The line that separates casual online social interactions from professional outreach efforts is becoming increasingly blurry for B2B marketers. While you’ve probably warmed up to promoting creatively through channels like Facebook, YouTube, and maybe even Pinterest, surely you must draw the line before an app like Snapchat. Right?
New Horizons on the B2B Landscape
Why would you want to adopt a consumer network to capture your B2B audience? Will doing so water down your company identity as an esteemed and professional establishment? Even if the idea sounds cool, can you justify spending budgeting dollars it?
When faced with these questions, most B2B marketers have generally assumed that Snapchat is not effective for the B2B Enterprise industry and, therefore, they have leaned away from using it. Now is the time to reconsider.
Let’s take a step back and look at the current social media landscape. We have the top five social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Pinterest. LinkedIn still holds the top rankings for B2B businesses. Yet the unfortunate truth about these social networks is that, while they have millions of users, their organic reach is getting smaller by the day.
More and more, the reality is that in order to be seen on these social networks, you have to advertise. Bids are getting more competitive and native ads are receiving fewer clicks. Long story short, social ad prices are rising while their results and effectiveness are falling.
In the world of information overload, it’s becoming fairly obvious why some ads work and others don’t (and the analytics back up the logic). For example, webinar ads are not as effective as instant content asset download ads. Why? Because audiences are bombarded with information on a daily business.
The decision makers you are trying to reach barely have time to get a great lunch. What makes you think they have time to watch a webinar? On the contrary, instant downloads work well because prospects can download and apply them instantly.
Another form of B2B communication is via email marketing. Even we as marketers become annoyed as we fall “victim” to the plague of heavy flowing sales and promotional emails. These messages bombard us with their boring subject lines and tempt us to “select all” and delete.
Because of this, the inbox is losing its status as a direct form of communication. I receive between fifteen to twenty webinar invites a day. What is the likelihood that I will attend even one? None.
This makes Snapchat an attractive and viable channel for direct communication and relationship building with customers. It’s new, it’s not overloaded, and it happens to be a fantastic solution to the current challenges facing B2B marketers.
Using Snapchat for B2B
You can use Snapchat to easily communicate with people and receive a direct response without getting lost in their newsfeed or overspending on an ad. Many of you may still be thinking, “Well, the logic makes sense, but how can I get my audience over to Snapchat?”
The easiest way to promote your Snapchat channel is through the “Snapcode” shown below. You can use your custom snapcode as an avatar on your social channels, which will allow your audience to quickly scan and add you. You can also promote it on your email signature, through giveaways, at events, and more.
One of the most useful ways to use Snapchat is to send mobile webinar reminders. The current norm is for a business to send a notice via email, but these emails get lost in space or prospects just don’t open them. A quick snap can work effectively because the recipients will receive a notification on their phone and everything is optimized for mobile.
We live in an era where mobile is first. Imagine sending an email to a database of 27,000 and it isn’t mobile friendly? There go the leads and the chances of getting registrants for the webinar.
Snapchat can be used to send a simple update or a webinar reminder without steering away from the professional spectrum.
Here is an example:
Most B2B companies either host or sponsor large events. When it is time to reach out to their audiences directly without asking for a phone number, Snapchat is an excellent solution.
Let’s face it. Most people do not like giving away their personal number to businesses. They are even more adamant about minimizing junk texts and sales calls than they are about protecting their email inbox. After all, the cell phone is an extension of their personal space.
An easy, non-invasive way to sidestep this is by contacting them through their Snapchat handle. For example, say you have a last minute event change or you want to promote a giveaway at your event. Snapchat has you covered.
Use snaps to send personal reminders, find out attendees preferences, ask what they’re looking forward to, get feedback during and after the event, and more.
During the middle of the conference you can even send a simple snap that asks, “Hi! How are you enjoying the seminar? Is there anything we can do to make it better?”
This frames the situation and builds a relationship with your customers at the same time!
Here is an example:
Humanizing Your Brand
Just a few short years ago, it was protocol to address a business as an entity and not a person. Times have changed and the online space has become so interconnected with human relationships that marketing has had to evolve to keep up. It is no longer effective to communicate as a business.
Rather, the success of a company lies in its ability to build powerful, human-like connections and develop very personal relationships with its customers.
Photography, videography and digital media are very successful forms of marketing because they have the power to communicate in an emotional and human way. Unfortunately, these are expensive and your ability to use them for every action is limited.
For day-to-day communications in real time, Snapchat provides an easy solution for you to connect with your customers and prospects without spending thousands of dollars. For example, you can easily invite a prospect to lunch or even send them a “special tip of the day.” If you post a blog, then send them a Snap containing the link and encourage them to engage.
When you do this, you become a part of their daily social world.
One of the best business uses for Snapchat video is to answer questions in real-time. With a quick response rate, video snaps are a major perk for your customers. Using this function will increase trust in your brand, foster an exclusive relationship and encourage overall loyalty.
In addition, using Snapchat for customer service will allow you to collect usable data and feedback so you can continue to enhance the customer experience. The channel should be used to understand your core customers so you can address their pain points efficiently through other mediums and content.
Here is an example:
While the gates keeping you from reaching out to prospects via Facebook and LinkedIn are getting higher, Snapchat offers an open and direct route. At the end of the day, any social channel that gives you quick and direct access to your audience is a valuable tool worthy of allocating time and money. Used effectively, it will substantially increase the amount of messages that actually get through to recipients, enhance the business-to-customer relationship and build credibility as an accessible yet professional brand.
What creative ways are you using Snapchat for your business?