Online marketing has changed significantly within the last few years—we’ve already discussed these developments in prior articles. But in this post, I’d like to focus on employee advocacy in B2B marketing particularly, because it comes with its own exclusive challenges. And of course, its own special solutions. Yes, B2B makes it harder to connect directly with the right audience, it’s further, less generalized. But simultaneously, that’s what makes online brand advocacy such fertile surface when it comes to building Business-to-Business prospects.
The Challenges of B2B Marketing in the Current Digital Environment
Online marketing has always been tricky, but it becomes even more so when sales professionals have to reach out directly to other businesses—not regular consumers.
However , Employee Advocacy & Social Selling conducted for the sales professionals by themselves is an effective solution . Social media allows them to connect straight with the relevant prospects, talk about content, add insights, plus build relationships. Employee Advocacy information says it all : 33% of customers trust brand names, while 90% of customers trust recommendations from people they know. Plus 79% of firms record more online visibility upon applying a official Employee Advocacy/Social Selling plan .
In a nutshell, employees become brand ambassadors , and build leads directly . Trust in businesses may be declining, but faith in identified individuals and interpersonal human relationships is far more durable. Employee Advocacy and Social Selling are both built upon this fact.
As well as the nature of social media makes it simple to refine the people followed, and the content distributed. It can be extremely targeted, the precise right content aimed at the exact right people.
But there are challenges in order to such an approach. For example:
- Do employees believe in the brand. Could they be willing to talk about it?
- Is there enough consistent and diverse content to discuss?
- Are workers seen as a trusted and genuine source?
- Do the advocates know what they should connect?
3 Solutions for Making B2B Marketing Work with Employee Advocacy
So what are the specific steps an organization can take to make Employee Advocacy & Social Selling work for their B2B efforts? Exactly what concrete actions will help the sales team build leads and close deals across their own social networks? Here are three options that I believe are effective.
Give them the opportunity to create and build their brand story . This means helping them build their thought leadership , set up professional profiles, plus giving them the freedom to tell their own story and include their own insights. This will also increase authenticity , and let them be by themselves.
Show them that you care by featuring your CSR initiatives . Illustrate the value not only designed for business, but for society in particular. Give them something to be proud of, that they want to share, which prospects will want to listen to. CSR is more important than ever—spread the word and make a difference.
Give them a method to share and communicate concerning the brand freely . This might mean an integrated platform, like Sociabble, that makes it easy for employees to share and create content throughout their social networks. This will provide a pipeline of articles they know they can share, giving them a steady flow plus healthy mix of articles, reviews, and visuals.
But the most crucial phase of all? Help with content.
The general solutions above can be effective—I’ve observed them work time and time again. However they all rely on one key factor, and that’s content. This is even more essential in B2B, because strong, professional content is key meant for helping them become believed leaders and respected sounds in their field . Because they’re selling to other professionals, the content needs to be convincing. Listed here are ways to ensure a steady stream of quality content content.
Store these types of content elements in a collection or repository so workers always have access, and can include their own personal touch (for example, the Sociabble platform comes with a Media Library tailor-made for storing easy-to-access and pre-approved visual content with regard to sharing).
Schedule weekly content for submission . If there’s a collection program and calendar for receiving content and sharing it, employees will get in the habit; it will become part of their daily routine. Good habits are learned, and this is one of the most effective ways to help instill the habit of posting frequently.
Diversify the content you provide . This means a good content mix, but also emphasizing engaging, visually-appealing content. Increasingly, text-based social media marketing is fading, and visual posts are becoming the norm. Short videos, interviews, podcasts—all of the can enhance and improve your content offering.
By focusing on the three options described above, and by enriching your content offering, you can assist your sales team succeed because brand advocates online—even in the challenging realm of B2B sales. Highlighting the company increases brand awareness and get more clicks with the help of employee networks—thus generating more leads and increasing revenue.
In fact , according to a LinkedIn study , more than fifty percent of all revenue in 14 industries was influenced by social selling, including telecommunications, computer software, advertising & advertising, information solutions, and financial services.
You won’t find much better proof that it works than that!
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