There are a lot of questions about whether social media works for business-to-business marketing. This is the simplest answer to the questions: yes, it does. Social media matters to all types of businesses, regardless if you are selling directly to consumers or businesses. For years, social media has been saturated by marketing campaigns that sell directly to consumers. B2Bs are terrible at selling themselves to their clients, but it’s a social media-centered world and businesses stand to lose when they cannot keep up with marketing trends.
Of course, it isn’t always easy to figure out how to sell unsexy products on social media. It’s easy to attract customers to try out a new ice cream flavor, but what about machinery and equipment? Even if you are interested in machinery and hydraulics, would hydraulic franchise business opportunities be at the top of your mind when you are considering how to start your own business? Not likely, right?
Unsexy products are unsexy for a reason. They’re not exactly the best products to market. On top of it all, marketing to businesses is a little tricky because they are not out there on social media trying to find cheap supplies and services. Companies find their suppliers via direct recommendations and networking. They use social media to market the end products, and not to look for suppliers. Or so some businesses think.
The truth is, businesses have figured out that social media is one of the best places to look for legitimate and affordable suppliers. Smaller companies that cannot meet the requirements of large suppliers can look for distributors and middlemen on social media. It’s just a matter of how you market the business that separates you from your competitors.
Look for the Unboring Angle
Even the most exciting product can be boring if not marketed properly. Take the iPhone as an example. If marketers talk about the phone’s camera aperture, do you think people would even bother to take a second long look at the ad? This means that if something as interesting as the new iPhone can be boring, then something as boring as hydraulics can be exciting, too, right?
The automotive and manufacturing industries use hydraulics the most. While no one wants to talk about the technical aspects of hydraulics, many are interested in what it does to cars, trucks, and airplanes. So, why not focus on what it can do instead of transmission of hydraulic power from one valve to another?
Even businesses using a hydraulic system will get bored hearing about the features of the hydraulic hose you are selling. On social media, they would much rather hear about what the cars can do because of hydraulics than what the hydraulics can do to the car. Save the explanation of technical features during expositions and trade shows.
Focus on a Real Person and Real Benefits
The problem with most B2B ads is that they focus on the product more than what the products can do for consumers. There is a lack of genuine human emotion in the ads. Social media is where businesses try to evoke emotions from their clients. These are the best platforms to humanize unsexy products such as a vacuum cleaner, for example.
When targeting businesses, use real persons and first-person voice. You can even hire a loyal customer to act as your brand ambassador. Real people resonate better with clients, businesses, or direct consumers alike.
What Social Media Platforms Should You Use for B2B Marketing?
Use LinkedIn for B2B marketing. Some businesses love LinkedIn more than they do Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. B2B marketers use about six social media platforms. About 91% of them use LinkedIn while 85% use Twitter and 81% use Facebook. The statistics will change, of course, depending on which studies you follow. Other surveys showed that B2B marketers now use Facebook (89%) more as opposed to LinkedIn (81%).
The difference between marketing to consumers and to businesses is that B2B marketing needs the right kind of traffic. It’s not just about generating traffic that will rank a web page on the search engine. It’s about finding and producing the traffic that will get the right clients to your page.
Businesses are a different breed of clients. Their demands are not the same as your direct consumers. But, they are similar in terms of what they demand from marketers, as well as the ads and marketing campaigns. So, the next time you reject the notion of social media to attract your business clients, think again. Small and big companies turn to social media to look for suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers. It is as important as the networking events and trade shows that dominate B2B marketing.