With strategic content now the pillar of inbound marketing, social media has a critical role to play.
Social media is no longer (just) an option
All businesses should get social, and those who already are need to consider ways to take it to the next level in order to maximise their marketing ROI.
In today's era of real time inbound marketing, social media has a central role to play as a marketing channel. It allows the communication of content and offers with customers and prospects.
A recent study by Hubspot shows that business to business companies that blog only one to two times a month generate 70% more leads.
Furthermore, 50% of marketers see improved sales from social media, according to Social Media Examiner's Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
Meanwhile, as little as six hours spent on social media per week can result in an increase in leads, the same study showed.
Social media enables organisations to interact directly with customers and prospects and provides a powerful platform for sharing content - as LEGO's recent LEGO Movie strategy demonstrates.
But it also provides a powerful information gathering and research tool to better understand customers' preferences and behaviour.
This is why a growing number of the world's leading brands have put in place in-house social media 'command centres.’
For example, Cisco.
Strategic content has become the pillar of inbound marketing and as a result, social media has another important role to play providing organisations with critical insight into:
- which content works best for which customers and prospects
- via what content formats and platforms
- which tone of voice generates greatest awareness and engagement
Evaluating the effectiveness of content marketing has become the new imperative.
The reason's simple: 90% of businesses now invest in eBooks, videos, social media, blogging, content hubs and other channels. Yet less than half of these business know how to evaluate their efforts.
Others ways social media can improve any business' marketing ROI include:
1. Acquisition of customer knowledge - social media can provide a powerful gauge of sentiment around your brand or products, identifying which features customers and prospects find most important.
2. Gaining a competitive advantage - social listening can generate powerful insight into your customers’ behaviours and their perceptions of your competitors.
3. Monitoring business influencers - though many understand the importance of listening to customers and competitors, it can be easy to overlook the value of another important group: influencers. To stay ahead of the curve, any business should also be listening to what the thought leaders in their sector are saying.
The good news is that social media itself is now becoming increasingly accountable in its own right.
According to a study carried out by Social Media Explorer, companies reported an 11% year on year increase in their own ability to measure social media ROI.