Posts Tagged ‘David Meerman Scott’

Podcasting with David Meerman Scott and Paul Gillin from 2008For our recent eBook “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing“, we interviewed a number of leading marketing strategists and experts in social media. Many of their insights are in the eBook, but we weren’t able to use everything they shared with us. Beginning with this blogpost and continuing over the next several weeks, I’ll share some additional pearls of wisdom from those interviews.

B2B marketers often ask how they can apply principles of social media marketing to their business. Two of the experts we interviewed for the eBook offered advice specifically for B2B companies, so I thought that would be a good place to start. In this installment, Paul Gillin, a veteran technology journalist who advises marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize use of social media and online channels, and David Meerman Scott, an internationally recognized marketing strategist, seminar leader, keynote speaker and author, offer advice to B2B marketers.

If B2B companies do nothing else in the social realm, they should focus on search engine optimization, advises Gillin, who recently co-authored a book about B2B social media marketing. “There is a limited domain of keywords that people use when they’re looking for solutions, so if you optimize through various channels for those keywords, that’s the low-hanging fruit of lead generation.” He recommends not only a search-optimized web site, but also a blog for its power to attract buyers. Blogs are “the closest thing to a no-brainer for B2B in social media terms because of their excellent search engine performance.”

Similarly, search rank is the first social media metric that comes to mind for David. “Smart companies understand what it is that their potential customers are searching on because they’ve actually interviewed their potential customers,” he says. That deep understanding allows companies to develop salient social media content that incorporates the terms and phrases used by customers. “Create content not for your own ego, but for the people that you’re trying to reach. The biggest failure I see are companies that just create content about their products and services in an egotistical way. They don’t understand the people they’re trying to reach.”

Gillin suggests a couple of examples of the benefits of thinking like a customer. A maker of portable computers might prefer to describe its products as “notebook” computers, but a far larger volume of search queries use the term “laptop.” Walmart calls its people “associates,” but that term won’t do it much good in reaching searchers who use the far more common term “employee.”

There are myriad resources for marketers at B2B companies to identify the specific terms customers care about. Gillin suggests marketers turn to the people inside their organization who are closest to the customers: the engineers, the service people, product designers and product support teams. The idea is “not necessarily for you to be that source, but for you as the marketer to translate that expertise” with a goal to “speak in the language of the customer.”

“You are part of a team,” says David, “and your part in that team is to be able to create really interesting content.”

Social marketing presents a number of other opportunities for B2B marketers. For instance, interaction in the social realm can help identify new customers. Gillin recommends monitoring social platforms such as LinkedIn, as well as highly specialized vertical platforms, where individuals are asking questions relevant to your company’s products and services.

Social marketing is also helpful to the sales process. “The more you know about the customer, the more time you save the customer, the more individualized the solution you can offer the customer, the better the chance of getting the sale,” says Gillin, who observes that social customer relationship management is “getting traction as a way of simply building better customer profiles.”

Another means of driving sales through social marketing is multichannel syndication of content, a ” big trend over the last couple of years,” says Gillin. Multichannel syndication employs multiple social media platforms, and often multiple accounts on each platform, to achieve a broader reach and drive engagement. “It’s hard work,” says Gillin. “It’s easy to have your blog entries go out as RSS feeds and be posted to Twitter and Facebook, but you’re not going to have success if that’s all you do. You’ve got to go out and engage with people in the medium.”

For marketers just getting started, resist the temptation to take on more than you can realistically support. “Focus on a limited number of tools and learn how to use them well. It’s better to do a few things well than a lot of things poorly,” advises Gillin. Once you’ve learned to do something well, determine its value. If it’s working, continue to invest in it. “You don’t need a social media strategy. You need to understand the value of social media and you need to apply it to your business strategy.”

For specific advice on how to employ social media monitoring and search engine optimization, download our free eBook: “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing

Finally was able to clean up the video from last week’s presentation with David Meerman Scott.  Please try to ignore the “beeps” (if you can, I think you will find that David has some great things to say!)