In recent years, the prevailing belief that social media marketing is only suited to B2C businesses has prevented B2B brands from leveraging this discipline in their quest to reach more customers. For this reason, B2C companies have been the only ones to adopt social media marketing.
However, times have changed and the digital marketing game is getting more complicated than before. Brands have realized the potential of B2B social media marketing by incorporating it into their digital marketing strategies.
While there are some commonalities in how B2B and B2C brands integrate social media into their social media marketing campaigns, it is essential to note critical differences. These differences impact how brands create content, strategies, and goals for social media marketing.
Read on to learn about the most common differences between B2C and B2B social media marketing.
How does B2C social media marketing differ from B2B social media marketing
B2C and B2B social media marketing practices vary in the following aspects:
Social media marketing goals
B2C social media marketing focuses on community awareness and engagement. In fact, the main goal of B2C marketing is virality. Therefore, B2C marketers focus on creating viral content to increase their awareness through social media.
In contrast, B2B social media marketing focuses on generating more leads. As more and more B2B brands become aware of the marketing potential of social media, they are adopting B2B social media marketing at an unprecedented rate. While they’re at it, they use web traffic to measure the effectiveness of their social media marketing.
A recent study by Social Media Examiner revealed that over 50% more B2B brands are more likely to use social media to build partnerships and gain competitive insights than B2C brands.
Social media marketing strategies
According to a recent CMI report, high-performing B2B content marketers always put the information needs of their audiences first. Unlike B2C social media marketers who focus on driving awareness and gaining popularity, B2B brands focus on positioning themselves as thoughtful leaders in their respective industries.
B2C social media marketing focuses on creating unique content that stands out from industry competitors.
Conversely, B2B brands stand out by offering better services than their competitors. For this reason, B2B social media marketers keep their content professional and informative.
As for the most popular social media B2C and B2B marketing channels, most of the B2B brands use LinkedIn and Facebook. Around 90% of B2B brands use Facebook, while around 80% use LinkedIn as their primary social media marketing platform.
Just like B2C audiences, B2B audiences respond best to more engaging content components such as:
- catchy headlines,
- Stunning images and
To ensure proper lead nurturing, B2B brands should understand their target market well. Understanding your audience will help you empathize with them. With empathy, you can develop healthy relationships with your potential customers, which will make your social media marketing efforts more effective.
Unlike B2C companies, B2B brands should use social media marketing strategies that put information first establish thought leadership. However, they should still incorporate the more human aspects of communication used in B2C social media marketing.
Social media marketing content
As far as content is concerned, B2C social media marketing mainly focuses on visual content. Video content is king when it comes to B2C social media marketing. When creating a video, it’s essential to consider how engaging and shareable your video will be. Make sure there are share buttons so that your audience can share your videos on different social media channels with just one click.
The content is constantly evolving. Even the messaging within a social media post is content marketing in itself. B2C marketers should think this through keeping in mind who their target audience is. Social media marketing content for B2C is more informal and should include humor.
While B2C marketers have the advantage of being more casual in the type of social media marketing content they create, B2B marketers focus on creating “professional content”. This is because B2B audiences want content that keeps them abreast of prevailing industry and business trends.
B2B content types
Here are some content types that B2B marketers can leverage:
Humans are visual creatures.
Nearly 50 percent of our brains interpret visual information from the world around us. Although we have five senses, 70 percent of all sensory receptors are found in the eye.
In fact, people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see and do.
Unsurprisingly, a recent Hubspot study found that when content with text and video is presented on the same page, 72% of people will watch the video instead of reading the text.
Videos are emotionally appealing to your prospects and customers, are non-committal, and are easily digestible content formats.
As far as B2B is concerned, video can be effectively leveraged for multiple goals, including brand awareness, thought leadership, case studies, demos, training, and more.
Every stage of the sales process will benefit from video content. Create a B2B video marketing strategy that considers your personas, their needs, questions, and goals throughout the buying stages.
Infographics are more beneficial for B2B businesses than B2C as this visual medium is much more effective at conveying complex data and information while retaining the target audience.
B2Bs have a wealth of data and analytics that they can put into graphical form. Using your internal data to create unique infographics can help curate powerful market content for social media reach.
As a B2B marketer, the time has come to harness the potential of images in repurposing content.
When it comes to incorporating visual content into B2B social media marketing, you are only limited by your ability and creativity.
Remember, customer engagement is the primary goal fueling your digital marketing efforts and its benefits will outweigh in-person communication with proper execution.
Among the main types of visuals to include in your B2B social media content are charts and graphs, illustrations, real-life photographs, user-generated content, handwritten quotes, and pre-recorded or live video.
Webinars are a great tool for businesses looking to harness the potential of social media marketing.
Creating webinars allows B2B marketers to continue nurturing their leads until they convert into sales. Webinar content can assist in the creation of other types of promotional content such as blog posts, podcasts, and case studies.
White papers are very helpful in lead generation for B2B. Because white papers provide readers with in-depth company information, they will be more than willing to provide their own details to access them.
Lead generation is essential for B2B marketers, so the extra effort you put into creating comprehensive white papers is well worth it.
B2B brands can use one-pagers to help their target customers understand their product and service offerings. Typically, a one page page provides an overview of the features and benefits your company offers. For best results, create a stunning and accurate one-pager. While you’re at it, prioritize bullet points over long paragraphs.
Best Practices for B2B Social Media Marketing
Applying social media marketing best practices will help you convert more leads. Some of the B2B best practices include the following:
- Using the appropriate social media channels that best suit your audience. It also adjusts the style of content that fits the particular platform you’re using.
- Keep your brand tone consistent across all social media platforms
- Set up workflows to interact with influencers, welcome new followers and manage support requests.
- Pay attention to your analyzes and make data-driven decisions
More importantly, as a B2B marketer, you should gain hands-on experience across different social media channels to identify the type of content that grabs attention and increases customer engagement. Leverage the analytics and insights available across different social media platforms to better understand your audience.
Remember to always prioritize the needs of your customers and offer them content that will keep them up to date with the latest industry trends.
Social media is an excellent platform that helps businesses build strong relationships with each other. Your B2B social media marketing strategy differs from B2C social media marketing in terms of goals, content, and strategy. While B2B marketers create informational content that meets customer needs, B2C marketers create content to drive brand awareness and sales.
Incorporating compelling imagery, storytelling, compelling headlines, and empathy into your B2B social media marketing content will help keep your audience engaged, generating more long-term leads.
With well thought out content, clear goals and proper execution, your B2B brand can easily develop new relationships and generate leads through social media marketing.
At LocalBizGuru, we understand the value of B2B digital marketing and the complexities it entails.
Contact us today to get the weight off your shoulders and get your business in the public eye in no time.