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.
Consumers are increasingly using both search and social to discover content. In a recent study by GroupM and comScore, only 1% of consumers were led to a purchase via Social Media but 51% were channeled via search and 48% through a combination of search and social media. I’ve heard B2B buyers are people too 🙂 and these consumer behaviors are also reflected, to some degree, in the B2B space as well.
B2B companies have adapted well to implementing search marketing programs. They’ve also begun to experiment with social media marketing. In fact, according to the recent SME Social Media Industry Report (pdf), B2B marketers are significantly more likely to employ search engine optimization (71% B2B vs. 65% B2C) than B2C marketers.
According to Forrester, B2B social spend will hit 54m by 2014 and BtoB Magazine reports that 93% of B2B companies are using some kind of social media application.
However, there’s a big difference between testing social media marketing and effective implementation with Social SEO and content marketing. Here is a video interview I did at SES London recently on this very topic with Tracy Falke. We discuss the intersection of Social SEO and Content (Content Marketing Optimization) as well as the importance of integration and how companies can leverage across an organization.
If you’re a long time SEO practitioner, are you coordinating content marketing and social media with search engine optimization? Does your social media SEO and content marketing extend beyond products and services content? What challenges do you face at getting the people responsible to implement a coordinated effort?
One of the reasons I ask that second question is because I’m speaking at ad:tech San Francisco tomorrow on the topic of Modern Search Engine Optimization, which is essentially going to be a holistic view of how Search, Social Media and Content intersect. I don’t believe a company can achieve great success in competitive categories without this triumvirate of tactics.
Consumers and B2B buyers alike search for more reasons than just to buy something and companies can realize business value by making sure their content is easily found through search for those myriad reasons. Consider the customer lifecycle of content needs and it spells out the opportunities for optimization for better search visibility. The result? Increased revenue of course, but also reduced costs, improved efficiency and reach for things like Customer Service, Recruiting, Investor and Public Relations.
An integrated and holistic approach to Social Media, SEO and Content Marketing is a great opportunity for B2B marketers to boost their effectiveness and create competitive advantage. Hopefully corporate marketers can demonstrate the vision for coordinating disparate resources in the organization and realize the collective benefit outside of just marketing.