Every company needs a solid B2B content strategy, including for social media. Why do we say that? Think of the millions of posts that are written and published every day around the world.
This is the age of what social media marketing expert Mark Schaefer refers to as content shock -- where there is so much content that it overwhelms readers. How can you stand out in this veritable sea of content that has flooded the internet? Is it even possible? Yes it is.
The powerful content marketing gurus at Hubspot and BuzzSumo have joined forces to conduct research into what works and what doesn’t in B2B and B2C content. This research looks into 175,000 posts from both B2B and B2C industries, and measures their performance across multiple social media networks. Their report delves into the nature of B2B versus B2C content, and provides insight into what works best on social media for each one.
While we may have preconceived notions about what approaches work for B2B versus B2C companies, social media performance doesn’t lie. Knowing what and how many people share content gives us the raw and unbiased view of actual users in each field.
On average, B2C posts had 114 shares, whereas B2B posts received an average of 68.5 shares. Does this mean that B2B blogging and content are unsuccessful in social media? Not at all!
Let’s look at what we can learn from this report, and how we can apply it to improve B2B social media marketing.
Handpicked Related Content
What B2B Content Strategy Lessons We Learn
1. Size Doesn’t Matter
For years in B2B blogging, it was thought that long-form posts performed better -- and while that might be true in some aspects, social media isn’t one of them. Long form posts did not receive any more shares than short-form.
So if the length of the post doesn’t matter, what does? For starters, you need to have an attention-grabbing headline. Hubspot studied a million high-performing articles to determine what components work best in social media headlines. Here are a few of the headlines that work best in a B2B content strategy:
- You Should Never
- X Things to
- X Things Only
- The Science of
- The Case for
- You Can Now
- The Rise of
- The Art of
- The Future of
- The Age of
Recommended Reading: How to Improve the Performance of Your B2B Content
2. LinkedIn Has Proven Its B2B Social Value
B2B content dominates the LinkedIn playing field -- with an average of 25.7 shares, compared to 9.8 shares for B2C content. With all the tools that LinkedIn provides that are geared towards business and thought leadership, it really does make a perfect home for your B2B company’s content.
To see results, you need to get involved and interact on LinkedIn. Set up a sales-oriented LinkedIn company profile (you need to sell, not simply post a resume), create engaging industry content and publish it on LinkedIn, and join any number of professional groups. From there, the possibilities for interactions and growth are endless.
Recommended Reading: How to Use LinkedIn for B2B Thought Leadership
3. Don’t Count Facebook Out Yet
Facebook currently has 1.71 billion active users every month. With such a huge audience potential, how can you pass up this social network? B2C companies may currently dominate Facebook marketing with an average of 85.6 shares (compared to B2B companies who have an average of 26.1 shares), but Facebook is still a strong contender in the B2B space and needs to be an important element to your B2B content marketing strategy.
If we compare how many shares B2B posts get on Facebook as opposed to LinkedIn, we see they average about the same results (26.1 shares on Facebook, and 25.7 shares on LinkedIn). This means that Facebook competes strongly with LinkedIn when it comes to the success of its content. Facebook has steadily climbed the ranks of importance among social networks, and continues to drive substantial traffic to company websites.
Handpicked Related Content:
The sheer size and power of Facebook shows that it’s not a network to ignore, and will only grow in significance in B2B marketing. What is more, we have content marketing examples that show what works on Facebook. B2B companies need to focus on more practical information -- the articles that show useful tips and how-to information.
Let’s say you’re a B2B company that specializing in security systems for small businesses. Don’t simply highlight your B2B blog’s factual content, with a title such as:
9 Groundbreaking Statistics on Small Business Security
Instead, give your readers practical application of your findings, such as:
9 Helpful Tips that Will Make Your Small Business Safer Based on Recent Findings
These two blog posts might have the same basic information, but the second promises to provide real-life application that will benefit the customer. Always try to answer the question “What’s in it for me?” right in the title of your post.
4. Twitter Is Still in the Game
B2B and B2C ran neck-in-neck when it came to Twitter shares with B2B taking a slight lead. B2B posts saw a median of 4 shares on Twitter, while B2C posts had a median of 3 shares.
Twitter is a great place to focus on B2B thought leadership, with posts that feature your industry expertise. You can also use Twitter to promote special content that you have prepared, such as eBooks, white papers, and case studies.
Recommended Reading: The B2B Small Business Guide to Crushing It on Social Media
5. People in B2B Companies Want Content That Will Help Them Succeed
While B2C marketers succeed with entertaining content such as funny lists and crazy videos, people in the B2B sphere require deeper, more fulfilling content. They want content that will help them to learn from others’ mistakes, or to identify beneficial habits to cultivate in their professional life.
Focus on posts that will help your reader succeed. Whether it’s a numbered list or a how-to article, make it engaging and geared toward reaching one of a reader’s goals such as gaining more customers, increasing office efficiency, or succeeding in a leadership role.
Handpicked Related Content:
For example, a post on 7 Necessary Habits That Will Boost Your Customer Relations will be more useful to your readers in the B2B space than a post on 7 Foolish Superstitions of Business People.
That doesn't mean that you can't have light, humorous posts or titles. It's just that you want to be sure to serve some high protein content -- not just uneeded carbs.
(Click here to learn how you can energize your overall B2B content marketing strategy.)
A Few Points to Remember…
- There is no correlation between length of content and number of shares.
- B2B blogging should focus more on benefits and practical application for customers.
- LinkedIn is the most essential network for B2B companies to share their content
- Leverage the unique and substantial audience that Facebook and Twitter offer to help your content succeed.
(Click here to see a list of our 10 most influential and educational blog posts to date.)
Don’t let those preconceived ideas keep you from succeeding on social media. Whatever content you create, help it flourish on social media with these important, strategic lessons.
You May Also Enjoy Reading...