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So you thought Facebook didn’t work for B2B?

Well, it’s time to think again! But how do you create really effective Facebook content to get your message out there? Lux Narayan from Unmetric spent time looking at the top 20 B2B brands before focusing in on Citi and Microsoft to identify what works so well for them.


Lux found that B2B marketing on social media is all about efficacy and yes that really is a good thing. B2B brands have a smaller, far more concentrated number of people to target than B2C brands, and this fact alone allows them to create content that is most relevant to their niche audience.


He found that:


  • There’s no point in over-posting. In fact, the engagement and the number of posts show a fairly negative correlation to the engagement score.
  • Most of the posts by brands studied contained photos.
  • However, posts that carried links to owned webpages and external sources engaged the best.

    Okay so he also states there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here but trends are visible across the board.


    Take Citi for a start. During his research Citi posted only 19 times during the first quarter of 2017. That’s all. However, these posts fetched the brand a whopping 1.4 million likes, over 4000 shares and reached over 10 million Facebook users.


    Promotion was the key to Citi’s social media success. Rather than fill its audience’s feed with content, Citi ensured the quality content they promoted reached the maximum number of people.


    Most of the content revolved around initiatives by Citi and other company news but they successfully mixed up the content types. Of these 11 posts, two contained photos, three were videos and six carried links.


    Supporting text updates and links with photos ensured Citi’s audience engaged with company updates and then video used the power of story-telling, for even higher levels of engagement.


    Lux identifies that links are an important content type, getting people to visit your webpage and sign up for your various products and services. But it is the text that describes it and the featured image that are crucial in determining whether your audiences click through. 


    So while Citi went with a ‘less is more’ strategy, Lux found that Microsoft posted 61 times during the three-month period Lux analysed.


    The first blindingly obvious take away was how wonderfully diverse the topics and the formats used were. Of the 61 posts, an impressive 27 were videos. These brought in more than 84% of all the interactions the brand received. Food for thought?


    Their most shared piece of content was in fact a story-telling video highlighting the strikingly low representation of women in the STEM field. Seeing children refuse to take that fact lying down is heartening. It also drives the person watching the video to contribute to the effort. Watch it here.


    Microsoft’s videos focus on people. It is not just a rundown of what all Microsoft Surface’s features are, but how real people use products in order to achieve their goals. Engaging stuff.


    Lux states that often with B2B marketing, the basic fact that you are still appealing to a human being, often incredibly gets forgotten. Videos succeed because they can be easily consumed with little effort from the audience.


    For both Microsoft and for Citi, along with a balanced promotion strategy that gives a boost to the reach, it is shareable, quality content that ensures that their messages get through to a wide audience.


    Lux concludes that a thumb-rule for any B2B brand is to have a clear picture of what you want out of Facebook and then take data-backed decisions on how to achieve these goals. Analysing the success of your posts in order to nail down the optimal length of the text, image and tone is important. But Facebook does provide you with a whole raft of rich data on your past performance, including reach, engagement etc.


    So identify which of your posts resonate well with your audience, couple this with a thorough knowledge of industry trends and what your peers are up to, and there will be no stopping you.


    Facebook really does work for B2B. The evidence is simply overwhelming.


    Read Lux’s full research blog here.


    purechannels win at the DRUM Awards.

    Well this year has seen another first for us here at purechannels. Having been nominated on the shortlist again for Best Long Term Marketing Strategy at the DRUM Awards, we were delighted to have been recognised on such a huge stage.


    But, the shortlist was not enough.


    As the proceedings kicked off, the room of 500+ of some of the world’s best creative and marketing minds were challenged to a ‘selfie-off’. Using the masks that the DRUM had scattered around the tables, in his welcome speech Stephen Lepitak (Editor at the DRUM) laid down the challenge.


    Simply: “Whoever tweets the best selfie of the night, using the masks, wins!”


    The competition was fierce, we were up against some giants… McCann, Ogilvy, CHI & Partners, April Six, PHD, WCRS, Earnest and many others.


    Anyway, with a combination of two Fresh Princes, the photo created and tweeted by our MD and Senior Account Manager took the evenings first award.




    So, yes a bit of fun but we didn’t officially pick up a DRUM award for our efforts. However, whilst referred to in his opening gambit as “Best selfie competition”, it is more than likely that it will go down in purechannels history as something along the lines of “Best use of social media at a live event” or “Best live/in-play marketing activity”.


    At purechannels we pride ourselves on being able to respond accordingly and appropriately to the demands of our clients, operating exclusively in the channel. The channel needs agencies who can react quickly and who can create an impact in real time, without delay. Our win last night at the DRUM Awards (we think) exemplifies this ethos: we were set a challenge, we had to react and come up with the best possible, highest quality solution, better than any other agency could provide… we won. We are very happy with our win!


    Countdown to GDPR

    With exactly 12 months to go until the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is enforceable, it is important that you are considering how to get your business ready for May 25th 2018.


    GDPR is a set of policies designed to further protect the personal data of individuals and how that data is used. If you work with personal information of individuals within the EU, i.e. most businesses in some way, then it will apply to you.


    At purechannels, we are having daily conversations about GDPR and how to communicate the new regulations through the channel at different levels, from both an educational and a product and service perspective. But don’t take our word for it. The following Google Trends diagram clearly show that over the last year, GDPR searches have been on the increase.


    Graph showing Google trends for GDPR and Cyber Security

    Google Trends May 2017


    Given the number of data breaches that have also been in the press recently, combined with the recent global WannaCry ransomwear attack, data vulnerability and the need for enhanced protection is, and must be, a priority. According to the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report 2017, rising cyber dependency is listed as one of the trends that determine global developments. This of course is as a direct result of our increasing digital interconnection of people, predominantly through the sharing of personal data across the globe.


    With exactly one year to go until the regulations are enforced, you may be thinking there is plenty of time left to get your ducks in a row. There is not.


    Let’s be clear. GDPR does not launch, start or come into play next year. It is already here – it has been for over a year now. May 2018 is when GDPR becomes enforceable… the date by which you need to be compliant by. That means if you haven’t already, you need to start preparing for compliance right now.


    There are a number of implications, opportunities and threats to the channel with vendors, disitributors, partners and end users all being affected, and needing to become compliant.


    As a channel agency we’ll ensure we are at the forefront of GDPR, for the channel, and will be providing content and sharing insight over the coming weeks and months. We will also be offering guidance, planning, workshops, communication and enablement right through the channel so you can be sure that where the channel is concerned, GDPR is covered.


    If you would like to discuss how you can position your product and services around GDPR, educate your distributors/partners, advise your end user customers or generally align your sales and marketing activities with GDPR, please get in touch at or call us on 01424 774 925.


    GDPR In the Channel – how does it affect you?

    GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is an acronym that you’re probably familiar with by now, right? You must have seen it even if you’re not entirely clear on what it is. In particular, here at purechannels we are having conversations on a daily basis about how we can help all types of organisations in the channel.

    Social Media & Trust in the Channel

    As a follow on from our recent blog on social media, here we take a closer look at social media in the channel.

    Long term commitment, not just short term campaigns.

    Eleven years after being founded, we still operate and exist by the same principles we were established with in 2006: Quality customer service, attention to detail, unrivalled expertise and outstanding delivery of services and solutions to the channel.

    Social media: from personal to professional

    Social media is great, we’re all at it! Photos, fun times, checking to see how many likes you got… and shares (if you’re lucky!). But these ‘new’ habits that consume our lives every day, can be a real pain to (try to) transfer into your working life.

    The trouble with channel marketing is…

    The trouble with the channel is that there’s never enough time, resource or budget available.

    Defining moments from the last 10 years

    It really has been a monumental decade. And not just for purechannels, but also in tech, in marketing and in the Channel. Take a look here at some defining moments from the last 10 years.

    It’s our Birthday: Celebrating 10 years of Channel marketing excellence!

    After several years running global channel programmes and consulting on PRM, our CEO Olivier Choron recognised a distinct gap for a marketing agency dedicated to the channel and understood technology. Olivier believed – and so did his early clients – that there was an inherent lack of genuine channel understanding, expertise and level of service available to meet the specific needs of the vendors, distributors and partners. So in 2005 the idea of a pure-play channel marketing agency was conceived and then in 2006 “purechannels” was officially born.


    10 years on, I am pleased to say, we still adhere to these principles every day and remain true to our ‘100% dedicated focus on the channel’ foundations that Oli believed in from the start. We know our stuff, we know technology and we know how to put it to the best possible use to realise value for our clients.


    In the last 10 years, purechannels has worked with some of the biggest names in the global IT and telecoms industries, from Microsoft and Adobe to Vodafone and Samsung. We’ve delivered successful marketing services ‘to’ and ‘through’ the channel layers, making our clients’ channels an ever-more invaluable part of business strategies.


    Although we all fit round a large table in our local pub, our numbers belie our achievements. We pack a hell of a punch… regularly being placed on shortlists and winning top awards against some of our heavy-weight contemporaries.


    From channel-specific awards like ‘Best Channel Marketing Campaign’ with CRN in 2013 and ‘Best Channel Marketing Initiative’ with B2B Marketing in 2014, through to being named as one of the overall ‘Top 5 B2B Campaigns’ in 2014 and as a Finalist in The Drum Marketing Awards earlier this year for ‘Best Long Term Marketing Strategy’.


    And all this culminating in purechannels winning the ultimate accolade in 2015 being named ‘Best Channel Marketing Agency’ by CRN.


    But of course, this is not all about us. We could not have done all this on our own. The support, trust and confidence our clients place in us to deliver for them and their channels, made this all possible.


    So, as well as celebrating our 10-year anniversary, we have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of our progress since 2006.


    On a personal note, having been with purechannels just over 4 years and now as MD, I can honestly say that it is refreshing to be able to do things differently. To listen and respond to client demands when they need us. To create and deliver channel services in a way that understands and empathises with the clients needs and that also pushes the boundaries of the often-stagnant channel environment. And to continue to evolve as a small service agency, competing in a big B2B marketing world… knowing that we genuinely have the right to compete.


    A wonderful thing was created in 2006, and so much has changed in the world since then. We can’t wait to deliver even more successful projects for our clients over the next 10 years – which will no doubt be just as exciting, give us another decade to be proud of and hopefully add a few more awards to the shelf!


    Thank you all.


    Time to defend the crown!

    2015 saw purechannels win the prestigious CRN Award for ‘Channel Marketing Agency of the Year’ and the good news is that we have made the shortlist again this year! Very exciting considering it’s also our 10th Birthday this year!

    Another first: purechannels makes the shortlist at The DRUM Marketing Awards

    This week saw a new high for us at purechannels, we were nominated for the shortlist of best ‘Long Term Marketing Strategy (3 years or more)’ at The DRUM Marketing Awards.

    10 questions you never asked your customer

    How to create customer success stories that sing.


    Proof that Outbound is still badass.

    Over the past few years, advocates of Inbound marketing will have you believe it’s a panacea. “Long live Inbound, taxi for Outbound”. Yet real evidence of Outbound delivering tangible results says otherwise.

    How VMware shared a blueprint for channel success across EMEA: Channel Advocacy Case Study

    When you think of ‘advocacy’, you probably think of customer case studies right? Think again.

    Channel Incentives: The long and short of it

    The old tried and tested ways are always the best, right?

    10 Top Tips: How to create more engaging customer advocacy content

    A quick search on Google provided just the ammo I needed for this blog.

    5 reasons channel advocacy needs to become your mission

    Advocacy – customer, employee…– yep, you get the gist. But ‘channel advocacy’ – what?

    purechannels named ‘Best Channel Marketing Agency’ by CRN

    Thursday 2nd July, saw the very best of the UK Channel industry gather together to celebrate excellence.

    Out with the new, in with the old…

    Mobile, social, digital, app, trending, posting, influential, advocacy, inbound, content, social, digital, mobile, responsive-omni-social-digital-mobile-integration-channel trending marketing.

    We made the Shortlist: CRN Sales and Marketing Awards 2015

    Well it’s been a pretty good few months here at purechannels

    Partner Marketing Services – a much better idea.

    Here’s something new for you to consider – Partner Marketing Services.

    Co-branding your partner collateral – is it worth the effort?

    The theory is great – and has been for years and years and years.


    purechannels named in the Top 5 B2B campaigns

    B2B Marketing has recently released a list of their Top 5 B2B Marketing Campaigns of 2014… and we are on it!


    Email marketing – IT STILL WORKS! (You just have to do it properly)

    A recent survey carried out by shopping and price comparison website ‘Give as you Live’, suggests that consumers are far more likely to respond to a direct email

    The three Ts of partner news

    With email (still) being one of the most favoured methods of communication amongst marketers, partners and customers can become flooded with information;

    purechannels take coveted Channel Award at the B2B Marketing Awards

    Fighting off stiff competition from Cisco, Salesforce and Google with our campaign for Avnet,

    Knowledge and Timing: How to be smarter in the Channel.

    Rummaging through some blogs from our old website the other day, I was both surprised and pleased with almost all of the content.

    Go on, tell us a story!

    How often do you tell stories? Story telling is something that has thrilled and excited us since our earliest memories. So, how many of you make use of the obvious transfer of story-telling in your channel marketing activities.

    Is content your new best networking friend?

    As an avid networker and champion of face to face connections, something I saw recently on twitter made me think.

    Sailing the channel blind.

    Calling all channel marketers… I have a challenge for you:  are you ready?

    Has the ship sailed on channel marketing?

    I’ve been thinking recently, why does there seem to be a difference between channel marketing and ‘other’ marketing?

    ‘Highly Commended’ at the B2B Awards: November 2013

    Amid a sea of black ties and swishy dresses, hid a rockstar video game, bumper cars and enough champagne and vodka cocktails to keep a huge room of global marketers happy!