So your B2B brand marketing efforts are leveraging all the traditional marcom tools including trade journal ads, websites, email blasts and landing pages, public relations, trade shows and events and sales promotion, and yet the sales department is hounding you for more and more leads?
Try integrating one more very important weapon into your marcom arsenal… social media.
A recent study by the Aberdeen Group, a company that examines the social marketing strategies of top-performing B2B companies, revealed that “Best-in-Class” B2B companies generate on average 17% of their leads from social media…roughly 230% more marketing-generated leads than other companies in the survey.
The study, “B2B Social Media Marketing: Are We There Yet?”, utilized four performance criteria to stratify companies in three brackets: “Best-in- Class,” “Industry Average” and “Laggards.” “Best-in-Class” companies excelled over other companies evaluated in the following areas:
While 84% of companies surveyed use social media in some form, “Best-in-Class” companies realize that digital and social media have created a more challenging sales environment because buyers have more information available than ever before to discover and evaluate products and services. (The Aberdeen group refers to this evolving phenomenon as the hidden sales cycle.)
So here are some quick tips that “Best-in-Class” companies are implementing to make social media a highly effective business generating tool for them:
- Lead generation is their primary strategy for social media
- Internally, they have created clear business processes for social marketing as their top strategy
- They are using social media to carefully listen to and engage would-be buyers across social media channels
- The social media strategy is well integrated with email and SEO efforts
- Website social sharing tools are used extensively
- Keyword-based social media monitoring continually refines their processes
This research validates the viability and importance of social media in today’s rapidly changing marketing and sales environment. Brands that invest the resources to become expert in best social media practice and implementation will likely outpace their competitors in sales and strong customer relationships.
So how social is your B2B brand? Could improved social skills help revitalize it?