Are there differences between B2B and B2C marketing strategies? Sure. However, regardless of industry, there is always something to learn from a company that has developed and executed a marketing campaign successfully. Today, we are going to look at some B2C social media marketing efforts and determine what lessons can be applied to B2B organizations.
Lesson 1: Leverage traditional media to support social media marketing activities.
Vitamin Water, the popular consumer beverage brand, has for many months now used its traditional advertising budget to help drive engagement on the brand’s Facebook page. As you can see in the ad below, now they have even begun running spots dedicated to promoting their new flavor creator Facebook applications.
While I know that most B2B companies don’t run paid media on TV, most have some type of paid media budget for trade publications and online advertising. The lesson from Vitamin Water is simply that if you are trying to support online engagement, whether on a blog, Facebook page, or something else, then make sure all of your communications drive customers there.
Lesson 2: Anything can be interesting when you focus away from the product and toward how customers use it.
If the folks at King Arthur Flour can make flour interesting and compelling I would argue that any B2B company out there can do the same with their product or service. For years now King Arthur has brought flour to life on its corporate blog, and developing a community of supporters who regularly leave comments and feedback. They did this not by telling people how great their flour was, instead they showcased all the great thing flour can make and through that process built trust. Too often, B2B organizations focus on the product and what makes it so great, but on the social web it is how the product makes customers great that it is the defining success factor.
Lesson 3: Bridging online and offline communications generates successful engagement
Believe it or not beer and B2B marketing are related, maybe just not in the way you are thinking. One of my favorite marketing campaigns recently was from Molson, The Canadian Beer producer whose Association of Party Pros campaign connected real-word partying with online contests and rewards.
Sure it is a cool idea, but the overall theme here is that B2B social media marketing isn’t about building a Facebook or Twitter page. It is about connecting customers with your brand online and offline by giving them authentic engagement. How can you create this for your customers?
What else do you think that B2B could learn from B2C?
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b2b marketing has always been more about relationships than promotion, so it is not surprising that b2b marketing works so well in a social context. the learning curve is on the tools, not the concept.