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Social media can be one of the most powerful B2B lead generation engines if you know how to use it. Showing up on channels you assume your audience is on and posting random tidbits about your products and solutions isn’t going to cut it. You need a strategic plan that outlines your end goal and the steps you need to take to get there.
If you’re ready to boost your B2B lead generation efforts, stick around for four key things you need to do to create a successful social media strategy.
1. Outline your target market and the B2B channels they live on
Firstly, use your customer data platform or CRM to understand the inner workings of your target market and the B2B social media channels they use most. Then, refer to the insights you uncover to create a data-driven Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
Access to rich insights about your ideal customer is pivotal in helping you tailor your content and messaging to their specific needs and interests. Use your ICP to describe your audience’s demographics, psychographics, and firmographics, as well as their pain points, challenges, and purchasing behavior.
Going forward, apply these insights to craft personalized social media content to nurture them closer to conversion. And speaking of pain points…
2. Solidify your target market’s top pain points and create lead magnets aimed at solving them
Explore your audience’s pain points further. What top challenges do they struggle with? What solutions do you offer to help solve these challenges and how can you address them in your social media content? Our advice? Make a list of their top pain points and create lead magnets aimed at solving them.
Let’s say you serve HR directors and one of their top pain points is having difficulty locating dental packages that appeal to employees. In this case, you could position your MetLife dental insurance plans as the “solution” to their problem. But first, you’ll need to break down how your dental plans can solve your audience’s “pain” by turning your solution into a lead magnet.
For instance, your lead magnet could be an ultimate guide called “10 Things You Need to Look for When Choosing a Dental Insurance Plan”. Or it could be a free webinar titled “Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes When Choosing a Dental Insurance Plan”. After all, B2B lead generation can only succeed once you know your lead magnet.
Your guide could include valuable advice HR directors can apply to help them secure aligned dental insurance. Additionally, it’d position MetLife as the go-to option in a natural way. You could weave that in as you describe things to look for or avoid or include it in your lead magnet’s dedicated call to action slot.
Take a good look at the solutions your competitors offer and how yours stacks up. This can help you pinpoint unique identifiers to highlight to help your brand stand out against the competition.
Pro-Tip: Use a competitive intelligence report to monitor competitors and gain valuable insights into their marketing tactics, messaging, and content assets. Use this information to identify gaps in the market and refine your marketing approach to stay ahead of the game.
3. Set up a funnel for each lead magnet and plan your campaign timelines
You’ve solidified your lead magnets, but how do you plan on implementing them? We recommend using funnels. For example, let’s say your end goal is to increase your web application and API protection subscribers by 10%.
In this case, one of your funnels could look like this:
- Stage one: Use organic content on LinkedIn and Twitter to promote your ultimate guide lead magnet.
- Stage two: Use a landing page to collect email opt-ins in exchange for the ultimate guide.
- Stage three: Send an email to new opt-ins with their new download and invite them to your upcoming webinar.
- Stage four: Give a surprise freebie to webinar attendees and invite them to sign up for a free trial. Add non-attendees to a follow-up campaign.
- Stage five: Remind free trial users their trials are ending and recommend a pricing plan according to their unique needs. Add non-subscribers to a follow-up campaign.
B2B lead generation is perfect for building connections and generating brand awareness, so funnels are crucial!
With that in mind, you’ll also need to solidify your campaign timelines for each funnel and any additional content pillar pieces you’ll be using to help spread the word. If you’re running a massive influencer marketing campaign to promote your latest AI photo enhancer, your timeline might begin at the start of Q3 until the start of Q4.
Or, if your plans are super robust, you might partner with influencers from the beginning of Q3 up until the end of Q4. Firm up your schedule and share it with your marketing team and associated partners as soon as you have it in hand. As far as content pillar pieces go, be sure to map out any additional channels you’ll be using to feed into your social media strategy and the assets you’ll need for each.
Put this example into perspective: if you’re marketing your recent online knowledge bank for developers, consider featuring some of your informative blog pieces written by industry experts, like the following piece on JWT authentication.
Pro-Tip: Improve your social media strategy as you move through your project timeline by keeping an eye on each platform’s analytics. If you’re targeting Instagram and LinkedIn, you’ll need to review Instagram analytics on Instagram and LinkedIn analytics on LinkedIn. This is especially important if you’re running ads so you can keep a close eye on your ROI.
4. Lock arms with affiliates and influencers in your industry to help spread the word
And finally, partner with affiliates and influencers in your industry that align with your core values and messaging style. Go over your social media strategy and the project timeline carefully and set clear expectations and individual responsibilities accordingly.
For instance, you might ask your affiliates to write blog posts, host YouTube videos, and set up email marketing campaigns. And you might ask your influencers to highlight giveaways in social media Stories, use interactive Twitter content, and host LinkedIn webinars.
Don’t be afraid to ask for their professional input, too! Affiliates and influencers are pros for a reason — you never know what kind of creative solutions they may have up their sleeves.
And there you have it. Today we walked you through four keys to a successful social media strategy for B2B lead generation. Are you ready to put these tips into action?
Remember, start with your target market and set up your funnel. Afterward, you can lock arms with appropriate partners and use analytics to course correct as needed. One more bonus tip: Continue nurturing leads that don’t convert with automated follow-up campaigns. B2B lead generation can be complicated, but monitoring your progress will ensure goals are met.
And that’s it!
PS: Need a resource to help you create world-class, original influencer campaigns? Then you’ll love NeoReach! Learn more or start your first campaign today.
Ian David started his career in brick-and-mortar retail management, which quickly included eCommerce and digital marketing as well. He is an avid reader and a self-taught SEO and content marketing expert. He writes for several publications on a variety of digital marketing topics. Recently, his focus has been on using influencer and affiliate marketing to drive more conversions.