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Key Takeaways From our B2B Social Trailblazers Summit

by | Nov 22, 2022 | Best Practice,

On November 3rd, together with Immediate Future, we hosted an in-person B2B Social Trailblazers Summit in London, to help B2B Marketers remain on the cutting edge of social media, and equip them with ideas for 2023 planning! The day was jam-packed with best practice presentations from IBM & Ericsson, panel discussions with influencers, B2B Marketers and influential Execs & SMEs, workshops on how to create engaging content as well as how to leverage Influencer Marketing.

So many great ideas where shared throughout the day and the attendees left fully prepared to make the most out of their Social Media Marketing in 2023! Did you miss the Summit? Here are the key takeaways that stood out from the day.

Photo Credit: Sam Tyrrell

Social is an afterthought

Despite its prevalence in our day to day, social media is often still an afterthought for B2B brands. Katy Howell gave a fantastic presentation on how to break away from boring B2B content and emphasised that to do so, social media needs to be at the forefront of your marketing. Most people now want to consume content directly on social and are likely to ignore it if it requires a call to action to leave their feed. There has also been a considerable rise in the number of decision makers whose buying decisions have been influenced by social media content. B2B brands need to make social media a focus within their marketing strategies to ensure that they are reaching their audience.

Stop producing boring content

The exclusive survey results presentation revealed that LinkedIn is overcrowded, and Twitter is not too far behind. Feeds are full of individuals pushing their agendas and paid brand advertising that does not break the scroll. Why? Because everyone is producing boring content that does not capture the audience’s attention. Conversation around tables between industry experts proved fruitful as we discussed what it looks like to be exciting on socials. We had many attendees who are pioneering B2B podcasts, create video content and re-purpose it for maximum gain.

The workshops provided a great opportunity to break down their audiences and to consider what they want to hear and learn rather than what we as marketers want to say and publish. These sessions facilitated collaboration between influencers, brands, Immediate Future and Onalytica staff to broaden the scope of what we consider to be engaging marketing content.

Start with why & know your customer

Immediate Future’s Katy Howell & Colin Jacobs highlighted in their presentations that you cannot create content for the sake of simply having some content. Before you start creating anything, you must know WHO you are creating it for. Not only that, you must answer WHY that content would matter in the first place to your audience and customers. Why are you creating it? What challenge does it highlight and help solve? Understanding the industry and the pain points of your customers will enable you to create content that is much more relatable, insightful and cuts through all of the social noise, helping you break the scroll!

Tailor your content to each platform

To reach your buyers you need to tailor your content to each platform. With the sheer number of social channels out there, you need to understand where your buyers are, and what they want out of each platform. We surveyed 115 senior B2B social media practitioners to capture their challenges, insights and to provide a state of the industry view.

Unsurprisingly, 100% of companies surveyed are present on LinkedIn, and 85% are on Twitter – they’re pretty crowded! On top of this, only 1/3 of brands tailor their content by channel and this is a real missed opportunity to serve your audience content that they want to see on each channel. You must adapt content to specific platforms to stand out amongst of the noise and ensure you are relevant, your message resonates and that you are tapping into the audience psychographics.

People-led content

A poignant theme that arose throughout the event was that people-led content cuts through. As consumers we are sceptical of logos and brand messaging, and place a lot more trust in individuals. The influencer panel highlighted this through their success stories of reaching executives through creative content. Bernard Marr suggested that his best collaborations are where he brings out other people’s stories and highlights their expertise through his content.

There was a consensus between all the panellists that authentic perspectives and voices cut through and that a lot of their success can be accredited to shared values with brands. This was also evident in the employee advocacy panel where the panellists highlighted the importance of utilising brand advocates within your own organisations who bring a trustworthy sentiment to a brand’s message.

Start small, then scale

A wonderful presentation from IBM’s Nada Alkutbi & Ryan Bares detailed the brand’s Influencer Marketing journey over the years, and one main idea that really stood out from it was start small, then scale. They suggested that if you are only starting out with Influencer Marketing, you should run a smaller influencer pilot to prove the results & success to your executives as well as stakeholders, and then scale and integrate Influencer Marketing within your wider strategy to see long-term results, and build lasting relationships with influencers who might become your brand’s advocates.

Integrating SMEs, Thought Leaders & external Influencers is key

The power of thought leadership in influencing is clear, but to fully unlock the power, you must integrate SMEs and external content creators. Anita Veszeli detailed the work Ericsson have done with their Integrated approach to influence and shed light on some of the rationale behind it. Collaboration should occur between an internal ‘owner’ of a specific relationship and an external influencer who is relevant in a niche topic. Then begins the process of network slicing where you can build on existing campaigns or create new ones together!

Importance of community

There appears to be a consensus from attendees that being back together, in-person and after three years in the virtual world, was a key highlight of the event. It reignited a sense of community amongst everyone, as we shared expertise and learnt from one another.

Community is all about moving away from broadcasting and towards two-way conversations, where everyone speaks with everyone. This is where the real magic and influencing happens.

In order to keep these conversations going and maintain that sense of community, Onalytica have partnered with Guild to build out a community of B2B Trailblazers to share knowledge and connect with likeminded individuals.

Join our community for exclusive & on-demand content, and so much more: Become a social Trailblazer!