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  • 08 October 2013

    More on B2B Social Media Marketing

    Last month, we established that Social Media is becoming an ever more relevant channel for B2B marketing. This month, we look at what type of content brings in the best results, as well as how you establish what those results are.

    Content Is Still King

    We all will have heard the saying that “Content is King”. Mainly due to the rise of social media, it has become ever more important for businesses to produce content that showcases their products, expertise, and values. Consumers (be they businesses or individuals) are so information savvy these days, that companies have to showcase what they are all about more and more. Content marketing is a great way to achieve this; producing pieces of content that help inform potential buyers can swing a purchasing decision your way.

    The research indicates that the most powerful content is video, mainly due to its strength in engaging the audience and its ability to put complex issues across in an enticing way. Perhaps surprisingly, Infographics scored very high, with image-led content only in third place. This indicates that pieces of content that help bring complex information across quickly are favoured, although text-based items should not be ignored. The research indicates that all types of content have a role to play, and an effective mixture is the key to success.

    What is success and how do you measure it?

    A large number of social media monitoring platforms exist, some free, others paid for. The overall usage of these platforms has risen significantly since 2011, as B2B marketeers make increasing use of social media and wish to demonstrate the benefits. The stand-out favourites among the research respondents are HootSuite (48%) and Google Alerts (30%), which are both free. The only paid-for tool to achieve a significant response is Radian6 with 17%. Consider utilising any of these three if you are getting started with social media monitoring.

    But even if you have a monitoring tool, what should you look out for? The research indicates that the top metric businesses monitor is website visits (58%), followed by number of followers (45%), downloads of content (38%) and leads generated (36%). It is interesting to note that, with the exception of number of followers, all these metrics can be positive contributors to the bottom line and therefore can be used to demonstrate social media Return On Investment (ROI). Metrics like retweets, comments and likes all scored significantly less, most likely as it is more difficult to demonstrate a clear ROI on these.

    Beating Scepticism

    Despite the increase in usage of social media in B2B marketing, engaging with the time-poor and often inaccessible business buyer, remains the key challenge. A number of barriers have been mentioned in the research, with measuring and proving ROI, obtaining internal buy-in and generating quality, relevant content all cites as the top constraints. This represents somewhat of a vicious circle, as management buy-in is difficult to obtain if you are unable to show ROI, which makes creating quality content all the more difficult.

    Next month we will look at some best practice tips to help you make the most of your B2B social Media efforts.