By Joe McKivitt, Account Manager.
Should B2B marketers consider using paid promotion to push their online content? Our resident expert, Joe Mckivitt, explores the pros and cons.
Wave goodbye to organic.
It’s getting ever harder for social marketers to reach their audience without paying for the privilege. It’s now a well-known fact that organic reach is declining. As social networks monetise their services and more businesses pay to boost their profile and engagement, this trend is only set to increase.
Last year, organic reach on Facebook fell by 52 per cent — meaning brands that don’t pay are reaching half as many people as they used to. So, in 2017, to achieve social media success, your strategy (and budget) should incorporate paid promotion. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. With paid promotion, you can reverse the trend of organic decline and specifically target the people who are most likely to engage with your content.
So here are some stats that show you why it’s essential for B2B marketers to consider paid promotion.
Making the case.
Let’s start with the basics. We know that social media works for B2B marketing — 55 per cent of B2B buyers say they search for product or vendor information on social media. And if you’re just starting to use paid promotion, you’re following the trend: 80 per cent of industry executives who lead social media marketing initiatives said they would place paid advertising programmes on social media within the next twelve months.
As more social marketers get involved, the prices are only going one way, and that’s up…
LinkedIn drives the most customers (65 per cent) to B2B companies. However, this comes at a price, so smaller companies may want to look at paid promotion on Twitter, as it’s generally much cheaper. In terms of ROI, though, LinkedIn leads the way. Three-fifths of B2B marketers say LinkedIn gives a good return on investment.
With Twitter, it’s less clear-cut. In one study, just 14 per cent said Twitter gives a good return. Despite this, research from Simply Measured and others says that 63.5 per cent of B2B marketers claim Twitter gives a good return.
I think it all depends on what your goals are when embarking on a paid promotion campaign — LinkedIn is likely to earn you more solid leads and engagement, whereas Twitter is likely to boost your reach and increase your followers. Obviously, there are many factors that affect this also, such as the type of content you’re promoting. But in my experience, this is the general trend.
This seems to be supported by the fact that 65 per cent of B2B companies have acquired a customer by using LinkedIn for paid advertising. Indeed, LinkedIn has the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74 per cent — higher than Twitter at 0.69 per cent.
Pay as much or as little as you like.
According to Buffer, the industry average for advanced paid social campaigns is between $200 and $350 per day (very roughly about £150 to £300). But when you have a limited budget for paid social, start small, making sure you pick your very best content to promote and A/B test your posts to get the most bang for your buck. Put a small amount of money in, choose a very narrow target audience, and see what works before expanding your campaigns. You’re likely to get the best value for money when focusing on boosting your reach, so make that your priority.
Hopefully you now have an idea of why paid promotion is so important — especially if you’re a B2B business. But knowing you should do something is just the first step, so, in my next blog I’ll reveal a few top tips for making paid promotion work for your business.