Recent stats show that those marketers spend less than 20% of their marketing budgets on social media which includes the outreach to target audience on social sites, advertising and maintaining a social media presence.
Most marketers have or plan to increase their budgets for social media marketing by up to 25% in 2012.
Content marketing has established as a powerful way to engage customers in social media. An increasing number of B2C and B2B marketer are faced with the challenge to produce and publish buyer persona oriented interesting and remarkable content to attract customers on the web and in social media to their products and services.
The most popular channel to share content is social media. About 76% of marketers say they used a social network as the main channel for content distribution.
Successful companies use every possible communication channel to get in touch with their target audience. They are interested in what their recent and future customers are thinking and communicating about them.
This communication ability helps them to better understand and to serve their audience, which sets them apart from their competition and gives them wide advantages in their business field.
Businesses which are willing to communicate with their audience in blogs and social media show that they care about the people who spend their money with them.
Businesses which avoid an open and authentic communication in blogs and social media show exactly the opposite. Why should the customer than care about to make any further business with them?
Successful businesses in B2C and B2B have embraced the wide opportunities which blogs and social media offers to them to spread the word and to reach their audience where there are around.
In the past marketing has depending on campaigns. Because of its inflexibility this model does not fit anymore into this Real Time world we live.
Today businesses need to react in real time with their audience.
Business can gain a massive competitive advantage when they become able and are willing to communicate with their audience in Real Time.
The most frequented Real Time Communication Channels are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn only to name some of them.
Here is the audience which demands brands to communicate in real time and show they care about their recent and future customers.
Real Time Communication is a powerful way for businesses to learn more about the demand their audience has and this sets them into the position to custom tailor products and service for the price their audience want.
As business recognizes the Real Time Mindset and the importance of speed they can set them self apart from their competition the smart way for a fraction of the cost of old school campaigns but with much more better results.
A Real Time Mindset ads an smart additional way of marketing to the businesses marketing arsenal, which means that business still can go forward with the marketing activities they still do and then compare investment, effort and results with this new Real Time approach.
Numbers do not lie and every business owner will go on to use the marketing strategies which bring him the most for his buck and cancel those one who do not.
The size of an organization can make real time communication difficult. Because of the simple question who does what.
But great examples like ZAPPOS have proven that even organization with 300 people can communicate in real time for example on Twitter which has set them massively apart from their competition. They became so successful that AMAZON acquired them and let them work further as ZAPPOS without changing anything inside, especially not the successful way of real time communication.
Sure size matter, but when you want it and you understand the benefits, than you can do it no matter how big or small your organization is.
The secret to get Real Time Communication successfully achieved so that it brings your business huge profits is to lower control which needs to hand over a high amount of trust to your employees. If you see them as responsible adults and demand for their responsibility they will react this way.
You will need to set flexible rules about communication which leaves your employees enough space to breathe and to react in your favor.
Let me know what you think about Real Time Communication!
To get the word out about your business, products and your services becomes an increasing challenge in today time.
More and more businesses focus on online marketing, social media marketing and online business lead generation. They all compete for the attention of their target audience.
The buyer also increasingly research for products and services on the web and in social media. He asks his network contacts, business partner, family and friends for their opinion and for recommendation about products, services and brands.
The development of mobile devices like smart phones, tablet pc and mobile apps give them all the power to research and to buy on the fly.
This is valid for business to consumer (b2c) and for business to business (b2b) related industries. Nobody can escape this buyer centric market when he wants to stay successful in the future.
But to make a person aware of your products and services they need to find you. You need to be there when and where they are looking. How to do that?
A great way to catch a customer attention is by publishing great content. Each piece of content is an outpost of your business on the web and can help to find you when your audience is looking in social media and on search engines.
Content creation is the most successful strategy to attract the right buyer persona to your offers.
As content creation is the most successful strategy to attract the right buyer persona it is increasingly used and the quality and competition for good content is growing.
The only thing what can help businesses to set them self apart from their competition is to be and stay creative.
A recent research from Triton Digital found out that the most people still trust more Traditional Media like TV, Radio and newspaper than news and information from the internet and social media.
So it looks like that social media is obviously not the #1 news machine. What to do now?
A great way to show creativity in content marketing is to do Real Time Marketing and PR by Newsjacking.
Newsjacking is the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business. – David Meerman Scott
Regarding to David Meerman Scott the bestselling author the rules have changed. The traditional PR model—sticking closely to a preset script and campaign timeline—no longer works the way it used to. Public discourse now moves so fast and so dynamically that all it takes is a single afternoon to blast the wheels off someone’s laboriously crafted narrative.
And here we are!
I will not describe here how exactly to do Newsjacking. For this you should buy David Meerman Scott great book to learn the exact tasks.
But I will try to give you a small idea how Newsjacking can work for your business.
When you go through the daily media, like news on TV, radio, newspaper social media updates on Facebook, Twitter, etc. do you see sometimes news which grab your attention because they relate to your industry in any way?
We learned that still most people trust traditional media. How would it be to get piggyback on breaking news and profit from the public excitement and the life of a news story to increase your businesses reach and awareness with future customers?
So by using the reach and the trust of traditional media you can reach far more people with your message than before. But you need to be very quick!
There is no question Newsjacking is the most creative and one of the most effective ways to get attention, and the best on it, anybody can do it!
Businesses are always interested to increase the reach of their brand to get in front of future customers.
Brand building can be a though thing if not done the right way. To build a brand a huge budget is not necessary but more the right strategy.
The past and the present (still for some) of marketing:
There are a lot of ways to inform future clients of a brand, like advertising, TV and radio spots, newspaper ads, snail mail, pay per click marketing, trade shows, etc. But the hook with most of those marketing ways is they are expensive, mostly not measurable and not long lasting. As soon you stop this paid advertising than your visibility decreases again.
There is a strategy which delivers guaranteed, long lasting and measurable results for a fraction of the costs of old school advertising.
The marketing strategy:
Inbound marketing offers you a smart strategic approach to be and most important to stay steps ahead of your competition.
The inbound marketing strategy focuses on getting found by customers when they research online for products and services your business also has to offer.
With inbound marketing businesses “earn” their way to the customer by publishing helpful information for example on a corporate blog, in social media and forums.
Inbound marketing includes: Content creation like blogging, video, photo, whitepapers, eBooks, podcasts, press releases, comments in social media and other blogs and forums, Social media two way communication, lead generation, lead conversion, lead nurturing and closed-loop analysis.
Summary what you can expect from inbound marketing:
A. Save up to 62% of your marketing budget in the long term
B. Make you stand out of your competition
C. Generate a massive amount of qualified and hot business leads
As every doing in business inbound marketing also depends on what you put in. The more you do the better results you will get and expand your brand reach faster.
To establish a brand takes about 2-3 years, depending on product, service market and customer demand.
But the difference is, with inbound marketing you have an up to 62% lesser cost per lead and an up to 55% higher lead conversion rate. Which is a much lesser marketing investment than old fashioned advertising, and your doings are long lasting.
For example: Created content which you have published stays online as long you want it to be, attracts people which research online for products and services you also have to offer and still delivers qualified visitors to your lead capture – landing pages.
You do tasks like publishing a blog article–– one time and they deliver traffic to your lead capture – landing pages where you convert them to leads and later to paying customers.
By executing a serious inbound marketing strategy for your business you can set you apart from your competition, reach more future customers, improve your brands reach and visibility and become trusted industry source.
How much is inbound marketing?
Again, as every doing in business inbound marketing also depends on what you put in. The more you do the better results you will get, expand your brand reach and get more customers faster.
As inbound marketing is the most powerful marketing strategy in the marketing actually, it is also difficult to execute through its complexity without any professional help.
Moreover about 70% of businesses which try to execute an inbound marketing strategy without professional help fail within the first three months, remain 30% of business fail thereafter.
To start with inbound marketing for your business you should calculate $2,000 – $3,000 per month or maybe more. The size of your inbound marketing investment also depends on your goals and the pace you want to achieve results.
As we discussed brand building earlier you should take into account a minimum time frame of 18 months or more for your brand building, and this also depends on several factors like the market and competitive situation, your products and services only to name some of them.
The value o social media marketing has been discussed and questioned often in the past. This is mostly because to measure social media marketing results have been a though thing.
Customers are discussing companies and even criticizing brands online, whether or not these brands are active in the social space. TNS found in 2011, that 64% of consumers worldwide wrote about brands online and 52% said they did so to criticize a brand.
Still companies lag behind when it comes to track what customers are saying in social media about their brands and following up on that feedback.
In January 2012, a survey made from customer experience management software company Satmetrix where they survey over 1,000 B2B found out that only 27% of B2B companies that both tracked mentions and followed up on them. Compared to B2C companies (53%) both tracked mentions and followed up on them.
Companies should track what are being said and following up on comments when it is appropriate.
Satmetrix found that the most popular process companies used was having a dedicated team that monitored and responded to customer feedback.
Tracking social media mentions is easy and there are a lot of free and paid tools to do so.
First you should register with more than one tool. Configure the tool with the necessary keywords, means your brand name, your and the names of your staff, product and services names, your competitor brands, names, products and so on.
As the second step you should take care of not oversee to the messages and alerts which come in. Monitor those alerts and take action if appropriate.
Time after time you will discover which of those tools you are using are the most useful for you and you will focus on them and leave the others behind you.
Content marketing has established as a powerful way to engage customers. An increasing number of B2C and B2B marketer are faced with the challenge to produce and publish buyer persona oriented interesting and remarkable content to attract customers to their products and services.
A seriously executed content marketing strategy can be responsible for 25x times more business leads and boosts your revenue by up to 40%!
In a March 2012 poll of more than 400 US marketers and agencies content curation services providerCurata found that 95% had curated content in some way over the past six months by sharing a link, blog post or other content type with their target audience.
Curata results also showed that 85% of those marketers focus their main objective of content creation to establishing a thought leadership, 80% of those marketer see also brand building and buzz as a goal of their content creation strategy.
Main content marketing objectives of marketers are:
One of the most difficulties when doing content creation is the time investment. About 70% of marketers say they did not have enough time to devote to the process of content creation and content marketing. Also the marketers stated that is difficult for them to create original content to share with their audience.
Main content marketing challenges of marketers are:
• Understanding how it fits in overall marketing strategy
The most popular channel to share content is social media. About 76% of marketers say they used a social network as the main channel for content distribution.
To share published content in social media is not enough. Content creation and content marketing as a holistic strategy must be performed on regular basis to gain measurable and profitable results on the long term.
Only those activities performed on a regular basis pave the way to get found online by an increasing number of future customers and keeping them coming back to company offers and information.
Infographic: The Rise of Content Marketing
Companies utilizing content marketing strategy report an up to 2,000% lift in blog traffic and 40% boost in revenue.
A recent survey from Oracle found out that a growing number of customers are reaching out to companies for support through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp and thought their corporate blog.
Those users expect companies to response quickly, in less than a day, to their requests. The quick response and serious reaction to requests or events which happen is an essential part to profit from the communication which breaks out. To wait hours to give comments or answers could cost the essential market and marketing advantage.
But customers do not only contact brands for support requests they also often reach out to them to learn more about new products and services. If a brand is able to publish important product and services related news exclusively to their network first this would help to improve loyalty with their network. This can also result in an improvement of revenue in the long term.
About one third of surveyed customers expect to reach a customer service representative or product expert when they reach out to a brand.
The possible benefits for companies who stick to serious social media communication can be huge. They can build a solid base to build brand advocates who spread the word on their behalf.
One of the most successful ways to start the conversation is to publish interesting content on a blog and spread it to social networks where the target audience is around.Content marketing is the name of this strategy.
Companies which publish remarkable and buyer persona oriented content, means you should talk about topics your customer is interested in rather than abut topics you are interested in, show their expertise and build trust with their audience.
4 Reasons why companies should leverage social media:
• Increase brand awareness
• Humanize B2B companies
• Establish as thought leader
• Connecting with customers and prospects
Social Media has proven to be a great source of targeted high quality leads for B2C and B2B. An increasing number of marketers see lead generation as their greatest online marketing challenge.
Infographic: Social Customer Service
7 Steps how you can you profit from social media?
1. Start a social media presence. Complete your profile there
2. Research for industry related groups and people. Become a member and invite those people to your network
3. Listen to their discussions. If you have something valuable to contribute than do it, otherwise go on listening
4. Start a corporate blog. Write about topics your audience is interested in. Share your blog articles in social media and ask for feedback for your publication
5. Build landing pages and offer exclusive and valuable content for download. So you generate laser target high quality industry related leads
6. Measure your activities
7. Improve your activities and repeat
Social customer support is your great chance to showcase the quality and dedication of your company. Use every request as an opportunity to make a WOW feeling with the person who reaches out to your company.
Take care to include a call to action in each of your content pieces. This ensures that the user exactly will discover what to do next.
Each of this these pieces of content are outposts of your business which increase your visibility, brand reach and can direct more future customers to your business.
You should also distribute these pieces of content to social media and sites like y Prweb.com, Flickr.com, Pinterest.com, Slideshare.net and YouTube.com to increase the reach of your message.
Buyer Persona Sheet:
To get the most out of your content creation and marketing efforts you should think of a strategic way to measure and improve your efforts.Inbound marketing is the way to get the most out in business leads and revenue for your business.
In March 2012, marketing agency Cargo and Inc. Magazine found the majority (52%) of US small-business owners felt companies did not market to them effectively.
Moreover 43% – 45% of the small business owners said companies made little effort to understand their individual needs and their business.
Most of the small business owners do the business important tasks them self, as they do their financials, marketing, sales and services. Their time is full stuffed with work and they do not sit behind a computer a whole day long. As they are mostly working their job and are with their employees and customers they are perfect to be reached by mobile devices as laptops and smart phones.
When B2B marketers want to connect with them they need to be where those small business owners are around and there where they can be reach and where they can reach out to the marketer.
As an increasing number of small business owners places importance on wireless communications and smart phones for their business this is the way to get in touch with them.
Infographic: Local Mobile Search
So what marketers need to do to reach small business owners with their brand massage?
1. Make your website mobile friendly. As small business owners love to use mobile devices like smart phones and tables, it makes sense to make it easier for them to consume your content
2. Adjust your email marketing, so it becomes and your email massage can be read on the fly. The most email communication is read from mobile devices
3. Become active in social media. As all known social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have mobile Apps; you can reach small business owners there through your communication and attract them to your offers
4. Start to create and publish buyer persona “small business owners persona” oriented content on the web and in social media. This will increase your visibility and grow your trust
5. Respond friendly and professionally to every request, no matter if it comes publicly through social media or by email or support ticket.
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An eMarketer study found out that 79% of US marketing professionals said they plan to increase spending on social media marketing and 24% of them said that social media will be the most-used tactic in the ad industry this year.
As the number of areas and activities increase marketers are confronted with various platforms and various ways to use and measure those platforms. Marketing tools and automation are the most seen challenges.
“In the Marketing Tools Study 2012 from digital marketing technology and services company PointRoll and Kelton Research, US marketing professionals reported using multiple tools in each campaign they execute. More than half of respondents used more than five tools in a single advertising and marketing campaign, with 33% saying they averaged five to six, 15% saying seven to nine and 13% saying they used an average of 10 or more.”
This results show that marketers come closer to paralysis through analysis! The more tools have been used the more time is spend on them.
Instead of to improving their marketing marketers are bound in tools mess!
Marketers should focus one tool which helps them to get found online and in social media by more qualified visitors, helps them to convert more visitors into leads, to close those leads efficiently and which provides analytics to help make smart marketing investments.
When it comes to led generation than “nothing beats the inbound marketing strategy”!
Inbound marketing builds you trust before the sale. Means your audience learn about your business and your products before they are looking to buy from you and without pushing them.
This increases your chance they select your company when they are ready to purchase.
Studies from the past five years revealed that a seriously executed inbound marketing strategy results in up to 62% lower cost per lead an in an up to 55% higher lead conversion rate.
Inbound marketingconsists of content creation, content distribution, content marketing, Social Media communication, Lead generation, Lead Nurturing, Lead Conversion, and Closed-Loop Analysis to refine and improve the activities.
Companies who execute an inbound marketing seriously build trust, their brand and are recognized as a reputable source on the web. They get found on the web when future customers are looking, instead of pushing them with dump old fashioned sales pitches.
Infographic: The Inbound Marketing Multiplier
What do you get by executing a professional marketing strategy?
A. Save up to 62% of your marketing budget.
B. Stand out of your competition.
C. Generate a massive amount of leads.
D. Get up to 55% higher lead conversion rates.
E. Increase your customers and sales.
Any B2B business can use social media as a source of unfiltered information and as powerful business intelligence tool to predict trends, for support and product development. Social media has proved in the past years that it can bring positive ROI when done right.
Leveraging social media for branding and building awareness helps B2B companies.
4 Ways how companies can leverage social media:
• Increase brand awareness
• Humanize B2B companies
• Establish as thought leader
• Connecting with customers and prospects
An increasing number of companies like Intuit, Sysco, Cisco, GE Healthcare and AT&T are using social media for effective business lead generation.
What sites, tactics and strategies are B2B marketers including in their social media outreach?
To do their social media outreach B2B marketers include professional networking sites like LinkedIn which have proven to be an effective way to generate business leads. Furthermore they utilize social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube also which are helping them to reach customers in new ways.
Some numbers about Social Media Lead Generation
“67% of B2C and 47% of B2B companies report to have acquired new customers through Facebook.” “47% of companies who use Twitter report to have acquired new customer through it.”
Online Marketing strategies like banner ads have been replaced through proven buyer persona oriented content creation which also brings better ROI than pay per click marketing (PPC).
Studies show that companies who operate and update a corporate blog frequently have 55% more website visitors. From those companies 57% which operate a corporate blog report to have acquired new customers through their blog.
There is no question content marketing, corporate blogging connected with social media distribution is definitely a revenue driver for B2B companies.
In the past marketers have been dependent on static inflexible campaigns and surveys which took days, weeks or months before companies get an understanding of how consumers are responding to their brand messaging.
To keep up with the today digital pace is a challenge which every marketer is facing by doing brand messaging.
Also it is not necessary anymore to wait for days, weeks or months to get an idea how brand messaging work and if the recent results are going into the right direction.
By taking the advantages of social media into account marketers have the opportunity to get unfiltered real time feedback from their audience about the impact of their brand messaging. Also they have the opportunity to refine their brand messaging in real time by carefully listening to their audience and offer buyer persona tailored information to make their brand outstanding.
This messaging can be improved online in real time and on daily base to lead the messaging towards the company goals.
Brand marketers need to move beyond campaign mode and post campaign measurement and take advantage of real time feedback and metrics on brand messaging performance.
The first question which marketers face to answer is: How far is the reach of my brand messaging?
To get an idea you need to know some metrics about social media and sharing.
Each LinkedIn user has an average of 60 connection and messages there are shared on average 0.3 times.
Each Facebook user has an average of 130 friends and messages there are shared on average 0.65 times.
Each Twitter user has an average of 300 followers and messages there are shared on average 1.5 times.
Calculation example “Facebook”
When your company Facebook page has 1000 likes, it means your messages are visible on these 1000 peoples wall as well in the moment when they are published on yours.
We have learned that an average Facebook user has 130 friends.
Your potential brand message reach: 1000 (Likes) x 130 (each one of them) = 130,000 – 1000 (Likes) = 129,000 (possible additional people to see your brand message)
We have also learned that an average Facebook user shares a message on average about 0.65 times. This could increase your visibility to additionally 83,850 people. Your estimated brand messaging reach could be 212,850 people.
Infographic: How Engaged is Your Brand?
You can’t buy a good branding anymore you need to earn it day by day.
To earn reputation and a trustworthy brand to reach an increasing amount of people you need to offer valuable information – content there where your audience is around on the web and in social media. Remarkable and valuable content can be shared from people in the networks and travel on light speed around the globe.
On the web you are what you publish. What are you?
—David Meerman Scott
To take advantage of the real time opportunities the web and social media offer, you need to transform your marketing from static campaign mode to real time mode and make use of daily news, events and the social vibe your audience gives you as a feedback.
What do you think, did I missed something?
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