Perhaps you’ve read the 360i research indicating that people spend 5 percent of their time online searching and the other 95 percent at their destination. No problem, you think, my company website is loaded with fabulous content and eye-catching visuals. But when your customer or prospect performs a search, the first three results that pop up are a third-party blog post, a social network conversation and an educational YouTube video.
Yesterday’s marketers could get away with thinking they were the destination. But to thrive in the new buying landscape, in which buyers doing research frequently visit and converse in online social communities, tomorrow’s marketers will need to understand that “social” is the destination and adjust accordingly. The key? Placing “social bait” outside the walls of your website.
Let’s say you write a fantastic blog article. That’s great, but you only have so many blog subscribers, so you need to also put some bait out to help extend your reach. That means teasing to your blog on Twitter, Google+, and other social networks. You might, for example, pop into a LinkedIn conversation, share some educational content from your blog entry, and then include a link to a related Webinar on your site.
The idea is to drop your social bait in places where people that might not typically interact with you are having conversations about related products and services. But don’t just crash the party and drop in some promotional content, or you’ll be as annoying as the party guest who can’t stop talking about himself. Instead, first establish yourself as a valuable source of helpful information. Once you’ve built up some credibility, visitors to the social network, blog or community will be more likely to take whatever bait, such as a white paper link, you leave behind to lead them into your world.
When they click through on your social bait, whether it’s for a Webinar sign-up, demo or something else, you can capture who they are and start to engage them with personalized messaging based on their behaviors and whatever information you collect through progressive Web forms and other means.
Think of social bait as part of your strategy for getting your concepts in front of people, bringing in new leads and growing the database part of the funnel.
So … where’s your social bait?
1) Blog: “Why B2B Marketers Need to Be More Social”
2) Blog: “Being Social—and Still Getting the Info You Need”
3) Blog: “Lead Nurturing the Social Way”