B2B multichannel marketing the easy way with social media

August 31, 2016

A checklist and the best platforms for business-to-business strategies

B2B marketing campaigns target comparatively small, narrowly defined groups of potential customers which makes targeting quite difficult. So why include Facebook and other large "mass-appeal" networks in your multichannel concept? You should do it for a couple of very good reasons, but primarily because contact frequency and potential buyers‘ personal preferences come into play these days.

B2B marketing is becoming more and more important in Europe.

Multichannel setups: Frequency is the key

Multichannel marketing, whether in the B2B or B2C area, does not mean spreading the exact same message synchronously via as many channels as possible. The big 5 - Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter - as well as small, specialized networks all differ in various formal aspects, design issues and copywriting.

A key factor to understand the concept of customer experience management lies within grasping the importance of contact frequency: Recent studies show that potential buyers in the B2C field get in touch with information about products or services 5 to 7 times before finally making their buying decision. Individual touch points include analogue and digital media as well as different ways of information retrieval.

Just think of this example: A potential customer quickly glances at a Facebook ad about a new product during a lunch break but s/he’s currently too busy to dive deeper. The following evening an article about the product catches her/his attention in a magazine and the individual does some research via Google. Re-targeted ads reminds this person again – and then, at some point, s/he actually orders the product. Keeping corporate communication consistent, helpful and up-to date via all involved channels is on the hardest challenges in contemporary digital marketing.

The stakes are even higher in B2B marketing, where the number of touch points almost triples – potential buyers research or are presented with various formats and bits of information about 20 times before a conversion happens. And this kind of "customer journey" has become the norm.

The phases in B2B marketing

Online decision making - and decision making in general - is a complicated process. Yet while B2B campaigns differ heavily depending on industry and goals, the following phases are a constant part of building expertise.

Tools and platforms
Raising awareness/interest
Social media ads, print and other "regular" ads, public relations
Become known to decision makers
Re-targeting ads, public relations, SEO measures, corporate weblogs/YouTube channels
Make it on the shortlist
direct mailings, newsletters, support chats
Submit winning proposal
Face 2 Face
Staying in the relevant mindset
Newsletters, direct mailings, closed groups, webinars, content marketing formats
Ongoing satisfaction
Online support, personalized newsletters, support groups
Up-selling and cross selling
Newsletters, direct mailings, webinars, social media platforms

Where do potential buyers look for information?

The selection of social media channels of course depends on the target audience as well as on resources. Social media usage is highly diversified these days. The overall goal is to reach potential buyers via their preferred channels and networks. When selecting the proper channels, keep the following checklist in mind:

  1. Offer your buyers information on their favorite channels. While some customers prefer face to face contact at an early stage, others like to do their own extensive online research. There is no one-fits-all solution!

  2. Constantly improve your online service level and your response times. Offer optional one-to-one channels like (WhatsApp) chats.

  3. Personalize your content for different segments. Use marketing automation tools to identify high potentials and make them valuable offers.

  4. Integrate your online marketing communication with your existing CRM platform. Data intelligence is the key to successful B2B marketing.

  5. Constantly evaluate your social media signals, monitor social reactions and analyze the information research habits of your existing customers.

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