The first rule in content marketing is to distribute content where your target audience is.
Okay, the first rule is really to create great, relevant content that adds value, but getting it in front of the right people is right up there—if no one is reading it, it’s pretty much a waste.
Many B2B marketing leaders have resisted Facebook and other social media platforms, believing that they can’t be successful in getting leads there.
Specifically with Facebook, I know I’ve tried distributing content in the past, placing ads, and building audience with “Likes” to a page, but have been frustrated when it comes to measuring lead conversions and impact into the sales pipeline. We still do it, because we know we need to have a presence.
But things are changing—and quickly.
Last November, I saw Gary Vaynerchuk speak at a Vistage CEO event in New York City where he opened some eyes in the audience.
He asked, “How many of you [CEOs in the audience] are on Facebook?”
75% of the room raised a hand.
“How many of those with their hands up, and be honest, said just 5 years ago that you would never get on Facebook?”
A majority of those in the room keep their hands up.
“And you B2B people out there are telling me that your audience isn’t on Facebook?”
I think it’s safe to say that, at this point, our B2B target audiences are on Facebook and they’re spending increasingly more time on the platform (the average Facebook user spends 6.35 hours a month on the platform).
But it’s more than that.
Having reached a content peak, many people are clamoring for a platform to aggregate the content they’re interested in because we can’t possibly consume all of the information we’re hit with on a daily basis.
You might also be surprised to find out that most mainstream publishers are pouring money into Facebook to distribute their content. They’ve recognized that it is quickly becoming the go-to platform for news and entertainment that is pertinent to them—both personally and professionally.
“I think there’s a good chance that in five to ten years the Internet is going to look really different, just like it did five or ten years ago,” says BuzzFeed Distributed Head, Summer Anne Burton. “And one of those trends might be that people consume media within the places where they’re also networking with their friends. We just want to figure that out and figure out what people like and people share, and establish an audience in those places and show that we’re the best at making things that people love to share.”
Case in point, I went to Facebook just this morning, and right there in my feed was a story about the Iowa Caucus—and, being interested in politics, I had to read it.
So the question is not whether we should use Facebook, it’s: How do we use it to actually get results for both content distribution and lead conversion?
Well, that’s changed too. Facebook has become much more sophisticated in its targeting capabilities. It has launched “Lead Ads” where you can specifically target your audience—but, even better, when someone clicks on the link, their contact information (already collected) passes along to the advertiser as a lead.
“Facebook has ‘cut out the middle man’ so to speak,” says Bill Combes, founder of No Time for Social. “Because now when someone clicks on an ad, the contact information is automatically assembled for the advertiser and passed along as a lead. We actually have several B2B clients that are using Facebook to generate over 50% of their total leads.”
Even though the distribution must be paid for, it’s “the best deal going right now,” according to Vaynerchuk.
Join us for a webinar on February 18, where Bill Combes, founder of No Time for Social, will discuss B2B best practices for using Facebook and other social media platforms to convert into sales leads.