Archive for March, 2012

B2B Social Media: Expertise Determines Success

Written by I&A Webmaster. Posted in B2B Social Media, Social Media & Business

This week Hubspot published an article on their site stating that 63% of B2B companies don’t generate leads from social media. Since this has not been my experience with the B2B companies we work with, I thought I better give this article a thorough read. I came to the same conclusion I always do: the reason why some B2B companies aren’t getting better results is because they aren’t carrying out their social media marketing effectively. A solid, successful B2B social media marketing campaign consists of: research and analysis; a well-developed online marketing strategy; more research; careful and consistent monitoring; and measurement and evaluation. Then – repeat steps 3-5.

I disagree that the reason why companies are not experiencing success is simply due to the “disconnect between content and social media.” The recommendations given in the Hubspot article are issues that should never need to be addressed when a B2B social media campaign is conducted by an individual or a team of people experienced and knowledgeable in this field. It should not be your responsibility as a business owner to develop, implement, and monitor your B2B social media marketing campaign.

Conversion Forms and Website Design

   

There are many factors that can contribute to ineffective B2B social media. For instance let’s look at conversion forms and website design. The Hubspot article suggests that you have a landing page with a form for collecting information about your prospective client. These are also known as conversion forms. The Inspire and Acquire team starts with an analysis of the B2B company’s website.  During our analysis consideration is given to the condition of the existing website from the intuitiveness of the navigation or menu, to the value and completeness of the content.

The tools we use to analyze the website give us all of the information we need including the deficiencies of the site from both a design and SEO perspective. The analysis also tells us what is missing or incomplete such as: meta tags, XTML sitemaps and of course, conversion forms. A conversion form is never missing from a well designed website.

The B2B social media article also suggests that you need to have a method of funneling website visitors to a conversion form. If your website developer has utilized proper design principles in the development of your website, this should not be an issue. We collaborate with our clients to set goals and objectives for each page of their website. This results in a menu structure that ensures easy navigation throughout the site.  The menu makes it very clear how to “Contact Us” which means it is unnecessary to have methods for funneling visitors to your conversion form from every page within your website. It starts with doing things right, from the beginning.

I have only addressed two of the recommendations in the Hubspot article. If a B2B company compounds all of the other components of an online marketing strategy that could be executed incorrectly, is it any wonder that 63% are not experiencing outstanding lead generation and sales?

B2B social media works. Plenty of businesses are doing it right and getting results (see the info graphic below). Entire books are written about it and blogs exist that are dedicated it.  I agree with strategist Brian Solis in one of his brilliant articles where he says, “….to bring about change does not take technology, it takes courage.” Take the courageous step into the B2B social media arena but do it RIGHT!

 

Side note: I’m curious about the sample of 3,000 B2B companies that Hubspot used in their study. Which stage of their online marketing campaign were they in? For instance, it would be useless to assess effectiveness of online marketing for B2B companies in the initial stages of implementation.