Social media and content are the “dynamic duo” for success in B-to-B marketing, according to Aaron Kahlow, CEO and founder of the Online Marketing Institute, a San Francisco-based e-learning platform for digital marketing education. Kahlow offered tips for creating a well-executed social media and content marketing plan to drive ROI at the Business Marketing Association’s breakfast seminar in Chicago on Sept. 25:
1. Optimize your website and e-mails for mobile. “Studies show that people are spending more time on their mobile devices than they are eating and sleeping. By 2015, more devices will connect on mobile than an actual PC,” Kahlow said. “If your e-mails have big images at the top, they’re bad, because if someone is scrolling through those on an iPhone or Android, they automatically [think] it’s something that isn’t important.”
2. Build a presence on Google+. “It’s the No. 1 way to boost your rankings in search engines, so getting involved in Google+ is really important, especially on the B-to-B side,” Kahlow said.
3. Get more than ‘likes’ on Facebook. “Usually, marketers are just trying to push something out through their newsfeed, and you hope there are some ‘likes’ and comments, and that’s it. If you’re pushing content out there, you should think ‘Is this something that someone would share?’ If you start getting people to share, you’ll have an amazing reach.” Sponsored posts can be litmus tests on whether your content will resonate with your customers, Kahlow added. “If you’re not willing to spend a few dollars to promote that message, you may not want to post it.”
4. Use video. More people spend time watching video online than they do on Facebook, so adding video to your website and social channels will expand your reach, Kahlow said.
5. Create a universal content marketing strategy. “So many B-to-B companies say, ‘What’s our Facebook strategy, what’s our Twitter strategy,’ and that’s incorrect. It should be ‘What’s our content marketing strategy, what are we trying to build as a brand to push through these channels?’” Kahlow said. To build a content strategy, determine your target audience, keywords about your company that are searchable online and in social media, what you’ve learned from existing content, the media and social content your customers already are engaging in and key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of your content. Map content to personas, and then create an editorial calendar to keep your team on track, he says.
6. Engage other departments in content brainstorming. “Work with your customer service and sales department. They talk to your customers every single day. Reach out to them and have them tell you what their conversations are, and they could give you ideas for content themes.”