Everyone hears and reads about social media marketing and content marketing, but let’s get into the sales side of optimization. Let’s dig into the B2B side of things!
The first thing we need to do is integrate and align our agency’s tactics.
About 90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing tactics to grow their business. So if 90% of you are leveraging tactics such as blogs, social media, visual content marketing, eNewsletters, and article postings to attract potential customers/prospects to your agencies website, the question is no long about the tactics themselves, but more importantly, how they are integrated. Tactics should be integrated so that they fit within your agency’s overall strategy to attract, engage, and convert your audience into customers. If these tactics are not strategic then you’re simply throwing oatmeal at the wall and hoping for some to stick. Remember hope is NOT a strategy.
Let’s then takes us one step further. Tactics shouldn’t only be integrated within an overall strategy- they must be optimized and integrated. Optimization and integration of tactics is what transforms content into a powerful tool to lead your customer from awareness to advocacy.
The second step is to tell the story first and then choose your social media platform second.
Yes, agency owners and or social media engineers spend way too much time in the beginning worried about selecting the right platforms- Should we create a YouTube channel? What about an info-graphic? Or Instagram? Or Vine? Or a LinkedIn group?
Indeed, this is can be a significant mistake. The information is the most important piece of your agency’s strategy, not the media format or social avenue. You must tell a story to your customers and prospects. This is NOT a pass to say what you think is most important, but rather to create the story which will enable the customer throughout their journey. Attract them via their pain points and compel them by connecting their pain points to your agency’s services.
The fact is, in today’s world, the majority of customers/prospects want to guide themselves through the buying cycle. They like the do-it-themselves model. If you do not have the content which targets awareness, interest, and consideration then you risk losing a potential customer. Try to visualize B2B content mapping and how it assists prospects in understanding your services. Here are the 3 keys to accomplish this:
- Timeline: create a timeline of you’re buying cycle and then map each tactic onto the timeline based on where it fits in the customer’s journey.
4 Quadrant Styles: Each quadrant is dedicated to different intentions: entertain, inspire, educate or convince. Each type of content is placed in a quadrant. The 2 styles across are awareness leads to purchase, while the 2 styles heading down are emotional reaches rational. Each prospect you need to indicate at what point in buying cycle they are in.
You must outline your agency’s goal, buyer’s objective, information conveyed and format based on point in buying cycle.
The third step is How to Measure Business Value, NOT ROI. Optimization isn’t valuable just from a customer acquisition perspective; it is valuable across the entire sales cycles. This means we have to move beyond measuring the value of our agency’s content plan or marketing strategy based on only the number of new customer acquisitions. Think of all the different business outcomes which create value:
—Increase and help share your agency’s voice
—Improved the agency’s service
—Shorter sales cycle for the agency and for the prospect
—Much lower marketing costs because of the process
—Engagement with influential communities which is a huge win-win for the agency
Content should be created and optimized for your agency. Strategically planning content which aligns in the buying cycle, and is customized based on the desired outcome, will more likely to impact and influence the consumer.
Social Media Engineers need to move beyond the perspective that the most important measure of social success is number of likes or followers. Instead, we should hone in the audiences who are most influential. Creating content optimized for this influential audience will be the most impactful and bring a larger ROI for your agency.
Very good points Chris. I am surprised at the number of businesses that are in such a hurry to get onboard with the current suite of social tools, that they fail to plan the message and thus “share” noise.
I think many are better suited to wait, plan, and refine, before rushing head first.