As a B2B business in India, are you using social media marketing to generate leads?
In the US, B2B companies generated 3 times more leads through social media than other traditional channels1. India also reflects the trend.
69% of Indian B2B marketers acknowledged Social Media Marketing to be one of the primary content marketing activities in 20142.
Social media marketing generates leads for B2C companies. And, there is nothing new about it. But marketers have warmed up to the fact that it works well for B2B companies too. The recent statistics are screaming the success of lead generation for B2B companies using social media marketing.
C-Suite executives and other senior decision makers use social media more than junior employees to make purchase decisions?
It is widely misconstrued in the B2B space that Social Media is used primarily by junior people do not have the necessary influencing/purchasing power. It is, therefore, only natural for B2B marketers to discount social media as a lesser means to generate quality sales leads.
However, the facts speak otherwise.
Globally (including India), 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchase decisions3. B2B buyers who are active on social media comprise a more senior and influential segment with 84% of C-level/VP executives using it to make purchase decisions3.
Social media marketing can inherently enhance the success of email marketing campaigns
52% B2B marketers in India are using social media as an efficient customer engagement tool2. It is interesting to note that it gives a boost to email campaigns which is still a major online marketing tactic used by B2B marketers in India.
Influence of Social Media on Email campaigns
B2B Success Stories on Social Media in India
While many B2B businesses have successfully deployed social media as an efficient marketing tool, we will look at a few case studies on how few companies implemented their successful social media campaigns.
- Deskaway established effective market reach in a highly cost effective way
Deskaway faced a challenge to reach a huge target market with a wide mix of companies to sell its web-based team and project collaboration software.
It chose Twitter as a springboard along with Adwords and paid media. It started sharing news, blogs, product announcements, displaying thought leadership in Cloud/SaaS and, monitoring its audiences’ interests.
Social media not only proved to be very cost effective but Deskaway also succeeded in reaching its target market efficiently, creating a buzz around its brand and, consequently, generating leads.
- iYogi could garner engagement with the key decision makers from its huge target market
As a technical support company, it faced a challenge to create brand awareness and generate leads for its new cloud based offering called Digital Service Cloud. Its target audience was large telecom and original equipment manufacturing (OEMs) companies.
As most other B2B marketers, iYogi chose Linkedin as one of its content marketing channels. It was able to identify the areas of interest and places where key decision makers were clustered, thus, garnering engagement with its target audience.
The campaign was successful in achieving 62% of the follower base within three months from the start of the campaign4. They could even establish engagement with telecom companies who had failed to respond to their previous emailers.
- TCS positioned itself as “doing leaders” and garnered engagement rates over and above LinkedIn benchmark
When TCS launched the Digital Software & Solutions Group (DS&S Group), it had to make its presence felt among the decision-makers of telecom, retail and financial segment.
It chose LinkedIn to establish engagement with the target audience. Its main strategy was to deliver “how-to” content and represent hemselves as not just “thought-leaders” but also the “doing-leaders”.
The campaign received 1.6x engagement rate compared to Linkedin benchmarks, earned 15% more clicks in free media and acquired 185 decision makers as its followers5.
- Suzlon launched a viral social cause campaign to get the youth working towards cleaner air and thus build an emotional connect with the masses
Suzlon wanted to get closer to the younger generation and made known as a vibrant, environmentally friendly company and appeal to the sentiments of general masses.
It launched its P.A.L.S (Pure Air Lovers Society) website and used Facebook and Twitter as the means to establish engagement with the youth in order to help them identify solutions to bring about a “Clean Air Revolution”.
This social campaign was among the fastest growing social cause campaigns in India and quickly reached a major milestone of creating a million strong P.A.L.S community. It established a platform for solution-based discussions and garnered participation in its various events.
B2B success speaks for itself in India
The study conducted by Octane Research2 offers compelling insights on B2B leads from social media in India.
With a success rate of 40% B2B lead generation in India, social media is emerging as a content marketing tool that is trending and has to be taken seriously. The percentage is but a hint of the exponential growth waiting to happen in the Indian B2B sphere.
B2B buyers are placing higher trust on brands which have extensive social presence
With the obvious benefits stated above, it’s a necessity for any B2B marketer to set aside a budget for social media. It’s not only cost effective but it also enhances the success rate of all other marketing tactics. The “push” strategies of the traditional marketing no longer that effective.
85% of B2B buyers believe companies should present information via social networks8.
Buyers do not want to be lured with interfering marketing messages, instead, they want to be a part of the brand’s success. The buyers feel more confident in signing up with a brand that does not push them into making decisions. They want to explore, participate in discussions, connect with the brand and derive informed conclusions, which is a direct consequence of a well-planned social presence.
Convincing the management to shell out the budgets seem to be one of the biggest challenges with B2B marketers.
A study7 shows that 2015 holds promising trends in budgetary allocations. B2B marketers are willing to spend 77% of their marketing spend on social media, which is a great news in itself and an indication to the trend that is setting in. It marks a realization on the part of marketers that using social media is not just an option but an absolute necessity.
“’Build it, and they will come’ only works in the movies. Social Media is a ‘build it, nurture it, engage them and they may come and stay.’” Says Seth Godin, Author, Permission Marketing
- 2015 B2B Lead Gen Report, Pinpoint Market Research and Anderson Jones
- The Digital DNA – State of eMarketing India 2015, Octane Research
- Social Buying Meets Social Selling, IDC, February 2014
- LinkedIn iYogi case study
- LinkedIn TCS case study
- Hubspot & Awareness, Inc
- State of B2B Marketing 2015, Regalix Research
- Earnest Agency
Graphic Courtesy: The Digital DNA – State of eMarketing India 2015, Octane Research