Each quarter, our agency reads a new book as part of our book club. It leads to great conversation, ideas for our clients, and keeps us up to speed on the latest trends in this constantly-changing industry. Recently, we read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk, which is all about telling your brand’s story—the right way—in a noisy social world.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and the ever-fascinating Snapchat. What used to be a playground for personal posts and funny cat videos now has a marketing spend of over $50 billion for companies to target their best customers and reach new ones. At first, most B2B brands were hesitant to spend their marketing dollars on these social channels. But now we see more and more B2B brands using social to build brand awareness and make conversions.
However, forming the right social strategy has proved to be challenging for marketers. In the book, Vaynerchuk emphasizes the importance of “jabbing” with interesting, authentic posts and not throwing a “right hook”, or a sales pitch, with every post. What Vaynerchuk means is that we have to gain the trust of our prospective B2B customers. He states that “whatever experience people are seeking on their preferred platforms, that’s what marketers should attempt to replicate.”
Let’s unpack this a little more.
Think about the last time you went on Facebook or Instagram. (Let’s be honest, it was probably within the last five minutes.) You don’t want to read a four-page thought leadership article on Facebook. You want to be entertained. You want to see what your friends are up to. The last thing you want to see is brands trying to sell you stuff.
Instead of salesy posts, the idea is to build rapport with your audience with posts that are fun, relevant and fresh, showing your brand’s personality. It may seem like a soft tactic, but you can’t overestimate the power of the relationships you build with each jab. You don’t know when your buyer will be in a buying state of mind. And you need to be top of mind when your prospect is ready to buy.
Now more than ever, B2B companies have to be in the social space. By social space, we don’t just mean posting a couple of times a week. Look at this as a media play. With over 2.3 billion users on Facebook and 1 billion monthly users on Instagram, your buyers are constantly on these platforms. Which makes it a prime opportunity for you to entice them with your message and get them to make a purchase.
Fun Fact: Instagram is now the second most engaged network after Facebook (which owns Instagram.) 37% of US internet users are now on Instagram.
Here are our three key takeaways from the book to help you create a better social strategy for your B2B company.
Create Content Your User Wants To Engage With
Every piece of content you put out there has to serve a purpose and has to engage your target audience. Vaynerchuk writes, “it’s up to you to create not just great content, but content that’s so great they want to engage with it.” He couldn’t be more spot-on. These jabs make a world of difference, getting your user to interact with your brand by sharing, commenting, or tagging their friends.
Visuals Are Key
We live in a visual world. People don’t want to read a novel on Facebook or Instagram. In fact, Facebook recently announced that they will limit ads on mobile to only show three lines of text. Twitter purposefully set a tight character count so users don’t even have the option to write more. When posting, keep your text short, sweet and to the point. You have less than a second before your buyer scrolls past. Let the image or video do the talking, leaving the copy as the cherry on top.
Set Yourself Up For the Right Hook
Once you’ve created jabs across multiple social channels, it’s time for you to start setting your brand up for the right hook. We wrote a recent article about the Modern B2B Marketing Funnel where we talk about the importance of hitting users with the right message at the right time. By this point, you’ve won them over with your jabs and it’s time to be ready with that knockout punch. Be strategic in how you approach the close, but don’t oversell your soon-to-be buyer.