Lead generation by the use of Social Media
Organizations often do not know how the use of Social Media can contribute to lead generation. A common misconception is, that the use of Social Media Marketing would be more successful in the strategies of Business-to-Consumer (B2C) organizations than in the ones of Business-to-Business (B2B). But the opposite is true. In this blog I will explain how the use of Social Media can contribute to lead generation and why particularly B2B organizations have a greater chance of success in lead generation through Social Media Marketing.
Leads and content
Let us start by defining a lead. A lead is a person who is interested in the products and / or services of your company and possibly considers a purchase. A lead is not an e-mail address. Individuals enrolled in your newsletter or blog are (still) no leads but have great potential to become one (Bodnar & Cohen, 2012). Various qualifications can be assigned to a lead. Each lead is in a different phase of the buyer circle. For example, a lead can be as good as ready to make a purchase or find itself still at the beginning of the process: the orientation phase. This information is obviously valuable for the sales team. In a future blog I will elaborate on this subject. If you want to be notified upon publication of a new blog post, please leave your e-mail address to the ‘subscribe to the blog’ field.
Social Media publications only contribute to lead generation in one way: by sharing reliable, valuable and relevant information.
Why is sharing information (content) so important in attracting new customers? This has to do with the advent of the digital age. Never has our need for information been as great as in the last decades. Patients already know, before they have entered the doctor’s office, to what possible conditions their symptoms are related. No longer do we blindly assume that news spread through traditional media, such as newspapers and TV, is based on truth. Critical questions are asked. Consumers demand authenticity and transparency of suppliers. In the business sector, this is no different.
The effects of content sharing
When a company shares authentic, valuable and relevant information with its target group, this has the following positive effects:
- By sharing valuable information which your customer cannot obtain anywhere else, without asking anything in return, you build a relationship with your (potential) customer that is based on trust. The more you share content that really adds value for your customer, the more its confidence in your organization will grow.
- By regularly providing valuable content, the bond with your potential customer will be strengthened. Your potential customer will increasingly feel connected to your organization.
- By sharing your expertise, you build a reputation as the expert in the market. And let us be honest, would you not prefer buying your products and services from an expert?
As you can see, providing reliable, valuable and relevant information can make a serious contribution to lead generation. To deploy Social Media successfully and achieve an optimum performance, it is important that the content is authentic and really adds value for the recipient. Content that describes a solution to a problem or so-called ‘how to’ publications always do well. Also, of course, you need to know what the best Social Media platforms and time caps are to reach your target group. Finally, it is also important that you periodically provide content. The use of Social Media is part of a long-term marketing strategy and requires a great deal of time and effort, especially during the start-up phase. In the long run you will reap the rewards of this.
Five reasons why B2B organizations are better suited for Social Media Marketing than B2C companies.
So, now you know that with the targeted use of Social Media you can generate leads. But why are B2B organizations better suited for the use of Social Media than B2C organizations? Here are the five main reasons (Bodnar & Cohen, 2012):
- B2B organizations have a better understanding of the target group.
Because B2B organizations often have long-term relationships with their customers and maintain a more intensive relationship, they are often far better able to map the wishes and needs of the target group. This knowledge ensures that Social Media channels can be used in a much more focused way, and B2B organizations herewith create a head start over their B2C colleagues.
- B2B organizations have in-depth expertise.
Employees of B2B organizations are often experts in their field. More than their B2C counterparts, they are keen to innovate in both existing markets and new industries. In the current era, in which the internet is mainly used for information provision, the technical knowledge of these employees is the perfect source to meet your target group information needs and build a long-term relationship.
- B2B marketers are used to working with a limited budget.
Unlike most B2C colleagues, B2B marketers often only have a limited budget to work with. Social Media Channels are the perfect tool to reduce costs per lead and yet achieve maximum results from the budget.
- Sales at B2B organizations are based on relationships.
The sales process at B2B organizations revolves around the relationship with the customer. With a buyer circle that lasts far longer and contracts that involve much larger amounts, building a good relationship with potential customers is crucial. Social Media is a perfect medium to strengthen this relationship, increase the lead quality and guide potential customers through the purchase process or buyer circle actively.
- B2B marketers already have experience.
Long before the advent of Social Media, B2B marketers were already producing content for the newsletter or the publication of the company magazine. B2B marketers often unconsciously know what content they need to publish to strengthen the bond with the target group.
Social Media Marketing for your organization
Kelson Marketing & Content helps you formulate your online marketing strategy. Supporting organizations in engaging online marketing opportunities, that’s what I’m excited about! This blog is not only intended to inform you, but also serves as inspiration for getting started with Social Media in a more targeted way. Are you still experiencing problems when using social media for your organization? In that case, I can develop a Social Media Strategy for you. You will receive a ready-to-use action plan and take care of the implementation yourself. Would you prefer to outsource the use of Social Media completely? I also offer solutions for this! The following contact button provides an easy way to get in touch with me soon.😊