Optimize The Sales Funnel Using Social Media & Content

Essential Strategies And Tactics For Sales Funnel Optimization

The importance of integrating earned, owned, paid and shared media couldn’t be any greater and this week I’ll be giving a track keynote at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum conference in Boston on just that. My presentation will focus on the essential strategies and tactics for sales funnel optimization success with content, search and social media marketing.

MarketingProfs B2B Forum Lee Odden

To get things started, here are some handy general stats on search, social and content marketing plus quite a few specifically for B2B marketing:

50 Billion – By 2020, Ericcson predicts there will be 50 billion internet connected devices. The world population is estimated to be at around 7 -8 billion.

Social Media Marketing:

60% of B2B decision makers use social media, according to a Global Web Index study reported by Social Media B2B, late 2011.

More B2B marketers use Facebook (87%) than LinkedIn (86.6%) says Social Media Examiner in it’s 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. With a normal allotment for error with such surveys, it’s basically the same.

Only 40% of B2B marketers measure social media ROI reports BtoB Magazine in its report, “2012 B2B Social Media Marketing: A Surge in Adoption.”

Search Engine Marketing:

63% of Internet users, use search engines daily according to eMarketer’s report in 2012, “Search for Branding: Tools for Better Campaigns”. Interestingly, 2.5% never use search engines.

89% of consumers surveyed use Internet search engines to make purchasing decisions, according to the “2012 Digital Influence Index” report from Fleishman-Hillard.

81% of consumers’ perceptions about a company are influenced by search results, according to the respondents worldwide in a study from PR agency Weber Shandwick reported by eMarketer, 2012.

23 Billion. The search marketing industry association SEMPO reports that $23 billion will be spent on search marketing in 2012 as reported by Search Engine Watch.

Content Marketing:

90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing tactics to grow their business according to the joint “2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” (PDF) report from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute.

Top B2B Content Marketing Tactics (Content Marketing Institute 2012)

  • 79% Article posting
  • 74% Social media
  • 65% Blogs
  • 63% eNewsletters
  • 58% Case studies
  • 56% Live events

B2B Buying Cycle: Content, Devices and Formats (DemandGen Report 2012)

How B2B Buyers Start:

  • 81% search engines
  • 35% vendor website
  • 34% industry guides & reports
  • 23% social media

Devices Most Used:

  • 84% laptop
  • 61% mobile phone or tablet
  • 30% desktop

Formats Sourced:

  • 88% white paper
  • 73% webinar
  • 67% case study
  • 63% blog posts
  • 51% ebook

Despite the sheer number of marketers looking and talking about them, there simply are no silver bullets. There is no “one way” to solve most online customer acquisition and sales challenges. Usually, there are numerous ways to solve a particular marketing problem depending on resources, timeframe, competitive landscape and skill.

The key to integration of content with search and social media optimization across the sales funnel is to understand the customer journey. What problem is the buyer trying to solve? What are their goals? How do they discovery information online? What are their preferences fo content, media and device? What kind of content and media will motivate them to take action?

Understanding the customer journey empowers digital marketers with insight for creating a content marketing strategy that maps prospect interests with topics and an editorial plan. It enables marketers to architect a story that infotains, educates and persuades prospects to the next step in the sales cycle regardless of where they enter.

Continuous optimization provides a framework for hypothesis, implementation, and refinement to collect actionable data and refine performance whether tactics involve blogs, SEO and online PR or social networks, mobile ads and email marketing.

Besides a more customer centric approach and the importance of storytelling, elevating optimization from a mix of keywords and links to continuous marketing performance improvement is probably the most significant realization a search marketer can make.

As I mentioned above, I’ll be sharing a framework for creating a content marketing strategy that incorporates a practical approach to search and social media optimization that attendees can start using as soon as they get back to the office. Here’s the official description:

Friday, Oct 5th – 8:15am-9am
Lead Generation & Nurturing Track Keynote
“Integrating Content, Search & Social to Optimize the Funnel”

Content flows in every direction throughout a variety of platforms, formats, and devices. The mass adoption of the social and mobile Web has facilitated a revolution of information access, sharing, and publishing. Google handles over 11 billion queries a month. There are over 65,743,590 blog posts published each month. And, more video is uploaded to YouTube in that time than the three major US networks created in 60 years. Result? Competition for attention on search engines and the social Web is fierce.

In this environment, guiding customers through the sales cycle requires an integrated approach to content, optimization, and social media marketing. Join us for this lead generation and nurturing track keynote as SEO and social content expert Lee Odden discusses how to optimize the sales funnel to attract, engage, and inspire customers to buy. You’ll learn:

  • Three key principles of customer-centric content marketing
  • A framework for an optimized and socialized content marketing program
  • How to plan search and social content across the sales cycle
  • Essential KPIs and business outcomes for social SEO and content marketing

As always, anyone that liveblogs the session will get a copy of Optimize.

I hope to see you there!

Comments

About Lee Odden
Lee Odden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a provider of innovative Internet marketing consulting for progressive B2B companies ranging from Marketo to PRWeb to McKesson. Odden has been recognized for his expertise with enterprise social media, SEO and content marketing strategies by The Economist, Advertising Age and Mashable. He writes a monthly column called Social Media Smarts for ClickZ and his blog at TopRankBlog.com has an active community with over 46,000 subscribers, 12,000 Facebook Fans and has been rated the #1 Content Marketing blog 3 times by Junta42. He is also the Author of "Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing" published by Wiley.
There are 3 Comments. Add Yours.
  1. Nice article Lee. Agree with this point, “There is no ‘one way’ to solve most online customer acquisition and sales challenges.” In fact, I think employing different online marketing strategies can be synergistic. For example, social media aids your efforts with organic search results Google, et alia. Online marketing is just a continual battle on all front in my view.

  2. I totally agree with your comment – “There are no silver bullets”. There is only continual improvement albeit in small steps.

  3. Great article, I having been using the funnel tool in Google analytics to gauge whats happening.

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