27 May 2013 The social media weapons in the B2B marketing arsenal
The weapons in the marketer’s arsenal are always evolving. In the B2C world there’s been a frenzied exploitation of social media but in the B2B domain, it seems there is still some caution as the social media marketing landscape is assessed. There is still a great deal of uncertainty about what does and doesn’t work and there have been as many high profile backfires as there have been success stories. What’s especially interesting is how some of the tools are being used – not as you might expect.
Take twitter – the fairly common prank of creating fake celebrity accounts is now being deployed in the business to business world. Look at @fakeariba, “The Other Ariba”. When this first came to my attention a few weeks ago I assumed it was a clever marketing ploy by Ariba themselves. They tweeted, high lighting a piece by Drew Hoffler and their bio: “Some untold stories around the biggest supplier network in the galaxy” draws attention to one of Ariba’s key strengths. But take a closer look. The Other Ariba seems to be very popular with the beliebers. There’s something very fake about this account and it’s seems more like a competitor or disgruntled customer that’s behind it. Whether it’s a prank or a serious marketing move, it’s counter intuitive to use social media in this way and it is that kind of lateral thinking that makes social media work.
Content marketing – how to get it right and how to get it wrong
There’s lots and lots said and written about content marketing but despite that it is still very under utilized. Getting your products and services known has always been about getting your brand name in the face of your potential customers whether that’s by emailing your target demographic or displaying ads in industry journals. But today, google is the first port of call for many potential buyers when they’re searching for business solutions and the place to be to be in the face of your next customer is their work computer, their tablet and their smart phone. The only way to get there is to deliver the best value adding content. Value adding is the key – and this is where businesses get it wrong.
The easiest way to get it wrong is to believe your own bullshit. You love your products, you love your company but don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone else does. Content that simply rehashes delusional claims about your company does not add value. It’s patronizing and it doesn’t attract serious buyers.
Instead of interpreting content marketing as developing search engine optimized sales collateral, think about what sort of content your prospects want. They want objective advice. They want thought leadership. They want expert insights. They want to reduce the risks associated with the buying decision they’re about to make. They may want to be entertained or challenged. It’s this kind of content that your prospects are spending their time with and this is where your marketing efforts should be focused.
It may be counter intuitive but the worst place to put your content could be your own web site.
Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin