How Can Social Listening Help Your B2B Business?

Beyond Clicks Marketing Podcast

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In this insightful episode of Beyond the Clicks, digital marketing expert Behtash Moojedi dives into how B2B companies can unlock the full potential of social listening for content marketing. Discover actionable strategies to make your content more relevant and less risky, directly from your audience’s conversations. Tune in to learn how to leverage tools, platforms, and influencer insights to transform your B2B content strategy.

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You might be asking, “What’s so special about social listening?”

Imagine having a crystal ball that tells you what your audience is thinking, what they’re feeling, their pain points, interests, and even their unfiltered opinions about your competitors.

In content creation, marketers way of focusing on audience engagement, is mainly to rely on subject matter expertise or content calendars.

These tools are of course important, but they often lead us on a course set by assumption rather than insight.

For insight you need information, social listening can in turn help you with impactful knowledge to drive relevance through your content by giving you more audience insights.

So buckle up and let’s get started.

The Basics of Social Listening

 

Behtash Moojedi: Alright, let’s get right into it.

In its essence, imagine being a seller at a market square. You’re there not just to sell, but to listen—to the conversations, the complaints, the compliments, and even the casual banter. In the digital world, this market square has much greater scale, going across social media platforms, forums, and beyond. Social listening is our way of tuning into these conversations, understanding what’s being said about our brand, our competitors, and our industry at large.

And the question here is, why should you care? Same reason you care about surveys. You want to understand your customers and how they feel about your business. knowing what your audience cares about is essential. Good news is that voice of the customer is so loud and accessible these days, all business have to do is to reach out and listen. So why is it that so many voices go on heard on daily basis? Specially in the B2B side.

I said heard. But it is even a step further than that.

Hearing is passive; you hear the buzz, the chatter, the noise. But listening? Listening is active; you’re seeking out patterns, sentiments, desires, and then strategizing on how to respond.

Consider this: A customer tweets about a pain point with your product, and it gets traction. This isn’t just a problem to be fixed; it’s a spotlight on where your content can provide solutions, educate, and engage. Or, a discussion thread on LinkedIn reveals a gap in knowledge about a service you excel in. That’s not just a conversation; that’s a content opportunity knocking on your door.

In the realm of B2B marketing, where decisions are made based on trust and credibility, understanding your audience’s conversations can be the difference between a content strategy that resonates and one that simply exists.

So, how do we do it? How do we turn social listening from a concept into a concrete tool in our marketing arsenal? It starts with the right mindset and the right tools. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even niche forums relevant to your industry are where your audience is speaking. Tools like Sprout Social, Mention, or BuzzSumo can help you tap into these conversations, providing you with the insights needed to craft content that not only speaks to your audience but speaks for them.

Imagine for a moment you’re sifting through LinkedIn posts and stumble upon a thread filled with professionals discussing a common challenge that’s directly related to your field. It’s not just a thread; it’s a goldmine. Here, in their own words, your audience is telling you what they need, what they’re struggling with, and what they wish they had. This isn’t just valuable; it’s actionable.

A lot of what happens on B2B social is yelling into the voice and hoping for an echo. It’s about listening, engaging, and then crafting content that acts as a bridge between your audience’s needs and your solutions. This is where your role shifts from marketer to community member, engaging in these conversations not just to gather insights but to build relationships.

But how do we turn these insights into content? It begins with empathy. Understanding the pain points and challenges your audience faces allows you to create content that resonates on a deeper level. It’s about answering the questions they’re asking, sometimes before they even ask them.

Consider creating a series of blog posts, infographics, or even short videos that address these challenges head-on. Or, better yet, host a webinar or podcast episode (wink) inviting industry experts to discuss these topics, providing your audience with the solutions they’re actively seeking.

Social listening also offers the unique advantage of real-time relevance. Trends, technologies, and industry standards evolve rapidly. By keeping your ear to the ground, you can ensure that your content not only addresses current needs but also anticipates future trends.

This agility in content creation is what sets apart the truly successful B2B marketers. It’s not just about being part of the conversation; it’s about leading it. By providing valuable, timely, and relevant content, you position your brand not just as a thought leader but as a trusted advisor.

What about precision?

Start by identifying patterns in the conversations you’re monitoring. What topics come up again and again? What pain points are most pressing? These patterns are the foundation upon which your content strategy should be built.

Segment and Target: Not all conversations are relevant to your entire audience. Use what you’ve learned to segment your audience and target them with content that speaks directly to their specific needs and interests. This isn’t just personalization; it’s personal.

Create with Intent: Every piece of content you create should have a clear intent. Are you solving a problem? Providing new insights? Make sure that intent is informed by the real conversations happening in your industry.

Reducing Risk Through Relevance

One of the inherent risks in content marketing is the creation of content that misses the mark. It’s not just a waste of resources; it’s a missed opportunity to connect. By basing your content strategy on the insights gathered through social listening, you significantly reduce this risk. Your content becomes a reflection of what your audience is actually interested in, not what you think they might be interested in.

Another advantage of a socially-informed content strategy is the ability to stay ahead of trends. By listening to today’s conversations, you can begin to anticipate tomorrow’s trends. This foresight allows you to create content that not only meets current needs but also positions your brand as a forward-thinking leader in your industry.

Empowering Your Content with Authenticity

Finally, authenticity. audiences are bombarded with content, authenticity stands out. Social listening provides you with the raw material needed to create content that’s not just relevant but deeply authentic. It’s the difference between speaking at your audience and speaking with them.

Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the toolbox. Here are some tools that can help you in your B2B social listening journey:

The Right Tools for the Task

platforms like Sprout Social, Brandwatch, and Hootsuite. offer a bird’s-eye view of social conversations, enabling you to track mentions of your brand, competitors, and key industry topics across multiple social networks.

They also provide invaluable insights into the sentiment behind the conversations, the volume of discussion over time, and even the geographic distribution of those talking about your topics of interest. This is the kind of data that can transform your content strategy from guesswork to precision-guided marketing.

Diving Deeper with Niche Tools

For those that are looking for more of a niche tool. BuzzSumo, for example, is fantastic for understanding what content is resonating on the web, allowing you to identify trends, influencers, and popular content formats. On the other hand, BrandMentions excels in uncovering every mention of your brand, offering a granular view of your digital footprint.

Engagement and Interaction

Tools like Oktopost are designed with B2B marketers in mind, focusing on measuring the impact of social media on lead generation and sales. Then there’s Mention, which allows you to monitor your brand’s presence online and engage with your audience in real time, turning insights into interactions.

Leveraging Data for Content Creation

Equipped with these tools, the next step is to leverage the data you gather. It’s about translating the raw information into actionable insights. For instance, discovering a trending topic within your industry could prompt a series of blog posts or an in-depth guide. A surge in conversations around a specific challenge your product addresses might lead to a targeted social media campaign or a webinar.

Integrating Social Listening into Your Strategy

The key here is integration. Social listening should not be an afterthought or a box to check. It needs to be woven into the fabric of your content strategy, informing every decision, from topic selection to content format, distribution channels, and even the timing of your content releases.

Now lets talk about the role of Influencers in B2B markets, often acting as the bridge between brands and their audiences. They’re not just voices; they’re trusted voices. Leveraging influencer insights can add credibility to your content, amplify its reach, and engage with audiences in a more authentic way.

But how do you incorporate influencer insights into your content strategy? It starts with identifying the influencers who resonate with your audience. Use social listening tools to monitor conversations around industry topics, and note who drives these discussions. Engage with these influencers, share their content, and when appropriate, collaborate. This could be as simple as quoting their insights in your content or as involved as co-hosting a webinar.

Creating Content That Connects

Armed with insights from both your audience and influencers, the next step is to craft content that connects. What this means is creating content that speaks for cusyomers & not to them. It addresses their concerns, answers their questions, and enriches their professional lives.

This is where the art of storytelling comes into play. Weave the insights gathered through social listening into narratives that resonate with your audience. Tell stories of challenges overcome, solutions found, and success achieved. Make your audience the hero of these stories, with your brand serving as the guide.

And that is all for this session folks.

Be sure to share this episode with your network so we can reach more and can help businesses benefit from the information. Also, don’t forget to like and subscribe if you haven’t done so.

And for those who are ready to dive deeper into the digital marketing odyssey, I’m thrilled to announce the release of my new book, “Developing Online Presence for Business Professionals.” This guide is your compass to not just surviving but thriving in the digital domain. Inside, you’ll find actionable strategies, insights, and personal anecdotes designed to elevate your online presence and connect with your audience on a level you never thought possible.

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