Integrated Brand Communications
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Integrated Brand Communications
Focuses on branding and the role of communication methods such as advertising, events, sponsorships, content marketing and social media.
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Original Research Moves the Needle for B2B Content Marketers - eMarketer

Original Research Moves the Needle for B2B Content Marketers - eMarketer | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
B2B customers want insights to guide decision-making
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:
What is the best type of content that B2B marketers can provide? Survey finds "Original Research" best moves the needle.
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Creating a B2B Marketing Plan for 2016 [infographic] - Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice

Creating a B2B Marketing Plan for 2016 [infographic] - Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
We originally published a similar infographic back in 2012, and this December 2015 update has the latest B2B marketing stats to inform your 2016 B2B marketing plan. 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Creating a #B2B #Digitalmarketing Plan for 2016? Here are 7 Steps to Consider.

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15 B2B case studies show how content marketing drives ROI |

15 B2B case studies show how content marketing drives ROI | | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Could content marketing drive your B2B business? Here are 15 B2B case studies that show how content marketing drive ROI

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

More case studies that make the linkage between #contentmarketing and B2B #ROI. Definitely a keeper.

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The Best Content Types for Each Stage of the B2B Sales Cycle [Infographic]

The Best Content Types for Each Stage of the B2B Sales Cycle  [Infographic] | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
B2B buyers consider short, text-based content most useful at the beginning of the sales cycle, and time-intensive content types (videos, detailed guides, etc.) most useful right before making a decision, according to a recent report from Eccolo Media.

The report was based on data from a survey of 100 plus people at B2B companies who are either responsible for buying decisions (67% of respondents) or influence buying decisions (33%).

Respondents came from a mix company sizes (34% enterprises; 36% mid-market; 29% small businesses) and had a range of titles (24% C-level executives; 23% managers; 22% directors; 10% vice presidents; 4% developers).
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Some great #contentmarketing guidelines for #B2B marketers. Handy reference to keep.

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2015 Social Media and Content Trends for B2B Marketers [INFOGRAPHIC]

2015 Social Media and Content Trends for B2B Marketers [INFOGRAPHIC] | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

It’s that time of year again.

Time for the predictions, assumptions and insights about the coming year to make their way into the mainstream.

Staying up to date and relevant has never been more important for marketers. Over the last decade, we’ve seen dramatic shifts in online marketing, which if left ignored can have a detrimental impact on your ability to drive growth.

At the heart of the matter is the intersection of social media and content marketing. You can’t have one without the other: effective social media engagement requires rich content and good content needs a viable distribution channel.

To help shed some light on what’s in store for 2015 (and look at how 2014 has played out so far) the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have once again combined their efforts to release the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Report.

While you can read the full report here, I’ve pulled out some of the more interesting social media stats (below) and included an infographic that we created to give you a helpful snapshot of the key takeaways.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A nice compendium of #stats about the state of B2B #contentmarketing and the challenges for the future. Includes a lik to a complete report that is very detailed.

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2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends | Marketing Technology Blog

2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends | Marketing Technology Blog | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

The folks at Brightcove already did a great infographic on Content Marketing. Now they’ve joined forces with the folks at Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs to provide this insight into B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends.

This research is incredibly important so that savvy marketers can benchmark their content marketing strategy, processes, and budgets against their peer group. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and author of Epic Content Marketing.

Other key findings from the report:

70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, even those who say they are least effective (58% of them say they are creating more content) and those without any type of strategy (56% of them say so).Measurement is a key area where B2B marketers are struggling: Only 21% say they are successful at tracking ROI; however, having a documented strategy helps (35% of those with a strategy say they are successful).
Once again, infographics was the tactic that had the greatest increase in usage (from 51% last year to 62% this year).94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the social media platform used most often (they also say it’s the most effective social media platform).58% of B2B marketers use search engine marketing, making it the paid method used most often to promote/distribute content (they also say it’s the most effective paid method).More B2B marketers say they are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this year (32%) than last year (10%).


Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A very detailed compilation of #benchmarks and #stats on the state of #contentmarketing among B2B brand marketers.

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Content Marketing Best Practices for B2B Brands

Content Marketing Best Practices for B2B Brands | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Defining great content is no easy matter.

To some CMOs or execs the definition may be similar to the Potter Stewart's quote about obscenity: "I know it when I see it."

I wish I could tell you it is this easy. It's not; but, here are critical benchmarks you should be aware of to create meaningful content.

High Quality B2B Content Has These Identifiable Traits

B2B Content Marketing Strategy Drivers: facts, figures and numbers drive credibilityand are inherent in great business to business focused content vs. "consumerish" content.

Structure, story and presentation still drive conversions; but, other businesses are looking for brands that educate with their content.

The sell cycle for B2B focused brands is incrementally longer that consumer facing businesses: a sell cycle for an average B2B brand can be from one month to a year,  it's fraught with peril as "leads" can and do drop out of the sales funnel process.

It's all about relevance too. Your content has to be credible and relevant to the"prosumer" you are targeting.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Great guidelines and examples for the development of a #B2B  #brand #contentmarketing strategy. 

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15 B2B case studies prove Social Media ROI - BarnRaisers

15 B2B case studies prove Social Media ROI - BarnRaisers | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

There are differences marketing to a business versus marketing to a consumer.

 

When you market B2B:

Decision making is based more on logic than emotionCost of a sale is more expensiveTime to make a sale takes longerBusinesses work to streamline the buying process to save time and moneyMultiple people are involved in the process

Maybe for these reasons, many people think social media marketing cannot work in B2B like it is in B2C, or does not work in general.

If you need convincing, here are 15 B2B case studies that prove Social Media ROI.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A very useful set of #B2B #socialmedia marketing case studies with ROI info--A Keeper!

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Victor Juarez's curator insight, May 28, 2014 5:47 PM

Interesante infografia con datos de uso y eficacia de las redes sociales en B2B.

 

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Marketers Are Putting Their Money and Confidence in Social Media

Marketers Are Putting Their Money and Confidence in Social Media | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Content marketing is being taken to a whole new level thanks to social media platforms that allow companies to better connect with their customers.

 

Business to business (B2B) marketers are utilizing content marketing strategies more and more in the digital age to promote their brands.

They're becoming confident in creating content supported by the brand, such as magazines, books, articles, how-to guides and more.

 

Social media sites facilitate the spread of this content by allowing customers to share information with other potential customers.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

B2B marketers increasing investments in #social media marketing activities. (#SMM)

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Dave Marzion's curator insight, November 3, 2013 4:06 PM

http://davesmasterplan.com

Jason Morris's curator insight, November 4, 2013 10:50 AM

The times they are a changing, B2B companies are slowly waking up to the potential of Social Media. Problem is most do not have the resources at hand to take full advantage.

We can help companies reach out across Social Media platforms to create awareness and drive lead generation.

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Infographic: B2B social media is alive and thriving, contrary to popular belief | SMI

Infographic: B2B social media is alive and thriving, contrary to popular belief | SMI | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Think B2B social media marketing is dead in the water? Think again.

 

B2B marketers have struggled to find their footing on social media. Theirs is a challenge much more complex than that faced by B2C marketers, and their success hinges largely on other businesses adopting the medium also.

 

However, despite common lore proclaiming B2B social dead in the water, this infographic from Clearpoint Agency shows that actually, it’s very much alive and well, with 87% of B2B marketers using it and 54% claiming they’ll increase their social spending next year. It also makes a very strong case for reticent marketers that have previously shied away from the channel to get involved before they get left behind. Take a look:

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A compendium of survey results revealing how many #B2B marketers are using #socialmedia, which #SM they use, why they use it and the challenges they see.

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Lydia's Marketing & Communication Consulting's curator insight, August 21, 2013 2:20 PM

87% of B2B marketers use social media and 54% claim they’ll increase social spending. I believe it.

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The State Of Content Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC] - AllTwitter

The State Of Content Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC] - AllTwitter | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Did you know that 91 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing?

 

And with good reason, too – blogs give websites 434 percent more index pages and 97 percent more index links, and B2B companies that actively blog generate 67 percent more leads per month. Overall, an incredible $118.4 billion is expected to be spent on content marketing, video marketing and social media in 2013.

 

Social media and blogs now account for almost one-quarter (23 percent) of all time spent online, and, accordingly, 87 percent of B2B marketers use platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to distribute their content.

This infographic from Wishpond takes a closer look at the state of content marketing in 2013.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A useful infographic that summarizes the current state of #contentmarketing by #B2B marketers. Includes information about spending , types of content, objectives, etc.

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Revenue Acceleration Through Content Marketing Is A New Opportunity For Marketing Service Providers

Revenue Acceleration Through Content Marketing Is A New Opportunity For Marketing Service Providers | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Did you know that B2B buyers say that 70% of the content they read and study before making a purchase decision is actually found by – well, themselves?  Just 15% (each) is collected from either the vendor’s marketing department or the sales contacts.  In a Forrester report last year on content marketing being the new differentiation, I described the new interaction model of need-match-engage, where the buyers now initiate the interaction and spend a major part of their buyer journey doing their own research before calling in potential suppliers.

 

Discover and Explore

 

Content marketing is so much more than product and solutions collateral, campaigns, mailings and fulfillment. Marketers must become great at being found by buyers in their early research phase (the phases we call discover and explore).  In a way, successful marketers will “fool” their buyers into consuming their thought leadership and educational content in stages 1 through 5 – while hardly realizing its source. And the most successful marketers will learn how to mix their brand scent into that content without appearing to be selling – such that buyers will count it as part of the 70% and not the 15%.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A high level examination of the role for digital marketing service providers across the B2B customer journey.

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Social Media Marketing in the B2B Arena Still Needs Improvement [Infographic] | Business 2 Community

Social Media Marketing in the B2B Arena Still Needs Improvement [Infographic] | Business 2 Community | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

We’re well aware of the highs and lows of B2B social media marketing, given  that that is what we do ourselves, so a new report showing how companies are  faring piqued our interest.

 

B2B Marketing have released this interesting infographic  (below), based on findings from their Social Media Benchmarking Report. It shows that social media  is still a maturing channel for marketing in the B2B world, but there are still  many areas of improvement to be had..

 

When it comes to social strategy, it seems that B2B companies haven’t quite  got the hang of planning their social marketing; only 38% said they had a defined strategy,  with a huge 61% saying it was ‘ad-hoc’. They do, however, largely think that  social media is important or at least of some importance, so that’s a step in  the right direction.

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Twitter was the most popular platform, with 85% of  respondents using it for their marketing. Facebook was only fourth most popular,  after LinkedIn and YouTube, with Google+ lagging behind in last place.

 

But it’s not all bad for Google+, as 29% of those surveyed said they though  that in 12 months the platform would be the most useful channel, compared to  just 9% saying it was so right now.

 

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/social-media/social-media-marketing-in-the-b2b-arena-still-needs-improvement-infographic-0468185#b8oBij5LEciARJRZ.99

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Making Industrial Content Marketing Engaging for Engineers and Industrial Buyers | CustomerThink

Making Industrial Content Marketing Engaging for Engineers and Industrial Buyers | CustomerThink | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:
Do you know what it takes to make marketing content engaging for engineers and industrial buyers? Here are some tips for your B2B digital marketing campaigns.
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The State of Content Marketing in 2015: Surveys and Predictions - Marketing Digest

The State of Content Marketing in 2015: Surveys and Predictions - Marketing Digest | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

A significant percentage of content marketers want to increase their budgets as well as the amount of content they produce.

 

As traditional marketing is gradually eclipsed by new technologies, the rapid digitization of information, and changing consumer behaviors, more and more marketers are using content marketing to reach out to clearly defined audiences.

 

While previous years were concerned with mastering individual channels, identifying and connecting with the right audience, and creating cohesive content marketing strategies, 2015 will be dominated by the need to deliver a common brand experience, both online and offline. As consumers adopt an increasingly multi-platform approach to content consumption, marketers are challenged to create content that can be accessed across platforms, apps, and devices.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

How does #contentmarketing in #B2B markets differ from its practice in #B2C markets? The article provides a comparative glimpse of the differences in terms of content creation, goals, metrics, tactics used, and expenditures. A nice summary and worthwhile read.   

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Marketing Trends Road Map for 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Marketing Trends Road Map for 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC] | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Feeling a little lost? Does your marketing plan for 2015 look like it was drawn on a napkin? Uberflip, a content publishing platform, has an infographic that may help guide you through the year.

If you’re just getting started with content marketing or looking for a little help, Uberflip has outlined some of the major trends and things to watch for this year.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Do you have a roadmap for planning #B2B #marketingcontent? This might help.

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Catharine Bramkamp's curator insight, January 29, 2015 12:32 PM

Not surprising, this infographic reports that the use of infographics is on the rise.  A take away for writers - peer reviews.  We know that reviews are critical for Amazon rankings, but how, how, how to get those reviews?  That's probably the biggest challenge authors face right now.  So if you are asked to review a book for a friend/author, do, the Karma will serve you well - and no, I don't have an info-graphic for that.

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B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015 [Infographic]

B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015 [Infographic] | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

What does the next year hold for B2B content marketing?

 

The following Uberflip infographic offers a glimpse at B2B content marketing's future.

 

The infographic is based on MarketingProfs' and Content Marketing Institute's B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report.

 

A whopping "70% of content marketers are creating more content than they did one year," states the report. Unfortunately, only 21% say they are successful at tracking ROI.

 

The top five organizational goals for B2B content marketing are brand awareness (84%), lead generation (83%), engagement (81%), sales (75%), and lead nurturing (74%).


To find out more about B2B content marketing trends, check out the following infographic. (You can also read the full report from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute.)

 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Looking for some guidelines about what 2015 will bring to the world of #B2B #contentmarketing? Here's a nice summary of some of the top trends, challenges and goals cited by B2B marketers in a recent survey.

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Markit Strategies & PR's curator insight, November 8, 2014 2:34 PM

Top 2 goals of #B2B content #marketing is #brand awareness and #lead generation.  Absolutely agree!

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Your B2B Sales Strategy Hasn't Adjusted to the Buyer's Journey | Marketing Technology Blog

Your B2B Sales Strategy Hasn't Adjusted to the Buyer's Journey | Marketing Technology Blog | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Every year, it seems that theZero Moment of Truth – that point where a consumer or business is making theirpurchase decision – continues to move further and further away from the point of contact with your sales team.

This is the key to content marketing and social media marketing strategies… to have the research material and your sales personnel closer to that point in the decision cycle. Simply adding more SPIFs (Sales Performance Incentive Fund), incentives, goals, or even technology aren’t enough.

It’s why we’re pleading our clients to continue developing transportable content like infographics, whitepapers, case studies, webinars, presentations as well as getting theirsales organizations engaged socially. It’s also why we’re implementing better tools, like IP intelligence, to identify the businesses visiting your site so that you can reach out and connect with them before the purchase decision is made.

MarketBridge developed this infographic to help visualize the issue. MarketBridge solutions assist Marketing and Sales to increase pipeline volume, velocity, close rates, and customer loyalty.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A nice summary of 5 roadblocks that keep #B2B sales teams from aligning with the #customerjourney.

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Study: 86% Of B2B Marketers Use Content Marketing, But Only 38% Believe They're Good At It

Study: 86% Of B2B Marketers Use Content Marketing, But Only 38% Believe They're Good At It | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s latest survey to determine where B2B marketers stand when it comes to their content marketing efforts, 86 percent of respondents said they use content marketing, but only 38 percent believe they are effective at it.

The Content Marketing Institute teamed up with MarketingProfs and BrightCover to poll more than 1,800 marketers on a wide range of content marketing topics – including tactics, benchmarks, distribution channels and budgets.

The report included more than 25 graphs, charting everything from the number of organizations that have a content marketing strategy in place, to what distribution channels are being used, and which metrics are being tracked.

While we’ve outlined a number of the key findings here, the full report can be found at:Content Marketing Budgets, Benchmarks and Trends.

Of all the B2B Marketers polled, 86 percent said they use content marketing.

When asked to rate how effective they were at content marketing, only eight percent claimed their organization was “Very Effective” and 30 percent claimed to be “Effective.”

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A great summary of some current research findings from CMI about how B2B marketers assess their #contentmarketing programs. Useful #stats and charts are included.

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B2B Customer Experience Research Finds 85 per cent of B2B executives think customer experience is critical to growth

B2B Customer Experience Research Finds 85 per cent of B2B executives think customer experience is critical to growth | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

B2B Customer Experience Research - Accenture Sales and Customer Service.

 

Accenture’s survey of 1,450 leaders also found that 70 per cent think the role of customer experience will play a larger role in strategy over the next two years.

 

More than seven in ten said that their customer interactions are affected by their expectations of a more consumer-like experience.

 

70 per cent agreed that flexibility is key when customers are consistently re-evaluating their suppliers, and 67 per cent said their engagement is affected by customers’ growing tendency to be influenced by word of mouth.

 

Customer experience (CX) is widely recognized as critical to an organization's growth. However, most B2B (Business to Business) companies only realize half the potential benefits of their significant investments in the name of providing a better experience for their customers.


Recent Accenture research reveals that for more than half of B2B companies around the world and across industries, much of their CX investments are ineffective. The study also revealed the “masters” in CX—companies that generate higher-than-average revenue growth—develop strong customer experience strategies and execute them well.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A great piece of research by Accenture showing a strong relationship between effective #B2B #customerexperience strategies and tactics and economic #growth. Very informative infographic packed full of details. The full 16 page report is available on the micro website.

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B2B Brands: Empathic Leaders, Engaged Employees Critical to Brand Promise | Branding Business with RiechesBaird

B2B Brands: Empathic Leaders, Engaged Employees Critical to Brand Promise | Branding Business with RiechesBaird | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

You can't build a great B2B brand externally if you don't have leaders (and in turn employees) who live the brand promise internally. An effective leader exemplifies a promise, inspiring others to join in deeper brand engagement. 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

ReichesBaird provides some excellent guidelines supported by examples from Simon Sinek's book about the importance of living the #brandpromise as a management philosophy. We are left to wonder how often it actually occurs.

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Top 8 B2B Video Marketing Mistakes to avoid

Top 8 B2B Video Marketing Mistakes to avoid | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
…and why your video hasn’t ‘gone viral’

You’ve heard the stat that 75% of business executives regularly watch work related video. And, you’ve jumped in, joining the 92% of B2B Marketers who use video for demand generation (per the 2012 Demand Generation Benchmark Report from Software Advice, Eloqua and CMO.com). But, your video marketing efforts have yet to produce the results you were expecting.  Now you have to quickly figure out why your B2B Video Marketing stinks.

Don’t panic, use the below list of common problems to diagnose your video marketing challenges. Ask yourself:


Via Lydia's Marketing & Communication Consulting
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Useful tips to guide #contentmarketing video production.

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Lydia's Marketing & Communication Consulting's curator insight, September 7, 2013 2:14 PM
Don't use video marketing as a corporate megaphone...
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How Maersk Grew Social Media Influence in the Shipping Industry | Social Media Today

How Maersk Grew Social Media Influence in the Shipping Industry | Social Media Today | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

If you pass through a shipping port or train yard, it’s likely you’ll see the logo, with its iconic seven-pointed star. Back in the 1880s, company founder captain Peter Mærsk-Møller used the star symbol to celebrate his wife’s recovery from an illness. Today, the company is a global conglomerate of shipping and oil and gas companies, with annual revenues of over 55 billion dollars. The Maersk Line, a principle division within the group is the largest global shipping company, with over 600 container ships. In fact, if you lined up all the Maersk Line shipping containers in a row, they would reach half way around the world.

 

The idea of lining up shipping containers might be farfetched, but if you did you could be sure there would be a lot of people watching and posting photos to Instagram and Facebook. The company’s Facebook profile has over one million likes! When the company posts an image or link on their wall, there are usually hundreds of shares, over a thousand likes, and dozens if not hundreds of comments. It turns out, there are a lot of people in the world who are enthusiasts for shipping containers and cargo ships.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Good example of a B2B cpompany using #brand #storytelling and #socialmedia to build enthusiasm and #ROI for the brand.

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B2B Social Media: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why [Infographic] « Sysomos Blog

B2B Social Media: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why [Infographic] « Sysomos Blog | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Social media isn’t just for consumer brands. In fact, more and more B2B brands are waking up to the power that comes from being able to connect with their customers and potential customers through social media. More importantly, they’re seeing results from it.

 

Did you know that 83% of business marketers say that they’re using social media? Or that 75% of customers of B2B business customers plan on using social media to connect with and learn more about vendors? With numbers like that, it’s hard to ignore.

 

So where does one start when using social media for the B2B space? Well, lucky for you, we’ve put together an infographic to help you get started.

Below you’ll find our infographic with three tips to get get started in B2B social media, along with some pretty interesting facts about the space.

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How General Electric uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

How General Electric uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

B2B companies can often struggle to make social work as people don’t tend to use Facebook and Pinterest for professional reasons.

 

There’s always Linkedin of course, but that presents an entirely different challenge from the four main consumer networks.

 

General Electric has managed to buck the trend and achieve a strong social presence, though it’s true that the company blurs the lines between B2B and B2C.

 

In an interview with Digiday last year, GE’s executive director of global digital marketing Linda Boff said that social platforms have allowed the company to get closer to its customers and tell stories about the human impact of what it does.

 

We’ve found when we’re able to tell relevant stories - both about our challenges as well as our successes - in always-on channels, people reach out to us and share their experiences as well. That’s allowed us to build relationships over time.

 

So to find out more about GE’s social strategy, here’s a look at how it uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Insightful case study about how a B2B company uses social media to solidify relationships with customers and influencers.

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TweetBosses's curator insight, May 14, 2013 1:39 AM

#socialcorporate #corporatecommunication #beingsocial