According to the Content Marketing Institute's latest report, 88% of B2B companies are utilizing content marketing efforts, which is up significantly since 2014, to support digital marketers lead generation campaigns to drive new leads to a website, and more than 50% of those efforts are targeted as support materials in various social media platforms to educate prospects about company products and services, or to build company branding efforts. Unfortunately, many of these content marketing efforts are being targeted incorrectly to social media networks that are leading to low lead conversions, which is why there needs to be a focus on driving quality leads that convert to MQLs and sales, rather than just lead volume. Golden rule, measure all campaigns against ROI to support your strategies.
Pressure from the Executives to Drive Lead Volume
I know it's tough to focus on lead quality and conversions as a primary metric determination of the lead generation strategy, rather than the volume of leads, since executives don't understand that volume does not always translate to quality. The best way to handle the lead expectations of executives, is to A/B test various content on social media platforms with a small test budget, rather than committing to only a few types of collateral materials and launching an unproven large budget. By testing, then rolling out a methodical social media marketing strategy with content materials, based on the success and failures of the test campaigns, will justify the final marketing strategy to executives.
Content Marketing Needs Buyers Journey in Social
For most B2B marketers, the norm is to create white papers, webinars, customer testimonials, press releases, and emails with a fun animated video of the product, then push these materials out on social media platforms, but seldom, do I see that there's a well-thought out strategy utilizing the knowledge of the buyers journey to target materials in various stages of the buyer's process. I see too often, that general content is marketed to potential buyers, rather than personalizing the experience for the user, which is a huge mistake. More often, digital marketers will personalize the experience of prospects, if potential buyers have been active on the company website, but don't apply these same principles to social marketing.
Potential buyers are learning about a company and products on social platforms more passively, so make sure to customize the materials accordingly to where they are in their buyers journey. Don't make an assumption that one or two types of marketing collateral pieces will encourage those users to contact your company; they need multiple content at many different times of their research process, from awareness to becoming a lead, then a qualified lead.