Tips for Building a B2B Content Strategy for Social Media

Social media and messaging services account for roughly one in every three minutes users spend on the Internet (Global Web Index), which means businesses of all sizes need a sound social media strategy.

A good social content strategy for social media starts with goal setting. Goal setting does not need to be overwhelming. More than 80% of managers say that their goals are limited in number, specific, and measurable (Harvard Business Review). What’s important to remember is that the marketing goals must align with the business goals. For content on social media, the goals should be set around lead generation, awareness in the market, and social selling.

Any social media content posted must align with one of the goals; otherwise, it’s a pointless post. Once goals have been set, it’s time to build a robust content strategy for social media channels. Here are tips to keep in mind.

Useful Content Always Wins

Like blogging and content in the sales funnel, social media content should be useful and valuable to your audience. Before posting just anything, do some research to identify strong topics.

Keep content to top-of-the-funnel or at the “awareness stage” with topics that focus on buyer problems, aspirations, inspiration, and market opportunities. Now is not the time to be too self-promotional or salesy. 95% of online adults aged 18-34 are most likely follow a brand via social networking (MarketingSherpa), so you really have a good chance of getting in front of your target using social channels — don’t make them unfollow you by posting too much bottom-of-the-funnel/sales content, which gets quickly labelled “spam.”

Social media content should center around topics that have inherent interest with your target market. Using your buyer persona, you should be able to identify these topics and organize the social content accordingly.

Learn more: How to Nurture Content Leads

Experiment and Participate

Content marketing strategy: testing process

Once you start posting, it’s important to keep up with the conversation through experimentation and participation. First, build an experimental process that tests subjects, hashtags, topics, and types of messages. Does your audience like when you conduct polls, post articles, use videos? Be sure to measure how well each type of post performs in order to narrow down your posting strategy.

Don’t be afraid to test. Maybe you want to try live content to see how many viewers you get. Try it out and record the results to see if it’s a worthy strategy for your social media campaign.

Always participate; don’t just post and leave the conversation alone. 72% of marketers are using social media to develop loyal fans (HubSpot). Brand loyalty often leads to a free word-of-mouth campaign, so talk to your fans, answer questions, and engage in the conversation, especially if your target market includes millennials. 30% of millennials engage with a brand on social at least once a month (Sprout Social).

Perform a Content Audit

Buyer journey stages for content strategy

It’s always a good idea to conduct a content audit on your entire website, but many businesses forget to include social media. A social media content audit is especially helpful to understand what content you have that can be reworked and reposted. And you might be surprised at what you find.

When Microsoft performed a content audit ten years ago, the content strategist found that a whopping 30% of their content had never been visited. What a wasted effort on the marketing team’s part if no one is viewing the content — same goes for social media content.

Content that performs well on social media can be changed into another format and reposted — say, a white paper into an infographic. This will then give you many different images and facts to post all over social media.

Understand Buyer Perspectives

Too much B2B content is created from the perspective of the seller and not the buyer. As you conduct a content audit, categorize your content based on the segment, persona, value/pain, and type of post (inspiration, education, evidence of success, etc). Such categorizations will help your team not just get a “lay of the land” regarding their current state of affairs, but will help them see gaps.

Awareness stage content strategy: categorize content

Spend time prior to categorizing content to interview the sales team since they perhaps spend the most time in front of prospects and buyers. Interview the sales team. Ask them questions and get the team to open up and share more insights about the buyer perspective. For example, ask about the first questions prospects ask. Inquire into the harder, more-challenging questions buyers ask. Dive deep into the sales strategy and take lots of notes. These conversations and interviews with the sales team will unlock great insights that will help reframe your content strategy.

Always Measure your Efforts

The most essential part of a content strategy for social media is measurement. According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 35% of content marketers can measure ROI.  47% admit that they can’t measure ROI and 18% aren’t sure. Companies that cannot produce an ROI are wasting time and resources by throwing out content on social media, hoping, instead of knowing, that it resonates with their target market.

Content conversion attribution report

Instead, what companies should do is use native social and Google analytics to measure engagement, conversions, and visibility within the right market. Which posts bring in a lead to your website? Which type of posts overall are best at increasing the lead pool? Marketers should be able to answer questions such as these in order to know how well social media campaigns are working. Furthermore, social media marketers must calculate an ROI on efforts and make data-driven decisions to benefit the campaign.

Using a test-based strategy helps content teams build a more mature and channel-appropriate content strategy for social media. Adaptive strategy and ongoing learning is required. You cannot build a successful forward-looking content strategy for social media without testing, measuring, and analytics.

Sources

  • Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, 2018.
  • Gerry McGovern, Removing poor quality content increases customer satisfaction, 2009.
  • Global Web Index, The Social Media Trends Shaping 2018, 2018.
  • HubSpot, The Science of Email, 2014.
  • MarketingSherpa, MarketingSherpa Consumer Purchase Preference Survey: Demographics of customer reasons to follow brands’ social accounts, November 24, 2015.
  • Sprout Social, The Social Generations: Millennials Ask, Gen X Buys & Baby Boomers Observe, 2017.
  • Harvard Business Review, Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It, March 2015.



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