Excellent webinar presented by Ian Michiels of Gleanster, entitled, “Quantifying the Value of Social Media Engagement in B2B Marketing.”
A lot has been written about the impact of social media on B2C marketing; however, as Ian shows, it can have just as big an impact on B2B marketing — but in different ways.
More than half of B2B “top performers” (top 25%) have used social media in their marketing campaigns versus 18% of all other B2B companies surveyed by Gleanster.
Ian noted that the top challenges with social media marketing for B2B are:
- Measuring ROI
- Integrating social media into the overall marketing mix
- Effectively promoting social media
He suggests three questions for B2B marketers contemplating integrating social media into their marketing efforts:
- Should we engage in social media?
- Where should we engage?
- How should we engage?
B2B has certain variances from B2C that can be leveraged with effective use of social media:
- Complex sales cycles — you can use social media to start a dialogue and determine where the prospect is in the sales cycle
- Information is power — leverage social media to establish yourself and your firm as a thought-leader and provide information of value to prospects. You need to be creating, or leveraging, content to become a trusted advisor — 89% of top performers do.
- Complex offerings — leverage social media to show how your firm can fulfill the complex needs of the target by sharing case studies, references and testimonials
- Personal relationships — again social media is a great way to get connected to prospects and build an initial relationship
- Less visibility on pricing — frequently because pricing is based on customization. You can use social media to explain how pricing can vary depending on specifications thereby educating your target.
- Fewer buyers — easier to identify and make connections via social media
- Multiple decision makers — able to engage with the multiple decision makers via social media and disseminate your information of value across multiple channels that will reach the different decision makers
- Third-party influencers — engage and influence the influencers before they influence your prospect. These can often be your best allies.
Where do B2B top performers engage?
- LinkedIn — 82%
- Shared links (via email, websites and blogs) — 72%
- Online community — 65%
- Blog — 62%
- Twitter — 53%
- Video — 48%
- Facebook — 42%
- Other social channels — 21%
And, based on a study by emarketer.com, the five most successful social media tools for lead generation are:
- LinkedIn — 32.2%
- Blogging — 27.1%
- Twitter — 15.3%
- Facebook 11.9%
- YouTube — 1.7%
So how do you engage? By providing content of value and starting a dialogue.
Share content across traditional channels and social media channels.
Provide information of value, don’t sell.
Become a trusted advisor.
Create quality content. Stand out.
Make it easy to share your content — add sharing links to your emails, blog posts, web pages and landing pages. People like to share information of value with their associates and peers via social media.
What have you found to be the most successful social media channels for your B2B marketing efforts?