B2b marketers have salivated at the thoughts of using social media to generate leads since inception. Traditionally, the b2b sales cycle was linear with long term commitments and structured leads. However, in today’s world things are a bit more complex.
Viable mediums have arisen to advertise with thought leadership and dissemination on social media channels. Content creation and development, known formally as content marketing is even more powerful today than ever in its lead generation powers. Social media marketers are determined to use social media for generating leads, in fact, according to BtoB’s Emerging Trends in B-To-B Social Media Marketing Insights, 45% of experienced social media users said lead generation is one of their most important goals for social marketing efforts.
Social media is undoubtedly growing faster than any other marketing medium, and it is becoming a core internal part of many businesses. According to the same BtoB study, 57% of respondents said that LinkedIn was the best method of generating leads, while all other social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Blogging) were less powerful in their lead generation abilities. Familiarizing yourself with social platforms like LinkedIn and disseminating quality content both online and offline in multiple business units is the key to gaining thought leadership.
LinkedIn provides a highly targeted platform for b2b marketers. As the platform grows from its current 100 million users, 26 percent of respondents believe LinkedIn is “particularly strong for lead generation.” Now we all know content is crucial for any lead generation company. Whether you are leveraging content creation for thought leadership, SEO, or both, LinkedIn should be able to help. LinkedIn today is a resource for sharing articles within your industry niche.
As B2B marketers we should view social media as a means for distribution and promotion. Whether you are answering questions within your communities or sharing white papers, you should be working toward informing and educating your prospects. B2B marketing is sometimes seen as “less sexy,” however the motive is still the same. We want to inform the user of what we offer and how this product solves problems within their businesses
Integrating other Business Units
Sales and customer care teams can give your business a great opportunity to disseminate content. Quality white papers and buyer’s guides give your potential leads more information on their purchase and strengthen the leads. If you give your sales and customer care team the ability to send this content, it will strengthen the rapport with your customer. According to Marketing Sherpa, “The ultimate goal of lead nurturing is to turn that prospect into a sales-ready lead prepared to become a customer. If that relationship were a baton, there is a point in time where both Marketing and Sales hands are on the baton and you are making that introduction.”
If you can keep your content unique, compelling and relevant you are able leverage content across all of your business units for lead generation.