The weather outside may be chilling, but the B2B buzz is hot this week on Twitter and across social media. In this week’s edition of our weekly B2B Trending Conversations report, we collect the best of the buzz-worthy tweets and posts and bring them to you in an easily digestible format. We’ll try to take the guesswork out of following up on leads, we’ll explore content marketing geared toward better lead generation, and we’ll learn why email marketing still reigns supreme for customer acquisition. There’s a podcast on keeping your B2B marketing assumptions fresh and up-to-date, as well as an infographic on the evolution of the B2B customer. Cozy up somewhere warm with your device and enjoy!
— Jose Javier Garde (@jose_garde) November 30, 2016
If following up when managing leads in your funnel strikes fear in your heart, you’re not alone. Finding the right balance between persistence and pestering can be a daunting task. How do you follow up while eschewing off-putting “just checking in” emails? How frequently should you follow up with prospects? How many times should you check in with inbound leads before abandoning them? Tukan Das, co-founder of the social intelligence platform LeadSift, answers these questions in his latest Business 2 Community blog, which demystifies the often confounding questions faced by B2B sales and marketing professionals.
B2B Lead Generation
— Strong Social (@Strong_Social) December 1, 2016
Why can’t B2B marketers’ content work well as part of their lead generation strategies? This is a critical question given that only 12 percent of B2B marketers rate their content marketing efforts as high-performing lead generators, according to a recent report from the CMO Council and the Content ROI Center. Indeed, most marketers reported their content marketing process is “ad hoc, decentralized and driven by internal stakeholder interests.” Failure to optimize content mix is a leading cause of this. Choosing the right content at the right time, shifting B2B marketing strategies toward the most effective types of content and knowing your company, brand and culture can help remedy this, and marketers should always keep in mind who their ideal end users are and craft clear, documented strategies for content marketing campaigns to ensure they’re much more effective than the ad hoc approach.
B2B Email Marketing
— Marsha Collier (@MarshaCollier) December 1, 2016
Email marketing remains the most popular channel used by B2B marketers to acquire customers, according Bizible’s latest State of the Pipeline Marketing Report. The survey of more than 360 marketers, the vast majority of them operating in the B2B space, found that nearly 90 percent utilize email marketing. Social media and content marketing were the next popular channels, with 82 and 81 percent use respectively. SEO, word-of-mouth (W-O-M) referrals and conferences closely followed. W-O-M was the clear leader when it comes to revenue impact.
Podcast: B2B Marketing
— Sean Campbell (@sean_campbell) November 30, 2016
Are your marketing assumptions still true? Do you have the insight to recognize when you’re on a collision course with a stall point? B2B marketers must remain vigilant to ensure that the assumptions that fueled your company’s success still hold true in an ever-changing marketplace. In this podcast, Cascade Insights CEO Sean Campbell interviews Derek van Bever, a senior lecturer and director of the Forum for Growth and Innovation at Harvard Business School, about recognizing and overcoming stall points so that B2B marketers can avoid the perils and pitfalls facing companies today.
Infographic: The Evolution of the B2B Customer
— Rui Rodrigues (@RuiAR) November 30, 2016
The B2B customer is a constantly evolving, ever-changing creature. It seems that this evolution has rapidly accelerated over the past decade in a bid to keep pace with technological change. Today’s customer is tech-savvy, digitally proficient and perpetually connected to social networks — usually via their mobile device. Some key insights into today’s B2B customer, via this Sales For Life infographic:
- 84 percent of CEOs and VPs use social media for research before making a purchasing decision.
- 58 percent of buyers say they look for information on blogs to perfect their knowledge of subjects linked to their jobs.
- On average, 57 percent of the decision process for B2B buyers is already completed before they even interact with a sales person.
- More than five people are involved in a B2B buying decision, on average.
- 71 percent of B2B sales people are convinced that their profession will be radically different in five years.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of B2B Trending Conversations. We’ll be back again next week; until then, we welcome you to contact us at @B2BNewsNetwork with share-worthy B2B content, pitches or feedback. We love hearing from you!