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Social Marketing Innovation—A Case Study

Social Marketing Innovation—A Case Study image b2b social mediaToday’s buyer demands innovation—in products, services, presentation, content, communication platforms, media channels, and much more. How many of us in the B2B marketing world are equipped to deliver to this level of expectation? Even the smallest innovation can make a big difference. The simplest approach can deliver the most refreshing results. Smaller organizations can innovate and implement innovations a lot faster than larger companies that are typically bogged down with too many moving parts and latent inflexibilities. As a B2B marketer, it is your privilege to dream but also your responsibility to innovate.

In continuation to last week’s post (and what I have been reiterating on my blog consistently), I found a good case study to validate the point that, “The more networks you use, the less effective you’re likely to be.” LinkedIn has proven to be the most effective social media network for B2B marketers in recent times. In this case study from MarketingSherpa, we see how a B2B company zeroed in on this social media platform, LinkedIn, to come up with an innovative, out-of-the-box lead generation strategy.

In a nutshell, here’s what the company, DocuSign did:

  1. took one of the most easily trackable digital marketing methods (email marketing)
  2. combined it with the social tool that targets B2B buyers (LinkedIn)
  3. implemented the tried and tested traditional marketing method of third party validation from customers to demonstrate thought leadership and enhance brand awareness.

The overall result of the campaign was that the company was able to add more than 350 registrants to their online community which led to three large pipeline opportunities. To the social media proponents who hanker after big numbers, a large social fan following and non-stop Tweeting and updating of social networks, these figures probably don’t mean much at all. To me, they reinforce the point that less is indeed more and it’s quality not quantity that matters. Now, there is a way to speed up the process—if you are interested in accelerating your demand generation, please download a free copy of The ALEA Demand Generation Playbook by following this link.

Social Marketing Innovation—A Case Study image b2b sales funnelThe important thing is to find the right tool that can reach your top of the funnel target audience with a message that resounds with them, i.e., addresses their pain points, offers them guidance, insights and direction and overall, is seen as a valuable piece of communication rather than another ‘noisy’ sales pitch. DocuSign wasn’t reinventing the wheel here, but they had a well-documented lead generation strategy and each component was carefully thought through—even to the extent that the 3 sponsored InMails they sent through LinkedIn and their target community for the campaign were “locked in” for an extended period of six months.

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Yes, there were some bumps in the road, but these are lessons for next time. The company now knows that the end of the quarter is not an appropriate time to reach out to sales operations staff and future campaigns will be timed better—because they accepted this small failure, documented it and made a note to avoid the same problem next time. Plus, instead of fooling around with many different platforms, they chose the one social media network known to work for B2B. They now know this medium (LinkedIn) well and have a better idea of how to take full advantage of it. The next step, in my opinion, is to develop a progression engine and a social conversion engine; to think about what more tools you may need and how to measure the campaign output effectively at each stage, and overall. I’ll talk more about this in a future post.

As a B2B marketing community we need to keep sharing experiences like this so we can continue to innovate and move ahead. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on my blog.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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