Top three takeaways for B2B social media

The Explore Minneapolis conference was a B2B social media confab.

I along with several colleagues from Fusionfarm, an advertising and marketing agency in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, recently took a trek up north to Explore Minneapolis, a B2B social media confab.

Since I’m relatively new to the social media for business game, at least from a professional standpoint, I want to share some of my top takeaways.

It all starts with content marketing

Leave it to the owner of a fiberglass pool company to sum up content strategy and content marketing into as few words as possible.

“They ask. You answer,” says Marcus Sheridan, who also is the author of the free eBook Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy.

His basic philosophy on content marketing boils down to this: Take every question you ever get from a potential client and turn it into a blog post or article on your site. It’s OK to talk about your problems and always address pricing. Don’t let a visitor leave your website without the critical information they need, Sheridan said.

The reasoning is simple. Clients are no longer making the decision about spending money with your business when you meet them in the conference room. They’ve decided long before that based on the information they’ve discovered.

Sheridan has it broken down for his pool business. If a potential customer visits at least 30 pages on his website, he has an 82 percent chance of converting that person into a sale.

How many businesses know that number for themselves?

Audit and adapt often

“Always be optimizing and auditing,” says Jolina Pettice.

“Always be optimizing” was the quote from Jolina Pettice, the director of client accounts for TopRank Online Marketing.

Social media is 24/7, and so are your potential customers.Today’s marketers are not like the Don Drapers of the world where everything was about the creative. Today, marketing is about technology, social media, writing, websites, mobile sites, etc., and figuring out the best way to monitor and optimize those for leads.

Setting goals is a given in any campaign, whether its your own or for a client. Analyzing and adapting to what you learn can set you apart. It’s called follow-through.

Pettice, in her talk in Minneapolis, emphasized the importance of the campaign audit. Tweaks to code, calls to action and keyword terms based on what’s working. Changing content techniques based on referrals to targeted pages. Discovering what is most shared across social channels.

“A marketers job is never done,” she said.

Measure ROI consistently and know how to communicate it

A study cited at the Explore Minneapolis event says that 73 percent of executives think marketers don’t understand business objectives.

“If you want to explain your job and get more in your budget to do it, then speak ROI in executive language,” said Nichole Kelly, who I am paraphrasing. Kelly is the President of SME Digital.

To take that further, Kelly emphasized the need to know your audience and how to effectively communicate ROI to it. Executives, for example, care about sales volume, revenue and cost. Others have a different view. Cater the message since the landscape of understand social media is so varied.

We know social media is a tool for businesses to grow. Tailor the RIO message so its best heard accurately.

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