In today’s covid era, social media has become a helping hand for b2b marketing where one can make its exposure. Though it’s impossible to have any physical appearance in this pandemic we can still improve our business with the help of social media. With the covid 19 pandemics, a huge number of businesses will be moving towards social media platforms to connect with their customers and increase sales in 2021.
The significance of social media for b2b companies has essentially increased since the covid 19 began to occur.
Leaders from sales rate social media approximately twice as important now as it was previously, with b2b decision-makers in UK and Spain rating them close to triple their previous importance, whereas in japan and south Korea rated them around 1.5 times more important than before.
According to a survey, social media users have increased by 10-13 percent over the past year, taking the world to 3.96 billion. For the first time, more than 50 percent of the world’s population now uses social media. An average of more than 1 million people began to use social media for the first time every single day over the past year, almost 12 new users per second.
In this article, we’ve got together 17 Top Marketing Experts from across the globe who share their views and insights on “What will be the impact of Social Media on B2B Marketing in 2021.
Here’s Our Expert Panel
#1 Timothy Hughes
Social media has transformed society and it’s transformed business. With yields from advertising, cold calling and email marketing in freewill as the modern empowered buyer just ignores all these interruptions. What is a Marketer to do? Traditionally marketing has moved to social, but they still treat social as a tactic and get very little return on investment. Here at DLA Ignite we teach companies to treat social media as a strategy and take total digital dominance in their market, industry and sector. This allows a business to get recognition in their marketplace, trusted advisor status, pipeline, growth and inbound, the pick of the best talent and employee engagement and employee shared purpose. This offers businesses a real competitive advantage in the world today.
Tim Hughes is universally recognised as the world leading pioneer and exponents of Social Selling and he is currently ranked Number 1 by Onalytica as the most influential social selling person in the world. He is also Co-Founder and CEO of DLA Ignite and co-author of the bestselling books “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” and “Smarketing – How To Achieve Competitive Advantage through blended Sales and Marketing”. Both published by Kogan Page. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
#2 Ivana Taylor
A recent study by International Data Corporation found that 84% of C-level buyers use social networks as part of their purchase decisions. The power of social media is in the personal network, especially when it comes to the final evaluation process. Whether it’s a professional network like LinkedIn or even Facebook and Facebook groups — social media enhances the power of referrals and recommendations exponentially.
What B2B marketers have to embrace is the different “voices” of each platform as they craft their messaging. Not everything has to be a big push. LinkedIn audiences are looking for education, while Facebook audiences are looking to be entertained.
Every social platform is pushing B2B marketers for a more authentically human presence. The most successful brands, people and businesses are always posting a mix of content. Short videos, questions, their thoughts and advice. It doesn’t have to be perfect – but it DOES need to be consistent.
Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers where she shares. small business low cost marketing tools, tips and strategies. She’s a D&B, Fast Company Top Influencer and Host #BizapaloozaChaton Twitter- Mon 2pm ET. and Thu 8pm ET. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
#3 Sumeet Anand
While B2B businesses have primarily relied on traditional marketing methods, the pandemic has changed the way they market themselves. Social media platforms like LinkedIn have emerged as great channels for B2B marketing as they give brands access to the right target audience.
This trend is expected to continue in 2021 with more brands leveraging it to promote themselves online. Also, with in-person events still not picking up pace, you can expect more B2B brands to start devoting a greater marketing budget to social media marketing.
Brands may also start tailoring their content strategy to include more video content that’s suitable for social media platforms. Many B2B brands may also look beyond LinkedIn and might start spreading their reach on others like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Sumeet Anand is a B2B Marketing Expert skilled in SEO, Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing. He helps brands and businesses out there generate leads with his top-notch content strategies and is featured on various major media publications across the globe.You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
#4 Adam White
As more B2B businesses switch their advertising strategy to focus more heavily on social media in 2021, this will have the same effect that we saw in the late 90’s with Google ads. More companies competing for the same eyeballs means higher costs to advertise. The real impact will probably come beyond 2021 but I expect to see more competition enter the field and drive costs up.
Adam White is the founder of SEOJet, backlink software that makes link building so much easier, and has been doing SEO professionally since 2002. He lives in Arizona with his wife and seven children. You can connect with him on Instagram.
#5 Shane Barker
One of the impacts of social media is the level of personalization B2B marketers can achieve. And in an age when consumers appreciate brands that know when to sell to them, personalization is crucial.
Social media allows brands to unobtrusively send marketing messages as prospects go about their day-to-day lives. You can serve them ads based on interests, previous interactions, and browsing histories. And although featuring a sponsored tag, the ads appear like regular social media posts, thus giving your brand a humanized and personalized appearance.
Social media also enables B2B brands to personalize communication through bots. They can help you understand what the prospects or customers want and their stage in the funnel. They are also great for directing customers to personalized content that moves along the funnel.
However, to achieve success with bots, B2B marketers need to be smart about their strategies. Don’t fully rely on a bot, but instead have customer care teams ready to take over when the bot can’t handle a prospect’s question.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is the Co-Founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
#6 Aurélien Blaha
There is little doubt that digital channels have come to the fore for most, if not all industries this year, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the absence of traditional in-person events and field activities, social media is all the more crucial for B2B marketing teams to drive business continuity and opportunities on digital channels.
Currently, 72% of B2B marketers who use paid channels online, use paid social, with LinkedIn (unsurprisingly) the top paid and organic channel for B2B content marketers. This number will likely increase as B2B marketers recognize the benefits of diversifying their social strategies beyond business-centric networks, and integrating key networks like Facebook and Twitter into the purchase journey. Moreover, the timely addition of live-streaming and virtual event features spells more options for B2B brands to engage their customer base. Simply put, social media is not a “nice to have”, but a must even in this space.
That said, it is equally important for brands to determine which networks (other than LinkedIn) their audience is focused. After all, it makes the most sense to invest more of your marketing efforts and resources where your audience is most active and ready to listen to you. Social media listening, when employed strategically, can also go a long way in enabling you to spot emerging trends and conversations beyond your company, that can and should be leveraged in your marketing and communications.
Aurélien Blaha is Chief Marketing Officer at Digimind, a global leader in Social Listening and Market Intelligence software. Prior to Digimind, he was Marketing Director at Finalcad, a construction software startup. Aurélien also held various positions in social media and market intelligence at Dassault Systèmes, a global software vendor. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
#7 Chris Makara
I think we’ll see more of the personable side of businesses on social media in 2021. For example, 2020 required many companies to rethink how they use social media. No longer could many of them look at it as a place to simply push their own sales agenda, but instead customers and other businesses were looking at how these companies were adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic. And the companies that took the lead to act more like people and less like logos and corporate speak were able to build better relationships with their audience. These strong relationships will further the bond between the two and other companies will be playing catch up in 2021 as the world and social media continues to evolve.
Since 2003, Chris Makara has developed a broad digital marketing background with a focus on SEO, Social Media, Automation and Analytics. He is the founder of Bulkly, a social media automation tool for individuals and small businesses. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
#8 Dominic Kent
Social media platforms release new features like Stories and Fleets without much prior warning or training for social media managers and marketers. B2B marketing teams will need to react, train, and experiment to find their own best practices. The biggest social media winner in B2B next year will be the team that finds the killer combination of real-time, evergreen, and time-based posts.
Dominic is the Director of Content Marketing and Communications at Mio. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
#9 Daniel Daines-Hutt
Social media is going through a huge change right now.
With people being separated and finding more connection through their devices, shopping online and each platform going over major overhauls for security and fake accounts… it’s a very changing landscape.
That being said, it’s a great time for companies to double down.
Paid media may see some varying fluctuations in delivery and pricing, but organic social media is incredibly powerful.
(Literal movements are happening on there)
If you can tap into your customers needs and create community via social, then you can see great results now and in the future.
A self confessed ‘marketing nerd’.
Daniel has a background in Direct Response advertising, but ironically, it’s his Content Marketing that people know him for. He’s had the Top 10 content of all time on inbound.org and Top content of 2017 + 2018 on GrowthHackers. With only 8 articles in years, he’s been referenced or shared by:
Ryan Deiss Neil Patel Joanna Weibe Glen Allsopp Co-Schedule
Active Campaign and many more
He teaches people how to write less often, but get more traffic at Ampmycontent.
#10 Keith Keller
I think LIVE STREAMING will play an increasingly important role in Social Media marketing strategies this year.
In an environment that is getting more and more isolating, brands will need to find unique and personalised ways to STAND OUT in order to reach new customers and consolidate loyal relationships.
Livestreaming is the PERFECT way to do this and there is an ever-growing list of affordable tools available to help you get started”
Keith Keller is considered by many to be one of the world’s leading authorities on Twitter marketing, especially Twitter Video Marketing.
He is regularly invited to speak on this subject on podcasts, webinars and live streams around the globe.
Keith has his own podcast series called “CRACK THE TWITTER CODE” and now offers one on one consulting to clients all over the world via Zoom. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
#11 Doyle Buehler
There is no escaping social media. Those businesses that integrate it into a cohesive strategy are the ones who will better be able to navigate, amplify and market to their audience. Content is not King – we have all been swamped with content; we don’t want more content, but rather better content. How? Use on-demand tools like live streaming video to connect and talk directly with your audience. No longer do you have to wait for someone to make a connection with you. Rather, you have all of the capabilities to create a remarkable digital experience. Secondly, focus on where your market is, not where you want to be – don’t be distracted by all of the social channels out there; focus and use the ones that your audience is on. We don’t all need to be on Clubhouse or Tik tok, if your perfect customer is not there. By not being on every channel, it will allow you to deliver more value in your message (better content, not more), without being a large drain on your resources.
Doyle Buehler is an author & entrepreneur and runs a strategic digital marketing consultancy creating real-time, connected & adaptive digital challenger brands in this disruptive digital economy. Doyle has been involved in online & ecommerce businesses since 2002, leading one of his ecommerce companies to the Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada and #1 Fastest in the Province. He is the author of multiple books on digital strategy, and regularly speaks on digital transformation, digital strategy and marketing. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
#12 Rob Durant
Enlightened, first-moving, innovative companies are already becoming strategic social organizations. A social organization draws on social media to shorten the distance between clients, prospects, employees, and candidates. A social organization does not have individuals use their social media presence for direct commercial intent. Instead, employees throughout a social organization use social media to be approachable, to be sociable, and to be generous. In this way they build meaningful relationships through social, and these relationships in turn lead to greater commercial outcomes in the long run.
Rob is a results-driven sales enablement leader with an exceptional track record, especially at fast-moving tech start-ups. Founder of Flywheel Results, he specializes in helping new sales teams establish impactful methodologies, allowing the organizations to flourish through their hyper-growth phase. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.
#13 Miles Anthony Smith
As the shift from in-person to virtual calls, conferences, meetings, etc. accelerated its trajectory since COVID, it will only continue that same trend line even once we get the virus under firmer control. Sure, we will go back to have some in-person events and meetings, but not to the same level as before. This makes social media (organic and paid ads) all the more important in the B2B sales/marketing cycle. Some B2B companies have led the way, but many have not. The leaders of our future will be those who embrace digital methods of communication (social media, chief among them) to connect with prospects and customers that expect to be served whenever and on whatever channel they choose. Social media has huge potential for B2B organizations, IF they choose to leverage it in a way that their prospects/customers are looking for it. It’s not about us; it’s about them.
Miles is the founder of Why Stuff Sucks, keynote speaker, author, and technology leader who helps organizations generate and nurture leads with advanced inbound marketing strategies.
You may have seen him on Search Engine Watch, Neil Patel, Robbie Richards, Growth Hackers, Mailup, Hubstaff, Digital Olympus, RevContent, Albacross, or Lead Generation Institute. Raised in Oklahoma, and living in Green Bay, he graduated from Oklahoma State with an MBA degree. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
#14 Miguel Salcido
I think that social media, for many B2B marketers over the years, has been a relatively low conversion rate channel. Historically it has been more of a branding and traffic channel that doesn’t contribute much to conversions.
Social media platforms have been figuring out better ways to provide value to B2B companies though. The recent announcement of paid Super Follows for Twitter is evidence. The growth of Instagram as a B2B marketing tool has evolved as well. And LinkedIn continues to innovate, as the gold standard for B2B social media.
So I feel like the industry is maturing in a way that will make it a much more viable acquisition channel in 2021.
Miguel is the CEO and Founder of Organic Media Group, a content focused SEO agency. You can connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
#15 James Parsons
Organic reach has been difficult to attain the past few years, but this will become even more challenging for businesses in 2021. Social networks are pushing to please investors and ramp up their ads platform, and when visitors see too many business posts and ads, they lose interest in the platform. Reducing reach for businesses organically is part of the business plan, so businesses will have to work harder than ever to provide real value and avoid boring their customers with sales and product updates. It’s the only way that social networks can continue to operate without drowning their visitors in promotional copy and ads.
James Parsons is the founder of Content Powered, a content marketing company. He has over a decade of experience as an SEO and social media expert, and is a writer for Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Business Insider, and dozens of other publications.
#16 Minuca Elena
Considering that most businesses have extended or even moved their entire activity online, I believe social media and SEO are becoming even more important than ever before.
I have recently started using a new app, Clubhouse, which is a tremendous opportunity for business people to connect to a personal level. All communication through the app is audio, and that helps people to know each other better.
In business-to-business communication, we shouldn’t wonder how a company can connect with another company through social media. We should ask ourselves what is the best way for a company leader to get in touch directly with someone from the management of another company.
Real, live communication beats emails that can go to spam or be left unread or unanswered.
I believe that Clubhouse is only the first social network of its kind but others will try to replicate their model as well.
Minuca a freelance writer specialized in creating expert roundups. Her posts provide quality content, draw huge traffic and get backlinks. She also helps bloggers connect with influencers. You can contact her on LinkedIn or Twitter.
#17 Steve Wiideman
Offline B2B social events have moved online and to various platforms including TikTok and most recently Clubhouse, a fast-growing B2B social platform. As the pandemic slows, many users will continue to enjoy social experiences from the safety (and convenience) of their homes.
Social will likely play a major role in B2B inbound marketing and paid media in 2021 and beyond, in part thanks to the global crisis, and in part from the knowledge businesses now have from collecting data while testing social channels as a marketing medium with budget that may have previously been spent offline.
Social data can be exported in the same way website data can be ported into social platforms for remarketing and B2B customer list advertising. To not have some budget allocated toward both audiences should be seen as an opportunity cost and the digital marketing team should be held accountable toward calculating and reporting that loss from this point forward.
Steve is the CEO of Wiideman Consulting Group based in Los Angeles. He has consulted for various enterprises and well-known brands for over 10 years, while playing key roles within multiple agencies and solution providers in the inbound marketing industry. You can contact him on LinkedIn or Twitter.
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