By adaptive - March 4th, 2015

Is 2015 the year that B2B marketers begin to embrace social media marketing to deliver the commercial advantages promised?

Social media marketing has continued to make an impact on the B2C space, but it’s within the B2B environment where the most dramatic changes have taken place. There has been a perceived shift in how B2B marketers are using social media networks to connect with their commercial partners and end customers.
The use of digital marketing is also multi-faceted across B2B users with more video content becoming a popular way of engaging with customers. The rise of mobile as the next battleground for digital marketers isn’t lost across the B2B landscape, but it is taking longer to gain traction. And for many B2B corporations, internal marketers and their agencies still feel real friction from management about the actual value social media delivers to their organisations.
In their review of B2B marketing for the coming year, Regalix concluded: “Improved engagement/customer relationship seems to have fallen in priority this year, giving us the feeling that marketers, especially in the B2B space, are yet to find a direct correlation between increased customer engagement and sales, a space that digital agencies and content companies need to address with their clients.
“Amongst the different online channels that marketers invested into, in the year 2014, the humble website proved to be the most effective of all, followed by email, SEO and social. It is not surprising then, that the same channels have found favour for investment this year too.”
When asked where respondents plan to increase their spending in 2015, mobile message and QR codes polled 40% each, with mobile apps 31% indicating that the push towards more mobile-based marketing in the B2C space isn’t being mirrored with B2B marketers.
Which of the following content assets proved to be effective for the accomplishment of your marketing goals in 2014?
Focusing on social media, Regalix reported: “On the Social side, 85% of respondents said that they would spend more on LinkedIn this year, followed by Twitter at 78% and YouTube at 70%. Facebook, on the other hand, appears to be falling out of favour with B2B marketers with as much as 48% of them preferring to spend less on it this year.”


One area of social media marketing that the B2C and B2B spaces share is an appreciation that analysing their activity is vital to fully leveraging the power that social marketing can deliver. Focusing on analytics, Regalix concluded:
  • 84% marketers say they are currently investing in analytics.
  • 70% marketers sighted lack of resources to execute as the biggest obstacle to investing in analytics.
  • 65% respondents say analytics has helped increase sales revenue by over 10%.
  • 65% executives use analytics regularly for insights.
  • 56% marketers expect their analytics budget to increase in the next 12 months.
The insights that detailed analytics can provide are making more of an impact with B2B marketers. The vast majority will continue to invest in this aspect of their businesses. Most of this investment will be directed to increasing marketing performance, but also to closely understand how the sales funnel is affected by social media network marketing activities. However, B2B marketers don’t expect to generate many leads through social media engagement and this is noticeable by the fact that only 44% tracked leads and 38% track conversion rate.
at are your organization’s key Marketing Analytics objectives?

Content counts

Content has always been king with B2B marketers that have used highly targeted content as a message platform for decades. Initially content on websites with calls to action delivered via email was the norm. Today, B2B marketers see how social media can transform that communications channel.
The Regalix study concluded:
  • 98% marketers say content marketing is core to their marketing strategy.
  • 90% respondents choose nurturing prospects as the key objective of their content marketing program.
  • 78% respondents identify videos as the most leveraged content type.
  • 95% marketers identify website as the most leveraged content channel.
  • 80% respondents have no exclusive content marketing strategy for mobile.
  • 61% marketers expect to invest more into content marketing in 2015.
Effectiveness of B2B content marketing
“The growing importance of the customer’s dependency on multiple connected devices including mobile, is yet to find traction with our respondents. It is also surprising to see that while social media is seen as a significant piece in the marketing mix, the customer engagement that it facilitates is not seen as directly impacting the bottom line; at least, not for now. This is an area where we expect increased traction in the near future.”
For B2B marketers there is no doubt that social media will play an increasing role in their activity across 2015. A greater appreciation of how these networks can transform what can be long-developed relationships is taking some time to evolve. And hopefully, 2015 will also be the year that entrenched management across the B2B landscape will begin to see the actual value social media can deliver to their businesses.
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