In previous entries, we looked at the key social media platforms in Thailand for 2023. Today, we’ll pull back the lens to focus on developing an overarching B2B marketing strategy.
For B2B marketing efforts to be successful, it is essential that all stakeholders be on the same page with specified goals and a clear roadmap that leads to victory.
That’s where strategy comes into play. Before you start with social media marketing, you need to do the following:
- Define your brand
- Conduct audience anthropology to understand your audience and their pain points
- Develop a big idea and key messaging that addresses these pain points
- Determine the right multimedia output
- Create content calendars
- Explore advertising opportunities
- Identify outreach opportunities
- And establish clear KPIs
Defining your brand
Defining your brand involves establishing your mission, vision, and values as well as a distinctive brand persona, core characteristics, and a unique tone of voice. Your visual identity, logo, and color schemes should also be evaluated at this stage to ensure they align with your brand persona. This information is often held in a brand book for ease of reference.
A brand book holds immense significance for businesses as it serves as a comprehensive guide that defines and maintains the integrity of their brand identity. It outlines the visual elements, such as logo usage, color palette, typography, and imagery, ensuring consistency across all communication channels.
It also encompasses brand values, personality, tone of voice, and messaging guidelines, helping to establish a distinct brand voice and emotional connection with the target audience. A brand book acts as a reference point for employees, ensuring brand coherence in their interactions with customers. It fosters brand recognition, builds trust, and enhances brand loyalty, ultimately differentiating the business from competitors and driving long-term success. If you need to develop your own brand book, we have a good branding agency in Bangkok to suggest.
Next, you need to perform audience research to understand your target customers and their pain points. Competitor research is also helpful at this stage, as it can help you identify any gaps where you can differentiate yourself.
Desktop audience research involves gathering valuable insights about your target audience using online tools and resources. To begin, identify your research objectives and create a target audience persona.
Utilize analytics platforms like Google Analytics or social media insights to understand user demographics, behavior, and interests. Conduct surveys and polls to gain direct feedback. Explore industry forums, discussion boards, and social media groups to observe conversations and identify trends.
Monitor competitor websites and analyze their audience engagement. Utilize keyword research tools for SEO insights. Additionally, leverage market research reports and studies for broader industry insights. Continuously update and refine your research to stay current with evolving audience preferences and behaviors.
Focus groups can also play a crucial role in audience research by providing a platform for in-depth insights and qualitative data. They involve gathering a small group of individuals who represent the target audience to discuss specific topics or products.
By facilitating open discussions and interactive sessions, focus groups enable researchers to delve into participants’ thoughts, opinions, attitudes, and experiences related to a particular subject. They provide a deeper understanding of audience motivations, preferences, and behavior.
Focus groups also offer the opportunity to observe non-verbal cues and group dynamics, uncovering valuable insights that may not be captured through surveys or quantitative methods. This qualitative data helps inform decision-making, refine marketing strategies, and develop products or services that resonate with the target audience.
Messaging and Big Idea
Messaging is one of the most important steps of the strategy process, as this is where you will craft your Big Idea. The Big Idea is the overarching message that underpins all elements of a marketing campaign to ensure that it resonates with the target audience. The Big Idea will need to be rooted in a piercing insight and linked to the campaign’s objectives for maximum relevance and impact.
The Big Idea then enables you to develop content pillars, which will provide the different avenues through which you can convey your Big Idea.
A big idea in marketing is of paramount importance as it serves as the driving force behind successful campaigns and brand strategies. It encapsulates a compelling, unique, and memorable concept that resonates with the target audience.
A big idea captures attention, sparks emotions, and creates a lasting impression. It differentiates a brand from competitors and sets it apart in a crowded marketplace. A strong big idea guides all marketing efforts, from creative executions to messaging consistency across various channels.
It forms the foundation for storytelling and enables brands to connect with their audience on a deeper level, fostering brand loyalty and driving business growth.
At the messaging stage, it is essential to take a storytelling-driven approach that positions your target audience as the hero and your brand as the helpful guide:
Our brand storytelling approach, as illustrated above, starts with your target customer – your hero. You then need to identify the problems they face in achieving their objectives. This is where you step in to act as a helpful guide, showing both empathy and authority – empathy from understanding your hero’s pain points and authority by showing your knowledge of the marketplace and how you’ve helped others to succeed in the past.
You can leverage this position to help your hero reach their objectives. The CTA should be appropriate to the plan, such as “learn more,” “read the blog,” “sign up for a webinar,” “contact us,” “visit the website,” or “join the team.” With any plan, it is important to identify the risks and what failure might look like, such as missing out on new business opportunities or the chance to succeed in a new market. Success is, of course, the ultimate business goal, and you need to show your hero how you’re the ideal guide to get them there.
Once you’ve settled on your messaging, the next step is to identify the types of multimedia content that are best suited to deliver it. These can include thought leadership articles, creative videos, corporate video production, interviews or podcasts, podcasts, quote images and infographics, third-party content, and photos of your leaders and your team.
Multimedia content holds immense significance for social media platforms due to its ability to capture attention, engage audiences, and convey messages effectively. In today’s visually-oriented digital landscape, incorporating a mix of images, videos, infographics, and interactive elements is crucial for grabbing and retaining user interest.
Multimedia content allows for storytelling in a visually compelling and easily consumable format, making it more shareable and likely to go viral. It helps brands communicate their personality, showcase products or services, and connect with followers emotionally. Moreover, multimedia content enhances social media algorithms, boosting visibility and reach.
By leveraging the power of multimedia, businesses can create a dynamic and immersive social media presence, increasing brand awareness, engagement, and ultimately driving conversions.
Next, you need to determine which channels you will use to publish your content, and create content calendars to enable you to plan well in advance.
Content calendars play a vital role in social media management by providing structure, organization, and strategic planning for effective content creation and distribution. They serve as a roadmap, ensuring consistent and timely delivery of content to engage and retain audiences. Content calendars allow businesses to plan their messaging, themes, and campaigns in advance, aligning them with marketing goals and key events.
They facilitate collaboration among team members, enabling efficient scheduling, review, and approval processes. Content calendars also help optimize content distribution across various platforms, ensuring a balanced mix of content types.
With a well-planned content calendar, businesses can maintain a consistent brand voice, save time, improve content quality, and maximize audience engagement and growth on social media.
The next step of strategy development is to identify outreach opportunities. There is no single platform that reaches all segments of a target audience, and for your marketing efforts to be successful, you need to adopt a 360-degree approach that includes both an online and an offline presence.
Outreach efforts provide significant benefits for both SEO and audience reach. Through outreach, businesses can build valuable relationships with influential individuals or websites in their industry. When these influencers or websites mention or link to their content, it enhances the website’s credibility, improves search engine rankings, and drives organic traffic.
Outreach also extends the reach of a brand’s content to new audiences, increasing brand exposure and awareness. By engaging with relevant communities and publications, businesses can tap into existing audiences and expand their own follower base.
Furthermore, outreach helps generate backlinks, which are crucial for SEO, as they signal to search engines that the website is reputable and trustworthy, leading to improved visibility and higher search rankings.
Advertising on social media platforms offers numerous advantages for businesses seeking to reach and engage their target audience. With social media’s expansive user base, businesses can leverage precise targeting options to reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. Social media ads enable businesses to create visually appealing and interactive content, including images, videos, and carousels, to captivate and compel users to take action.
These platforms provide robust analytics and reporting tools, allowing businesses to track the performance of their ads in real-time, optimize campaigns, and measure return on investment. Additionally, social media advertising offers flexibility in budgeting and ad formats, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes to drive brand awareness, generate leads, and boost conversions.
Additionally, with a clearly defined set of audience demographics, you can also connect with them organically for free through your own personal LinkedIn accounts as discussed in our previous article: LinkedIn Marketing Trends in Thailand 2023.
KPIs: Measuring Success
The final stage of strategy development is to establish clear KPIs. To measure the success of any marketing campaign, it’s crucial to agree on what success looks like by defining a mix of output-focused deliverables and results-based targets. By clearly defining KPIs, all stakeholders can ensure that ideation and advertising budgets are focused on achieving your shared goals.
For B2B marketing, KPIs may include things like Google ranking positions, number of new followers, total number of people reached per month/per campaign, engagement levels and lead generation.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to craft a fool-proof strategy. But once you have the right gameplan, you need the right players to execute it and be the faces of your brand.
Thanks for reading all of the articles in this series. Below are our final conclusions:
Our recommendation is to adopt a 360-degree approach, taking into account your overall online and real-world presence and intertwining your social media with effective SEO, email marketing, and offline event networking.
For most B2B marketers, it is best to focus on LinkedIn to reach potential clients, and executive branding is the most cost effective approach for 2023. YouTube is the number one platform for long-form video content, and Facebook for brand awareness and internal engagement. LINE, Instagram, and TikTok, to varying degrees, can be effective for internal engagement, and in the future they may be more widely used for B2B marketing. Your social media marketing should be complemented by the appropriate use of email marketing, search engine marketing (including both organic and paid options), thought leadership, and in-person networking to bring your online presence to life.
The key is to leverage the unique strengths of each platform and tool for your individual brand, using the above tips on best practices as well as the benefits and limitations of each social media platform for B2B marketing. Businesses can gain higher engagement through their content if it is customized for a particular social media platform.
All strategies outlined in this guide work in tandem, and it is crucial to have a well-designed B2B integrated marketing strategy that encompasses the approaches that are best suited to your business. The digital marketing space has an array of powerful tools that allow companies to achieve their goals, whether those objectives are about building relationships or generating leads. Measuring the success of your marketing campaign to ensure it is working in a cost-effective way is critical.
We are excited to see what 2023 has in store within this space. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like some help with your B2B marketing efforts.
This article is part of an ongoing series exploring social media trends in Thailand 2023. Next we’ll explore more of the key social media platforms to keep an eye on. If you can’t wait, you can download the whole series as a 4,500-word white paper right now below:
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About the Author
David Norcross is an award-winning LinkedIn marketing & Executive Branding expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry and over 20,000 followers on LinkedIn. He’s the founder and CEO of Lexicon as well as the Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand Marketing & Communications Committee.
Lexicon is an award-winning brand storytelling agency focusing on telling impactful stories for clients based in Thailand and South East Asia.