Lee Odden

B2B & Social Media, Not As Different As You Think: Autodesk, Caterpillar at #DF11

B2B Social MediaOne of the big questions in the social media marketing space is whether social media is the place for B2B marketing. As companies begin to understand for every B2B company, there’s also a “C” aka people behind the business (@garyvee).

Once B2B companies realize that buyers discover, consume and share information on social channels just like any other “human” they seek to understand how social participation and marketing fits.

The session, “B2B Social Media: Not As Different As You Think” at Dreamforce in San Francisco aimed to help answer that question with presentations from three B2B Social Media Marketing practitioners. The speakers included: Gordon Evans from salesforce.com, Brian Stokoe from Caterpillar, and Maura Ginty from Autodesk.

Lee Odden

5 Ways Salespeople Can Use Social Media to Grow Leads

social media salespeopleOne of the practical opportunities for companies that acquire and engage customers through a sales force, is through social media content and participation.  In fact, many corporate marketing departments have found their field sales reps active on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even YouTube before headquarters has.  Such “rogue” social media activity might be proactive, but can also create issues without adherence to corporate standards and provide conflicting experiences for customers.

A salesforce that functions as educators, consultants and in some ways “subject matter experts”, can be a formidable asset for corporate social media efforts towards engagement and customer acquisition. Rather than shutting down individual sales reps blogs and Facebook accounts until corporate gets their social strategy in place, companies should consider how to coordinate and empower sales teams as social media ambassadors of the brand to their individual circles of influence and social networks.

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing Best Practices – MarketingSherpa 2011 Handbook

Lee Odden     B2B Marketing, Online Marketing
MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Advanced Handbook 2011

B2B Marketing Best Practices 2011

We’ve been fans of MarketingSherpa reports, guides and handbooks for many years, recently reviewing their SEO Benchmark Report for 2011. As passionate B2B Marketers, we’re always on the lookout for qualitative information to improve our B2B client marketing as well as our own. That’s why I’m pretty motivated by the new 2011 B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook from MarketingSherpa.

Led by Senior Research Analyst, Jen Doyle, this Handbook is nearly 200 pages of research based best practices, graphs, worksheets and of course, their FUEL Methodology for elevating B2B Marketing effectiveness. Here’s a rundown of the report:

Lee Odden

3 Benefits of Content Promotion for B2B Online Marketing

B2B Marketing Content Promotion“Build it and they will come”.

It’s a well-known and often over-used quote from the movie, “Field of Dreams”, used to describe the fallacy of great content as a marketing tool. In my opinion, great content isn’t great until someone shares it. And they share it with their friends, and so on and so on.

With content marketing, great content is the beginning not the end objective. An effective content marketing strategy includes information about target buyer personas, search keywords and social topics, an editorial plan and a plan for promoting all the high quality content being created. Today’s Internet and social web are full of information overload. Buyers can easily be distracted and so it’s important to stand out and stay connected.

Lee Odden

5 Reports on B2B Social Media Marketing & New Media Trends

B2B Social Media Marketing 2011Staying on top of social media and networking trends is essential for B2B marketers. Forrester Research predicts, “B2B companies will spend $54 million on social media marketing in 2014, up from just $11 million in 2009.” via eMarketer.  Data and research are key to forecasting and strategy development but not many B2B companies invest the time and effort into such initiatives outside of link-baity Infographics.

Luckily, there are many analysts and agencies that serve the B2B Marketing industry that do conduct regular research into topics like social media marketing.

Here are 5 meaty reports published in 2011 that can help B2B marketers understand the direction new media and social media is taking in terms of overall strategy, industry trends, unique audience and application differences between social media platforms and measurement.

Lee Odden

Understanding B2B Social Media Through Infographics

B2B social mediaIt’s a persistent question: Is social media and networking appropriate for B2B marketing?  There are many ways to answer that question and one of the most engaging is through statistics and information presented as an infographic. My team knows I’m a big fan of using visual assets to persuade and I’ve been a fan of information graphics since XPLANE’s amazing work started appearing in popular business magazines years ago.

Besides using infographics to explain social media in the B2B space, there are a growing number of B2B marketers using infographics in their mix, such as this case study about Cisco.

Here are 5 useful B2B social media marketing infographics that help tell the tale of social media and B2B marketing working together. Click on each image for the large version.

Lee Odden

Opportunity for Better B2B Marketing with Social Media & SEO

B2B Content Marketing Social SEO

Oftentimes marketers budget, plan and implement online marketing tactics in silos. When it comes to SEO, Social and Content Marketing – integration is the best practice and that means a tremendous competitive opportunity. Why Social Media and SEO for B2B? The intersection of social media and search engine optimization is a perfect match for B2B Marketer for several reasons:

Long B2B buying cycles have always involved engagement through content. The opportunity for coordinated Social SEO is in part inspired by buyer information discovery, consumption and sharing habits that have changed with the influence of social technology and search.

Lee Odden

How Can B2B Marketing Become More Social?

b2b social media B2B marketers have joined the social media marketing movement in droves. In fact, Forrester Research predicts that B2B firms will spend $54 million on social media marketing in 2014, up from just $11 million in 2009 (eMarketer B2B Social Media Marketing Heats Up).

Unfortunately, many of those efforts are entirely tactical, methodical and without a true understanding of the “social” aspect of social media marketing.  B2B marketers that are early in their social media marketing maturity level tend to focus on message distribution such as Tweeting or posting Facebook links mostly to their own content vs. engaging with customers on a human level. That one-way communication profile doesn’t engender discussions and sharing, so social traffic level increases tend to plateau pretty early.

Lee Odden

Email Marketing & Social Media Interview: Kristin Hersant of StrongMail

Kristin Hersant As a long time and trusted marketing agency, TopRank Online Marketing gets to work with some amazing B2B technology and SaaS companies. One of those companies is StrongMail.  Today Kristin Hersant, VP of Corporate Marketing joins an esteemed group of marketers and thought leaders ranging from Guy Kawasaki to David Meerman Scott interviewed here at Online Marketing Blog.

Kristin is a firecracker of smarts and energy towards online marketing. Her company StrongMail is the leader in an array of email marketing and social media marketing services. Read on to learn more about the future of Email Marketing and its intersection with Social Media:

Please share a bit about your marketing background and StrongMail. What types of companies do you serve?

Dave Folkens

5 Tips on Better Facebook Marketing for B2B Companies

B2B Facebook, Marketing B2B, Social Media B2BFacebook has been a great tool for reaching consumers directly for many B2C brands.  But can companies focused in the B2B industry use Facebook to enhance a reputation and grow new business? Absolutely.

Quite a few B2B companies are successfully using Facebook to build important relationships with prospects and customers. If your B2B company is still considering where Facebook might fit within an online marketing mix, here are five tips on building a Facebook fan page that will better support a B2B brand:

1. Create Two Way Conversation – Rather than using Facebook to simply push out news at the audience, spend time understanding the challenges potential customers face. Search online using keywords and monitor other social tools like Twitter to find out current concerns the target audience is facing.  Be a resource to potential customers by providing content and insight that will help them alleviate the problems.

Lee Odden

Tips on Video: B2B Facebook, Social ROI & Repurposing Social Content

While traveling recently in New Zealand and a short stay in Sydney, Australia I shot a few videos offering social media marketing tips. Check them out below and you can also view many other tips videos and interviews we’ve done with search and social media marketing experts on the  TopRank Online Marketing YouTube Channel.

Tips on Social Media ROI from Sydney Australia near the famous Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sorry about the wind, it messed with the audio a bit. I need to get a Zi8 and a microphone!

Common B2B Facebook Myths from Rangitoto Island, off Auckland, New Zealand. (From an old Army bunker near the mouth of a 600 year old volcano actually)

Lee Odden

Facebook Pages for B2B Social Media Marketing

b2b facebookYesterday in Auckland, NZ I gave an all day workshop to 150 marketing and communications professionals on Social Media Content Marketing & Strategy at Social Media Junction.  I’m used to giving workshops to 20-30 people so it was an interesting and enjoyable experience with such a large group. (Thanks to Bullet PR staff who are amazing).

One of the questions that came up was whether B2B companies are successfully using Facebook Fan pages.  I shared a few of our client Fan pages like Marketo & McKesson Medical Imaging (forgetting to mention our own completely) but wanted to share a few more examples here.

While it’s true that the most popular Facebook Fan Pages are for consumer products and brands like Coca Cola (18.2m Fans), Starbucks (17.5m Fans) and Oreo (14.1m Fans), there are many B2B companies successfully using Facebook to engage with prospects, customers and employees. Here are a few good examples: