As a B2B content marketer, you’re targeting a small, focused group of decision-makers who are looking for the best info at just the right time. Depending on great content to guide their decision-making process, they will check more than 10 blog posts, articles, and case studies and are more than 70% done with their purchasing process before contacting your company. That’s why content matters, good content and in the nick of time.
With organic traffic, it can take up to six months to get the ball rolling. By that time, your just-in-time content is already obsolete. To get in front of this problem, you have to spend a little on paid social promotion and, more often than not, you will get a lot in return.
Here are 14 paid social promotion tactics your B2B marketing would do well to make use of. In addition to the Big Three (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram), there are some hidden gems here you might have never considered.
- Facebook Ads Tip #2 – The Carousel Goes Round and Round A Facebook carousel ad is like five ads rolled into one. It gives you an opportunity to place several pieces of your content in front of someone without breaking the bank – paying 20 – 30% less than for single ads while appealing to a broader audience is not a bad deal, right? Of course, there are a lot of other ad options on Facebook, but those deserve a post all to themselves.
- Facebook Ads Tip #2 – Use Targeted Audiences B2B buyers are extremely finicky – they’ll visit your website several times before (and if) they decide on a purchase. To make sure that you always stay on their radar, make use of the Facebook Pixel – your SEO wizard will know how to add it to your website. From there, it’s just a simple process of setting up a Facebook ad campaign that will serve your evergreen content to anybody who’s ever visited your site (or completed any other action on it, such as making a purchase or filling out a form).
- Twitter Ads Tip #1- It’s All About Promoted Tweets Twitter is a large community (330 active monthly users) and 25% of them are between the ages of 30 and 49 – just the right age bucket for targeting B2B decision-makers. Pick a handful of your most popular tweets – not what you think is your best content, remember, but tweets that have already garnered some Twitter attention – and use audience and keyword targeting to deliver them to the right people.
- Twitter Ads Tip #2 – @username Targeting and Influencers Promoting round-up posts is very easy on Twitter. The first thing you need to do is create a piece of content and shop around for advice and quotable material from influencers in your industry. Then you use Twitter’s follower targeting (or @username targeting) to place that content in front of audiences that are similar to the audience of the influencers you’re showcasing.
- Instagram Ads Tip #1 – Fun and Quirky Visuals Rule Instagram caters to a (relatively) younger population of millennials, but that doesn’t mean that B2B marketers should cross it off their paid social promotion list. In fact, Slack (image below) does a great job targeting their core audience of busy youngsters on Instagram.
- Instagram Ads Tip #2 – Don’t Forget About Videos Millennials (the age group that predominantly uses Instagram) love video content and there are ways to use that if your business is present on the platform. Shoot a short video explaining a concept or sharing a statistic from your post, and invite people to learn more by reading the whole thing.https://blog.bufferapp.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/instagram-stories-single-video-example.gif
- LinkedIn Ads – We’re All There Already, Right? LinkedIn Sponsored Content Ads are as native as they come – they appear directly in the feed and are virtually indistinguishable from regular content. Pick one of your best-performing LinkedIn posts, turn it into an ad, and target the heck out of it (LinkedIn allows you to target audiences by industry, vertical, location, title, and more). The great thing about LinkedIn is that it gives you access to high-level executives that would be unreachable otherwise.
- Quora Ads – Target Questions from Your Industry Quora is the largest online repository of Questions and Answers (Q&As), with over 200 million of unique visits every month. In June 2017, the site launched its paid ads program, giving B2B marketers another arrow in their paid social promotion quiver. ActiveCampaign.com does a good job capturing leads by serving ads on questions concerning AWeber and MailChimp, as the image below demonstrates.
- Pinterest Ads – Infographics and Promoted Pins I hear you saying that Pinterest is not a good platform for B2B marketers. Well, you might want to inform Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft about that, since they all have a strong presence there and have Pinterest in their paid social ads mix. Promoted Pins work great if you know what you’re doing – B2B efforts should be focused on sharing interesting infographics and visuals, as well as taking advantage of the superior targeting options.
- Reddit Ads – Subreddit Targeting The great thing about Reddit advertising is that it allows you to target the right people at the right time. Create an ultra-targeted ad promoting your content and point it toward relevant subreddits. For example, if you’re selling an automated email marketing system, your ad is best served in subreddits that have ‘marketing automation’ in their description. Granted, the audience won’t be large but it will be extremely interested in what you have to say.This laser-focused interest targeting, coupled with the fact that Reddit advertising is generally very cheap, means that you will be getting a small, but steady stream of leads for a fraction of what you spend on other social media platforms.
- Snapchat Ads – Get Your Foot In the Door Early It’s true – 71% of current Snapchat users are under the age of 25. As a B2B marketer, you’re probably thinking that this isn’t really your market, right? However, these audiences will mature, grow older, and advance up the corporate ladder – and some of them will become decision-makers in due time. If you get your foot in the door early, you will reap benefits later.In the beginning, focus on building a SnapChat audience with your ads and make use of geo-targeting to deliver content to nearby Snapchatters – a good example would be videos of conference event content or even after-hours parties, as they will help you build brand awareness.
- StumbleUpon Ads StumbleUpon is a highly visual platform on which users flicker through websites with abandon – if you’re not interesting enough, you’re yesterday’s news in less than 2 seconds. The key to successful advertising with StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery model are a catchy title (something like ‘7-Step Process + One Tool That Will Increase Your Email Open-Rates by 313%’ is a good example) and original images – infographics and visual how-to posts work great here.Here’s another StumbleUpon pro tip – submit several good posts simultaneously via Paid Discovery and target people by their interests; you want your ad shown to relevant audiences as many time as possible in a short time-frame. And, since StumbleUpon ads are cheaper than most ($0.10 per unique visitor), this paid social promotion tactic won’t break the bank.
- Tumblr Ads Tumblr fails to register on radars of many B2B marketers, which is a rotten shame. While definitely not the best weapon in your paid social promotion arsenal, Tumblr has 790 million active users (double of what Twitter has and just 10 million shy of Instagram).The most attractive paid option for B2B marketers is Tumblr’s Sponsored Day. In essence, your ad will hijack the top of the user’s dashboard for 24 hours – placing it in front of the right people is key, so make sure to use interest targeting in this case.
- YouTube Ads Youtube used to cater to a predominately young audience. These days, everybody uses it – music videos, video podcasts, how-to’s – YouTube has something for every age group. To promote your content there, simply pick a good post and create a YouTube banner ad. Carefully choose the categories you want to target – for example, if you’re in the finance industry, you can target bookkeeping how-to videos, financial advice videos, and more.
Cut Through the Noise with Paid Social Promotion
If you’re waiting for your content to be picked up organically, pull up a chair and get comfortable – you’re going to be here for a while.
Unfortunately, there’s so much content published in any given hour that getting noticed is a real chore. You can have the best piece of evergreen content out there, but if you have no social media following and no connections that will link to it, that long-form, hundreds-of-hours-of-research post is dead in the water.
The way to get around that is to use paid social promotion (dirt cheap, in some cases). Start with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – those are the obvious ones. But, don’t stop there! Depending on your target audience, Snapchat, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and all the others might turn out to be a hidden treasure trove. Run a couple of campaigns on each of those (a $100 ad spend on each of those networks is more than enough for testing purposes) and see what it gets you. After that, it’s just a matter of fine-tuning and refining your ads.
What are your favorite networks for paid social promotion and are they on this list? If not, make sure to leave a comment – we’ll review it and, if it’s a good one, add it to this post!