After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change how #business is done. I’m an MBA, adjunct business professor and 2x author of best-selling business books including “The Millennial CEO” and “The New Rules of Customer Engagement.” Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work…I’m the Founder of Broadsuite, a specialty #marketing firm that helps companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world.
Paid programmatic marketing on #facebook, #twitter, YouTube, and #linkedin are hot topics right now for both B2B and B2C companies trying to take advantage of the massive boom in social media advertising. But B2B and B2C can be vastly different creatures in the ways they use social channels for advertising. Not only that, they are driven by different motives for their social ad campaigns. For consumer brands, widespread visibility and loyal viewership are key metrics that funnel all the way down to measurable conversions. However, in the B2B arena, the numbers are very different. The growth of just a couple of customers can mean millions in new revenue. This is why all those views, the shiny objects, and the vanity metrics may mean less for a B2B marketer.
But does that mean, in B2B, you shouldn’t pay attention to building the funnel? Not at all. In fact, B2B firms are always looking to attract a super-targeted audience— a lot more than consumer brands—because unlike B2C, they can’t sell their products to just anyone. Also, in B2B, purchase decisions are made over a longer period and the buying cycle is painfully slow.
In social advertising, the landscape has drastically changed. Getting results from social media now involves a financial investment. Social media is, more than ever, pushing the user from organic to paid reach. Naturally, B2B brands need to think twice about where to spend their money. Rather than investing time and money on every social channel, marketers need to ask questions: Which platforms give the best results for B2B? Where can we get the best bang for our buck?
Being a business-centric channel, LinkedIn was always at the forefront of B2B social media activity. This was when other social sites like Facebook and Twitter were busy catering to the B2C users and didn’t put effort into the more serious and somber B2B users. There was also a marked difference in the way people perceived LinkedIn compared to other social sites. Sometimes called “Facebook for grownups,” LinkedIn was acceptable in the workplace, while Facebook and Twitter were either blocked or seen as something you didn’t want to be caught wasting time on while at work. Times have changed. Facebook at Work and Twitter for Business shattered these social sites’ strictly consumer image.
Over the years we’ve tried all the platforms for social advertising and they all have their benefits and differences. My recommendation for B2B business is to try and cover all basis. For example, one of our target markets is smaller start-ups and solopreneurs so Facebook is an obvious place for us to advertise as many of these types of businesses use Facebook to promote themselves and are therefore quite active on the site.
You need to be where your market is so before taking out any advertising think about who your target client is and where they may hang-out online.