Social marketing is of utmost importance for B2B

Who uses social media in B2B communication?

A survey of the market leaders of 960 companies from the technical middle class (20-500 employees) in Germany shows: Social media channels occupy with 54% the 5th place in the top online measures to achieve the marketing goals. The IT sector is more open to social media offerings than other industries, but there is also room for improvement here: only 31% of IT decision-makers want to use social media channels such as Facebook.

As a study confirms, often the social media engagement is related to the size of the company. The more employees, the more open-minded the decision makers are towards the usefulness of social media channels. However, this can also be related to the efficient use of marketing tools.

It is always important to rely on social media. In particular, the “digital natives”, which account for almost half of all employees in B2B purchasing decisions, prefer online searches for B2B purchasing decisions. Those who are not present online will not be shortlisted among the under-40s.

Social media today is a lot like the town square of yore—the place where everyone gets together to socialize and window shop. But, until recently, actually purchasing something on social media was painful and inefficient, and most people saved their shopping for traditional retail sites. No longer: in-app purchasing on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest has evolved dramatically in recent months, enabling social media users to finally pick up their goods without leaving the virtual neighbourhood.

And just like neighbourhoods, every platform is different. We learned through our latest integration with Instagram that featuring just one or two products—rather than an entire catalogue—can be key to catching someone’s eye. Just take this Braniacs projector or Ripple Yoga Wear jumpsuit that were all over the site for Black Friday. The rise of in-app shopping means social media is finally bringing one of the time-honoured traditions in retail online: the impulse buy.  

The biggest trend of all in 2018: change. Fuelled by technology, shopping is evolving in ways we couldn’t have anticipated even a few years ago. (I’m talking to you, Alexa or, in my case Google® Assistant) But for retailers who can keep up—and leverage new tools to give people what they want, when they want it—the promise may well be more customers and higher sales than ever in the year ahead.

Social media and messenger apps popular for business purposes The fact that social networks are becoming increasingly popular is also proven by the evaluation of the preferred means of communication for business matters: 38 percent of respondents even prefer social media, and 24 percent prefer messenger apps. Although the popularity of the e-mail (55 percent), the personal conversation (45 percent) or the telephone call (43 percent), they are not yet close, the rapid increase in importance of the young communication channels is significant.

Video Marketing

As social media continues to dominate the focus of most company’s marketing focus and media budget, now would be the perfect time to review what works best on each platform. Clearly, video will dominate for the foreseeable future, despite the increasing focus on artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies.

Yes, these technologies will revolutionize marketing, but for the time being, brands need to focus where the bulk of audiences are today and will likely be in the next 12 months. Between YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, there’s a lot to keep straight when it comes to video content marketing, but this guide will help you ensure you’re optimizing your video in the ways that will have the highest impact for each platform.

Confirming Video’s Dominance in Social Media

If you use social media, you already know how important video is. However, just to re-affirm that you’re spending time in the right place, here are the latest trends that reveal the best way to display your content on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter:

Clearly, video is the dominant form of content grabbing your audience’s attention. (Note to self: next year make a video sharing all these insights 😉

All that being said, the next step is to ensure you don’t miss the specifics like ideal length, aspect ratio and the preferences of social media influencers on different platforms. Here’s what you need to know about the specifics of video marketing on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter:  

YouTube Videos

YouTube is the best video marketing platform to engage audience through DIY videos, explainer videos, video tutorials, testimonials, and behind the scene videos. It is important to note that 60% of videos on YouTube are watched on mobile devices and the sharing rate is also higher on mobile devices. So if you have been ignoring the tools and techniques that create better engagement for mobile viewers, you’re limiting both your reach and sharing opportunities.  

Recently, YouTube released its new features for mobile app viewers. This major redesign brought a cleaner look, adjustable play-screen and ability to view videos in portrait mode. Make your videos appropriate per the current standards and apply the following insights and guidelines courtesy of Fortunelords:

Facebook Videos

Facebook has been putting a lot of emphasis on video content in their news feed lately, which is why the frequency of video content in your news feed has increased too. This has motivated marketers to produce more videos that appear in these feeds (either organically or paid). To increase your presence on Facebook, here’s what you need to know:

Instagram Video

Instagram boasts 800 million monthly and 500 daily active users. Marketers have recognized the power and potential of the platform (especially post acquisition by Facebook) which is why many brands are already actively and regularly posting on Instagram.

The best way to understand marketing on Instagram is by posting the right type of video at the right time. If you get this part right, consumers will usually engage without so long as you’re not regularly delivering a hard pitch.

On Instagram, you have to showcase your product/service in a creative way by sharing video or creating video advertising. Video ads appear in between the Instagram organic feed and have a high view rate. Instagram is an effective social media marketing channels for SMEs.

Use Instagram Stories– These stories are temporary 10-second picture/video clips placed at the top of Instagram feed. A proven marketing tool for brands, this ephemeral clip can drive huge engagement if handled strategically. There are various things you can do with Instagram stories like, offer exclusive content, show behind the scenes, showcase the product in action, show a countdown to launch event or ask influencers to contribute. Hubspot recommends:  

Snapchat Videos

Since the inception of Snapchat, it has brought many innovative features, which gave rise to social media trends that are changing the digital marketing dynamics. Snapchat provides its user’s direct access to live event as it is a real-time social media marketing platform.

There are a lot of ways to use Snapchat for marketing. Its inventive features such as filters, text, bitemojis, and geofilters, tend to create huge engagement.

Brands can use Snapchat to record videos of launch, events, trade shows, musical events, social event, etc. You can also showcase some private or behind the scene content to provide something unique to Snapchat followers. Buffer Recommends:

Twitter Videos

Twitter is a news-based social media network platform and it is naturally a great platform to share video content. Native videos on Twitter drive more engagement than third-party videos shared on Twitter; allegorically, 2.5X replies, 2.8X retweets, and 1.9X favorite.

Given the extent of Twitter being used for sharing news related videos, the Twitter mobile app includes an in-app access to your mobile phone’s camera to increase user experience and engage more of your followers through video content.

Twitter feeds have the fastest scroll, which is why brands should focus on creating eye-catching content. Brands can use Twitter to upload teaser, announcement, advertisement, promotional, education, and user-based content.

Bottom Line:

Video marketing is the best way to create engagement on social media platforms. As a key component of your content marketing, understand that social video will continue evolving and marketers will play a critical role in shaping the future of video marketing. You have permission to play, experiment and see what your audience appreciates the most. Integrated your own unique brand strategies, try various tools, and keep experimenting as these platforms evolve.

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Social marketing has also a lot to do with the new expectations, when it comes to personalization, about which I write here

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