kept their C-suite up at night. Position the customer as the hero, and your prospects will naturally identify with the other companies who have experienced success by using your products.
Post Where Your Prospects Are
For B2B selling, LinkedIn is the go-to social media for executives and other decision-makers. For that reason, it’s the default social channel for B2B content marketing.
Image via Content Marketing Institute
However, you can take your message even further by joining LinkedIn’s special interest groups.
After you identify your prospects’ pain points and work interests with your buyer personas, look for and join groups that will likely attract them. Posting articles that help them solve problems specific to their industry will position you as a brand with industry expertise and a focus on solving problems.
Then, research other social media platforms that your target customers post on. Similarly, if the platform offers special interest groups, join those groups that deal with topics that interest your prospects.
Leverage Videos’ Multisensory Format to Teach Your Prospects
Don’t forget video platforms, like YouTube and Facebook. Videos engage both your audience’s visual and auditory senses, making it easier for people to digest the information in your content, as research shows.
It’s also good SEO. According to research by video production company Lemonlight, adding videos to your posts can boost your traffic by anywhere from 10% to 250%.
It’s no wonder that videos rank in the top four kinds of content for B2B brands. Decision-makers like to see how your products solve problems before laying out a huge sum of cash for them. Explainer and case study videos do just that.
Use Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to Personalize Your Social Posts
Account-based marketing takes a more personalized approach to social selling. It’s more labor-intensive, but it’s well worth the time. However, with today’s predictive analytics, you can conduct prospect research more quickly.
That way, you can predict what each decision-maker is looking for in a solution. Then, you can reach them by posting your content on a social media channel or LinkedIn group that they frequent.
Combining what you’ve already found during your buyer persona research with the prospect’s business goals can help you choose content that will appeal to each decision-maker.
For example, if your company makes machinery for factories, the content you send to your prospect’s head of engineering should address your machines’ efficiency.
On the other hand, the chief financial officer needs to see how that efficiency will affect the company’s bottom line. Posting case studies that show how similar companies have saved money by switching to your machinery instead of keeping their current equipment would be a great choice to reach your prospect’s numbers people.
When you engage in content collaboration with your sales teams, ABM becomes even more effective. Since they’re engaging in conversations with your prospects every day, they’ll have plenty of insights that can help you target your posts even more accurately.
Consolidate and Automate Social Posting
With a comprehensive content marketing platform that can create and store all your content assets, your teams can easily repurpose blog posts into infographics, white papers into personalized presentations for your ABM prospects, and LinkedIn articles into videos.
And, if that platform can also automate content publishing on social media, you can better reach the decision-makers in your prospects’ C-suite when they’re online. That capability is even more critical when you have prospects in multiple time zones.
Posting the right content for your prospects on the channels they frequent and at the optimum time for their location is a game-changer.
B2B executives have only a few moments during their day where they can check their social media channels. Being there during those moments makes the voice they hear yours.
Furthermore, if your platform also has the capability to generate real-time content analytics, you can see how your social posts perform and adjust on the fly. It’s the next best thing to getting feedback from each prospect in person.
DivvyHQ has all those capabilities and more. With its ability to integrate seamlessly with a wealth of applications and an easy third-party integration process for many more, it will become your central hub for social selling.
Even better, you and your teams can try it free for 14 days. Start your no-obligation trial today!