The greatest use I can think of for Twitter, though, is B2B marketing. If your company needs to reach other companies, generate leads, and build up its industry reputation, Twitter’s social network and advertising options are perfect.
Here are some reasons why B2B is perfect for B2B marketing:
1. Twitter is very popular with companies.
80% of top 100 companies in the U.S. and 73% of small companies are using Twitter.” (source) Since Twitter is so popular among companies, it can be damaging to your company’s reputation if you don’t have an active Twitter account. It can also lose you potential customers, since Twitter’s search functions are used by many professionals for competitor research.
You can ensure that those potential customers find you by setting up a Twitter Ads campaign that will only display ads in search results. Let’s say that you’re a law firm located in Kansas City. Your campaign could target keywords like “good lawyer Kansas City.”
2. With the follower-based targeting options in Twitter Ads, you can reach your competitors’ customers and fans directly, as well as the followers of industry influencers.
When your business is just starting out on Twitter, it can be easy to feel intimidated by competitors that have thousands of active users. You can take advantage of all the work your competitor has done, though, by targeting their followers with “tweet engagement” ads. This will put your promoted tweets in the same feed as regular, organic tweets, and they can be engaged with in the same way.
You can also target the followers of industry influencers. For instance, if you are an SEO agency, you might set up campaigns that target the followers of leading SEO gurus like Rand Fishkin (@randfish). The users that follow influencers like these are likely to be actively interested or working in the industry.
3. With the keyword and interest targeting options in Twitter Ads, you can reach super-niche audiences based on your industry
If you aren’t necessarily trying to reach potential customers, but want to reach a wide audience that would be interested in your company’s content or services, you can use a combination of Twitter’s keyword- and interest-based targeting.
For instance, if you are a cybersecurity company, you could target users that are interested in “Technology,” and the keywords “#security, hack, secure, #Cloud,” etc. Your promoted tweets will only show up between organic tweets relevant to those keywords, in front of users who have a general interest in technology. That is a pretty efficient way of building up your company’s reputation within an industry.
4. With Twitter Analytics’ Audience Insights, you can gain valuable insights about your followers, including their demographics, consumer behaviors, and lifestyles.
Not very many B2B marketers have the time or budget to perform surveys or focus groups, but every marketer needs a constant source of proprietary data in order to find valuable insights that can inform their strategy.
While Twitter Analytics isn’t a perfect substitute for traditional market research, it does have some interesting data that can inform marketers about their target audiences. You can use the “Audience Insights” page, for instance, to explore your followers’ demographics, consumer behavior, occupations, and lifestyles. This is the kind of quantitative data that can cost thousands of dollars in research for some marketers.
Twitter Ads can also be a good source for qualitative data; since promoted tweets show up in the regular feed and can be engaged with by every user, they will often get feedback. You could also run a campaign that explicitly asks users for feedback, i.e. “Do you find this blog post useful?” There’s no guarantee that you will get feedback, or that the feedback will prove useful, but a cornerstone of every successful marketing strategy is ongoing research on how audiences are responding to your advertising.
5. And finally, Twitter Ads is improving their mobile video options
Twitter recently started offering pre-roll ads in their “Amplify” program, which allows major media brands like Fox Sports and BuzzFeed to publish videos for tailored audiences. For instance, the NBA can use Amplify to publish an instant replay from a heated game. Then, anyone with a few bucks to spend can have their 15- or 30-second video play before that instant replay. That is a major opportunity for any B2B marketers that have embraced video (and there are a lot of reasons that you should).
To recap, Twitter’s advertising network is a highly malleable service that can enable marketers to reach potential customers with tailored content in a targeted context, and I believe that makes Twitter Ads perfect for B2B marketing.