5 Ways Social Media Can Drive Revenue

by Eloqua on October 26, 2011 in Social Media

There’s no doubt that social media has been a disruptive force on B2B marketing. Yet, many marketers struggle with how to use social media to go beyond awareness, to actually drive revenue.

I’m here to tell you it’s not magic. In fact, by attaching social media marketing to the 5 Revenue Performance Indicators high-performing companies have adopted, you can drive actual results. Here are five ways social media marketing can be used to drive revenue.

1. Extending Your Reach
social-media-revenueAs marketers we’ve defined “reach” as size of our database – the number of people we can actually touch with our messaging. As Google grew so did inbound marketing, and more emphasis was placed on creating content that could be easily found by your ideal audience.

Social media has once again changed that model. More people are finding content through social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Buyers were once defined by search terms. Today they’re defined by their social networks. Getting sharable content into those networks, while observing who interacts with it, lets you grow the reach of your marketing.

social-media-revenue-strategy2. Targeting Influencers to Drive Conversions
Getting prospects to convert, to take that next step, has always been about establishing trust. In decades past, that network was limited. But social media has made the number of “light” relationships we can maintain explode.

Buyers are turning to influencers on social media to help guide them through the buying process and find what content is worthy of their attention. If a prospect is connected to large number of influencers in your space, they are more likely to buy. Social media gives marketers the unprecedented ability to identify and engage these influencers. And earning their trust results in that trust being passed down to prospects, leading to increased conversions.

revenue-social-media3. Increasing the Velocity of Your Pipeline
For a given revenue cycle, doubling the velocity of your pipeline can have the same effect as doubling the size of your database. But to do so you need to make your content discoverable, contextual and easy to access.

Making it possible for prospects’ to see how their social graph is engaging with your content leads to greater trust. With the latest advances in HTML5-based landing page editors, grafting prospects social graph onto marketing assets is available to anyone who can drag and drop. Meanwhile, social sign-on tools make accessing your content easier while still collecting the customer data you need. Combining these methods speed up the movement of your buyers through the sales and marketing funnel.

social-media-conversions4. Boosting the Value of Your Marketing
Wins are great. But getting the most revenue out of a deal is even better. Social media enables us to do that better than we ever could before.

How? It all goes back to trust.

Think about the traditional customer testimonial. They are designed to give first-hand validation of your product or service. But if they don’t feature someone the buyers knows or trusts, the value is limited.

Social media helps us understand who each prospect knows.  If we’re aware of this, we can personalize assets like video customer testimonials, and select one from someone the prospect actually knows. That kind of context helps establish trust, and makes it possible to drive up the value of the final deal.

social-media-sales5. Better Return through Better Leads
ROI on social media marketing is one of the most debated topics today in B2B marketing. Yet, there’s definitely return from social media when done right.

One of the best ways to drive return on any marketing investment is to alert them to sales of leads’ the hot-button issues, allowing them to start a conversation with the buyer. By collecting data through social sign-on, detailing the content prospects are viewing and sharing, and understanding whom they trust on the social web, you can identify the best leads. It’s return through relevance, and social media is making it easier.

Driving revenue through social media is not a myth. Today there are many tools to make collecting, engaging and moving buyers though the funnel with social media possible.

Today I’ll be exploring these with Altimeter’s Jeremiah Owyang and BtoB Magazine’s Kate Maddox during a free webinar. Join me for our Harnessing the 7 Elements of Social Data to Uncover Key Customer Insights at 1PM ET to learn how you can get the most out of social.

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