We talk about social media marketing a lot on our cannabis marketing blog, and for good reason! But we also get feedback from a lot of our B2B clients that the majority of our social media content is more geared towards b2c companies.
Of course, there are quite a few differences between B2B and B2C marketing in the cannabis industry. In fact, that goes for just about every industry. However, on an individual level, they have a lot more in common than not. One such similarity is the use of social media.
Social media broadens the scope of “professional” conversations and allows more people to discuss more topics and share more content in more places. The best part about social media is that it’s become this generation’s great communicator. A variety of people from all over the world and in all stages of life have the freedom to discuss a variety of topics in a way that reaches them at their most human core. The best place for cannabis B2B brands to market themselves and share content is easily LinkedIn. Here’s what you need to know to be successful on LinkedIn.
The Highest Ranking B2B Social Media Platform
LinkedIn is Facebook’s older, more prestigious cousin. LinkedIn is connecting businesspeople all over the world and growing more every year, but Facebook continues to get the most attention since it’s a site geared more towards keeping personal relationships healthy, which is important to the people underneath the business suits.
Even though it has some competition, LinkedIn continues to be a breed of its own since it’s inception in 2003. It’s come a long way since first launching as a career-focused networking platform before Facebook, Twitter, and even MySpace.
Originally, LinkedIn was started as a way to connect employers with potential employees via networking and job listings. Today it’s different. People are reading the content that companies are sharing on LinkedIn seven times more often than they look at job listings. For this reason, LinkedIn commands a massive 97% of B2B marketers who take social media action.
As we continue to study the way we advertise and the way people receive our marketing, we continue to stress the importance of LinkedIn. The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer report reveals that 62% of people trust a brand’s social media more than its advertising. And Business Insider’s Digital Trust Report found LinkedIn is far more trusted by users than either Facebook or Twitter.
However, we’re seeing that the most shared and viewed content on LinkedIn is content that is shared or created by a human and not a faceless brand. According to the Edelman report, people trust information and advice given to them by an employee of a company significantly more than they do from the CEO, and from regular people more than people from a company. If you’re human enough on LinkedIn to be relatable to someone, you can carry all the authority you need, especially in the cannabis industry.
It’s important to take advantage of the ability to build trust and authority. It’s crucial to any marketing plan, and a vital part of a quality social media plan. Only 3% of employees share company-relevant content, so there is a chance for your marketing team to look at your employees and get them talking about themselves. Get them sharing and talking about relevant company topics in a human way. Your company as a whole will also need some direction, as you can share content from a company page that your employees can distribute and so on.
More Than Campaigns
Most B2B marketers recognize that they need to be on LinkedIn to be successful already, but most tend to use it as a backup plan or an occasional strategy when the budget allows. But now it’s more important than ever to be active and present on LinkedIn all the time. A B2B buyer tends to read or interact with 10 pieces of content (on average) before making a purchase decision. If you want your content to be one of these 10 pieces under consideration, you need to be visible all the time, not just some of the time. If you look at your B2B competitors in the cannabis industry you’ll notice that the successful ones are the ones that are always on.
This always-on strategy comes with a ton of benefits, like helping your brand build trust with readers, or owning keywords, or becoming industry thought leaders. You can just layer on your campaign work on top of this excellent foundation of trustworthiness and respect.
Turning Content into Customers
A lot of B2B cannabis companies will take the always-on strategy and run by pushing out a ton of content to build a following, but it’s not always easy to get them to click on a link to where a conversion may happen or a lead may be captured.
You need to study your analytics closely and determine which content they will consume in their social media feeds and then you need to figure out when it’ll make the most sense to take them from LinkedIn to their final destination.
We know that on average, most people happily consume 3-4 pieces of content from a brand before they interact with a brand on its own platform. You wouldn’t expect people to immediately sign up for your newsletter or download your whitepaper 2 seconds after learning about your existence. This is why content on LinkedIn needs to be a lot more creative.
Nobody is interested in downloading your whitepaper right off the bat on LinkedIn, which is why it’s so important to create content FOR LinkedIn. Turn your overly statistical whitepaper and break it into several smaller pieces of content that looks great and fits LinkedIn.
Publishing several pieces of related content reinforces your ideas in people’s minds. They may see you publish an article about your B2B company’s product or service once and think it looks interesting. But if they see it again they’ll click since you’re sticking to YOUR subject. After that, they’ll want to hear more about what you have to say.
If you follow these B2B marketing tips for cannabis brands you’ll find yourself successful and seeing a much better ROI on your social media marketing by using LinkedIn. All of this sound like a little much to worry about? The cannabis marketing experts at Team MaryJane are just a phone call away.