Do you invest thousands of your marketing budget into events each year? And do you expect your sales team to be on their A-game at trade show time? 

If yes, here’s another question: are you seeing the ROI you need to warrant re-investing in events year after year?

Not every business does. According to Oracle one company found that for every 100 business cards scanned during an event, just 2% converted into sales-qualified leads.

While events are typically on the first page of a B2B marketing team’s playbook, an evolving target-audience might mean a change is in order. 

A different generation are becoming marketers. Trends and media consumption are changing. And, yes, lead generation is changing too.

Welcome to the world of social media and lead generation

A recent blog post from The Future of Everything offered insights into lead generation from several leading marketers, including Olin Hyde, founder and CEO of LeadCrunch.ai, and Tyson Quick, founder and CEO of Instapage.

They observed that Millennials tend to approach research differently to previous generations. Generally, this generation prefers using digital media for product comparisons and analysis, rather than attending events or picking up the phone to speak to someone.

This suggests we are likely to see lead generation channels shift from trade shows and events to things like Facebook, LinkedIn and live chats.

So what does this mean for B2B marketers? 

As B2B marketers, we can expect several benefits from adopting a social lead generation strategy:

  • More flexibility to adapt and optimise campaigns on a day-to-day basis
  • Improved ability to drive highly competitive cost-per-lead (CPL) numbers
  • Better targeting capabilities, including ‘hyper-targeting’ of specific accounts, job titles, geographies, etc.
  • Considerably lower investment, compared to the cost of events

Of course, this doesn’t mean that social is now marketing’s Holy Grail and events are no more. 

It does mean though that as always, we've got to think audience first and pay attention to how their media consumption habits are changing. And that means considering social as a strategy when we want to drive leads.

The results speak for themselves

Here at Kingpin, for example, we recently completed a social campaign with an IT security vendor in the enterprise space. Over the course of three months, using a clear content strategy with personalised copy and creative, we were able to drive a competitive CPL of $47 along with an engagement rate of 1.97% (compared to a LinkedIn benchmark of 0.45%).

Such results speak for themselves: if you are thinking about lead generation you need to consider a social strategy to enhance your reach and ROI.