New research compiled by eMarketer affirms that B2B spending on social media marketing is on the rise. Outsell estimates that marketing on social networks will grow 43.3% in 2010 while Forrester Research predicts that B2B firms will spend $54 million on social media marketing in 2014 (up from $11 million in 2009).
Unlike B2C counterparts that can see social successes based on discount offers or timed promotions, many B2B companies, including technology marketers, are confronted with a different reality. Specifically, long, complex sales cycles – many involving multiple decision makers. For these companies, social media’s top priority is increasingly establishing thought leadership. Original content creation through blogs and customer interaction via communities can be effective ways to build authority and enduring engagement.
“B2B participation in social media marketing is steadily increasing, and marketers are beginning to see opportunities to generate quality leads and position themselves as thought leaders in their industries,” said eMarketer’s Evelyn Jung, author of the new report “B2B Social Media Marketing Heats Up.” “B2B companies tend to have longer and more complicated messages to convey, and these longer-form tactics enable them to position themselves as thought leaders with their customers.”