Capitalizing on paid social in B2B industries

Paid advertising on social media channels always seems to be growing, it’s a huge buzzword at the minute and everybody wants it to work for their business.

In B2C you’ll find endless ecommerce businesses who essentially make a living through Facebook ads alone and this makes sense, social media is very much a consumer channel. But this doesn’t stop stakeholders in B2B companies pushing for paid social to drive a volume of leads and clients.

And this is where it gets challenging. As a B2B marketer, you are advertising in an unleveled playing field.

When you advertise on Google Ads you have user intent, you still have competition but you are all competing for the same thing, an engaged user.

When you advertise on Facebook however, you are targeting the same users as businesses in fashion, electronics, homeware – and there is no intent.

It, therefore, becomes incredibly important that you pinpoint the right audience and target them with engaging creatives. If you don’t you will just be wasting ad spend.

There is so much you can do with paid social ads, so I’ve outlined a few that I have seen work well in the B2B space.

Customer Lookalike Audiences

There are so many audiences you can test across LinkedIn and Facebook, be that based on job titles, interests, company names – the list goes on. However, If you are new to paid social or just looking for a new way to generate leads, lookalike audiences are where I would start.

There are two ways to do this; – the first is to get a list of all the users who have enquired via your website, be that a form completion or a download – whatever you deem to be an inquiry.

The second, and better option, is to upload a list based on actual client data i.e. people who have paid for your service.

Creating these audiences is where AI and paid search go hand in hand. We are relying on the social platforms to analyze our data, our customer’s profiles, and behavior and then finding us users it deems to be similar.

The caveat, as with all AI like this, is that your lookalike is only ever going to be as good as the data you input, hence the platforms recommend you upload a significant enough amount of data.

The process of creating a lookalike audience is straightforward with both Facebook and LinkedIn.

How to create a lookalike audience in LinkedIn

How to create a lookalike audience for paid social in LinkedIn

  1. Prepare a csv. file as per LinkedIn’s requirements (This can be done based on business name or contact email address)
  2. Go to “Account Assets” and click “Matched Audiences”
  3. Click “Create Audience” and select “List Upload”
  4. Name your audience
  5. Select the file you wish to upload and hit “Upload”
  6. Wait 24 hours
  7. Back in “Matched Audiences” click “Create Audience” and this time select “Lookalike”
  8. Name your audience
  9. Select the list your previously uploaded and hit “Create”
  10. Again wait 24 hours

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook

How to create a lookalike audience for paid social in Facebook

  1. Prepare your data in a csv or txt file as per Facebook’s requirements
  2. In Facebook Ads Manager navigate to “Audiences”
  3. Hit “Create Audience” and select “Custom Audience” from the dropdown
  4. Here you can pick different audience types, in this instance select “Customer List”
  5. Select the “Use a file that doesn’t include LTV” option
  6. Upload your file and ensure the identifiers match the fields in your data set
  7. Name your audience and hit next
  8. Back in “Audiences” select “Create Audience” and this time hit “Lookalike Audience”
  9. Select the audience to base your lookalike on by searching in the “Other Sources” dropdown and select the appropriate location
  10. Select the “Audience Size” percentage you wish to target and hit create

The difference with Facebook is that it allows you to select the size of your lookalike audience based on a percentage scale which ranges from one to ten percent. One percent is essentially the audience that is most alike your customer data and ten percent is therefore much broader. You are able to create multiple audiences and tailor your bidding appropriately.

The audience is one thing, but you still need to couple this with appropriate creative and compelling messaging.

Get “creative” with your creatives

Coming back to one of my original points, standing out on paid social is difficult for all businesses, given the fact there is just so much interesting content at a user’s fingertips – their friend’s posts, brands they follow, pages they follow and ads to name a few. So it is important that your ads stand out.

Further still, your B2B ad needs to work a little harder to stand out. On LinkedIn you get a bit of good grace from users; people are in the professional mindset and engaging with business-related content. However, with Facebook, it needs to be interesting, engaging, and most importantly stand out.

The best example I have seen of a business doing this well is Simply Business, a UK based business insurance company, who has a whole campaign around businesses with interesting names.

How Simply Business got creative with their creative for paid social

 

The social creatives all play on celebrity names as business names, “Steven Spielburger”, “Leonardo DiCappuccino”, and other such ones.

The reason I say they are doing this well is I first saw this campaign when browsing Instagram stories on my personal account and it made me look into what else they were doing.

Their campaign is utilizing this same kind of creative across Facebook and Instagram with image ads, videos, and obviously stories.

Some key things to do with different creative

  1. Images

    Design something that stands out and grabs people’s attention as they scroll up and down a feed. Bold colors and clear messaging are key to this.

  2. Videos

    Keep them succinct and avoid using overtly corporate or stock footage. Appearing natural is what is likely to drive engagement.

  3. Gifs

    Perfect for Facebook, focus on some kind of animation that relates to something people know, for instance, a gif of houses with “for sale” signs changing to “sold” might stick in the mind of realtors.

  4. Top tip

    Use tools like the Facebook Ad Library and the Ads tab on a company LinkedIn page to review the creative they are using.

Tailored messaging

Without a doubt, tailoring your message to your audience is one of the most important aspects of advertising on social media.

If social platforms allow you to pinpoint your audience to something as specific as Marketing Directors in finance businesses with 11-50 staff on the East coast you need to ensure you make the best use of that and tailor your creative to it.

Over the last few months, I have tended to split all social campaigns out by sector so I can pinpoint target customers who are realtors, accountants, and attorneys to target them with copy and creative that highlights why my service is of value in their industry.

This is incredibly simple to do, and while it may be more time consuming to set-up, you will see much better CTRs and much better conversion rates when that traffic comes to your site – even more so if your landing pages can reflect the audience too.

LinkedIn Text Ads

This seems like a really basic and dull tip, but it works.

Whilst there is nothing particularly glamorous or exciting about a LinkedIn Text Ad they can be incredibly effective in generating leads.

Simple to set up, they consist of four elements

Four elements of setting up LinkedIn text ads

 

  • An image: Generally your logo
  • A headline: 25 characters
  • A description: 75 characters
  • A landing page

There is no need for any complicated creative and therefore no need to go through the process of briefing into a designer and using their resource. You can get these set up in less than five minutes.

In setting up the ad you will also need to have created an audience; it makes sense that you craft your headline and description to reflect this audience. As I have said previously in this post, it is essential that your ad messaging is relevant to your audience, especially on social where there is so much content flying around.

Generally you will find that you get a high number of impressions and a very low CTR, however, with the LinkedIn audience targeting options, you know that this traffic will be highly relevant. In addition to this CPCs are often much cheaper on text ads when compared with other LinkedIn ad formats.

All in all, for very little effort you can set up campaigns which, in my experience, have tended to be fruitful in generating leads, and doing so at an effective cost-per-lead.

Conclusion

To summarise, there is so much that you can be doing with paid social in a B2B industry, but there are a few things that you definitely need to be considering:

  • Get your targeting right and make sure you try Lookalike Audiences
  • Make sure you get creative with your creatives
  • Tailor your ad copy to the people you are targeting
  • Don’t overlook the simple and dull things, they can be extremely effective

And as with all things digital, the most important thing is to test and share. There are always new features on social advertising platforms and you never know what will work until you give it a go.

Daniel Marshall is a Strategic Digital Marketing Manager with experience in international search marketing strategy across PPC, SEO, CRO, and social (paid and organic). He can be reached out on Twitter @digitallydan14.

The post Capitalizing on paid social in B2B industries appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Top four social listening tools for 2020 and why they’re great

Every business wants as much customer feedback as possible. That’s why we obsessively measure NPS (which barely has any statistical validity) and run surveys (which, in addition to being biased by definition, can negatively impact customer experience) like it’s the end of the world.

But the feedback we really want is different. It’s genuine, quick and easy to get, and structured enough so we can analyze it effectively. That’s where social listening, or social media monitoring, comes in.

Social listening is the process of monitoring mentions of keywords (for example, a brand name) or key phrases across social media and the Internet at large. Think of it as a way to measure people’s awareness of any subject – and their opinion on it – without having to ask questions.

Google Trends

More and more companies are adopting social media monitoring every year, and social listening tools are also evolving quickly. Even though they’re called social media monitoring tools, many apps go beyond social media and monitor the web at large. Finally, they analyze the data in order to provide you with insights you can learn from and act on.

In this post, we’ll look at the best social media monitoring tools you can use in 2020.

1. Awario

top-Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great Awario

Awario is one of the best options in terms of bang for the buck. With pricing starting at $29/month, it comes equipped with many features of Enterprise-geared tools: sentiment analysis, topic clouds, Boolean search, and more.

In terms of coverage, Awario monitors Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, news and blogs, and the rest of the web. Let’s look at what makes Awario stand out.

Rich analytics

Awario lets users measure dozens of social listening metrics, such as sentiment, reach, share of voice, key themes, top countries, and more. On top of that, you can use the tool to identify your biggest influencers and compare several brands side-by-side against crucial metrics for benchmarking and competitor analysis.

Boolean search

Boolean search isn’t for every brand. If your company name isn’t a common or ambiguous word (think Apple or Tesla), you’ll be just fine by simply feeding your brand name to the tool.

However, social listening has plenty of benefits beyond brand monitoring: from lead generation and PR, to doing research for your content strategy, this is where Boolean search comes in handy. It’s an advanced search mode that uses Boolean logic, letting you create flexible queries of any complexity to make sure you only get relevant results, whatever your use case may be.

Alert settings

Pricing

Awario offers a free 7-day trial. Pricing starts at $29/mo for the Starter plan (with 3 topics to monitor and 30,000 mentions/mo) and goes up to $299/mo for Enterprise. 

2. TweetDeck

Top Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great - Tweet Deck

Although TweetDeck isn’t a specialized social media monitoring tool, it definitely deserves a place on this list.

First of all, TweetDeck is free. Second, it lets you run Twitter searches using its powerful filters. And third, it combines the search functionality with everything else you’ll need to manage your Twitter presence.

Monitoring and scheduling in one tool

TweetDeck lets you schedule tweets, manage your DMs, and track mentions of your company on the network. You can set up as many searches as you need and reply to tweets right from the dashboard by connecting your Twitter account to the app.

Customizable column layout

Another great thing about TweetDeck is its column layout where you get to choose what each column shows. For instance, you could have your Twitter feed in one column, your DMs in another, and your social listening search in yet another one.

Pricing

TweetDeck is free.

3. Talkwalker

Top Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great - Talkwalker

Talkwalker is an excellent social listening tool for digital agencies. The software collects the latest mentions of your brand and offers detailed analytics on your social media presence.

The tool’s social media coverage is pretty impressive, on top of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, the platform also monitors Flickr and Pinterest. 

Demographic analysis

In addition to monitoring mentions, Talkwalker will give you insights on people who mention you, including your audience’s gender, age, interests, and geography.

Image recognition

Talkwalker’s Enterprise plan offers an ability to monitor images and videos, this way you’ll be notified whenever your logo appears in an Instagram photo or YouTube video. 

Pricing

Pricing starts at $9,600/year for 10,000 mentions/mo. 

4. Mention

Top Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great - Mention

Mention is a social media tool that’s primarily geared towards agencies and big brands, although they do offer plans for smaller businesses. Mention’s focus is on real-time monitoring – if you sign up and create an alert, you’ll only see mentions from the last 24 hours. Historical data is available under custom plans.

API access

For businesses that like to have their analytics in one place, Mention offers API access, letting you integrate it into your own tools. If you’re not into coding, Mention offers an integration with Zapier, letting you automatically send mentions to a Google Spreadsheet, set up Slack notifications, and more.

Influencer marketing

In addition to social media monitoring, Mention lets you search for industry influencers across Twitter and Instagram; on top of that, it finds influential websites that you can partner with or guest post on. 

Pricing

Mention’s pricing starts at $29/mo for its basic Solo plan, which lets you monitor one topic. For bigger brands, the app offers custom plans which start at $600/mo.

Conclusion

That’s our list of the best social media monitoring tools for the coming year. Each of them has its own unique pros, so I do hope you’ve found one that’s a perfect fit for your use case and budget.

This is a sponsored post from Awario. Awario is a social listening and analytics platform trusted by over 5,000 companies worldwide. The tool gives brands access to meaningful insights on their customers, industry, and competitors through real-time social media and web monitoring. Awario monitors social media networks, news websites, blogs, and the rest of the web in real time, crawling over 13 billion pages daily to ensure you never miss important conversations that spark out online.

The post Top four social listening tools for 2020 and why they’re great appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Six social media marketing strategies that work and convert

As an estimate, 3.499 billion people that make around 50% of the earth’s population are active social media users. Of that, Facebook alone has over 2.375 billion active users. WhatsApp, an instant messaging app by Facebook, has more than 1.6 billion users.

Other Facebook developments: Instagram has one billion, and SnapChat has 190 million daily users.

Despite the fact that Facebook owns a majority of leading social networks, there are many other social platforms where users love to engage and spend time. YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok are some of the most popular, non-Facebook social media platforms at present.

Marketing on social media is quite different from traditional marketing. In 2018 alone, $74 billion were spent on social media marketing worldwide. Why? Because social media marketing yields better visibility and ROI than traditional and TV advertising do.

This blog covers six new and proven social media marketing strategies on the following key areas. Implementing these strategies, you will be able to bring in new customers, build strong relationships and trust, and win back customers that seem to have been lost forever.

Start creating Instagram stories

As mentioned earlier, Instagram has over a billion users. And, roughly, half of its users use Instagram Stories every day.

And that’s where you have a chance to cash in via your Instagram Stories.

Considering the fact that you can build your audience and convert them through your stories, you should have a separate dedicated strategy for your Instagram Stories.

If you too are planning to use Instagram Stories, here are some of the best practices to create Instagram Stories that get views, engagement, and clicks –

  • Add hashtags (#)
  • Tag your location
  • Run polls and encourage users to participate
  • Use trending stickers and icons
  • Follow the right image and video formats so your stories look good on mobile screens
  • Put your popular updates, content, and stories in highlights
  • Add links to stories
  • Place strong CTAs

If you have a verified business account or more than 10000 followers, you could also set up your shop on Instagram. And then, you can promote your products through your Instagram Stories and ask watchers to take the desired action to buy.

Get started with YouTube Ads

With its 1.9 billion users, YouTube is the largest and most active video social network. At an average, its users spend at least 40 minutes every time they open YouTube.

If you are a YouTube user, you are already aware of YouTube ads being run before and during the videos you are playing.

Imagine your ads being shown to users chosen strategically based on whether they fit into your buyer definition.

Wouldn’t that be a great way to boost visibility and awareness?

You can target users – or show your ads to specific users – based on their Google search and YouTube watch history. Put simply, if a user has searched for a product or term on Google, and you have a product that falls into that category, you can choose to show your advertisement to that user.

YouTube reaches more people than any TV network in the world. Using YouTube Ads could give your brand massive visibility and your sales a big boost.

To set up your video ad campaigns, you will need to create attractive and meaningful videos to engage and delight your audience. Here is a complete guide to create and run your video ads campaign on YouTube.

Increase your reach with Facebook Ads funnel

Facebook’s more than two billion users access the platform eight times a day, either through web or mobile. That makes it the most active social network as well.

Given that, it becomes a platform with plenteous sales and marketing opportunities.

26% percent of users who click on Facebook Ads go ahead and make the purchase. 39% of users follow official brand pages expecting to receive the latest offers.

But, to be exact, Facebook is not a place where a user is ready to buy. It is certainly a platform to make a user a loyal customer that not only will buy from you in the future but will also spread your brand through the word of mouth.

If pitched right, Facebook Ads offer higher returns on investment meetings, and in most cases, surpassing your ad objectives and expectations.

The most important element of your Facebook ads is your content, which could be a blog post, infographic, video, live webinar, or eBook. The focus should be on producing quality content that you can pitch your audience.

You can also create the same content in multiple formats so that you can convince people at different stages in different ad formats through different ad sets. Creating and promoting segmented content by targeting it your lookalike audience is the basics of Facebook Funnel marketing.

Remarketing is probably the best feature of Facebook Ads. You could expose your brand (through your ads) to potential audiences multiple times till the time they make a decision.

TikTok Ads for a specific audience

TikTok rose to fame after a revamp, followed by the takeover of Music.ly a couple of years back. This Chinese social network allows users to create 15-second videos while lip-syncing on popular soundtracks, music, movie dialogs, and famous personalities. This fun app is largely popular among teens and those in their twenties.

The platform is available in 150 countries and in 75 languages. On Apple AppStore and Google Store, TikTok is one of the most downloaded free apps.

TikTok is an attractive marketing platform, especially if you have products that interest teens and tweens.

Of 500 million, 26.5 million are from the United States and 43% from India. 66% of its audience is below 30 years. These stats tempt marketers to use TikTok marketing to promote their brand.

IGTV for more views and actions    

IGTV is probably Instagram’s best feature from a marketer’s standpoint. Earlier, it was a standalone app.

Back then, using it was an uphill battle for marketers and a confusing affair for the user. It was challenging for marketers to generate engagement and views on their videos.

Now, things have turned easier.

What’s more interesting is: Users can now see IGTV previews on their Instagram feed. And by tapping the preview on their feed, they can move to and watch the video on the IGTV tab which is existent within the app’s interface.

Your videos are also shown in the search or discover section on Instagram – which gets you more views from users interested in videos, products, and services like yours. Strategic use of IGTV gives your brand a chance to showcase your product videos in an interactional manner and stand out.

With that, Instagram and IGTV offer a completely different approach to reach and convert. So gear up and create IGTV specific videos to deliver quality and value, and to gain more views and engagement.

Here are seven useful tips to get started with IGTV marketing

  • Create videos in Instagram-friendly (vertical) format
  • Keep your video content short and crisp – full of information
  • Choose different backdrops or locations to shoot your video. (it helps create visual interest for the audience)
  • Conduct game shows and interviews (make sure they are relevant)
  • Add subtitles to your videos (and make it easier for users, who watch videos with the sound off)
  • Use pop-up texts to send important messages during the video
  • Design your cover photo showcasing your title and keywords

Live video marketing

To make your marketing efforts perform, you will need to be different. Social media has transformed how businesses are run. The dominance of video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, SnapChat, and TikTok has ignited a new trend within social media.

Since users spend one-third of their time watching online videos, video marketing has now become an integral part of any successful social media marketing strategy. And for that reason, 87% of marketers use video to market their content and brands.

Evidently, every brand and marketer seems to be doing video marketing. So, now is the time to take a step further and indulge in live video marketing.

Live video is the future of video marketing. People love watching live videos more than pre-recorded videos, as it is more trustworthy. Users know that there is no editing involved and what they are seeing is true and unedited.

According to a survey, 80% of customers would be more interested in watching live videos rather than reading blogs, web pages or customer reviews. Videos are easy to digest, and live videos add a dash of reliability to easy understandability.

If you haven’t started a live video, put together a live video marketing strategy for all social networks that support live streaming.

Since you are managing multiple platforms, you would not want to spend all your time navigating from one platform to another. It makes perfect sense to introduce a social media marketing tool in your process. Not only will it save your time, but also streamline your process and makes it easier for you to analyze and develop future strategies.

The success of your social media strategies relies largely on the experience of the user first on your social media and second, on your landing page. This definitely includes, but is not limited to, the content, the navigation, the design, and the call to action.

To supercharge your social media marketing efforts, you could consider working on the SEO part as well. People still use search engines to find products and services they need. Installing an SEO extension on your website, you can improve its SEO-readiness and performance on search engines.

To end with, here is what you should focus on

  • Select the right platform(s)
  • Set your goals
  • Identify your target audience
  • Share what your audience likes to engage
  • Make your social media strategies flexible
  • Be consistent
  • Never leave a chance to interact with the audience

To identify what’s working and what’s not, you should keep a watchful eye on the performance and outcomes of your updates and social media ads. Make necessary changes in your social media strategy as and when needed.

I hope the ideas suggested in this article help you curate an effective social media marketing strategy for your brand. If you have some questions or if you would like to share something, drop a line in the comments section below.

Birbahadur Singh Kathayat is an Entrepreneur, internet marketer and Co-founder of Lbswebsoft. He can be found on Twitter @bskathayat.

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