When Makane George, President, Drexel University Public Relations Society of America invited me to participate in a panel discussion on Busines to Business marketing on February 7, 2013, I was encouraged that much of the discussion was devoted to the emerging role of social media.
I was privileged to serve on a panel of the following distinguished local experts:
Jessica Sharp, Principal, Maven Communications
Sara De Long, Assistant Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby
Melissa Marsili, Partnership Marketing Associate at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
Traditional B2B Experience
In simple terms the panel agreed that B2B marketing is a specialized function designed to help deliver key messages from one business to another. The goal of B2B marketing is to foster relationships and commerce between businesses.
Traditionally marketing has relied on public relations to:
Drive B2B initiatives through traditional print and digital trade media
Develop key message platforms to tell stories to specialty audiences
Prepare experts to serve and spokespersons for specialty business media
Produce various forms of public relations content
Engage target audiences via professional organizations and trade shows
Social media for B2B marketing
The panel engaged in a valuable dialog regarding the emerging role of social media in B2B communications. While the panel agreed that Facebook and Twitter hold some role, the predominant social media channels for B2B marketing include blogging, LinkedIn, and YouTube. JFK Communications is focused on providing clients with key social media strategies.
We work with organizations to determine their area of expertise and build editorial calendar of blogs. We work with clients to identify blog topics, blog authors and timing for certain blogs with key corporate and business events. We also work with clients to invite guest blogs from outside experts, customers and policy makers.
Effective blogs drive traffic to clients’ websites and all corporate social media channels.
JFK Communications works with clients to build their LinkedIn pages. LinkedIn is becoming one of the fastest growing and most powerful business-focused social media channels available. We work with clients to construct their Linked In pages for maximum effectiveness. This includes:
Linking blog posts to LinkedIn
Linking all Tweets to LinkedIn page
Linking all FB and YouTube content to LinkedIn
The most effective LinkedIn pages include an ongoing stream of status updates that link followers back to key business messages
One of the most effective means of communications is video. We know that online video content is more effective in driving purchasing decisions compared to traditional print narrative content. For B2B marketing, we help our clients build YouTube channels and production calendars. We work to produce and post videos for maximum viewing and viral sharing.
We work with clients to keep Twitter feeds full of content. A Twitter feed is a double-edge sword. If kept up and current is a very efficient driver of awareness and traffic. However, if neglected it only serves to irritate followers.
In B2B marketing, this expert panel agreed that traditional marketing strategies and tactics are here to stay, however the emergence of social media must be a part of all effective B2B marketing programs.