ICYMI - B2B Marketing Expo

ICYMI - B2B Marketing Expo

May 19 2016 | by ROBIN PAINTER

On the 11th May 2016 we attended the B2B Marketing Expo at London’s ExCel, to hear the thoughts of leaders within the digital marketing industry, including Smart Insights’ Dr. Dave Chaffey and Google’s Head of B2B Marketing, Raja Saggi.

It was a great event, although a little oversubscribed with standing room only in most of the theatres. Below we have shared some of the takeaways from the event.

Employee advocacy and social media

Marylin Montoya demonstrated the power of achieving employee advocacy on social media. The average employee within your organisation uses at least two social networks daily, and will have a follower base of around 200 people. If they were to distribute your brand’s content through five shares per month, that’s an organic reach of 2,000 impressions per month, from a single employee.

By introducing an employee advocacy programme within your organisation, your company’s online visibility can increase significantly as a result of amplifying your content, and potential leads are being reached through a trusted source - i.e. somebody they follow on social media.

And it’s in the employee’s interests to share your company content as it boosts their professional value, they develop expertise, and they feel a degree of empowerment through being involved in company activity – a win-win situation.

Social media does deliver ROI

Aiden Carroll of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing spent his 30 minutes at the podium quashing the myth that social media does not provide a return on investment for B2B brands.

He presented case studies from the likes of Lexus and Tesco to demonstrate that the use of social media to deliver excellence in customer service results in positive brand sentiment and, consequently, customers.

He then went on to say that just showing up on social media will not guarantee success – only distributing valuable content and communication through a focused plan will generate results.

You’re also unlikely to see results if your social media team have swallowed the corporate comms guidelines – social media works when you appear human and personable. Humans are programmed to respond positively to relationships, and you should be using social media to build these relationships. It’s the most effective channel to do just that.

The power of lookalikes

Next up was Steve Evans, who based a lot of his talk on newer digital marketing techniques that are delivering a lot of success for companies. One of those techniques is ‘similar audiences’ or ‘lookalikes’ where you load your email marketing list into an advertising platform, like Google Adwords, and you will have the option to advertise to users who are similar in demographic and behavior to those on your list. This widens your reach, while still targeting relevant, qualified users, providing you with a method of easily expanding your owned data.

Agile digital marketing budgets

Steve then went on to talk about how organisations can be inflexible when it comes to allocating spend across channels. For example, at the beginning of the year they will allocate a set amount to organic search, a dedicated budget to social media, another to email marketing, and so on. However, after just a few weeks companies start to understand which of those channels is performing best and worst, yet budgets are rarely adjusted accordingly - the consequence being that money is wasted on the worst performing channels, rather than moving that budget onto channels delivering a higher ROI.

All in all, a day at the B2B Marketing Expo is time well spent, and we look forward to going along to the next one.