According to the Content Marketing Institute, Ninety-one percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing tactics to grow their business, and 87 percent of those businesses are leveraging social media. Jeanniey Mullen, Global EVP & CMO of Zinio, joined Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing in a webinar to discuss Social Media 2013: What Sites Are Most Important to Marketers This Year. Lee highlights the importance of B2B marketing through social media in the second half of the webinar. Take a look at the preceding blog entry for a recap of the importance of targeting the right audience, and how generations break down in terms of targeting.
Social media fright: know your story, and then get your feet wet
When it comes to social media, some businesses are overwhelmed and others uncertain about exposing themselves transparently. However, it’s important to remember that most businesses have their own unique story to tell. Social networks make it easier for a consumer to discover that story and then share it with their own network, pushing that brand’s story out to a potentially vast audience. If your company doesn’t have an interesting or unique story to tell, Lee recommends facing that problem before moving forward with social media.
Once you have built your authentic business story, you’re ready to get started with social media. Remember that B2B buyers are users and consumers of social content too. Take a look at this infographic, which helps you appreciate how much activity happens in just 60 seconds on the web:
It’s acceptable if your business isn’t transacting and engaging through social networks, but understand that social media has a big influence on consumers’ purchasing behavior. Fifty-five percent of B2B buyers use social media for purchase decisions; having multiple touch points can sway consumers from one vendor to another.
Three key takeaways:
- B2B buyers, prospects and influencers are influenced by social. It’s not enough to be a participant; aspire to become the influencer of influencers.
- Map content plans to attract, engage and convert all the way across the sales cycle, don’t just focus on the top part of the sales funnel.
- You must analyze progress (key performance indicators) to optimize performance (business outcomes).
For a more deeper dive into social networks for B2B, including an in-depth analysis of Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and more – watch this fun, lively webinar: Social Media 2013: What Sites Are Most Important to Marketers This Year.