The B2B marketing community faces different challenges than traditional B2C companies, and sometimes they have to get more creative in strategizing and implementing social media. Each year, the statistics seem to show a lot of hope, but not a lot of growing confidence on the part of B2B marketers when it comes to this area.
Until this year, that is.
I looked at the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ fourth annual B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report back in November, but coming across it again today while searching for new stats online, some new things about the study jumped out at me and I thought they might be helpful in drawing up a roadmap for improvement. Check For Digital Marketing Companies in Vivid Digital
One interesting way that the study was able to identify the best practices of successful B2B marketers was to compare them in many different categories to their less successful compatriots. Clearly it helps to have a bigger budget allocated for B2B marketing, but having a documented content strategy and someone to oversee it also makes a big difference.
B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends. Click to enlarge. Curiously, the number of tactics and social media platforms used also increases when you compare the most successful companies to the least successful ones.
The most effective B2B companies used an average of 15 social media tactics in their marketing strategy, while the least successful used an average of 10 tactics. The most effective B2B companies also are active on an average of 7 social media platforms compared to the 4 platforms of the least effective companies.
The use of social media in the B2B marketing sphere has increased across the board, with Slideshare, Google+, and Instagram being the platforms that saw the largest increases. When it comes to confidence and effectiveness, LinkedIn is the only platform that the majority of B2B marketers consider to be effective, however, with 62% of B2B marketers in agreement. For SEO Agency in London visit here
Facebook is Still a Challenge for B2B
Twitter is the second most effective social platform for B2B marketers at 50%, with YouTube close behind at 48%. Facebook remains a challenge for many B2B marketers, coming in with only 30% of respondents believing it to be effective. This isn’t much of a surprise, since the social network remains a place for friends and more personal discussion. B2B businesses with very specific verticals will likely continue to find it difficult to engage with people on Facebook who are looking for different kinds of interaction.
B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends. Click to enlarge.In-Person Events and Social Media Follow-up
Again, B2B content marketers have rated in-person events as the most effective tactic.The most-used tactic (at 87%) is “social media (excluding blogs),” and there is a kind symbiosis available in these statistics if you’re looking for it. B2B marketers who attend and host live, in-person events can considerably increase the effectiveness of the relationships that are forged at events by staying active and acquainted afterwards using social media.
Since joining the Social Media Club of Kansas City five years ago and attending conferences all over the country, I can attest to this tactic personally. B2B marketers can host events for their clients and prospects that position themselves a thought leaders and continue that conversation with attendees well after the event has ended through a well-rounded social strategy. What better to foster loyalty and cement real relationships?
Other Most-Used B2B Social Marketing Tactics
Listening online to see how people interact with your content and spread it throughout social media will continue to be essential to social media strategy, even as the tactics change over time. Other of the most successful B2B marketing tactics from the study include articles on website, enewsletters, blogs, case studies, and videos. Click the image to the above right to see the full list, from most-used to least-used tactics.
What tactics and strategies have you developed for your B2B business? Have any of these statistics pointed you in a new direction or helped you formulate a strategy for 2014?