Too many B2B marketers equate “marketing” with “lead generation.” So, when it’s time to kick around social media marketing initiatives, the conversation almost always works its way back to the direct stimulation of demand. Fall into this trap, and you miss many marketing opportunities that come with solid return on investment cases.
Take a minute to forget about lead generation – put it out of your mind. There are other ways to use corporate blogging and social media marketing to increase your company’s revenues, and here are five to get you started:
1. Understand your target market’s pain points: look at the blog posts your readers are viewing – and what companies those readers represent. Now, you have insights into the problems your prospective clients are trying to solve. Cycle this into your targeted/direct marketing efforts.
2. Communicate blog analytics to your sales force: remember what you did in (1), above? Take that to your account teams. It can inform the pursuit and possibly shorten your sales cycle. Think about it: what rep wouldn’t want to know that “Key Account X” read five blog posts about “High-Margin Product Y” yesterday, and has a three-week history of consuming content about the issue solved by that product?
3. Kick in doors: write content that your sales team can use to engage high-value accounts. Ask about the pain points they are trying to address, and then write tailored articles. Your sales team can then email these articles to specific high-potential prospects to get the ball rolling. It works.
4. Take requests, get results: you know what happens after a while with (3)? Well, I’ve found that it doesn’t take long for the sales force to come back with requests for specific content, such as: “Hey, I’m going after ‘Client ABC.’ Can you write me a piece on ‘Product XYZ’?” What does this mean? Well, it means that you’ve just demonstrated the value of your social media marketing efforts!
5. Gain intelligence for future marketing efforts: take a look at where your visitors are coming from. Is it Google? Well, you may want to double down on your SEO investment. Are trade blogs and online publications sending traffic to you? Consider increasing your traditional or social media PR investment. You get the idea: use your analytics to increase your marketing impact down the road.
Tom Johansmeyer is the Senior Content Director at enter:marketing. He also blogs for Cigar Reader, of which he is co-founder, Gadling, and Luxist.