The use of social media as a marketing channel for both B2B and B2C has been on the rise. Year after year, the number of businesses investing in Social Media Marketing has increased considerably. However, it is still considered one of the toughest channels for revenue attribution. According to data released by Ascend 2 in their report on the most difficult channels for revenue attribution, social media marketing was found to be the most difficult digital channel for revenue attribution, according to 47% of the 270 marketing and sales professionals surveyed. This was followed by Content Marketing and Display Advertising.
However, despite this, social media has risen to be a top marketing channel and has been a trend for some time. The latest research reveals that it has now become the primary channel for many businesses. This trend is especially prevalent among B2B marketers, according to the “2022 State of B2B Digital Marketing” report by Wpromote. The report shows that 50% of B2B marketers now claim social media is their most effective digital marketing channel when it comes to driving revenue, with content marketing (47%) and email (41%) also being popular choices.
The reason for the growth of social media as the primary channel for many businesses is that the pros outweigh the cons, and it is a risk worth taking in the long run. Let’s take a look at the three main reasons why Social Media Marketing has become the primary channel for many businesses:
Higher Conversion Rates:
One of the biggest reasons for the success of social media for business is the higher conversion rates. With a larger audience and increased visibility on social media platforms, companies have more opportunities to convert potential customers. By constantly interacting with customers and followers on social media, companies are able to personify their brand, which in turn increases transparency and consumer trust. Studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate compared to outbound marketing, and 66% of marketers have seen lead-generation benefits by using social media platforms for just 6 hours per week.
Improved Brand Loyalty:
Social media marketing has a great impact on brand loyalty as well, which is a crucial aspect for businesses. Retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones, and research has shown that millennials are the most brand-loyal generation, with 50.5% saying they are extremely or quite loyal to their favourite brands. Furthermore, customers are 62% more likely to be loyal to brands that engage with them on social media. These loyal customers also tend to share content and post positive reviews about a brand, known as electronic word of mouth (eWOM), which can help in promoting the brand.
Gaining Marketplace Insights:
Gaining marketplace insights is another key advantage of using social media marketing. Social media platforms provide real-time monitoring of consumer trends which allows brands to keep track of their marketplace and understand what customers are looking for. This feature also enables companies to use social media as a complementary research tool to better understand the marketplace. The use of tools such as Sprout Social can help in measuring engagement and performance, giving brands an opportunity to maximize and update the effectiveness of their social media platforms constantly. This, in turn, can help brands to make better decisions about their products and services and improve their overall marketing strategy.
B2B Social Media Marketing and the Rule of Seven
The likelihood of turning a potential customer into a real customer during their first encounter with your product is very low. B2B interactions are even more complicated than B2C interactions, with a longer purchase time and multiple decision-makers involved.
The “rule of seven” states that it takes seven interactions with your brand before action is taken. Just because someone fits your target buyer profile doesn’t mean they are ready to purchase your product right away. They might see your product as a good option but not be prepared to buy it yet. When they are ready, they may not remember your offering. That’s why the rule of seven is important.
To keep your product in the forefront of their minds, repetition is key. This helps generate awareness among all decision-makers involved in B2B, as it’s rarely just one person making the decision. To follow the rule of seven, it’s essential to make sure your product is appealing and visible to all types of decision-makers over a long period of time. By having multiple interactions, you can address various objections through content or case studies, for example. This is where social media comes in as it makes it possible to reach your target audience multiple times. This repetition can ultimately result in conversion.