Slope Blog

The Roundup: Social's Changing Role in B2B Marketing

[fa icon="calendar"] 7/6/18 11:06 AM / by Brian Bosché

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. This week we are talking about how social networks are changing both the way we shop and the way B2B marketers engage with their audience.

You can watch the full video above or take it one segment at a time below. Read through the post to find quick links to the topics we discuss.

Shopping on Instagram

How social media is changing how we shop

Instagram shopping is here: How can business take advantage?


How to B2B on Social with Native Lead Capture

Facebook Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads: A Tale of Two B2B Lead Generation Solutions

How to Generate B2B Leads with Instagram Stories


Best practices for B2B Social

6 Expert B2B Instagram Tips for 2018

5 Examples of Businesses Doing Facebook B2B SaaS Marketing Right



Hassaan: Okay, episode seven? Yeah?

Brian: Is it seven or-

Hassaan: We're seven deep.

Brian: So wow.

Hassaan: Yeah, all right so this week, we're talking about how social networks are changing the way that we shop.

Brian: Not just from B2C.

Hassaan: Not just from B2C.

Brian: But also B2B-

Hassaan: Which is [crosstalk 00:00:19]

Brian: Also for business services.

Hassaan: Business services, servicing other businesses.

Brian: How we shop for all things.

Hassaan: Yeah. So that's nuts, I read this article talking about findings from Mary Meagher's annual report from the internet, 78% of 18 to 34 year olds find new products on Facebook.

Brian: Wow.

Hassaan: That's a lot.

Brian: So new generations are really driving this.

Hassaan: Really getting into this. So check it out.

Brian: So we're doing, first we're going to go over ways B2C brands are utilizing social media for their eCommerce, shopping online, number two, it's not just B2C, it's also B2B, we do a lot of this on social media for lead generation, traffic, even driving purchases through social media direct, not even having to go to a landing page. And then we're going to go over some examples of creative that we like and creative that works on these different channels. So let's do it.

Hassaan: Sweet. So recently, Instagram is starting to test out purchasing directly from their product. Before that though, there are also shoppable posts.

Brian: Yeah, so we're like two steps ahead now of when you're just like, this is a photo sharing app for friends. Then if a brand puts something on there, they're like, "All right, link's in bio" and then you only have one link. Then you could do shoppable posts and that was a few years ago where you could actually tag the actual products in the photo, click on them and it would take you to that product page and that catalog page. But what you're talking about is another step where you put your credit card information into Instagram-

Hassaan: Oh, hot.

Brian: And then you pay for the product without ever leaving Instagram itself.

Hassaan: so I can just just scroll through my timeline-

Brian: Scrolling through it, late night-

Hassaan: Bingo, bingo.

Brian: Instaglamming, just scrolling through.

Hassaan: I want those platinum shoes-

Brian: Right, two clicks and you got it.

Hassaan: That's amazing.

Brian: You don't have to go to another eCommerce site, you don't have to go somewhere else, wait for the load time, go through a complicated checkout which is where most people drop off. And it feels like there was the trend from catalogs print to websites. And now it feels like there's a trend towards do you even need a website to market and to have people purchase your goods or do you only need social networks. Where if you can search for things, if you can find things and pay for them all through Instagram or all through Facebook or all through these social media channels, what does a brand have a website for?

Hassaan: Interesting.

Brian: Or maybe it's complimenting so there are people that saying websites are dead. eCommerce sites are dead.

Hassaan: ECommerce sites, yeah I could peep that, I feel like a brand would still need a website, well, I mean I was going to say for other content but that could also live on the social [crosstalk 00:03:12]

Brian: It's a good library, I don't think it's going to go over, I think it's another channel or way but there is this trend in like if most people are on Instagram like you're talking about or most people are on social media in these newer generations that don't want to go to a website, they can purchase right in Instagram? That's where they are anyway.

Hassaan: That's crazy, I mean like if being a good marketer is going to where your audience is, everything's going to go to Facebook.

Brian: And, yeah, it really is like do you like your customers, do you want to make it easy for your customers to find things because, really, on Instagram, you're sharing these beautiful photos of things that you might want. Like for me, I love the Banana Republic collection Kevin's favorites, Kevin Love, popular NBA player for the Cav's. And he has the whole Kevin Love Favorite's line from Banana Republic, I see that, I'm inspired, I'm like, "Wow, I want to look like that, I like those clothes, I like that style, I like that look, I can purchase it right from there?" And for the purposes of this show, I did it right through Instagram, this whole outfit-

Hassaan: Instagram-

Brian: It's pretty light, it's pretty breezy for the summer too.

Hassaan: I thought that was a Ministry of Supply shirt.

Brian: I know, it kind of feels like that.

Hassaan: It does, yeah.

Brian: But it's almost friendlier to your customer where I don't like going shopping very much, I never online shop for the most part. But if I can see it, I'm like, "Wow, that looks great, most of the work is done for me on someone that I respect and I appreciate their style. I can do it right there? That's better for me as a consumer."

Hassaan: Well, speaking of the trend of going to where your audience is, I mean basically, it's all about reducing steps, reducing the number of locations and so this Google Express, which is trying to directly compete Amazon and Amazon delivery services, is just another way where instead of, kind of identical to what was going on with Instagram in regards to the steps. You can always shop on Google but now you can purchase on Google like the point of sale is getting one step closer to the shopper in every case which is astounding and the implications are going to-

Brian: And brands need to take advantage of it.

Hassaan: Yeah, absolutely.

Brian: And the innovations they have, the way they help you set it up is so easy, you'd be stupid not to take of advantage of those products. And I think some of the things that brands are going to take advantage of is not only just posting to their feed but having the influencer marketing where if you can purchase from Kim Kardashian's Instagram or from Kevin Love's Instagram, it's not just the brand to count, and really taking advantage of that user generated content, like what if I posted this that I was buying Banana Republic, I linked to the Banana Republic shirt that I'm wearing and then I got a little cut from that referral marketing, that would be pretty cool-

Hassaan: That's hot.

Brian: And really take advantage of that user generated content because that is really referrals in B2B and B2C are one of the biggest ways that people purchase.

Hassaan: I mean, what, it's six percent now is happening on social network, of referrals, as opposed to two percent I think?

Brian: Yeah-

Hassaan: Probably.

Brian: And people are like, "Oh, it's a four percent jump" but that's a huge jump.

Hassaan: That's a huge jump, when you think of just numbers, that's I mean you are-

Brian: It's crazy.

Hassaan: Yeah, two million before, that's another four million.

Brian: And it's only going up. People think a lot about Instagram for B2C marketing and B2B marketing hasn't really, I would say most brands, especially outside the fortune 500, aren't great at B2B marketing through Instagram yet. And most marketing teams think, "Oh, I can't get leads through it, I can't get the metrics that I'm being driven towards." So if your goal as the marketing team are leads and leads, marketing qualified leads, sales accepted leads, and you're like, "Well, I'm not going to use Instagram, like there's no way for me to get leads there."

Hassaan: [crosstalk 00:07:01] want to do.

Brian: But that's changed a lot, like even us in the last year, most of our leads come through Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram. And not just like the traffic comes in through those channels and then they got to a landing page and sign up, it is literally they give us their email information through the channels themselves.

Hassaan: Through native forms.

Brian: Native forms in Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. And Instagram just, I don't know how recently, they've been doing it for a while but you can just click on a link in the photo itself in Instagram and then it will pull up the signup box with Instagram almost like pulling a product piece for B2C marketing.

Hassaan: That's crazy because it's just another example of removing locations the user has to go through. And once there's one less step that I have to go through, I mean there's so much less of an opportunity for me to fall off.

Brian: Yeah, and that's us talking to other marketing teams as we release our guides, most B2B companies get their leads through different guides, different case studies, things like that. And when you say, "Hey, we just did our guide to creative feedback." We can post that video, or that image or whatever kind of creative asset and in the text say, "We have a guide to creative feedback, learn more here." They click the button, forms right there. There's no waiting for our website to load, going through a signup box, entering in their information, it pre-load's a lot of that information for them. In talking to other marketing teams, they love that because it does reduce that extra step, that extra wait time and the conversion rate goes up.

Hassaan: And I mean one of the, it's kind of a more intangible benefit but okay, so this is happening all in a social network, so you can't do any community nurturing on a landing page, you know what I'm saying? Like you can get that dialogue-

Brian: No conversations are there, yeah-

Hassaan: Exactly, that transaction is one way. There's no way to really engage with your audience for real. But if this happening on a social platform, then you have the opportunity right there.

Brian: And then it's instantly shareable because you can tag people, other marketers were tagging our guide in Instagram and saying, "Holy shit, I didn't know we could get leads right from Instagram." Like that was literally on our, because there's another marketer mentioning another marketer. And it just shocked them like, "Oh man, I can just do it right here and there's no landing page, why aren't we doing this for our guides?"

Hassaan: So now that we can get leads from Instagram, what kind of creative should they be posting, I mean is it just going to be the same ads that you see or does you haven't got to follow the ethos of Instagram? What does that following the ethos of Instagram look like for a B2B account?

Brian: Well yeah, I mean it's Instagram, it's Facebook, it's Linkedin, and this is something that we struggle with and I hear other marketers struggle with is a guide like for ours, it's like our guide for creative feedback. It's a pretty in depth guide. I mean you're the one who wrote it so check it out.

Hassaan: Facts.

Brian: Very in depth, it's pretty complex and you need to, on these social channels, figure out a way to attract attention as people are scrolling through and then have them understand what they're downloading with only, maybe they won't even look at the text, so it is a challenge in like okay, I only have got this image to have a shot at them stopping scrolling and then I have like maybe one line of text and then they have to give me their email? So it's kind of a hard, like the transaction, you don't know as much of the value you're getting as a consumer as a consumer or someone giving an email. So you have a lot less to work within a landing page that might have, "These are the three things you learn and this is the outcomes that you'll" you're like, "Okay, I know enough, I'll give you my email." This is much faster but we still see the conversion rates. So it is interesting because it is a challenge like what will attract you into that post to actually give an email?

Brian: What are some brands you admire on Instagram, you mentioned Oreo back in the day-

Hassaan: Oreo, WeWork-

Brian: Oh you like WeWork-

Hassaan: [crosstalk 00:10:47]

Brian: What do you like about WeWork?

Hassaan: I just like beautiful spaces and I mean-

Brian: Yeah, who doesn't?

Hassaan: What I like about WeWork, it's just a great alignment like that's a great company, that's a great product to advertise on Instagram.

Brian: So that's one of it is, that's probably just number one, highlight product. So if you have a cool product, if your products are used in cool places, because you can have a hammer but if your hammer is used in volcano exploration, highlight that, highlight its use case.

Hassaan: Do not go there.

Brian: WeWork basically, it's just what? A travel and architecture Instagram?

Hassaan: Yeah exactly.

Brian: But it's a B2B company, they're selling to businesses an office space?

Hassaan: But they just are appealing directly to the consumer grade 100%.

Brian: Yep, because they're definitely a crossover between consumer B2B. So highlighting products, I think the biggest one that a lot of B2B companies take advantage of is highlight your customer stories.

Hassaan: I was going to say it has to be stories.

Brian: Lots of stories.

Hassaan: I mean like there's a feature called stories, you know what I'm saying? You need to tell the story, if you're going to use stories, if you're going to use Instagram in general, you have to tell the story.

Brian: Which is nice from a business's perspective because businesses do some pretty incredible things with people and with other businesses. So like some of my favorites, Adobe, Dropbox, Microsoft, I think those are three B2B companies and they also do B2C Dropbox and Adobe, I guess they all do B2C B2B, so they can do both. But for Dropbox, they just did their creative energy campaign where Dropbox, you may think of as a storage company, cloud storage, but they wanted to highlight all of the creative projects that they enable. And so doing a whole campaign over incredible creative work and creative projects, film making, design, art, and highlighting those stories, they did an incredible Instagram campaign highlighting creative energy, how do you unleash your creative energy by using Dropbox. Adobe does very similar things because their users are really creative, same with Microsoft. So you can have these beautiful campaigns, beautiful just day to day posts that are all your customers doing their stuff. Just doing their things with your product.

Brian: And I think that's one of the most powerful ways to establish that trust, get them download names, get them to follow you even if you're a boring B2B company.

Hassaan: Right, right, [crosstalk 00:12:58]

Brian: Any other specific examples, we'll throw them up, should we throw them up somewhere?

Hassaan: Yeah, we'll put them right here-

Brian: Are we PIPing? We can pretend they're playing right now.

Hassaan: All right.

Brian: See, this is creative energy by Dropbox.

Hassaan: Is it dope?

Brian: It's pretty dope, I have to say. This is Slopes' Instagram. Oh, how'd that slip in there.

Hassaan: Oh.

Brian: Oh no, there it is.

Hassaan: Actually, my [crosstalk 00:13:18]

Brian: Using the right tool matters-

Hassaan: I'll probably use Instagram more than I use to because I can serve my own ad campaign.

Brian: Which is pretty sweet.

Hassaan: That's kind of cool.

Brian: Ours is pretty good. It's not-

Hassaan: We have a pretty dope campaign.

Brian: It's not high budget but it really gets the job done.

Hassaan: I mean you know ...

Brian: I gets the job done.

Hassaan: It's not what you got, it's what you do with what you got.

Brian: That's very true. What is, are we showing [Lena 00:13:41] right now?

Hassaan: Yeah, definitely.

Brian: This is Lena with a [Chello 00:13:43] pool noodle. Highest performing one, and then you're Iron Chef-

Hassaan: Iron Chef, wooh.

Brian: Aw man, it's so good. Here it is right now.

Hassaan: Yeah, check this one out.

Brian: Do you get it? Iron Chef.

Hassaan: It's hot. This is what I'm going to do.

Brian: This is going to be it. Microsoft and Adobe have some good ones so Microsoft-

Hassaan: Here's right here, let's put them [crosstalk 00:14:03]-

Brian: I found one with a glacier which I really liked. We'll dig that one out.

Hassaan: Dig that one, okay.

Brian: If not, this may not be a glacier.

Hassaan: But it could [crosstalk 00:14:08]

Brian: Whatever-

Hassaan: What is good, Microsoft.

Brian: What is a good Microsoft one and then Adobe also has a really nice Instagram that I'll highlight.

Hassaan: Oh my god, I'm sure.

Brian: And we love Adobe, so, I mean everyone uses adobe. And that's right here.

Hassaan: Right there.

Brian: And then examples will be in Block Bust.

Hassaan: Yeah, we're going to have examples, links, to all these articles-

Brian: Inspire you, get these lead-

Hassaan: Check this shit out.

Brian: Get that shoppability score up-

Hassaan: Yup, great.

Brian: All right.

Hassaan: All right guys, subscribe, share, watch [crosstalk 00:14:32]

Brian: Use my referral link, Kevin Love, Kevin Love, give me a shout out.

Hassaan: Yo, shout out, this is really shout out heavy [crosstalk 00:14:37]

Brian: Come on, no one we mention ever responds to this.

Hassaan: Yo, come on.

Brian: We're going to have mentioned you, you're social, I don't blame the social people. They don't have to respond to all of this.

Brian Bosché

Written by Brian Bosché

Brian is the CEO & Co-Founder of Slope. He previously ran a TernPro Creative, creative agency in Detroit, and worked with technology startups in the original class of Venture for America Fellows.