Generating leads via social media is still a new concept for many B2B marketers, but one that is showing promise. Social media can be very effective for demand generation if integrated with other marketing efforts. There are some important best practices to follow to make your campaign a success. But first here are some common mistakes to avoid.
Social media demand generation campaign pitfalls
1. Not integrating social media into your existing demand gen tactics
2. Only including social media during the lead generation stage of a prospect's buying journey
3. Not allocating a proper budget to the social channel
4. Not aligning the call to action (CTA) with the content on the registration landing page
5. Not making the registration page mobile optimized or requiring the user to fill in too many fields
Here are 5 Best Practices to make your social demand gen campaign a success
1. Follow the Buyers Journey - Think Long Term - Integrate social media into every stage of the consumer's buying journey (awareness, consideration, conversion and advocacy). This requires up front understanding about the entire buyer's journey and to re-think the way ROI is traditionally being calculated. Posting daily social content and engaging with your audience are all tactics that will result in users filling in a form later! Building visibility and trust are at the core of a successful social media led gen campaign and requires a long-term perspective.
2. Budget Properly - Allocate the right amount of budget to social media to generate leads. A platform such as LinkedIn charges a higher cost per engagement. Because you are using the services provided by a third-party platform, your costs will increase. However, leads collected on LinkedIn are highly qualified as targeting can be tailored to industry, seniority, geography and interests. And the data is up to date, as people tend to keep their personal profiles current.
3. Test and Measure Several Platforms - Test different social channels. LinkedIn generates 3 times more lead conversion than Facebook or Twitter, but results will vary depending on the offer, audience targeting; and the registration form user experience.
4. Focus on User Experience - Make it easy for the user. According to comScore 80%1 of social media time is spent on mobile. Further, eMarketer notes that U.S. adults spend an average of 51 minutes2 daily on social networks. User experience becomes essential to generate leads. Avoid traditional gated pages, opt for the mobile LinkedIn lead form which auto populates user' information. The entire experience takes only 15 seconds and the user never leaves the app.
5. Use Compelling and Relevant Content - Promote the right content on the right device. E-books, free consultation, demo, and educational webinars are still useful for the user, but the format might need to be adjusted depending on where the user is consuming the content. Prospects don't want to read a 40-page white paper on an app of a smartphone.
Integrating social media into your existing led gen tactics through different stages of the sales cycle can increase the quality of your leads while decreasing your marketing expenses. Choosing the right user experience will impact the number of leads you will generate as today's customers expect to have a smooth and fast mobile experience when consuming or requesting gated content.
Additional tactics could include using first-party audience data to further target on social platforms and integrating influencer marketing into your demand gen programs.
"Focus on data quality, audience and segmentation capabilities and don't always let the lower price be your guide.," advised Andrew Sambrook, General Manager, IDG U.S. Demand Generation.
At the core of a social media lead campaigns is the need for marketers to re-think the way they have approached and measured their campaigns. Stand-alone demand gen campaigns in the short term won't be as effective as taking the long view with a 360-degree approach, which aims at following and nurturing the user through the different buying stages.