Back in May, Twitter began piloting “Lead Generation Cards,” a new advertising feature that let companies build their email marketing lists right within Twitter. In August, Twitter opened up the feature to all advertisers, and digital marketing agency Webtrends jumped on the opportunity to drive more qualified leads for its B2B company.
The results were huge. Webtrends combined the lead acquisition tool in Twitter with a custom lead nurture campaign and accelerated its lead gen over a four-week period by nearly 1,000 percent. In addition, the campaign improved Webtrends cost per lead by 500 percent.
So how did they do it, and what are some ways you can replicate their success?
1. Rethink Social
“Social marketing is at a tipping point,“ said John Lee, brand and social marketing manager at Webtrends. “Until now, the focus has been on optimizing social content, making it more accessible and more discoverable. What’s happening now – and Lead Generation Cards reflect this – is you’re optimizing the social user experience; you’re making things more convenient and more accessible for users – without them having to click anywhere else.”
In order for Webtrends to be successful with the Twitter lead gen campaign, the team needed to rethink the way they were approaching social. For a period of time leading up the campaign, Webtrends started analyzing and measuring verything it could to understand the performance of its social channels, and who their target audience was – all the way down to which pop culture references resonated best.
Lee said their approach to B2B social comes down to the idea that it’s “not about us, not about our content or our brand; it’s about the experience that we can deliver for the end social user. We’re not going to tweet just for the sake of tweeting, or just to maintain a schedule because we have to. If we tweet, it’s because there’s a purpose there, and we think it’s valuable for the people who follow us.”
Lee said the goal wasn’t to approach social relationships as brand to consumer or marketer to sale, which is where many B2Bs fail. Instead, Webtrends wanted to do social in a way that was fun, but still drove business.
“If you lead with that human component, the business comes with it,” he said.
If you’re exploring social marketing for lead gen, Lee said to look for the types of tools that are coming out on the paid side of the social platforms, “because everything they are doing is pushing towards streamlining the user experience, not about making your content look better.”
2. Get Creative with Targeting
Brands can get creative with the tools available to them in Twitter for B2B lead gen. “Lead Generation Cards are like Promoted Tweets on steroids,” Lee said. “The best part about Lead Gen cards is that there’s no more landing page.”
For this particular campaign, Webtrends didn’t create any new assets for promotion, rather, it took stock of what it already had and figured out whom would most benefit from it through things like Promoted Tweets, @username, hashtag, and keyword targeting.
Webtrends used Google’s keyword tool to build targeted keywords lists for this campaign. The social team added a layer of timeliness by connecting with conversations occurring around real-time events such as conferences related to the topic the content was about.
3. Nurture, Nurture, Nurture
Acquisition of leads is only half the battle. Nurturing those leads through a custom email campaign is what came next for Webtrends.
“This is the most valuable part of the whole case study,” Lee said.
What set the stage for the success of the email nurture program, said Lee, was that the first touch with that lead in Twitter was a positive one; it took very little effort for the user to engage with the brand to receive something of value.
“We were able to send additional offers within a 24-hour window, and people were incredibly receptive,” Lee said.
If someone downloaded a guide on email remarketing, for example, Webtrends would follow up with an infographic with new data points via email to accompany the content the user already had.
“We started measuring the engagement rates and it was crazy. The open rates were 200 percent higher, the click-through rates were four times as high – and that’s compared to our best-performing marketing emails across our organization,” Lee said.
Through a new approach to social, a little creativity and taking advantage of the tools available to them in Twitter, the social team at Webtrends discovered Twitter to be a viable B2B lead gen platform.
“The ROI from Twitter was three times that from LinkedIn and Facebook,” Lee said. “And we used the same assets and same type of targeting.”
For more information on how Webtrends tackled its B2B lead gen program through Twitter, check out this case study.