Social media has come of age to drive significant B2B growth.
Over the last 18 months, the COVID-19 crisis bought about significant changes in the way organisations market their products and engage with customers. Global restrictions on movement and human-to-human contact led to a dramatic upsurge in digital transformation as businesses and consumers alike all shifted en masse into the cybersphere.
For B2B marketers, that shift unsheathed itself like a double-edged sword. On the one side, the huge influx of online presence presented an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to engage their target audience at scale and drive demand inexpensively through social media. On the other side, however, creating unique campaigns that stand out from the crowd in a fiercely competitive online marketplace grows more difficult by the day.
As technology continues to evolve, so too do the expectations of the people who use it. And while social media may not have been a major priority in the B2B space 10 years ago, studies show that 75% of B2B organisations now cite social media and social media advertising as the second most implemented marketing tactic after email.
Considering the above, this post will explore three key B2B social media marketing trends that are helping businesses find differentiation and drive engagement in a post-pandemic world.
Building communities with LinkedIn
Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is still considered the most effective platform for B2B lead generation, and is used by 86% of B2B marketers worldwide. According to a recent report, LinkedIn generated over $3 billion in ad revenues in 2020 alone, but what factors are driving that growth?
In terms of targeting, few (if any) social media platforms can compete with LinkedIn on a B2B level. Depending on the context, LinkedIn allows marketers to target specific audiences based on their roles, seniority, skills, types of companies they work for, and the departments they work within, etc. Meanwhile, the LinkedIn B2B Institute – a free online marketing think tank founded three years ago and funded by LinkedIn – offers immense value to B2B marketers with its extensive research into future B2B marketing trends and decision making processes.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about LinkedIn today, however, is its recent launch of new features like alternative post reactions, stories, events, and polls, all of which suggest the platform is trying to create a culture and sense of community for remote workers. These new features also open a whole new world of opportunity for businesses to engage with their audience by creating content that connects on an emotional level.
The rise of video marketing
With Cisco predicting that video will make up 82% of global IP traffic by 2022, it’s easy to understand why so many businesses now place video content as a top priority pushing forward. In fact, sources show that 64% of B2B buyers increased their use of online video in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that number is expected to continue to rising over the next decade.
As the demand for video content increases, video-first platforms like Instagram and YouTube continue to grow with it. Research shows that 33% of B2B companies already have an Instagram presence where they can target around 1 billion users monthly, 71% of which average between 18-29 years of age. Meanwhile, B2B megaliths Microsoft, HP, UPS and Cisco have already invested heavily in YouTube marketing, a platform with more than 2 billion members who view as many as 5 billion videos daily.
Blurring of lines between B2C & B2B
While often overlooked in the enterprise world, research reveals that 79% of B2B marketers still use Facebook, and the reasons why are clear. Though predominantly a consumer-focused platform, reports tell us Facebook receives an average of 1.56 billion visitors daily, and Facebook Ads generated $84.2 billion in 2020 alone.
While the increasing use of Facebook for business presents a blurring of lines between B2C & B2B social media marketing, it doesn’t stop there. 67% of all B2B marketers are now using Twitter as a digital marketing tool, and, as bizarre as it may seem, companies like IBM, Cisco, and General Electric have all incorporated Gen-Z favourite Snapchat into their marketing strategies, likely as an attempt to target the next generation of business leaders and decision makers.
The future of B2B Social Media Marketing
Over the last 18 months, LogicLogicMagic has seen a significant increase in demand gen advertising beyond the traditional B2B social media platforms (LinkedIn and Twitter) amongst our clients. Both Instagram and Facebook activity has increased and seen success in driving content engagement and top of funnel leads as well as nurturing outside the inbox.
At a time where all digital channels have been saturated more than ever before because of the impact of the pandemic on traditional marketing tactics like events, B2B marketers are having to think differently about engaging and re-engaging the audiences they want to talk to.
Today, memorability is the key to success across all social media platforms. So, if you want to standout against the noise, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how we can drive growth by bringing a little magic to your social media marketing.