Categories
Global Marketing

How AI shapes B2B Marketing

AI is the hottest topic in 2018.

AI is also more applicable to their business challenges, with user-friendly, pragmatic products seeing successful adoption. And, as AI and machine learning marketing capabilities are giving B2B marketers more lift and scale across their programs, this exciting tech is poised to become standard best practice as fast as it becomes available.

  1. Content: Delivery, Not Creation

Great content is expensive and time-consuming to create. Is it any wonder that so much has been made of AI programs can write content, web pages and emails that are grammatically correct and that target appropriate keywords?  The truth is, the web (and your buyers’ inboxes and social streams) are full of mediocre content. More mediocre content will not stand out in the din of content marketing, and no AI program can generate the kind of new, creative, innovative ideas that will get your brand noticed. Yet.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for AI in content marketing.

Where B2B marketers can really flex some AI muscle is in content delivery. Standing out in today’s digital marketplace means maintaining markets of one with thousands—or even millions—of prospective buyers. That means delivering the right content to the right contacts at the right time, but that kind of personal interaction is impossible to scale.

Content marketing AI can scan your entire website and/or content library, categorize and organize the content you create, and deliver the right offers, pages, emails, social media posts, and more, to each buyer at every interaction. That keeps you doing what you do best—creating amazing content and campaigns—and lets AI do what it does best—giving you the lift of super-precise targeting across an enormous number of interaction points.

  1. Social Media: Expand Your Audience

It is important to not just look for artificial intelligence you might add to your arsenal, but to examine what AI you might already be using and simply need to leverage better. If you want to experiment with AI and see the impact it can have on your marketing, look no further than Facebook Ads.

Facebook’s Lookalike Audience is a brilliant product that uses your first-party data to help you “find more people who look like your current customers.” With Lookalike, you can create custom audiences and massively expand the impact of your marketing—all based on behavioral data. This data can be:

Pulled from a website by installing a pixel.

Pulled from Facebook by assessing people who like your page.

Uploaded directly as a list of current customers for Facebook to examine.

Similar technology is available for B2B marketers that scans digital signals from all over the web. Predictive lead scoring and predictive account scoring also use AI to expand your ability to reach buyers who look like your customers—in other words, opportunities that align to your ideal customer profile.

 

Just like all major technological innovations, artificial intelligence has been met with an initial level of distrust and even fear. However, most marketers recognize that AI is really only solving problems that they were already having: like maintaining personalized interactions at scale and gaining better insights into their buyer journeys.

 

Categories
Global Marketing

Social Media Marketing in International B2B business

We all know that Social Media Marketing is nothing new but for international B2B business.

In the year of 2018, social media marketing is a notable powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable all B2B, C2C and B2C companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public.

It’s true that B2B may have a smaller audience to cater to on social media, but SSM is still a good choice for taking prospective customers and converting them into clients. It is especially important in international B2B business, because when we do international  deal, we actually face all clients in the world. The social network marketing create a prefect de-centralized platform to get the company stick with their clients.

Be more specific, B2B purchasing behaviors are different from B2C in following dimensions:

  • Time:  B2B purchases require a long and complex process, it may take several months rather than a quick buying decision in B2C market ing. (On social media platform, the supplier could maintain its communications with its clients for long time.)
  • Decision Making: The nature of B2B business requires a multiple influencer and decision maker involved. (From this aspect, the social Media platform is also a good place for showing products to multiple audiences.)
  • Cost: The nature of B2B business will occur a high transaction cost and a long term commitment to the supply in most case. When asked “do you see a real difference between suppliers and value the difference enough to pay for it?” just 14% of B2B businesses answered yes (suggesting the shift cost is high comparing to supplier’s small differentiation. )
  • Customer: In international B2B marketing, each player can potentially impact a brand’s reputation an brand image. In B2C business, the transaction only involves few people, which have a weaker impacts than B2B.
  • Characters: B2B player are generally recognized as logic, results seeking, and emphasize in their own business value. In B2C transaction, buyer are defined as emotional in most cases. Therefore, comparing emotionally-driven brand marketing in B2C with its equivalent in B2B is like trying to compare apples with pears.

Generally speaking, the key lead to a successful social media marketing is to destroy the old  printer video contest  and showcased user-generated content. In International B2B business, there are few potential clients who have a in depth understanding on its market and specialization. Therefore, a well designed activities, industry contest would create a perfect opportunity for demanders and suppliers. In order to adopt today's business environment, it is important to consider Social media marketing in international B2B business.

 

 

Useful extend readings:

In addition, according to the “Content Queen” Dorothea Volpe, the following are 7 top platform for B2B international marketing.

 

Google +

Strength: Great opportunity for follower growth, segmentation starting, creating nuanced messaging, highly search engine optimized.

Weakness (IMHO): Make sure your audience is there. There’s been a lot of hype about G+, but make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin, especially if you only have a few SoMe folks on your team. Test and compare it to your Facebook presence.

 

LinkedIn

Strengths: Huge audience, 161M people, 2 new members every second, Members did nearly 4.2 billion searches on the platform. There’s a lot of targeted advertising opportunities which can be highly successful. Ideal for Job openings, big announcements (at the company level). Extremely useful for appending information to your contact database.

Weakness (IMHO): Advertising opportunities are available on LinkedIn, but social media opportunities (earned) are elusive for marketers. I.e., it’s a private network; people have complete control over your ability to reach out them. Try creating a “Group” as a way to get started.

 

Twitter

Strengths: Also huge audience, 500 million active users, 340 M tweets daily, 55% of all Twitter users user the service to share links to new stories, 53% retweet, 182% Increase in number of mobile users, 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, 20% have closed deals.

From personal experience, Twitter is a fantastic way to promote, amplify and syndicate other content such as blogs as well as build an audience. Great way to reach an audience fast.

•Scott Monty, example of an executive who loves social media and understands the brand

•@scottmonty

Weaknesses (IMHO): Lots of spam, sales folks and other marketers following your account which doesn’t really count as audience reach. Difficult to segment, you don’t have a lot of information about who is actually following you.

 

Pinterest

Strengths: Enormous growth, 1.36M daily users – grew 4733% since May 2011, 3rd most popular, April 2012 Board “Covers” were launched. If your audience is female, Pinterest is the place to be. Great opportunity if your products have a visual appeal.

Weaknesses (IMHO): Not ideal if your audience is male and /or you have non-visual products. I’ve seen marketers post whitepapers on Pinterest, but it seems a bit out of place. Consider Slideshare (the anti-Pinterest) for this.

 

YouTube

Strengths: 106.7M UVM – over 3B hours uploaded, 60+ hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute, 70% of YT traffic outside US, more than 1 trillion views in 2011. THE place to be if you have video content. Good data on metrics (thanks Google).

Weaknesses (IMHO): If you’ve got video content, it’s ideal. But don’t try to pin your hopes on creating a “viral” video. I’ve tried viral videos in the past when it was trendy. It’s really hit or miss and has the potential of going WAY off if your brand doesn’t naturally lend itself to the stuff that people like on YouTube (funny, raunchy, or entertaining). Just do what you do and make it useful.

 

Facebook

Strengths: Huge reach 955 M monthly active users in June. Over ½ of these users are active on a daily basis. (based on TechCrunch, 2012 stats), Facebook is ideal for engaging directly with your audience, allowing them to share their experiences, content. There is a wide range of applications including contests, customer service, and promotions. Facebook also offers strong advertising opportunities and targeting (as you may have heard in the news).

Intuit does a nice job on their Facebook page for quick books. It’s a combination of product updates, helpful tips and Q&A. They’re very responsive to customer questions as well.

http://www.facebook.com/IntuitQuickBooks

Weaknesses: In the B2B space, you may have audiences that are not inclined to share their activities (eg Governments, financial services). Therefore, isn’t ideal for every B2B use case.

 

Slideshare

Strengths: In B2B, many companies think in PowerPoint presentations. SlideShare has proven itself not only as a home for your slideware, but an effective way to drive leads.

•You can “gate” your content so that people need to register to download your slides, thus driving leads.

•Great way to syndicate your customer presentations.

•In SlideShare, you can also do a voice over and slideshow mode.

•Women use fewer slides on average (22 per slideshow) than men (26).

•Popular presentations contain more images (37, on average) than other presentations (which contain 21).

•The most popular tech companies mentioned in presentations are Facebook (39.9%), Twitter (28.6%), Google (19.1%), Microsoft (5.7%), and Apple (3.8%)

•Only 1.7% of all presentations are done in Apple’s Keynote software, but Keynote makes up 8.2% of the most popular presentations.

•The Japanese and Chinese use more slides on average than slideshows in any other language.