Having found time in between writing, managing accounts and trips to exhibitions, to watch a BrightTALK webinar entitled ‘Secrets of building online b2b audiences using social media’ I thought it useful to share the key insights with you.
Quoc Dang, Demand Generation specialist at BrightTALK, gave an interesting webinar essentially about driving audience to your content using social media. However, in a new spin on the subject, Quoc spoke practically about engaging community managers to drive traffic to your content.
His 6 step methodology runs as follows:
1. Pre-approach – research where your audience actually is. Prioritise b2b networks, what groups and blogs your audience belongs to, the size and reach of the communities, and importantly who owns or manages these communities.
2. Profile community managers/owners – e.g. Linkedin and groups using keywords to search. Plus, ask your audience where they go to too. Types of community managers typically fall into the following categories: experts/publishers, publishers/event companies, recruitment/job board, associations/analysts (e.g. Forrester). Each type, and even each community manager, will have their own goals, objectives and agenda – take time to discover these.
3. Position your offer – what assets can you use to negotiate and offer to community leaders? For example awareness/branding (use their logo/group name in your email CRM blasts, or on a specific web landing page), compelling/relevant content, a blog contribution (if you have a blog that welcomes guest posts), sharing leads, shaping content in the industry, insights… The key point here is make it relevant to them and their objectives.
4. Approach, attract and execute.
- Approach: use trusted sources to do this – who can introduce you to the community leaders/owners?
- Attract: be upfront and keep messages short and simple (e.g. a Linkedin direct message), and again match your offer to their objectives and goals (e.g. getting more followers, or brand awareness).
- Execute: you may need a pilot/trial – and use a MOU agreement, which should include a statement about eventual evaluation processes.
5. Evaluate, discipline and reward – as with any digital campaign, track your success using campaign links. Benchmark partners against each other and your own efforts. Measure results quarterly – is it working for both parties? Reward star performers – those that are delivering for you. And, a really interesting point here – discipline underperformers – first try to understand why they’re not performing for you, and be patient. But if you have to terminate the partnership then do so and be honest – it could be that the timing isn’t right just now and you can work together again in the future.
6. Sustain partners – design a consistent content release strategy (including a new MOU agreement), and plan partner communications. Build a network of promoters and keep them engaged – maybe create a roadmap regarding content. Be top of their mind for building their audience. Build your network around your content strategies, and use the content most relevant to each of them.
A key tip – make it easy for people/partners to work with you – give them the copy and links so that all they have to do is post it/send it out. Plus, agree times for the community managers/partners to send /post content, especially when working with busy publishing houses.
And, as with any social media venture, be patient and persistent – it may not work instantly!
What b2b online communities do you recommend? Are you building your own? Talk to our communications experts.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within any BDB blog posts are those of the author alone. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. For guest posts, authors retain copyright and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.