How to Select Lead-Generating Social Media Marketing Channels for B2B Target Group and Sales Improvements?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: December 28, 2020
Social Media Marketing

In “Business-to-Business” (B2B for short) – that is, the trade between two companies – the customer approach and thus the entire online marketing differs from that with end customers. But where are the differences and what does that mean for the social media strategy in B2B companies?

Whether business customers or end consumers, the goal is to increase product/brand awareness, retain customers, generate more website traffic, and finally convince customers to make a purchase decision at the end of the customer journey. In B2C, this often works with advertising campaigns that evoke emotions among consumers. The customer is shown why need for a certain product: to make life easier, to save the environment or simply to be part of it. Now there are only a few clicks and the product are in the shopping cart.

B2b Market Challenges

The challenge for business customers, on the other hand, is that, they don’t buy quickly online. Above all, there is a major reason why companies often find it harder with B2B customers. The majority of Marketers have no precise idea of their customers. They don’t know their target group well enough. In the B2C environment, however, the wishes, needs and ideas of customers are better known. Admittedly, it is easier to put yourself in the minds of consumers. On the other hand, who already knows the exact wishes of business customers?

But it is precisely the individual people in the company who need to be addressed: decision-makers, buyers, internal and external influencers, users and selectors. The target group-specific customer approach is the success factor – also in B2B marketing.

Create target group marketing personas

But how can you get an idea of exactly these people who are behind the functions? With the creation of personas. In contrast to target groups, which are usually demarcated by demographic factors, personas are fictitious users who help you to understand your customers better.

In the persona definition, characteristics are transferred to individual fictitious users. The personal description does not only include demographic characteristics such as age, gender and origin. Above all, it also includes characteristics such as media and buying behavior, professional goals or preferences up to quotations. A photo to illustrate the person is also included. You end up with a handful of personas that represent your target audience.

If you succeed in describing personas specifically enough, you will also succeed in generating target group-specific content and placing this content on the right channels. This also includes knowing which social media channels customers are travelling.

The following list provides an overview of the five most important channels for the B2B area.

• Be part of the social media giant: Facebook

Why should you use a Facebook business page for your company? Among other things, to be there. With currently 1.6 billion active users every day, Facebook still offers the largest social media platform. Use a Facebook business page above all to place news, targeted advertising and events.

• Reach brand fans with Instagram

Instagram is the platform when it comes to increasing your brand awareness. It is 10 times easier on Instagram than on Facebook. 80 percent of users follow at least one brand account here and a majority of the state that they can find out about new products on the platform.

• Networking on LinkedIn

Networking is the be-all and end-all in sales. On LinkedIn, you can search for and address people, build trust and do social selling. The business networks are moving ever further away from the “digital resume” and personnel recruitment towards Facebook for the professional context. From events to technical articles to stories (LinkedIn), everything is now possible and good for your visibility, because the results appear on Google.

• Share Winning Explanatory Videos on YouTube

With the second largest search engine in the world, you can position attractive content and present yourself as an expert – at the same time you have a good chance that it will find you on Google. B2B companies in particular have the opportunity here to market their content through various video formats. The target group is wide and diverse, just like the application.

• Post the latest news on Twitter

The short message service is particularly suitable for content marketing and as a customer service platform. Since the service is often used by customers to clear up satisfaction or dissatisfaction, it should not be ignored in some cases.

Wondering why social media channels like Instagram are relevant for business customers?

Put yourself back in the target group: The buyer from an industrial company does not turn the lever after work and switches to “private mode”. The customer continues to use social media during working hours. At a time when we also identify with our profession, our media consumption also merges.

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How Customer Journey matters for SEO? Step by Step Guide to create an Effective SEO Customer Journey Strategy!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 6, 2021
SEO Customer Journey

Search engine optimization (SEO) – with this keyword, many are already starting to get the checklists out. Keywords, content, backlinks, page speed and much more are written on the work plan.

However, these SEO measures are (only) the most common tools. Without knowing this customer and offering what customer is looking for at the right moment, we will not have any long-term success with all the SEO measures. Because in the best case we do a lot, but unfortunately often act past the customer.

The customer journey can help us to understand target customers much better and to use SEO measures more effectively.

What is customer journey in terms of online marketing?

Potential new customers – and we ourselves, as consumers – go through different phases in a purchase or booking process. Interested parties virtually embark on a journey from the first idea to the purchase.

The customer journey is a marketing term and describes the path that a customer takes to make a purchase. The customer journey map visualizes journey from the point in time when the potential customer becomes aware of an offer for the first time. On this journey to purchase, the interested party comes into contact with the offer or the company several times. This can be a click on a social media post, a Google ad or (completely offline) a verbal recommendation from a friend.

These points of contact are taken into account in the customer journey map. The phases of the customer journey are:

  • Awareness – The customer recognizes problem/need; the customer becomes aware of an offer/company.
  • Consideration – The customer is considering buying a product or booking a service.
  • Conversion – the customer buys the product or service.
  • Retention – The customer is satisfied with the product or service.
  • Advocacy – The customer recommends the product or service.

SEO Strategy for mapping Customer Journey

The aim of search engine optimization of a website is that the right customers and the right search terms find the website in the top positions in the search results list. To achieve this goal effectively and in the long term, it is essential to deal intensively with the targeted group and their information needs.

For sustainable SEO success, it is crucial that the content of the website:

  • That includes what customers are actually looking for. (Customer language)
  • Your questions answered and added value.
  • Is easily accessible and fits your situation.

This makes it clear that we need to take a closer look at our customers’ information needs. And this is not the same for all interested parties and at all times during the search. This is exactly where a customer journey map can help us to bring in some differentiation and structure at the same time.

How to apply SEO along with the customer journey?

Step 1: Define Buyers Personas and Customer Journey Map

The definition of target customers forms the basis of every marketing activity. The derivation and constant refinement of Buyers Personas is much more personal. Supplementing the mostly demographic data of a target customer with well-founded presumptions and information on customer behavior patterns, preferences and motivation make it easier to switch to the customer perspective.

The main thing is to understand the initial situation in which a potential customer is.

  • Who is the ideal customer?
  • What is its initial situation? (Problem, question)
  • What is his goal, what does he want to achieve? (with the offer/product)
  • What are his questions/hurdles regarding the product/service?
  • What does the customer think? What does he like, what doesn’t he like?

It should also be differentiated what information needs a new customer and how a pre-informed customer behaves.

We define our ideal customer as well as possible and also consider which path takes from the first idea to the purchase.

  • Where and how does the customer search?
  • Where and on which channels are customer travelling and inspired?
  • What information needs does it have in the individual phases?
  • What is important to the customer when making a decision? What criteria help to the customer make the decision?
  • What gives customer security and confidence when decided to buy?

Step 2: Keyword Analysis to track customer travel phase

Only with a thorough keyword analysis can we actually know which questions are asked and which search terms are entered in the Google search.

Among other things, we can use existing search terms here and use them as a starting point for keyword research.

Step 3: SEO Competitor Analysis

How good or bad competitors are with their own SEO strategy is crucial in order to define the appropriate paths and optimization measures. Well-optimized competitors require focused and differentiated SEO measures.

Here we are looking for possible content gaps that we may be able to fill. And we look at what content the competitors provide and how it was designed. The competitor view helps us a lot to see where we have a chance to stand out from the competition. It is not advisable to copy the exact same content, topics and keywords from the competition. Since these are already online, they already have a small visibility advantage. Working on the same topics with their own touch, personality and differentiated keywords is the better way.

Step 4: Create Suitable Content and Don’t Forget User Guidance

Now we are combining all the information we have gathered into a workable plan. The phases of the customer journey offer us a good framework.

Awareness – Where is the target customer travelling and can they be inspired? This can be, for example, on a social media channel.

As a provider, advice pages or blog posts on the typical questions are suitable in order to be easily found by customers in the search result list in this phase. Everything that provides a basic overview or basic information helps here.

Points of contact in the social media channels are also useful. It is not so much about the very specific properties of your own offer. Rather, at this point, we can draw the first attention of interested parties.

How can we draw attention to potentially interested parties?

Consideration – This is where information-related search terms from our keyword research come into play. The prospect thinks about the purchase. What information can we give the customer? What explanation is grateful for the customer? Which facts are decisive? This can be the price, components of the offer, the specific course of the cooperation and once again the achievement of the goals in short, concrete lists.

The customer is now fundamentally well informed and has decided to buy. At this point, however, customer not yet decided on a specific provider, so it is now a matter of convincing with expertise and authority. It is important for this customer that quickly get an overview to make the best decision. This should be the quality guideline for website content. It’s not about writing as much or as little as possible. Nor is it about the number of keywords in a text. The potential customer has questions that we both recognize and know and should answer in the customer’s language as best as possible. Check out the guide on the long-term benefits of content marketing.

Conversion – The customer chooses a provider. Now it is important to offer the buyer a smooth process and to provide them with content that is relevant to the deal – full focus on the essentials. This includes an uncomplicated, technically perfect booking/buying process – without any uncertainties or disruptions. There should be no “upselling” at any price because what is important is a satisfied customer who is happy with the decision.

Retention – The customer should not only be enthusiastic about the product but also about customer service. Good customer loyalty through valuable product tips (e.g. care instructions), additional information with added value and the offer of a newsletter are the basis for possible further purchases by the customer.

A follow-up email with a request as to whether everything worked out or worked is a nice guest that creates trust. Customer complaints should, therefore, be processed quickly and personally.

Advocacy – An all-round satisfied customer is happy to recommend the products and offers. We should make it as easy as possible for customers to recommend them in rating portals and social media channels, and save them long searches for company presences via direct links.

In summary: The customer has different information needs in every single phase of his journey. We should recognize these as well as possible and serve them with high-quality content. It is important to take into account that the researched keywords do not all fully fit every information need. Therefore, the keywords should be well structured and used in the appropriate texts.

At this point, it is helpful to have an overview of the intentions behind the search queries in the search engine. Google has defined three different categories of search intentions in its guidelines:

  • Information-related search query: These search queries are often used for research purposes and usually have no specific purchase intent. Blog entries, instructions, definitions and lexicon entries are usually helpful for these searchers.
  • Transaction-oriented search query: If the visitor is looking for an offer or product that customer would like to buy, ready for a transaction (purchase). customer has a clear idea of what look for and what want to do. These search queries are easy to recognize by the additional search terms “… buy”, “… book”, “… download” and similar. So, all searches in which the visitor wants to do something (buy, see, hear etc.) belong in this category.
  • Navigation-oriented search query: With this search query, the searcher wants to navigate to a specific location. Searches for brand names or entering a company name fall into this category. In ecommerce it is advisable to create an information page on popular product brands (the products of which are offered in the shop).

Visibility in the search result list is directly related to the quality of the content and the satisfaction of user needs.

Step 5: Not Only Write Content, but Also Design Text

The design of the texts is often neglected. It is extremely important that we make it as easy as possible for our customers to consume our content. It doesn’t help to be “only” found because after all, we want customers who book or buy.

Therefore, I would like to give you some SEO General tips for text design:

  • Respond to the situation of the reader. Pick it up where it is.
  • Write short sentences and structure the text in short paragraphs. This increases legibility.
  • Loosen up the text again and again with the help of bullets, graphics and pictures.
  • Write as precisely as possible. Each sentence should contain new information.
  • Are relevant keywords in the heading, in the introduction, in sub-headings, here and there in the text? Please always note: High-quality content and the comprehensibility and readability of the text are always in the foreground.
  • Which text passages are suitable for creating meaningful internal links to other subpages?
  • Formulate meaningful meta tags (titles and descriptions) for the pages. These have to be concrete and make you want more information. Use keywords here and do not promise anything in the preview that not actually found on the linked page. Check out the guide about On-page Search engine optimization strategy for your ecommerce website.

Conclusion

Search engine optimization not only means having a technically perfect website but also having an eye on loading times and keywords. SEO success depends crucially on how well we know our customers and what they are looking for. The customer journey opens our eyes to the path of our customer and the corresponding information needs in the respective phase.

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Simple & Effective tips for successful Marketing on Facebook Business Page

By | Date posted: | Last updated: December 28, 2020
Facebook Business Page Marketing

Facebook is the largest and most active social platform in the digital world. The network is developing into the No. 1 communication tool in our digital society.

Why should you use Facebook with your company? The high reach and activity rate understandably arouse great interest among companies. In most cases, your customers or potential customers can be found on the platform. Small companies in particular can use Facebook as an opportunity to give the company a “voice” and to communicate directly with their customers – be it for recruiting specialists, building product and brand awareness or direct dialogue with customers on service issues.

1. The right strategy

Before you become active on Facebook, you have to answer a few strategic questions in advance. First of all, it is important to fix the goals and expectations you are pursuing with your Facebook engagement. The goal should be in line with your own corporate goals. It is best to formulate the goals in writing.

  • What are your plans for the coming months and years?
  • What do you want to achieve on Facebook?
  • Can your target group be reached on Facebook at all?
  • What moves your target group?
  • Which topics are relevant for your targeted fans?

Analyse existing competitor pages and check which topics are played there or which successful postings can be found. In addition, you can access current studies and simple research tools (e.g. Google Alerts, Social Mention). Another good way is to survey your regular customers. This way you get a first strategic roadmap; it forms the basis for your Facebook action plan. It is advisable to review the strategy, especially at the beginning, and to optimize it if necessary.

2. Engagement on a Facebook page

As you can already see: social media takes time. So also think about your own resources. Not just for strategy development, but above all for the ongoing implementation phase. Do you have any free resources for Facebook in the form of employees, know-how to operate the platform – but also in monetary terms? Access to Facebook is free of charge, but the channel has to be served and marketed qualitatively with topics, layouts, possibly with IT systems. Running Facebook on the side creates suboptimal basic requirements. Always keep in mind when you are involved in Facebook: Your company uses this channel to communicate with regular customers or potential new customers. Thus, the page strengthens your brand and creates trust.

If resources are scarce, you can also work with external partners. You bring the necessary expertise to build your page, successful community management and regular updates from Facebook. However, always build up interfaces for your company. Experience has shown that external partners can never transmit your unique company DNA. The monthly editorial conference can be an interface to your company. And last but not least: Facebook is a rapidly changing platform, individual functions change almost every week; this means that you should also continuously adjust your strategy – not every day, but at least once a month in the initial phase.

Depending on the size of the company, it is advisable to communicate your social media strategy openly to the employees. A proven means is, for example, the social media guideline, which ensures a motivating set of rules for good communication inside and outside of Facebook. Your employees are usually very good brand ambassadors for your company. Your employees can be very helpful in times of crisis.

Speaking of Shitstorm: Social content is new territory for most companies, i.e. they are confronted with uncontrolled opinions in your marketing channel. If the worst comes to the worst, prepare a master plan for crisis communication and correct behaviour in advance. Then you are well prepared for the possible storm. But for your reassurance: It is seldom to expect a violent so-called shit storm. If you have done good preparatory work, you should start your journey in calm waters.

3. Content planning and editorial control

One of the central keys to marketing success in social networks like Facebook is the creation of conversation pieces. Facebook users want fun, entertainment, exciting stories and added value about your company on this platform. Preferably content that they can share with their friends. There are only one thing users do not want: another advertising channel with clumsy advertising messages. Facebook is primarily a dialogue medium and not a sales channel.

Facebook sees itself as a modern marketing instrument with its own communication rules! So the motto for companies is: don’t just broadcast, but above all listen to your fans. This creates a direct exchange at eye level between company and customer. Your fans expect an open and authentic dialogue with you and love to interact.

The fans usually only come to your Facebook page to like you. Afterwards they only come by to communicate directly with you, for example for service questions or complaints. That’s why it’s important to get your posts in your fans’ news feed. You can achieve this by offering interesting topics with added value. A varied, target group-relevant editorial plan is crucial for a successful social media concept. In addition, your fans demand fast reaction times to comments and possible inquiries. That is why you value efficient production processes right from the start. This includes recurring tasks such as:

  • Topic research
  • Content production
  • Editorial control
  • marketing
  • Success measurement

The centrepiece is the editorial plan. Here you define interesting and relevant topics for your fans. Your annual business calendar provides you with the first basic topics. You can discover other thematic blocks in the individual departments. Events attended also offer good thematic blocks. So, you already get a good overview of possible editorial topics. The important thing here is to develop exclusive content for Facebook. Simply displaying the website content 1: 1 on Facebook leads to nothing.

Dialogue means talking and exchanging ideas. Combine your posting activities with entertainment features. Special campaigns that encourage participation and provide topics for conversation. Use sweepstakes, competitions, votes, videos about the company or checklists with tips and information – that is, a healthy mix of fun, useful information and other added value such as product tests or exclusive sales campaigns. Always make a connection to your company; otherwise you will generate fans who will not become customers.

However, there is an important formula for starting a Facebook page: Trying is about studying. Test different measures and evaluate the results. These findings will support you in future editorial planning and channel optimization.

Afterwards, the results of your topic determination must be prepared for a Facebook page in a readable manner. You should enrich your posting texts with pictures, videos and relevant web links. Most of the time, it is important to put one value on the posting texts: short posts thank the fan (max. 100 characters). The thanks of your fans will be the interaction and at best the recommendation of your page.

4. Facebook Marketing

It is time to make your Facebook presence known to your potential fans. Especially at the beginning, building a community has to be given top priority. The marketing and fan building of a Facebook page is not a sure-fire success. Use different ways to win fans. Carry out plenty of marketing at the point of sale and generate attention: for example, with a small flyer at the cash register or by speaking directly to the customer. Invite your customers as fans – on all the advertising materials you use: e.g. website, flyer, brochure, e-mail newsletter, business letter, receipt, invoice, e-mail signature.

Another and very successful option is the placement of Facebook ads. This performance marketing tool offers you a very targeted marketing option because your target group selection can be based on socio-demographic data or a field of interest. Facebook ads attract a lot of attention and your marketing budget is usually only charged when you actually click on your ad. Facebook offers the possibility for a variety of advertising formats with different goals. Here are the main objectives:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase the reach of the Facebook page
  • Link from Facebook to your own website
  • Market business app
  • Local environment – reach local people
  • Lead generation
  • Post and market offer
  • Promote an event

The choice of ad format naturally depends on the goal set, for example increasing brand awareness or regional awareness or creating website visits, likes or leads. For more information, see the Facebook Ads Guide.

These formats can also be split between desktop and mobile view. The teaser, title and ad text must be formulated briefly and promptly and have a beneficial effect. Always enrich your ads with a picture and a call-to-action (e.g. “book now”). It is best to always set up several variants of your advertisements (e.g. different advertisement images or text), because Facebook plays the advertisement with the best performance independently the most frequently.

5. Metrics to Measure the Success of your Facebook Business Page

The expectations of companies on Facebook are often very high – especially when it comes to the “fan growth” indicator. Of course, your fan base must reach a certain size. However, quality over quantity counts on Facebook. Or is your circle of friends infinitely large? Which key figures do you want to collect and in what time rhythm? The goal of measuring success is the constant optimization of your page. This also takes time, but especially in the start-up phase, you will go through a steep learning curve through monitoring. That is why it is important to test various posts for relevance and gain experience during this time. The freely available Facebook page analysis is helpful.

The topic of patience should not be missing here either. To carry out a final evaluation of your Facebook channel, you should allow at least 12 months as a test phase. Building your community can take a long time. Therefore, do not throw the shotgun into the grain immediately after a few weeks. As your community grows, your virality will grow too – exponentially. You might be interested in these KPIs and figures when measuring your success:

  • Number of fans
  • Interaction rate per post (likes, comments, shares)
  • Contribution range
  • Pageviews per post
  • Traffic to your website via Facebook

13 Essential Tips for an Engaging Facebook Business Page

  • Are your potential customers on Facebook at all?
  • Set goals for your Facebook page.
  • Make a target group selection of your potential fans.
  • Make decisions regarding the organization of your Facebook page.
  • Develop topics and build the editorial plan.
  • Set a budget.
  • Market your Facebook page with your potential fans.
  • Offer your fans added value and interact with your fans (promotions such as competitions, competitions, question-and-answer sessions).
  • Measure your results month after month.
  • Continually optimize your strategy and action plan.
  • Visit other pages to generate new ideas.
  • Be patient and persistent.
  • Observe the legal regulations (imprint, data protection etc.)!

Success factors for Facebook community management

  • Take your Facebook page seriously. Be professional.
  • Don’t just spread, but interact.
  • Treat your Facebook page like a hotline.
  • Optimize your response time and react quickly.
  • “Personalize” your Facebook Page.
  • Use your local influence and your local expertise.
  • Use offers wisely – they increase the reach but do not strengthen the loyalty to the company.
  • Let your fans become part of the marketing team.
  • Integrate Facebook into the marketing mix.
  • Don’t give too much importance to the number of your fans.

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