4 quick wins for B2B companies who want to start with conversation management
Last week I presented at the internal Marketing Conference of Toyota Europe Material handling. It's the B2B part of the Toyota group, mainly producing forklift trucks. When presenting the Conversation Management story to a B2B audience, they tend to have the idea that this is a great storyâ¦.for B2C marketers.
I am convinced that this is not the case. Word-of-mouth has been around in B2B forever, more than in B2C. So, the foundation of the story is even more applicable for B2B companies than for B2C companies.
Next to that, I think we at InSites Consulting are doing a pretty good job in using social media to build our brand. Sometimes people even forget that we are actually a B2B company in a very specific market: market research & consultancy. So my point: if we can do it, so can any B2B company. During the discussions with B2B companies I always promote 4 simple steps you can take to start the transformation towards a conversation minded company in B2B.
- Find out where your client base hangs out. For B2C marketers, chances are high that the target group will be active on Facebook. If not, there are certainly some large websites, blogs, etc. where they are discussing a relevant topic. In B2B, it all starts with finding your target group. Are they communicating on LinkedIn, Twitter orâ€¦on Facebook. Are there any specific sector related online communities that are used often. This search is the start. Once you know where you find them, then the conversation can start.
- Be part of their conversation. Don’t sell your stuff in that community, but take part in the conversations. They will be happy that another industry member joins in to add value. Simple rule when joining: always give relevant content and don’t sell your business or your products (unless people ask you to).
- Extent your events through social media. Most B2B companies organize offline client events. They are very effective and fun, so keep doing them. To increase the impact of these events, try to extent them before and after the event through social media. Involving people in the pre-communication helps and giving them additional stuff afterwards, helps as well. Make sure you report the content of your events to relevant industry blogs. Maybe invite some people to the event that are not your clients, but who are important opinion leaders in the online community.
- Transfer your site into a newsroom. A static website does not really work that well anymore. People are of course looking for product information, but next to that, they are always interested in relevant content for their business. The challenge of your website will be to update it often with regular content. Don’t manage it as a brochure but manage it as a newspaper. The new word for website should be newsroom. Enable people to spread the content of your site easily through their online network by adding share buttons.
I know these elements are pretty basic stuff, but if most B2B companies would walk through these three steps, results would come pretty quick is my personal experience with it. Looking forward to hear your thoughts on this as well, what can B2B companies do to grow?