This is the first in a series of posts on B2B marketing case studies, where we feature some of our recent engagement in the space and share our learnings. We encourage you to pitch in with your comments and stories of a similar vein.
Making Social Media Work for Marketing
When Cisco Asia Pacific approached us for a different way to market a microsite that they had created to feature the latest slew of Collaboration solutions for the region, we proposed a social media-oriented promotion campaign and media monitoring solution.
We started off with helping create a series of tweets and status messages that could be propagated via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like. These were created with a view towards directly referencing the Cisco solution within the messages. These were then posted regularly via personal and official Additionally we set up a PPC ad campaign using LinkedIn Ads with two distinct call-to-action threads: one to check out the solution, and another to download a premium asset, like a whitepaper from the microsite. Each thread had around 3 variations that were designed to appeal to different audiences. LinkedIn allowed for a certain level of fine-grained targeting such as by geography, industry, job levels, etc., which we utilized to good effect.
We set up a monitoring dashboard using a social media monitoring solution. The dashboard would reflect the country-wise buzz and sentiment around pre-defined Cisco products, from a before-and-after campaign initiation standpoint, as well as in comparison with two significant competitors in each country.
The initial results, while encouraging, were not spectacular. The promotional tactics just weren’t garnering enough impressions to make a sizable impact to the traffic being sent to the landing page. We set about tweaking the campaign in a couple of ways:
- Re-modelling the promotional messages (i.e., tweets, status messages, etc.) and LinkedIn ads to be not overtly promoting the Cisco solutions, and instead focusing on the benefit they afford
- Introducing Facebook Ads to the mix – with similar targeting parameters (adding “age” to avoid frivolous click-throughs) and call-to-action threads as the LinkedIn ad campaign
This time the results saw sharp uptick, with Facebook Ads contributing to a large share of impressions and traffic to the landing page. Over a period of 6 weeks, the site received close to 25,000 page hits from 18 social media sources, with time spent on the site averaging at around 2.5 minutes. Almost half of these clicks visited a conversion page to register and download assets. Close to 300 leads were generated from this exercise. Interestingly enough, LinkedIn continued to bring in more quality leads (defined as those click-throughs that led to conversion, i.e., registering for download of assets).
The dashboards revealed considerably higher awareness for Cisco solutions in the target markets after the campaign was launched (we set up tracking a couple of weeks before launch to get a good before-and-after gauge). Cisco captured up to 80% of the buzz and neutral-to-positive sentiment compared to its key competitors. Its share of voice across various channels like news, microblogs and forums also remained consistently high over this period, mirroring the results of an independent market survey report done around the same time.
Cisco is now considering adding social media-driven marketing to its arsenal as it rolls out key enterprise services and solutions in the region.
WHAT WE LEARNT
- Having a hub site for your content helps a lot. But give your visitors a guided experience so that they don’t get lost among all that great stuff. Address specific needs and make actionable content more prominent.
- Organic promotion works well, but for an initial ballast (and some quick numbers), consider advertising on social media networks, in addition to Search Engine Marketing.
- Don’t make measuring and monitoring an afterthought. Identify key metrics and put in a monitoring tool before you begin the campaign to gauge the “before-and-after” impact well. Use robust monitoring tools that allow you to slice and dice the data effectively. The “before” period is great for testing whether you’ve setup the monitoring right.
- Monitor the campaign daily and don’t hesitate to tweak regularly. Most social media networks and associated ad platforms make it easy to tweak on the fly with minimal “approval periods”. Don’t wait for a week to pass before realizing if things aren’t working.
- Link directly to the content being advertised to maximize conversion ratios. It’s most frustrating if people click an ad to land on a page where they have to “hunt” for what led them there in the first place. And keep the conversion hurdles to a minimum. That means no form that takes more than half-a-minute to fill. Capture just enough information to get in touch with the lead for the next step.
Have you been involved in something similar and a story to share? Do chime in.