B2B

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 4 Comments

Social Media Is The Biggest Gear In The Demand Gen Engine

Social media is the most important gear in the sales and demand generation engine.  Simply put, it’s the science of social media and lead generation physics. The bigger the gear size the harder the gear works. And the harder the gear works, the faster and more productive the machine will work to create revenue.

Physics of Social Media and Demand Gen | MarketingThink.com | Gerry Moran

The Physics Of Social Media And Demand Generation

Do you remember riding a bike and you tried to pedal as fast as you could to make your bike go faster? You made sure you worked the highest gear to make the wheels get you to your destination faster. The same physics apply to demand generation. You need to work your biggest gear, social media, to make sure you successfully get to your goals.

I want to explain to you why it is important to integrate social media into your B2B demand generation strategy.

Inbound Marketing Is Critical for Demand Generation Success

In many demand generation environments, many B2B marketers only use paid media and email. Unfortunately, the new buyer journey tells us that decision-makers are using search and social channels to find their content. They are starting the demand generation process without the seller! In fact, SiriusDecisions report that 67% of the B2B buying experience is done digitally! So, we all need to figure out how to be a part of that digital and social selling experience, huh?

HubSpot reports that inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than outbound marketing, so it makes sense to think about layering on social media to the demand generation strategy to build awareness, engagement and influence. And, they also report that inbound marketing delivers these inbound leads at a 50% lower cost, so getting these leads into the funnel is cheaper. And in my book, more and cheap is good.

The big difference between inbound and outbound leads though, reported by Gleanster, is that inbound leads take 30-40% longer to advance through the sales pipeline. With this lag, marketers need to figure out how to nurture these customers without bombarding them with email and telephone calls.

The Other Important Gears

A demand generation machine cannot work smoothly with just social media gears. Other inbound and outbound lead generation gears like search engine optimization (SEO), paid search (SEM), email and social selling all play a key role, too. Successful demand gen marketers will create an end-to-end approach to maximize the user experience and deliver the most customer-centric experience at each touch point.

Inbound Leads | MarketingThink.com | Gerry Moran

Source: HubSpot

 

5 Social Media Gears In The Demand Generation Machine

1. Reach = Getting Your Targeted Message Out To Your Target Audience.
Demand generation is a numbers game, so the more awareness a brand creates, the bigger the reach, the more effective impressions we can deliver with Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, YouTube, SlideShare and other content marketing tools. It’s like casting a large net using relevant content as the bait. But reach and impression metrics are only BIG VANITY METRICS unless we get customers to take a step closer to the brand by ‘voting’ on the demand gen-related information and content.

2. Engagement = Getting People to Indicate They Approve of Your Content and Messaging.
B2B marketing professionals need to do more than to get people to consume and view messages. A single ‘read’ might work for many, but you can’t really identify the impact that it has on the business. Measure the efficiency of this social media engagement gear by counting the shares, comments and likes. This is THE BEST INDICATOR to tell if social media is delivering engaging content. Customers will vote with their ‘like’ button. Engagement is one step closer to building a deeper relationship, and this is not really a linear or a cause-and-effect experience. We need to keep feeding the customer with a great experience to build our influence with them.

3. Influence = Nurturing.
Influencing the customer sits between the engagement and conversion stages. Remember, 57% of the buying journey is done before the customer reaches out to a vendors, reports Corporate Executive Board. This “57%” means that customers are finding, consuming and vetting information and content. 85% of B2B tech buyers say it takes 3 or more pieces of content to help make a decision, reported by Act-On. So, brands can affect influence with nurturing and delivering content on the customer’s term, instead of ‘pushing’ for an email registration. This sign-up activity will eventually happen at the ‘conversion’ stage.

4. Conversion = Getting Your Customer To Take A Step Toward Buying.
The demand generation machine is only as efficient as its weakest gear. In many instances, this conversion experience is a landing page where customers register. HubSpot reports that landing page conversion rates (for non-PPC lands) should be 20%. And they have coached many to convert up to 50%. If your lead generation conversion rates are languishing around 5%, then you may be making one of about 20 different mistakes – too many to talk about in this post! Take the time to audit your conversion experience to make sure your social media and other tactics are working hard for a payout!

5. Pipeline Acceleration = Staying Close To Your Customer By Delivering The Right Content At The Right Time.
Social media touches pipeline acceleration in the form of social selling. This is where sellers use their LinkedIn network, Twitter selling skills ,and content marketing expertise to stay in touch and communicate with customers on their terms.

Do you have a demand generation machine story to share? How do you make your social media gears work as hard as possible? If so, please share below. Or, reach out to me directly at MarketingThink.com or on Twitter, Google+ or on LinkedIn.

Get geared up to make social media work as hard as possible for your B2B demand generation machine, so you wont’ be pedaling up hill for sales.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 3 Comments

Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want

If you asked today’s B2B decision-makers what they wanted to help them solve their problems, what would they say? Perhaps they might break into a Spice Girls-like song verse response like this:

If you wanna be my solver, you gotta get with my social community

Make it last forever partnership never ends

If you wanna be my seller, you have got to give me relevant and timely content)

Taking is too easy, but that’s the way it is

(Yes, corny, I know … but really really relevant!)

b2b decision-maker

 

It is important to understand today’s B2B decision-makers as you build your demand generation marketing and social selling strategy. This attention will help you “posh”ture your value proposition to help you have a sporting chance to make the sale and not scare your customers away! That’s the way to think about it … baby! (Sorry can’t seem to work ginger into this post!)

How To Give B2B Decision-Makers What They Really Really Want

  • Be A Part Of Their Early Buyer Journey. Since 89% of buyers start their sales cycle by using a search engine (source: InsideView), your company and your marketing and selling stakeholders need to be creating blog, LinkedIn, SlideShare, YouTube and Twitter content that be easily found. Blogs especially make sense, since Gartner reports that 81% of online customers trust information and advice from this source! When their sales-cycle starts they are likely looking for content and content solutions that help them answer the basic questions, like “What is mobility?” or “What is the cloud”?
  • Become A Partner. With only 10.5% of B2B decision-makers returning emails and 9% returning emails from new vendors, it’s key to become a partner to establish needs and to help frame the solution needs that the customer has. With customers using multiple digital and social media touch points, you will need to find these “fishing holes” and be there when they are looking!
  • Be Invested In Social Communities. 81% of B2B decision-makers using communities and online forums for business purchases. And, 44% specifically say that using communities and support forums, like LinkedIn Groups are important for purchase research. So, companies and their marketing and social selling stakeholders need to be an authentic resource in these communities. Remember, if you “wanna be their seller, you have got to give (them relevant input and insight)”. Start building those relationships today and not on the last day of the quarter!
  • Provide Customer-Centric Content. Most B2B decision-makers feel that company content is too sales-focused, which means your relevant and customer-centric content will break through the noise and clutter of sales-related content. Not sure of what sales-related content looks like? Take a look at a LinkedIn group where the only conversation going on are sales professionals saying how their solution is best!

Do you have another way to give B2B decision-makers what they want? If so, please share below! Or contact me directly at MarketingThink.com, on Facebook, on LinkedIn or on Twitter!

If you are looking for additional ways to understand B2B decision-makers and what they really really want, you might be interested in learning more about:

  1. Anatomy of the B2B decision-maker
  2. Social selling touch points of the B2B decision-makers
  3. How to have a conversation with B2B decision-makers using Twitter

Every customer is different, just like every Spice Girl brought something different to the concert – something scary, something sporty, something posh, something baby and something ginger. So if you are going to be successful with you B2B marketing and sales strategy, give your customers what they want, what they really really want … vs. what YOU think they need, what YOU think they really really need!

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