In today’s digital world we all know that social media can generate leads for business, but so many organisations are skipping the key steps to do this successfully through social media.
Without an effective plan and knowing who you want to target, your activity can quickly become aimless, ineffective and a waste of your time and money. B2B businesses can run into several challenges when generating leads through social media. Are you targeting the right customers?
Social media can be one of the hardest platforms to work for any organisation and to generate quality leads but especially for B2B companies.
To be successful online whatever your organisation does, you should focus on the ‘sweet spot’. This starts with your organisation’s needs and objectives and how you use the internet to generate leads. On the other side is human needs and how people use the internet to answer their questions and find solutions to problems. The ‘sweet spot’ happens when these two scenarios cross paths. Digital marketing and in particularly social media gives you access to many tools, but the hard sell doesn’t work, especially with social media. The key is to use all the digital channels and ensure they point to your website, which alongside your sales team is your best sales tool. Optimising a joined up approach with both online and offline channels will give much better results.
Next you need to look at your overall organisation’s goals, what do you want to achieve for the rest of 2020 and 2021. Whether this is to increase revenue or expand into another market, but you ned to align your goals with your business objectives.
Social media and indeed LinkedIn let you target your audience, but cold calling doesn’t work. No one is on social media to be hard sold to and whilst you can sell on social, this example shows how not to do it and will just lead to you to un-connecting from the person.So how do you generate B2B leads on social media?
You need to have a value mindset not a sales mindset to generate new business on social media. There are two typical audiences who use social media, the proactive ‘looker’ who are searching for a service and want to get to know you and those who are not necessarily looking but are still your addressable audience.
When it comes to B2B sales online, reaching your target audience can be broken down in stages using the See, Think, Do, Care example from Google. This example shows an accountant firm who works with car dealerships. In the B2B world typically it is 12-18 months before an organisation is ready to say yes, after starting a search for a service! So, if you jump straight to the ‘Do’ you’re missing a huge percentage of your target audience.Think about putting your customers shoes on, ask yourself what’s important to them right now. The answer to this question is the content that you should be creating right now, because that’s what the car dealerships are searching for on Google or social media in this example. Creating and sharing this content demonstrates you understand your audience and shows you know what you’re talking about.
How to plan your digital marketing?
Once you’ve understood your target audience, know your business objectives and understand the value you can offer, you’re ready to apply the attract, engage and convert approach….. attracting the right audience at the right time on the right channel.
This can be done with content, from blogs and webinars to video content and downloads, and start to convert your audience. It’s time to map your content and touch points across the social media channels, thinking about what is valuable to your audience now.
Content should always educate, inspire or entertain and here’s some examples of B2B companies adding value to their audience, not hard selling.Great social media gets your target audience to say yes to something, whether it’s signing up to a newsletter, following you on social media or simply liking, sharing or commenting on your posts.
Does your content lead somewhere?
Always ensure your content leads to a funnel with a clear call to action, ask questions and when they land on your content make sure they’re impressed. Your aim should be to stay in the front of your audience’s mind with content they want to share.
Using LinkedIn Ads
Firstly, LinkedIn Ads are expensive if used incorrectly. What LinkedIn does well is targeting an audience, then you need an ad to entice that audience. Remember though, hard sell doesn’t work, you need to add value.
Finally, it’s important to track any conversions including sign up’s and any other leads. This way you’ll be able to understand what is working and what isn’t and get the leads you want on LinkedIn.
SocialB are an Award-winning digital marketing agency, specialising in digital marketing services and social media training.