The 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report is out, compiled by Social Media Examiner for B2B and B2C professionals. Businesses with 2-100+ employees were represented, and just under half of survey participants were in the B2B business.
The 7th annual study compiles the insight of over 3,500 B2C and B2B marketers on social media’s impact in the business world, the preferences of marketers, and measuring ROI, among other trends. The findings can be helpful in an industry of long sales cycles and a variety of decision makers.
The study presents us with an opportunity to compare and gauge our own involvement in B2B social media as a marketing tactic. Our peers can provide us with great insight into what works in this industry, what does not seem to be effective, and what new marketing tactics we may be able to employ.
Overall, marketers want to know which social tactics are the most effective for reaching an audience and how to engage individuals with whom they would do business. Both B2B and B2C professionals want effective ways to measure ROI.
Take a look at the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report results and see if they do not ring true with your B2B company:
- 93% of marketers use this platform in some way.
- 62% plan on increasing their presence on the site.
- Only 45% believe their efforts to use Facebook are effective.
- Larger businesses are more likely to utilize YouTube (71% of those with 100 employees or more).
- When marketers were asked to choose the most important form of content for business, half selected blog posts (45%).
- Blogging is more important for marketers in the B2B industry (57%) than B2C (39%), who choose visual content as more important.
- B2B marketers were more likely to have blogs which were optimized for the mobile world (56%).
- Only 10% of marketers use podcasts as a marketing technique.
- This marketing technique is used by both B2C (9%) and B2B (12%) marketers, though not in large numbers.
- Just 26% of marketers overall have plans to increase the use of podcasting as a marketing tool.
B2B Social Media Marketing Does Not Always Mean Great Amounts of Time
As increased exposure and traffic results from the use of social media in B2B marketing, we may believe it takes many hours out of our day and will impact other marketing areas. Not so, according to this study. As little as 6 hours a week can equal new contacts, audience engagement, and sales.
B2B Social Media Marketing Can Mean Less Spent
One benefit of engagement on social media channels is a reduction in other marketing expenses. As just over half of the respondents plan on increasing the use of Facebook ads, B2B marketers may consider their own role in using social media as an advertising platform and the financial benefits this method brings.
B2B Social Media Marketing Looks Different for B2C and B2B
B2C (65%) marketers tend to favor YouTube, Pinterest, and Facebook. B2B marketers, on the other hand, are using LinkedIn (41%), Google+, Twitter, and SlideShare. The most popular social media platform overall remains Facebook (although the number of users has declined), followed by LinkedIn.
What This Means for the B2B Industry
Social media is not going anywhere. As technology changes and our society becomes more advanced, so too does the business world feel the impact. B2B marketers need to be aware of these trends and keep up-to-date with changes and how they affect potential buyers.
Take the challenge to teach yourself how to use a social media platform you are not familiar with, learn to put together a podcast, try revamping your email newsletters, or set up a Twitter account.
What social media marketing techniques have you tried? Is there a certain platform you are hesitant to try when it comes to B2B marketing?