Defining your B2B development is the first step that a B2B company should take into consideration in the perspective of new business activities. The brand defines the company and its image in the market: this is a strategic approach that becomes operational to communicate values, positioning, advantages and offer.
Sometimes undervalued, sometimes overvalued, even for a B2B company the brand certainly is an integral part of the customer journey of a potential customer: a key element for the success of a deal. In fact, any interlocutor, before any response action, whether to a call or to a meeting request, or even to an email, will form independently and, sometimes even unconsciously, an idea of the company that is contacting him.
This first idea is given by a series of elements of which the brand is the cornerstone.In this post we will talk about the value of the B2B development and, after a brief introduction, we will review all the digital tools and, accordingly, the social media that in our opinion are useful for its
Introduction: short definition of a B2B development strategy
Before talking in detail about social media, it is necessary to define a brand. In order to define the identity of a company it is essential to think about the brand: to define its inner values and, more in detail, to define its value proposition: the answer to the reason why the company is present on the market. At Vehnta we carefully evaluate the status quo before starting a collaboration on this activity: it is in fact very important to understand from the beginning the situation on the subject and the market positioning of the company itself.
If one of our customers has a brand with a strong and clear definition, then we should only think together about how to translate the brand into communicative terms and choose the right digital elements and tools to convey the knowledge of its brand to its stakeholders. If the brand is not yet defined, a series of actions will be activated to reach the point where the brand will respond to values and a competitive advantage: it will thus have a possible place in the market that has to be built through a communication and marketing strategy. Only then it will be possible to plan how to convey the brand.
Both in the case of a strong brand and in the case of a brand that needs to be built, it will be necessary to make an overview of all the tools already active and then to activate, if not present, all the other digital elements that can convey the brand and its message.
How to define and convey a B2B development
There are many useful elements to define and convey a B2B development in the market.
In detail, in this post we will focus on the role of social media and, above all, on the tools that compose this world. Below a non-exhaustive list of these tools, which are part of the touchpoints of a B2B customer journey structured with a view to customer acquisition.
- Social Presence
- Social ADV
- Content: text, images and videos
- Digital PR & Influencer Marketing
- Offline and Online Interaction
- Social Insight
Following a brief exposition of these tools.
Social Presence: Strategic phase
Social networks are a communication channel that cannot be ignored by a company in order to implement an effective B2B development diffusion strategy: social networks are in fact an integral part of the touchpoints of a digital customer journey.
Vehnta can help its customers in the different phases. Let’s see in detail how these phases are structured. It all begins with the strategic phase. Here at Vehnta, we consider it essential to manage the Social Presence in the B2B brand and, for this reason, once the reason for having a Social Presence has been decided, we consider as strategic the choice of the channels to be activated, or that of managing or deleting accounts created a long time before.
To track the user path in terms of Customer journey in the B2B market it is necessary to:
- Identify how and when the potential customer will be in contact with the Social presence
- Define suitable KPIs to be observed
- Establish editorial calendars for a planning of the topics to be treated
- Set up a publishing strategy and a tone of voice of the contents
Social Presence: Operational phase
Secondly, when the strategic phase has ended, we find the operational phase where the established objectives are translated into actions, so that they can lead to the implementation of what is planned. Going into detail we are talking about:
- Constant publication of content
- Shared editorial calendar
- Analysis of metrics
- Content optimization on the basis of the collected insights
- General management of the distribution channel, in terms of reactions and comments
This constant activity makes it possible for Vehnta’s customers to have a voice and an online presence also on social media and defines their Social Presence accordingly.
As previously defined, we at Vehnta with Social presence for a B2B company mean a part of a more complex customer journey: a path that has to lead an user, also through corporate social media, to the request for a quotation or a meeting. Social media will be therefore considered as a part of a general strategy capable of talking about the company in a direct way and of contributing to its overall positioning.
As Vehnta, we offer an outsourced social media management activity that is constantly in contact with the client’s communication wishes and needs.
For all the social channels concerned will then be defined:
- Topics and their publication over time through an editorial calendar: a confrontation in defined times will therefore mark the working relationship
- A necessary initial phase of collection of existing contents and the analysis of the trends of the industry as well as an analysis of the activities of the competitors. This is the initial step for a management that is going to be constant over time, in fact, once it has been set the continuous confrontation will guarantee a unit of intents between Vehnta and the customer company
- All content will be checked by both parties before of being published. If necessary, translation into the identified foreign languages will be provided and a platform for the management and publishing of the contents will be adopted in order to facilitate the work
The presence of social channels is necessary in a B2B brand awareness strategy. The published content will be a starting point of the customer journey on the different channels and they will be useful as a step in the transition from lead to potential customer.
Social media, however, are not only made of organic presence, but also of paid presence and therefore of sponsorships or paid advertising.
At Vehnta we deal with Social Media Advertising activities that we consider to all intents and purposes as an useful tool to improve the rate of brand awareness and to facilitate contact with potential customers by developing advertising campaigns for all major social networks, with particular attention to the typical channels of B2B. These activities are preparatory to a greater recognizability of the brand that, with a view to the flow of a customer journey, is an integral part of a marketing mix oriented to generating leads and searching for new customers. These are very specific advertising activities, as social media allow reaching in a very precise way the target of the potentially interested users of a product or a service, with costs connected to precise goals, hence resulting in a greater control of expenses and ROI.
Targeting tools make a very accurate execution possible thus allowing budget optimization. Through Social Media Advertising activities, an extremely direct and fast communication with potentially interested users is possible.
The timing of the contents’ diffusion is another important factor to be considered. A correctly managed strategy is in fact a mix of creativity, frequency and timing.
The process of implementation of Social Media Advertising campaigns starts with:
- Definition of the customer’s goals and choice of the channels to be used and supervised. An effective campaign must in fact focus work and budget on the right channels to reach the goal. It is important not to disperse resources focusing on social media that are inappropriate or not populated by target users
- Connection with the invoicing and data analysis accounts
- Scheduling and creativity of the contents. These, together with the customer, must be focused and optimized to reach the expected goals and targets
Contents for B2B development
In B2B, contents and a content marketing strategy for social media are the cornerstone for a stable campaign of permanent brand awareness.
At Vehnta we deal with the outsourced contentment marketing activity by dividing it into various steps:
- Identification of the topics to be treated and communicated as a fundamental step to align the company’s know-how, meant as experience of the contents sought by its potential customers and derived from the technical and commercial activity, and our skills in terms of search intent that is to understand what is searched on the web for that theme
- Definition of the editorial calendar as a tool with which defining dates and ways of publishing contents. This tool will also be useful for structuring the collaboration between us and the client company in terms of time and content such as texts, images or videos
- After our processing, the continuous collaboration with the customer implies his final check before of going online
- Finally, as last step, there is the publishing of the contents on the appropriate channels. The contents will always be available on the Web and, if the channels are constantly fed, they will continue to bring results over time.
For this activity it is very important our customers’ collaboration: to make sure that the contents that are created reflect the true values of the company.
Shooting and Video Content Strategy
Therefore, not only textual contents: the corporate shooting is of fundamental importance because it allows the creation of original visual content. For us at Vehnta the result of the shooting is used as a communication tool in advertising terms.
It is an original content resulting from the activity which implies clear messages to all the stakeholders involved in the communication activities of our customer conveyed on different social media.
The view is that of showing the reality, obviously shaped on the messages that the company wants to communicate. Here at Vehnta, in doing this, we follow the steps below:
- Definition of the needs of our customers
- Organization and scheduling of a work plan that combines the production needs of the plant and that of the staff appearing in the photos
- Shooting, optimization and post production of the result
- Review together with management and other figures which deems appropriate to involve (for example sales, communication and security)
- Use in the most different formats of content created and revised
If we talk about visual content, we also cannot fail to talk about Video Content Strategy. Engaging and impactful: videos become fundamental for a winning social strategy.
Vehnta believes that for the B2B world an optimal Video Content Strategy creates commercial value and that it consists in the production of original videos at the client’s facilities.
There are some steps considered fundamental for the success of a good job:
- Definition of the communication objectives and scheduling of releases and filming
- Collection of the material for the creation of the video, subsequently adapted, edited and post-produced according to the client’s wishes
- Publishing online of the complete editing
The positive result of this activity allows the increase of brand awareness of the company and makes it possible to help the lead generation process, because in a few frames the video conveys the company’s business.
Digital PR & Influencer Marketing
PR & Influencer Marketing activities, typical of B2C sector, can be successfully declined also in B2B development.
At Vehnta, we believe that this is a digital path for finding new customers and that it is thanks to the references that a winning game can be played. We admit that the world of PR, as for the B2B industry influencers, is a complex field but it is the right synergy that makes it possible for every network to create the right connection and thus to reach the goals.
The network, foundation of every social media, is therefore the answer to PR & Influencer Marketing activities.
A campaign that, moving in parallel between independent web tools and relationships, will have to provide visibility to the offered product or service offered and to the reputation and visibility of the company itself.
We at Vehnta believe that PR & Influencer Marketing activities can be declined on the basis of the social channels and the goals to be reached and we conceive these activities as absolutely tailor made in regards to the customer’s goals.
The purpose of this activity is that of influencing the company stakeholders and that can be achieved in two ways:
- Direct references, namely those that are part of the network, for which a typical activity of supervised word of mouth is necessary
- Indirect references, namely the references that are to be created starting from a position outside the network, for which it is necessary to start web marketing actions on channels such as social media, blog, industry magazines and specific channels.
The outcome of a PR & Influencer Marketing activity in the B2B world is to benefit from visibility on parallel channels trying to influence all the stakeholders that revolve around a company: such as lead, customers, banks, shareholders, partners, employees, institutions or potential employees with a view to employer branding and talent attraction.
Offline & Online interaction
In the introductory part to the theme of Offline and Online interaction, we defined how at Vehnta we approach the customer journey in the B2B world.
As for the previous point, networking can be the main road: perhaps intended as a networking that starts from social media and offline terms. Every step of this complex journey is considered as an information driver, which allows to map the different interactions in terms of digital data.
As we already said, the path of the Customer Journey is challenging but it is also full of useful insights to intercept the needs expressed by potential customers.
We can find this information:
- In digital analytics data, in terms of numbers and user experience
- In the engagement rates generated by campaigns
- In metrics that can define success in moving a relationship from Online to Offline
- In the path of an Online interaction or in an Offline interaction also, such as calls, presentation meetings or structured meetings
Usually this last step comes from the close collaboration between marketing, business developers and salesmen.
This is specifically where we at Vehnta come into play by making ourselves an integral part of this supply chain in order to generate sales value, seeking the right tools and methodologies to collect as much information as possible.
The information and statistics that describe the performance of different social media channels, called Social Insight, is information that if processed can provide new ideas for an active customer acquisition strategy and thus to generate commercial value.
At Vehnta we divided this information into:
- Quantitative insights, which are those that describe the values that can be measured by metrics, namely information about the growth in the number of fans and followers in certain sectors or by certain companies, better engagement response based on days or times for publication of the contents, number of likes and reactions to individual posts that could define the interest in certain topics or the composition of the social audience according to demographic characteristics
- Qualitative insights, which are the result of analysis and study on information clusters that, thanks to the ability of competent professionals, take shape to provide new commercial solutions and ideas. The part of customer journey on social networks, interactions and engagement are all useful elements to trace profiles and observe interests and needs
Collecting, analyzing and processing insights is useful to get ready for a meeting and, above all, for defining the first engagement or a first offer. In fact, we believe that knowledge implies the making of conscious choices and, in sales activities, where there are no second chances, it is always better to face engagement and negotiation with the greatest preparation possible.
Communication on Social Media and digital marketing change and adapt to the new reality that becomes tomorrow every day. These are fundamental strategic actions for B2B industries that have to create a brand for their target market, an important commercial operation for those who want to expand their own business.
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