I was inspired to write this post by a HubSpot webinar by Pete Caputa (aka @pc4media) in which he (nicely) flogged marketing agencies for "lite" services that no CEO needs. Primary culprit, social media marketing. Pretty much all marketing and PR agencies are either offering SMM as a service or are planning to. The question is, what's in it for the client?
That headline's almost a direct quote from Pete, and it rings home with me. Most companies hire marketing agencies because they want to make more money, not less. How? By generating more sales. How do we do that? By bringing in more qualified leads and delivering them to our clients' sales team in a nice pretty box. Social media marketing in the absence of a comprehensive lead generation strategy is fluff, in my humble opinion. I don't care how many uber-fans you have in Twitter and Facebook. If they aren't handing you their phone numbers and asking you to call, you have accomplished exactly "nada".
In the grand scheme of inbound marketing, social media is more of a means than an end. It's an important tool in increasing brand awareness and building retention. It can help drive people to the site to sign up. BUT social media is not a task you can check off on a list. It's not a goal, and it's not a deliverable. It's a way to help you get there. If you want to sell (and deliver) value, you have to capture leads and convert them to customers. Let's review how that's done:
Ok, so you're a marketing company, and yes you need to follow these steps for your own lead generation and sales. More importantly, you need to do the same thing for your clients. And, oh yes, don't forget to tell people that you do this stuff. It's not social media marketing, folks. It's lead generation and conversion marketing - it's inbound marketing.
Any questions? How did I do, Pete?
Photo Credit: Stefson