I recently posted about social for B2B and wanted to follow up with some additional thoughts since I’ve had 7+ years to think about it. Let me start by saying that when it comes to B2B, the marketing method is content marketing. No matter what the venue/what the industry, you need to creating amazing content. If your content makes businesses smarter, they will come to you when they have a need. The question is; what flavor of content should I focus on and what venues are best suited for that content? Some things to consider before answering these questions.
- Who do I have on the team that will create content. You noticed I didn’t say, who can. We all can but few will. It needs to be in their nature.
- What is the preferred information type based on my industry. (Types and venues listed below.)
- Can I add value to the industry by creating content. (If someone already owns it, it will prove difficult.)
When it comes to social for B2B there are three categories your business can fit into.
Trusted Source – If you’re going be the/a trusted source you’ll need to keep up-to-date/hour/minute. With the real-time nature of information today, this means that within minutes of an “event”, your expected to share it. Even if it’s the weekend and your a bank. A mobile device is an extension of the person that’s carrying it and because of that, it’s really never off. Yes. Your office hours mean little on the interwebs.
Venue of the Trusted Source: Twitter or Twitter via Flipboard. Twitter is an information network and you can easily share bite size news items. Your primary goal is to share and maybe add a little perspective. Your curated feed (aka Twitter) should be the first thing people check in the morning. If you’re thinking “How can I do this!?!?!? I lose enough sleep.” Well, you’re in luck! You can use a robot to do this. Also, don’t be afraid to include images.
Subject Matter Expert (SME) – If you’re going to share your subject matter expertise, you first need one or more! Can’t feign this sports fans. It’s dangerous! These persons understand more than one perspective in regards to a specific industry. Not only do they need to be SME, they need naturally be a content creator. You can make people create content but you can’t EVER make someone create excellent content.
Venue of the SME: Blog. This blog can be video (YouTube), audio (Podcast) or text. It should feature images. Images resonate more than any other medium because you know exactly what you’re going to get. It can live on the company site or LinkedIn. Also, this is most frequently longform content. Industry peers like to see what others are sharing and have a vested interest in staying up-to-date.
Thought Leader – You’ve graduated from SME and are now helping shape the direction of the industry. You are an excellent communicator and you’re tireless when it comes to discussing the future of your industry. There aren’t many of these and be careful who you listen to. Steer clear of anyone who says they’re a guru.
Venue of the Thought Leader – Quora/Events. The primary function of a thought leader is to answer questions posed by businesses. The answers should lead to a better understanding of the trends and provide a definitive direction. They also work to share their perspective/expertise at events. (Think keynote.)
You could of course do all three! Just make sure you do it well . . .