These days, more than ever, engagement is key to digital marketing. Algorithms reward engagement and interactions, audiences are more likely to see and respond to content based on engagement. If you're not generating a level of interaction, you're limiting your potential in a range of ways, especially on social media.
I mean, it is called 'social' media for a reason.
The same is also true for B2B organizations - according to a CMI report, 71% of B2B companies say that the main focus of their content marketing efforts is to generate engagement.
But in variance to B2C brands, many B2B brands can struggle significantly to generate quality engagement from their content. B2B products are generally not as sexy, not as consumer-friendly, therefore finding relevant angles to generate engagement can be more of a challenge.
But it's not impossible. In this post, we'll look at some effective ways to generate more engagement to your B2B content, and help boost your broader marketing efforts.
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the undisputed king of B2B content, and can help generate huge engagement opportunities for B2B companies. You can boost engagement by sending different emails at different stages of your email marketing campaign, however if you send the same email template, it might not help you much in generating engagement form your content.
In order to maximize your email efforts, you need to make sure that you send a welcome email when a new user subscribes to your services, and to capitalize on that attention, ensure that you send weekly curated email content to your subscribers.
Via your email content, you can also share new updates or announcements with your subscribers - the screenshot given below is from the founder of Kissmetrics and CrazyEgg. They make sure to send a weekly email on various topics to engage with their subscribers.
You can use tools like FeedOtter to automate your emails and get the maximum benefit out of the option. By using such tools, B2B companies can not only increase their engagement rates, but they can also increase their overall subscribers.
This also also enables B2B companies to nurture their leads and generate more revenue and sales. FeedOtter offers various types of pre-created email templates, enabling you to customize your email content.
2. Collaborate with Influencers
You can drive higher engagement rates if you collaborate with influencers. Influencers are authority figures, and are generally experts in creating content that drives high engagement.
You might have some sincere fans and followers who love your brand, but they might not willingly spend their money on your products or services unless they know how well they work. Potential customers often look for an assurance that your services or products are worth investing in.
This is where an influencer can help - these authority figures can talk about your products or services and provide another, trusted perspective.
You can ask influencers from your industry to review and give feedback about your products or services, while you can also invite the most influential people from your industry for an expert interview with you. However, you need to make sure that you find experts who are genuine and authentic, and relevant to your industry or campaign.
One of the best cases in point is from LinkedIn - LinkedIn collaborates with many industry experts, asking them to talk about the business solutions and how they use the LinkedIn platform. For example, LinkedIn's guide “The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn” incorporates various experts, adding to its reach, relatability and trust.
Here's another example from Microsoft - the company collaborated with famous adventure photographers from National Geographic. The “Make What’s Next” B2B influencer campaign was unique - the objective of the campaign was to motivate women to work in STEM disciplines.
Microsoft launched the campaign on the eve of International Women’s Day 2017 - they posted 30 photographs on five of National Geographic’s Instagram channels. Collectively, the photos managed to gain more than 3.5 million likes in a single day, and through this campaign, Microsoft managed to reach 91 million people.
3. Humanize Your Brand
Regardless of whether you manage a B2C brand or B2B brand, you're selling your services and/or products to people. As such, it’s important that you connect with your potential customers on a personal level.
One of the most effective ways to engage your prospects is to humanize your brand and create a story around it. Storytelling can be a highly effective tactic, which can help you build connections on a more personal level. Storytelling also enables you to better connect with your potential customers.
As part of storytelling, you can share stories from people involved in the creation of your products or services. You can then use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and/or LinkedIn to share these real-life stories and boost engagement.
For example, Intel uses social platforms to share motivational, behind-the-scenes stories with its audience. In the post below, the company shares a photo of Intel’s founders, along with some fun facts about them. Posts like this are a great way for B2B organizations to generate engagement.
4. Leverage Live Videos
Live videos can be a fun and engaging way to learn and understand B2B products or services. Live content provides opportunities for brands to directly engage with their audience, which makes it a preferred channel for content consumption. In fact, according to research, 80% of people would choose to watch a live video rather than read a blog post from a brand.
For example, SAP organizes events throughout the year in which they invite experts to talk about and share their valuable opinions.
SAPPHIRE is one such event, which nearly 20k and 100k people attend in person and virtually, respectively. Last year, the company managed to reach 100k people via Facebook Live videos. During the live sessions, the professional experts engaged with the audience and answered their questions.
5. Share Industry News and Updates
The saying “we wake up dumber than we went to bed,” stands true in the case of B2B brands. Almost every other day, some technological developments and new research breakthroughs happen in B2B industries. And as such, it’s important that you share your important updates and news with your audience.
To do so, you can leverage the most suitable social media platforms, another way to help boost engagement and interest.
For example, Accenture recently shared a Facebook post in which it listed its achievements from 2018, along with commitments and goals for the coming years. The post prompted over 370 engagements.
It shared the same update on its LinkedIn account as well, where the post generated more than 500 engagements.
Publishing engaging, relevant content can help all businesses increase both brand awareness and sales, including B2B organizations. This, eventually, will also have an impact on your search engine rankings.
Regardless of whether you have a B2C or B2B company, it’s important to generate engagement, and interact with your audience. For B2B content, you can use live videos or collaborate with influencers to create interesting content which can drive more engagement, you can also share some fun and fascinating brand stories with your prospects. Or, you could look to leverage social platforms to share industry updates and exciting news with your audience.
All of these options will help you get the attention of your prospects, and thus, increase your engagement rate.