There is little doubt that social media is one of, if not THE, buzzword in marketing. But, as I've written about before, social media is still only a tactic and not the only tactic you should use. Recent findings show how crucial it is to build an overall marketing strategy that uses multiple tactics if you goal is to generate and nurture quality leads (and who doesn't want to do that).
As reported by ZDNet, a recent study by Demandbase and Focus.com showed that corporate websites were the top online lead source and second overall to personal connections and referrals. But even more telling is that corporate websites were 7x more effective than social media. Here's the breakdown of top lead sources:
- 41% - Personal connections and referrals
- 23% - Corporate website
- 14% - Email
- 7% - Advertising (banners and search engine marketing)
- 3% - Social Media (including video)
- 12% - Other
Some may be surprised by these results but it shows that social media is not always the best tactic and for B2B lead generation other tools are better. So despite the buzz around Twitter, Facebook and Google+, you need to look at all the tactics and carefully select the right ones to meet your marketing goals and objectives.
Hopefully, less surprising, was that your corporate website still is one of the most important sales tools that you can build and is crucial to your lead generation efforts. I believe some have moved on and focused their efforts on social media rather than their website which as you can see does not make sense if you goal is lead generation. You need to continue to invest in your website and build targeted messages and landing pages for each audience in order to engage prospects and move them along the sales funnel.
Now it could be argued that social media drove the traffic to the corporate website and isn't getting proper credit for generating the lead. This wouldn't surprise me in the least as I do believe social media is a good tool for sharing information and taking prospects back to your website for even more compelling content is a great approach.
The important point here is that relying only on social media, especially if your goal is to generate leads, will clearly lead to failure on the marketing front. You need to pick the right tactics for the job. It is only by integrating multiple tactics that your marketing strategy will deliver results.