Social Media has been around for over a decade, but many businesses still haven't worked out how to leverage this ever-growing media. This is probably more the case for B2B companies rather than those who target consumers.
It's often debated that social media should be seen as either a communication tool or a customer service channel allowing a business' customers to speak to the company on platforms that they are comformatble using. While there is undoubtedly some merit to this argument, one debate that is often unheard, is the argument that social media can be a highly effective lead generation platform for businesses.
Unfortunately, there is no quick answer to this question. But the following will help to break down the steps required by a business to leverage social media to drive lead generation:Think of yourself as a publisher. As a B2B business, you have a wealth of knowledge and experience that is valued by your clients. Consider sharing some of these insights in th
e following ways:
- Blog / Article Posting
- White Papers
- How to Guides (and Videos)
At first glance, many businesses are opposed to this form of marketing. After all, your knowledge and experience is a valuable asset for your business and making this open to the public (and possibly your competitors) doesn't seem smart. But look at the positives. By following this form of strategy, you are also positioning your business as a genuine thought-leader.
A thought-leader is someone (or a business) that is highly regarded by others as the go-to entity when searching for information. This form of 'brand elevation' is important for businesses that want to separate/or distance themselves from their competitors. In industries where price sensitivity is an issue, this also becomes a important factor to help you move away from competing with competitors over price by highlighting your capabilities and knowledge as a key differentiator from those also pitching for the business.
If you do decide to move in this direction, always make sure that your content is hosted in exactly the right way. The general rule of thumb here is to host content such as articles on your corporate blog, but be careful not to give away too much information without 'gating' some of your most valuable content. 'Gating' is the process that requires a user to complete a download form or feedback form PRIOR to obtaining the content you are providing. The data collected here should include fields such as Name, Company, Email and Mobile numbers as well as other important information such as Designation or Job Role or even ask users if they would like you to contact them to help you qualify users as potential customers. There are of course some technical elements here, but its vital that these are implemented correctly in order for your strategy to be successful.
So, where does Social Media fit in here? Well, if this process is conducted in the right way, the content you create needs to be distributed and there is no better place than platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for these. This is partly due to the targeting possibilities available on these platforms that allow businesses to target potential customers based on Industry, Company Names, Company Sizes, Job Roles/Titles together with demographic information such as Age, Location and Gender. Once you have a target audience specified for your content, it's possible to promote (or distribute) your content to this exact audience.
It's this form of content distribution that allows businesses to reach their target audiences that makes social media so attractive for B2B businesses. This form of marketing is also so new, that it's highly unlikely that your competitors have realised the opportunities on offer.
Established in 2005, Nexa is a digitally driven Content Marketing Agency based in Dubai, UAE. With 50 in-house digital marketing specialialists, we provide Content Creation, Content Distribution, SEO and Web Services from Blog Creation to Landing Page Development. Nexa is a Hubspot Partner.