Our interest was peaked recently when we stumbled upon an Eloqua blog post about marketing stats and their sources. (Did you know that 90% of the data in the world was created in the last two years??)
My favorite part about the newfound maturity of the social marketing industry (let’s call it young adult…) is that we now have the know-how, tools, and data to truly measure our impact. Hallelujah!
There was some other data in this post we found particularly relevant to B2B companies building a brand online (and really, which of these companies isn’t?):
- 78% of B2B buyers start their research with search
- 50% of B2B buyers turn to social media/peer reviews
- 78% of B2B buyers go directly to vendors’ websites
The Eloqua is indicative of a trend which has emerged and is only continuing to grow. It tells us an important story, especially for companies in the B2B space. Here are the key pieces:
- Your website, blog, resources, and customer community all need to be optimized for the keywords your potential customers are searching for. If not, you’re likely not even making it to the evaluate stage of the customer lifecycle.
- Yes, you need a social media presence. You don’t want to be absent when prospects look for you there.
- BUT more people are going to come to your website. Make sure it’s pretty, easy-to-navigate, and helpful.
- You can make your website more social, and provide prospects with the access to trustworthy content from their peers, by embedding a customer community on your homepage, help pages, and product pages.
This data isn’t news to us, but it’s certainly validating. As search becomes a more and more crucial part of marketing strategy, we feel proud of the impact that our communities have on company search engine rankings (sayonara outrageous SEM spend!).
Providing your customers with a way to have community conversations on your website is a way to take the best of social and bring it where your customers are actually looking to interact with you—your website! (No, that doesn’t mean you have to curb your Vine obsession.)
More data and insights will surely emerge, as the industry grows up even further. You can bet we’ll be here helping companies spread the word about the products and services they offer. Stay tuned!