All the stats you need to use Social Media and Content to generate business

The importance of integrating earned, owned, paid and shared media couldn’t be any greater and this week I’ll be giving a track keynote at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum conference in Boston on just that. My presentation will focus on the essential strategies and tactics for sales funnel optimization success with content, search and social media marketing.

To get things started, here are some handy general stats on search, social and content marketing plus quite a few specifically for B2B marketing:

50 Billion – By 2020, Ericcson predicts there will be 50 billion internet connected devices. The world population is estimated to be at around 7 -8 billion.

Social Media Marketing:

60% of B2B decision makers use social media, according to a Global Web Index study reported by Social Media B2B, late 2011.

More B2B marketers use Facebook (87%) than LinkedIn (86.6%) says Social Media Examiner in it’s 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. With a normal allotment for error with such surveys, it’s basically the same.

Only 40% of B2B marketers measure social media ROI reports BtoB Magazine in its report, "2012 B2B Social Media Marketing: A Surge in Adoption."

Search Engine Marketing:

63% of Internet users, use search engines daily according to eMarketer’s report in 2012, “Search for Branding: Tools for Better Campaigns”. Interestingly, 2.5% never use search engines.

89% of consumers surveyed use Internet search engines to make purchasing decisions, according to the “2012 Digital Influence Index” report from Fleishman-Hillard.

81% of consumers' perceptions about a company are influenced by search results, according to the respondents worldwide in a study from PR agency Weber Shandwick reported by eMarketer, 2012.

23 Billion. The search marketing industry association SEMPO reports that $23 billion will be spent on search marketing in 2012 as reported by Search Engine Watch.

Content Marketing:

90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing tactics to grow their business according to the joint “2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” (PDF) report from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute.

Top B2B Content Marketing Tactics (Content Marketing Institute 2012)
79% Article posting
74% Social media
65% Blogs
63% eNewsletters
58% Case studies
56% Live events

B2B Buying Cycle: Content, Devices and Formats (DemandGen Report 2012)

How B2B Buyers Start:
81% search engines
35% vendor website
34% industry guides & reports
23% social media Devices Most Used:
84% laptop
61% mobile phone or tablet
30% desktop Formats Sourced:
88% white paper
73% webinar
67% case study
63% blog posts
51% ebook

Despite the sheer number of marketers looking and talking about them, there simply are no silver bullets. There is no “one way” to solve most online customer acquisition and sales challenges. Usually, there are numerous ways to solve a particular marketing problem depending on resources, timeframe, competitive landscape and skill.

The key to integration of content with search and social media optimization across the sales funnel is to understand the customer journey. What problem is the buyer trying to solve? What are their goals? How do they discovery information online? What are their preferences fo content, media and device? What kind of content and media will motivate them to take action?

Understanding the customer journey empowers digital marketers with insight for creating a content marketing strategy that maps prospect interests with topics and an editorial plan. It enables marketers to architect a story that infotains, educates and persuades prospects to the next step in the sales cycle regardless of where they enter.

Continuous optimization provides a framework for hypothesis, implementation, and refinement to collect actionable data and refine performance whether tactics involve blogs, SEO and online PR or social networks, mobile ads and email marketing.

Source: BusinessNewz