Original article featured on Mashable.
Digital marketing is gaining traction in a number of industries, and business-to-business (B2B) marketers are in on that trend, too. Increased spending on online marketing is driving companies to try new and innovative means of getting the word out about their products and services — one area that’s getting a lot of buzz with B2B marketers is social media.
As a Seattle Web Design company that specializes in Seattle Search Engine Optimization and Seattle Social Media Marketing, we wanted to share some of the following case studies which lend insight into how B2B marketers can use social media to generate leads, improve SEO, become knowledge sources, and strengthen marketing campaigns.
There are two types of marketing departments — those that are cost centers and those that bring in leads and sales. Generally, the better positioned marketing department is the one that can prove it’s bringing in money, not spending it without results. When adding social media into the mix, marketing departments must be able to prove success, and oftentimes lead generation and ROI are two measurements that upper management wants to see.
Regus, a global provider of workplace solutions, recently experimented with using social media for lead generation. While the brand has a strong presence throughout the world, there was a lack of awareness in the NYC area about the convenient services and business solutions that the company has to offer.
They integrated campaign that combined social media, online video, an online sweepstakes and in-person events. The team focused on creating communities for NYC professionals, which resulted in a @RegusNYC Twitter feed and a Facebook Page. Along with these social accounts, the “Win an Office” sweepstakes was a great source of leads, as well. Lastly, the team put together New York-specific commercials, which were uploaded to YouTube. The one embedded above, for example, currently has more than 33,000 views.
Overall, this highly integrated campaign was a success unlike any other Regus had seen. The campaign increased leads to Regus’ Manhattan locations by 30%, directly resulting in a 114% increase in revenue compared to the same time period in the previous year. Furthermore, there was a 33% percent conversion rate on leads generated through the New York landing page, compared to a 12% conversion rate on 2008. The success of the campaign also prompted Regus to have Affect implement similar campaigns in five additional markets in Q1 of 2010.
During the past year, Delivra, an e-mail marketing service provider, has invested in B2B social media marketing, including presences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a corporate blog, dubbed eMailChatr. Since implementing and maintaining these properties, the company has seen a 70% increase in inbound leads, as compared to the prior year, and its SEO rankings for major keywords have jumped over 20 pages in one year.
In this case, a blog full of useful and targeted content, enhanced by syndication across various social sites and subsequent interactions with its community, led to Delivra increasing SEO and growing a reputation for trusted e-mail marketing advice.
Carissa Newton, Delivra’s director of marketing, recommends that B2B marketers “Be realistic about your goals with social media and blogging — while these outlets can and will drive leads, there are other intangible benefits as well, like the SEO and brand awareness that make a tremendous difference.” She also stresses, “Make sure that whatever you do, it is not with the sole intention to push information out … [T]ake the time to respond and have meaningful conversations. That will increase your following tenfold. It’s just like e-mail marketing: Don’t be a blaster. Be a resource.”
Be a Knowledge Source
A global, mid-size market research and consulting firm, uses social media to increase its reach within the market research community, demonstrate thought leadership, and increase the likelihood of being found via the Internet .
“In the past nine months alone we have seen huge successes through the combination of blogging, Twitter, Facebook, online press releases, downloadable reports/case studies and Linkedin,” he explained. “The efforts have resulted in huge increases to traffic on our website (142%) and blog (308%) resulting in over 1,400 leads coming in to our sales team.”
Consistency in providing a source of useful resources has been key for the company. “Consistently creating relevant content to your blog, Twitter followers, [and] Facebook fans will help to grow your following,” he says, “but this takes time and commitment. Don’t go it alone. Build a team of regular contributors to contribute on a consistent basis.”
RoryMartin.com helps clients educate their markets and build brand awareness while winning and retaining customers with engaging and impactful websites and web marketing. We offer a comprehensive set of services from website design and web development to search engine optimization and search engine marketing and social media marketing.