For anyone interested in social media marketing, the globally held, Social Media Week conferences aren’t to be missed. With a range of events, talks and seminars focusing on the current trends, opportunities and key issues within media, marketing and technology, here’s what we learnt.
Looking at current trends, it comes as no surprise that Instagram is at the forefront of conversations, with constant innovations and feature updates adapting the way we communicate through the platform. One specific feature that is growing tremendously is the Story. Offering the ability to communicate in a quick manner through an easy to use feature. This new way of browsing (the tap vs the scroll), offers a platform for more authentic content, with real time images and messages often being pushed. This quick communication is beginning to surpass the standard newsfeed we all know and love for many reasons. As the platform feature means posts will disappear after 24 hours, a space is created for daily communications that require less commitment. The rise of stories is something that will continue to grow over the coming year with the platform not only offering brands & consumers a new way of communicating, but also giving Instagram the platform to test and develop new features at a rapid pace.
The type of content consumers want access to can vary, dependant on their needs, demographic and the sector you’re in. However, there is one consistent, the need for authenticity. The phrase ‘Insta Perfect Fatigue’ is something we are hearing on a regular basis. Driven from an excess of influencers posting their seemingly perfect lives, there has been a growth in the need for authentic content. In terms of brands projecting authenticity into their social campaigns, we are beginning to see longer-term partnerships take place between them and influencers. Making influencers ambassadors that believe in your brand and its products can show the authenticity in promotions. With influencers now having to follow rules set by the ASA, it is very easy for consumers to see through the fake promotions.
Initially we turn to social media when we are looking at B2C marketing, however we must be reminded that B2B consumers make purchases, within the workplace, that are emotionally driven. Due to these purchases potentially effecting their career they are potentially more emotional than personal purchases.
When looking at the B2B consumer journey, the main difference we see from B2C is the often the number of people who are involved with the decision. These individuals are often from a range of demographics, with nearly half of researchers being millennials, but over 64% of final decisions are made by c-suite. Because of this broad demographic, ensuring you have a range of content to successfully communicate the needed information to the correct individuals is key to increasing your chance of a sale.
Due to the level of emotion used to make a purchasing decision, there are key areas your content should be formed from. Look at answering frequently asked questions, making information readily available either through a social media post or blog, will aid in the decision-making process, save you time and already leave you in good stead with you potential clients. Provide a range of insights such as how you work and the potential benefits clients will receive, helping an informed purchasing decision to be made. Not all your content will be required at every stage of the decision-making process but making it readily available and easy to locate, will make the consumers research & decision process much easier.
The main platform we often see used for B2B social media marketing is LinkedIn, offering a professional space to promote yourself & company. Due to the nature of social marketing, it is clear that with direct communication, people sell to people. This is why using a company page as a content hub for employees to share and post as they wish is the best way to communicate to your consumers.
Overall it is clear that the current social media landscape is constantly shifting and changing. Utilising these changes by embracing the innovations and following trends will push us into the eye-line of consumers. And whilst there is a level of professionalism we see in B2B social marketing, personal relationships are a crucial part of the journey as people are emotionally driven when making purchases.
When it comes to social media the content we post is more important than ever. If you need hands on support in content activation and creation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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