Social Marketing: Making it Count

Posted in: Advice and ideas- Jul 04, 2013 Comments Off

Bad_Rhino___Full_Service_Social_Media_Marketing-3I was asked to write a guest post submission for the @BadRhinoInc Blog.  Bad Rhino is a A community of Social media professionals and enthusiasts sharing ideas about all things Social.  I chose an important topic to cover.  Important because – as I start the post – the most common question today about Social is about how to measure, justify and turn it into revenue.  This case study from Social Tool Radian6 (a company now owned by Salesforce.com) shows how a very small company without a huge marketing budget, can monitize Social.

But it was an interesting experience because through the process of working with Bad Rhino I saw in action another piece to that puzzle – soliciting blog contributions from third party authors.  Clearly Bad Rhino have a robust Social Content calendar and do an excellent job of systemising Content Production really effectively.  

Making_it_Count__How_to_Better_Understand_Social_Content_Marketing


The two toughest and yet most important questions I’m asked by clients about Social are “how do I know it is working?” and “how do I turn it into business?”  Right to the heart of the matter.

The two toughest and yet most important questions I’m asked by clients about Social are “how do I know it is working?” and “how do I turn it into business?”  Right to the heart of the matter.

 

Last week at “Salesforce-at-CeBit” I grabbed an opportunity to drill down on an important story that helps me answer these questions.  I had a rare chance to speak with Sarah Carver, an early employees of Radian6 who can bear testament to one of the pioneering attempts to adress what we know better in jargon terms as Social ROI  and Social lead generation.

 

radian6Sarah is today globally responsible for telling customer stories for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud , into which Radian6 has now been rolled up into following its acquisition by Salesforce.com in 2011 .  But in the early days at Radian6 Sarah saw at close hand how this innovative Social start up team used blogging to derive lead generation and understood how to measure its effectiveness.

 

More specifically, Radian6 pioneered a technique to create a “funnel” for Social.  The team created a maturation process that moved beyond purely driving inbound web traffic and used “gated” content to take interested blog visitors to the next level.  The team were systematically tasked to create compelling and useful content – customer stories, how-to content and trend commentary – for the blog.  But beyond the blog posts, they were KPI-ed to develop – in their spare time – high-value content assets such as white papers, case studies and “eBooks” – for which they could ask for contact details from those wishing to download them.

 

To some extent this separates the wheat from the chaff, automatically pre-qualifying leads as interested parties worth a phone call.  Moreover it provided valuable ROI data by providing immediate measurement on the value of the content and the relevance of the subject matter.  But most crucially it moved the blogging strategy beyond driving mere inbound web traffic to a focus on genuine lead generation.

 

While this methodology has now become best-practice and common across the industry, it’s always valuable to talk to pioneers who created something new when everyone was grappling with these fundamental questions about Social.  But as Sarah said, the fundamental lesson it taught them was that Social content must add value, it must be about the customer and the customer’s pain points.  Traditional product-focussed marketing content simply did not fly.  At that time – in the mid-naughties – a small start up like Radian6 – lacking a huge marketing budget – found they were able to drive a huge growth curve out of creating a systematic Social content generation machine.  This is a lesson about very cost-effective Social Content Marketing I believe every B2B business can learn from.

 

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