Growth Marketer Academy: Episode 9 – Social for Lead Generation
Social media marketing is all the rage these days. And for good reason.
Basically, everyone uses social media, and people are getting more comfortable following brands and engaging with businesses on the platform.
But when it comes to using social media to generate B2B leads, the rules of the game change.
In this episode, we’ll reveal our secret to effectively targeting and reaching a business lead using social media.
5 Steps to Engage with Leads On Social Media
What is it about social media that gets everyone wanting to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc to reach customers?
Everyone is on it.
Social media offers a huge amount of targeting that you can’t always get through AdWords
Users tolerate branding messages in their newsfeed.
BUT it’s deceptive
It’s NOT easy to engage with leads on social.
Ok, so how do you?
In business to business marketing, you already know who your customer is.
- the company name
- you probably know the decision maker’s title
- maybe even his/her name.
Step 1: Track Down Specific Targets
Identify people that hold the specific positions you need to connect with at the companies you’re targeting to do business with.
- Their company’s directory
- Industry conference lists
Step 2: Stalk them Socially
Not in a scary way, of course!
Goal = use the information available online to develop a relationship through shared interests.
Follow the prospect, create a profile on them:
- what do they like?
- what don’t they like?
Not just business related.
Get to know them personally.
Do they love dogs, or cats, kids, sports, etc. ?
Now be helpful.
- When they are headed to San Francisco, let them know of a great Italian place, because you know they like Italian.
- When their team wins/loses offer congrats or condolences.
- Talk team stats, “The rookie’s pitching was weak. Why do you think the coach/manager put him out there?”
Personal story from Ryan about following sports to be able to engage with shoe store customers:
I am not a sports fan. It’s just not in my makeup, wasn’t a part of my upbringing and I never got that drive to follow a team or cheer on a game. But when I worked in retail at a men’s shoe store I would listen to the sports report on the way to work every day. I was always current on that amazing game-winning catch or how a coach was likely to be fired because I knew that my customer was into sports. It gave me something to connect with him about, a commonality to engage with him, and that comfortable familiarity of a shared interest put him at ease. And that made him more open to upsell and cross sale suggestions. It felt like my suggestions were friendly, not “salesman-ey.”
Create a relationship with your B2B target lead.
Play your P.A.R.T:
Don’t be creepy:
“remember when your cat died? :(“
Step 3: Be everywhere
Run ads to a specific target audience:
- their social network
- friends and family
- anyone who works at their company, etc.
You need a large enough audience to run a targeted ad on Facebook
How about targeting just employees of the company?
- Unless that company is really big, probably not a big enough audience
Go to LinkedIn
Search for the company
Use a scraper
- LinkedIn Lead Extractor
- LeadFuze – promises automated list building
Gather contact info (names & email addresses) for all people that work at the company.
Compile a list of organizations that your target lead (“Joe”) – participates in
You should know this from your stalking
- Is Joe a mentor in an industry networking organization?
- Does Joe speak at any annual conferences?
- Does Joe contribute to any charities?
Use LinkedIn to gather contact info for people that work for or with the organizations Joe is involved with.
Create a custom audience (or several) on Facebook.
Upload each group of contacts
if the individual groups aren’t large enough – all together
You’re creating groups of people that know Joe.
Note about getting specific in your ad copy:
If Joe’s company is big enough to be the whole audience, you can be specific in your call out.
“Does your CMO know this one tactic?”
“Are you ready for XYZ conference?”
Likely to make sense to everyone that works at Joe’s company.
BUT if you have to merge groups, have to be careful
- Someone that works at a charity that Joe contributes to isn’t going to understand a reference to Joe’s CEO
When people click “why am I seeing this ad?” or “don’t show me ads like this” – detrimental to Ad relevancy score
If your Facebook custom audience includes several groups of people
Ads will need to be generic enough to apply to all of them.
Ok, your custom audiences are uploaded.
Now go to Facebook Insights
Enter the company name.
You’ll see other people associated roughly with that company.
You’re looking for:
- other employees,
- company influencers, etc.
- people that are likely to interact with or influence Joe
Maybe add these to your audience.
- Facebook insights includes people that follow and like the company
Not a good strategy for
- super huge companies like Coca-Cola or Google.
- a company that actively promotes getting followers to their company page
Your audience will be too diluted.
Now create ads directed specifically to the audience.
Note: You can’t call out Joe personally in your ad or your video.
You CAN says something like,
- Want to earn points with your boss? Go to his office and tell him about this.
- Do you know a sales manager at your company that always gets stressed out before a convention? Do him a solid and tell him about this!
You can refer to his position or his specific pain points.
You can refer to a specific upcoming event.
- Help your sales manager convert the leads he’s going to get at XYZ conference
- Does your CMO know there’s a better way to do XYZ?
Your goal is to get Joe’s attention.
You want the target audience to go to Joe and mention your brand or product
Make him feel like he’s seeing your brand everywhere.
Video vs. Static Image or Text
Video ad is best.
Quick & easy to consume.
- Run the ads for a short period of time (4-5 days at a time
- Set the ad to Reach so that it goes to as many people as possible
Warning: You will pay per impression, so the cost will get high quickly
But you need to:
- gather a retargeting audience
- cull irrelevant contacts from your audience.
Grab the audience that watched the video
Make them the audience for your next ad.
Ditch those that didn’t watch
(they aren’t likely finding the material to be relevant)
If your ad group is too small:
Make a more generic ad run it to several companies that you’re targeting.
Once you know Joe’s heard about you:
Send him a direct, highly targeted email.
Consider including a personal video.
Follow up with a phone call.
Step 4: Target Industry Events
Compile a list of the conventions, expos, and conferences that your targets attend and/or speak at.
Create a specific social campaign to target those events that are large enough to be a viable audience of industry contacts.
If the conference has a Facebook page, add page followers to your audience.
Contact the conference organizers to get a list of past attendees
Gather a list of this year’s presenters, booths, sponsors and (if possible) attendees
You’re looking to target anyone who is likely to be at the conference.
There will be 3 ads in this campaign:
2. During conference
Highlight things like:
- Are you ready for…
- Make sure you make the most out of your limited time at XYZ conference
If your sales team will be at the conference as well:
Option 1: an incentive to come to your booth, cocktail party, etc.
Option 2: an exclusive advance preview of the product you’ll be unveiling (“reserve your sneak peek now!”)
Highlight conference pain points
“Tired of schmoozing? Here’s all you need to know about the best XYZ on the market, now salespeople involved!”
Offer a download of your spec page
“Don’t want to hoof it to every lighting vendor at XYZ conference? Here’s a comparison guide so you don’t have to!”
Offer a data sheet comparing your product to your competitors
*(subtly highlighting why your product or service is superior, of course)
If you’ll be there too:
Incentivize them to connect with you.
Only show to those people in your audience that are within a 2-mile radius of where the conference is happening.
Run ad during conference hours
maybe a 1-2 hour buffer before & after.
Only show to those people that interacted with your ad during the conference
- Asked for your lead magnet
- Watched your video
You want to motivate that underling that was at the conference to bring your product or service to the decision maker
(who probably wasn’t at the conference)
Make their job (of presenting the idea to their boss) dead simple.
Give them a cool slideshow that lays out:
- how your product or service is superior to competitors
- why it’s worth the investment.
- how much your product or service will save them (in resources, time, money, etc) over time.
Create the sales pitch for them
Give it to them in a format that is easy for them to present.
If your salesperson could be at the post-conference meeting, what do you think would sell it?
Use your retargeting ad to present that material
Format it in a way that shows a conference attendee how it benefits them to take it up the chain.
Start Generating Those Leads
The time and energy needed for a successful social media outreach campaign is often underestimated.
It’s true. Your audience isn’t in the mindset of being sold of pitched to, so you have to get specific and creative.
Social media platforms give you a unique opportunity to insert your brand into your target’s life.
But in a good way.