B2B2C players: help yourself by helping your distributors with social media!

Being a marketer in B2B2C is like having 2 jobs. I know, because I did that for 15 years. On one hand, you need to think of the end consumers, what they want from you, how you get your message across to them. And on the other hand, you need to convince distributors to give you shelf space and help them sell your products. If you can’t do that, the consumer-oriented part of your job is pointless.

If you work for a company that produce goods but doesn’t sell directly to the end consumers, then you’re in this “ménage à trois” situation that is B2B2C. The client you need to please is your distributor, and distributors care about referencing the items that customers want the most, and that will bring them the best ROI. But your job isn’t finished when your product gets picked. It is now mostly up to you to convince the end consumer to buy, or you will not keep your spot on the shelves (or on the website) very long.

It is obvious that in this triad, either everyone wins, or everyone loses. And I can tell you social media can help you all win.

First, let me remind you of a few key figures:

  • 47% of Millenials say their purchase decisions are influenced by social media (source: Deloitte)
  • Gen-X people (35-49 years old) are the heaviest social media users, spending 7 hours per week on it, a number that is growing every year (source: Nielsen)
  • Shoppers are 29% more likely to make a purchase the same day when using social media to make their decision before or during their shipping trip (source: Deloitte)
  • Users of social media who consider themselves somewhat to very influenced by social, are 6 times more likely to spend significantly more than non-users.
  •  For some categories, consumers are even more influenced by social media: 56% of consumers buying baby products declare they are influenced by social. For health and wellness it’s 33%, for automotive 32%. (source: Deloitte) These are numbers that cannot be ignored.
Photo by oneinchpunch/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by oneinchpunch/iStock / Getty Images

So, how do you take advantage of that in your B2B2C situation? How do you capitalize on social to both reach out to customers but also to be a useful partner to your distributors?

The answer is simple: you take the lead on everything social media related.

If you do, then you solve both your problem and your distributors’. Let me explain.

Coming up with good content is a lot of work for your distributors. Maybe they don’t even have the time and resources to be as active as they should be on social media (it really depends on the industry and players). By providing them with high quality content they can use on their social channels, you are being a useful partner. But you are also multiplying the channels where your products are visible, increasing the number of touchpoints for your end consumers. It is a win-win situation.

Let me give you a simple example. In the skincare/beauty industry, 2 important distribution channels are pharmacies and online retailers. From my experience in BeNeLux with this industry, I can see that a lot of retailers lack resources to be truly active and efficient on social. They often make up for this by reposting content created by the brands they sell. And this can work well to some extent. But sometimes that content is not 100% adapted, it also lacks the retailer’s branding.

Now, what if you became your distributor’s resource for social content creation when it comes to your products? You would solve part of their resource problem, re-inforce your partnership, and ensure that your products gets more visibility.

That is exactly what one of the major players in the beauty industry is doing (you know, the one that is worth it) by creating content for all the online retailers of their pharmacy brands. This way they make sure their message comes across the way they want, but they are also giving a lot of value to their distributors. They create opportunities for growth on multiple levels.

What if you don’t have enough resources internally to create that content? The right social media partner can help you. If you want to schedule a 15min call to discuss your challenges, just fill in the form below and we’ll contact you.

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Marie-Helene Dibenedetto