Many brands start using social media to build awareness for their brand, but few realize that social is just the beginning. And now that every brand starts with a social presence on day one, Sweta Patel believes companies that ignore other traditional channels do so at their own peril. “Social selling may be where you reach your audience, but email marketing, webinars, and events are all channels that you can engage your audiences and build your pipeline,” Patel told us over Google Hangout.

Patel, a Demand Generation Consultant and Customer Acquisition Specialist, has worked with brands like Kyocera, WD-40, and Full Circle Insights to build social communities, drive more leads, and ultimately close more deals. To understand the importance of traditional marketing channels alongside a savvy social media strategy, we dove into demand generation, marketing awareness, and more in this interview:

How can marketers stand out amid the noise?

It’s a bit nebulous. Everyone always wants to jump on the bandwagon of a new network or a new channel, but it should be more about focusing on where your audience is and focusing on the conversion rate of your audience.

So I think it’s shifting the mindset from a quantity point of view to a quality point of view. Sure having Facebook, Twitter, and all these social networks is great. But in order to pinpoint the audience that you’re going after to really close the deals, it’s important that you focus on things that aren’t as common. For example our company was too focused on big channels like social media, going to Dreamforce, etc., and I realized that these places have so many people that we’re just this small person there that doesn’t exist. But, if we were to hold more events ourselves with people where they were tailored towards our target audience and make them feel exclusive, that would make us come off as a thought leader in this space.

What types of programs resonate best with B2B audiences?

Lately, I’ve seen that short form content resonates really well on paid channels. Especially on social media. People want instantaneous, short form content like checklists or cheat sheets. Anything where they don’t have to spend a lot of their time reading.

Video is another great high-converting asset that has worked really well for us, especially on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn ads. These resonate better than something like longer webinars because we’ve seen that webinars are great for nurturing later in the funnel but they’re not so great for net-new leads. People don’t want to set aside a set amount of their day to watch  a webinar when there is so much information out there. Why would I want to sit down for 60 minutes and watch something when I just received 10 emails on the same topic?

What is one demand gen strategy that businesses miss out on?

I see this with review channels a lot. I feel like a lot of companies think that reviews are more of a B2C play, but if we really look at the purchase path and the intent of a buyer, B2C or B2B, we are seeing that they are making decisions based on what they find and read online.

Buyers are wanting information. People go to movies based on reviews. So building that reputation strategy and protecting that reputation is heavily important, especially for B2B brands that are focused on lead generation. Lead generation starts with reviews. People who know what you are, and what you do, but they want to know who is talking about you.

What resources do you frequent to get better at your job?

As a B2B marketer, SiriusDecisions is a publication that I focus on. Also Funnelholic is another great one.

As a demand gen person it’s important to have great advertising understanding and know how to create effective ads, and Bizable just has tons of stuff you can go through. Sales is something I’m also closely aligned with so I follow SalesHacker, HubSpot, and the Marketo blog when I’m creating campaigns.

Enjoyed reading Sweta Patel’s insights on demand generation? Check out Stephanie Totty’s Wise Words interview to discover why including clients in your content marketing helps validate and humanize your brand!

Lead Gen with Video Guide

Jon Spenceley