Does B2B Social Media Still Work?

Does B2B social media marketing still work for advertising agencies?

I’ll get to that answer in a minute.

Background: I have been thinking of writing a book on the why, how, when and when to move overseas. Thinking about this is a result of my being asked every week about the how and why I moved from Portland, OR to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in 2016. My book would be crammed with facts by country, the personal side of living overseas (with many interviews with digital nomads and expats) and associated benfits and costs.

I mentioned this new idea to my wife and she asked me… why not a blog? It has an ongoing life and gets written in manageable chunks vs. a static book. Plus a blog can be monetized. Publishing books in 2019 is a pain in the ass – for both traditional publishers and self-published authors (I know, I’ve published four books).

Of course, like so many business endeavors, the rubber hits the road when one starts to figure out how to market the blog or book. That is how I got to starting to think about how to grow an audience.

Me

This blog has gotten between 75 and 60 thousand visitors a year. I’m happy – these are strong numbers for a focussed blog about advertising agency business development.

I know that growth has come from a small set of factors.

  • I started in 2012 when there were significantly fewer blogs in general and a smaller set of advertising agency consultants.
  • I have strong SEO skills that have helped me to live on page one for the right Google searches.
  • I did a lot of guest posting from 2014 to 2016. This got my name and URL out there.

However, like many of my marketing friends and agency clients, I am seeing a reduction in traffic. I believe that this is a result of market shifts:

  • Competition for B2B eyeballs is much stronger.
  • Organic reach is tanking. Google is less friendly (for many reasons).
  • Mobile viewership continues to grow (smaller screens do not help me get shares and convert – this might be an arguable point).

Spend Money

Many of the agencies that thought that all they had to do is to spend the time writing brilliant blogs posts to build audience are not getting the traction they had hoped for.

The solution… you must market your social media programs. Even $100 a month marketing budget can help your company’s social media program reach its prospects. Passive is way too passive in today’s competitive social universe.

But… writing blog posts and managing LinkedIn and  Instagram and even more costs money and time itself.

My solution is at the bottom.

Daunting Social Media Facts

Here are some facts about social media platforms in 2019 that might cause a marketer to really think hard about the competition for eyeballs.  Simply put, given the growth in all social media platforms, can your blog and other social media efforts ever deliver the audience you seek? I come to this question via both my personal journey and watching dozens of advertising agencies fail at driving interest via social media.

  • Blogs: There are over 500 million blogs. WordPress alone estimates that there are 60 million WordPress blogs.
  • LinkedIn’s monthly active user base is over 260 million (Apptopia).
  • Instagram: Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users. More than 500 million use the platform every day (Statista).
  • Facebook: Over 2 billion active users (Statista).
  • YouTube: Total number of YouTube monthly viewers worldwide – 149 million (Statista).
  • Twitter: From the Washington Post – “Twitter claimed 321 million monthly users, down 9 million, or more than 2 percent from the same time last year.”

Repeated Point Coming

(!) The solution… you must market your social media programs. Even $100 a month marketing budget can help your company’s social media program reach its prospects. Passive is way too passive in today’s competitive universe.

(!) Something else to consider – really grow your account based marketing program. Go beyond social media marketing to doing more direct marketing to your list to make sure your sales message is delivered.

Oh, try this: Talk to me.

 

2 Comments

  1. You’re right on target Peter. I just made this presentation at an agency conference in Toronto: How to Accelerate Agency Lead Generation with Paid Content Promotion.

    Organic reach is down considerablly. All of the major social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter as as well as Search have become Pay to Play. For example, a Facebook post has less than a 3% chance of getting into someone’s news feed.You have a greater chance of getting into Harvard than someone seeing your content!

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