Best-in-Class B2B companies generate on average 17% of their leads from social media channels, roughly 230% more marketing-generated leads than other companies (5%), according to a new report by Aberdeen Group, which examines the social marketing strategies of top-performing B2B companies.
In the new report, titled "B2B Social Meeting Marketing: Are We There Yet," Aberdeen uses four key performance criteria to distinguish the Best-in-Class (top 20% of aggregate performers) from the Industry Average (middle 50%) and Laggard (bottom 30%) organizations.
The top 20% of companies (i.e., Best-in-Class) have achieved the following performance metrics:
- Average annual company revenue growth of 20%, compared with 8% for Industry Average and -3% for Laggard firms.
- 10% average year-over-year improvement of marketing leads resulting in closed business, compared with 3% for the Industry Average and -1% for Laggard firms.
- 44% of sales-forecasted pipeline generated by marketing, compared with 10% for Industry Average and 5% for Laggard firms.
- 73% annual customer retention rate, compared with 27% for Industry Average and 7% for Laggard firms.
Overall, 84% of all surveyed B2B companies are using social marketing in some form.
However, Best-in-Class companies are more likely to use social media primarily for lead-generation purposes, and more likely to integrate social marketing with other core channels and processes, the study found.
Below, additional findings from Aberdeen Group.
The Diminishing Influence of the Traditional Sales Cycle
Digital and social media have created an asymmetrical relationship between buyers and sellers, according to Aberdeen.