B2B Companies Still Benefit from Corporate Websites, With Social Improvements

One approach to introducing more web presence into corporate websites is to add improved social capabilities that interact well with customers and potential buyers. This approach appeals to companies that want a measure of control over customer “conversations” and also makes sense if the company is using social capabilities as part of a customer relationship and support strategy.

Content still matters for B2B websites -- B2B are customers still looking for a lot of different kinds of content that they want to easily find on the corporate website. However, many potential B2B customers are also influenced by interactions and content on external social sites -- the savvy B2B company had better understand the importance of such sites. Integration with and monitoring of social sites are key.

Hubspot - inbound marketing and social media advisors::

Your website may very well be the most powerful tool in your marketing kit. Not only is it the place prospects and clients go to learn more about you and your services, but it has a huge impact on their ultimate purchase decision."

The Hubspot post goes on to discuss a survey conducted by RainToday.com that looked at buyers of professional services and the amount of influence that corporate websites exerted on the purchase decision:

According to the survey, 74% of buyers report the service provider's website holds at least "some influence" over their ultimate decision to buy services from the provider. This is 23 percentage points higher than in 2005 and represents a significant increase in the importance of websites."

B2B corporate websites need web management solutions not only for creating and maintaining more social and interactive experiences for customers visiting the site, but to monitor and participate in the conversations that take place on other sites. Other sorts of off-site social-related analytics need to take place, such as sentiment analysis. The results of monitoring and analytics must be used to fine-tune product and marketing strategies, and to help corporations better serve customers.

Jeremiah Owyang on the Future of Corporate Web Presence

Owyang throws out some compelling assertions: In the not-so-distant future, he states that there will be no “old school” corporate sites. There will only be sites assembled on the fly based on social data, a sort of dynamic personalization mashup of content and social engagement.

Today, I’m pleased to see that the thinking –and technology, has emerged, where we’re finding a variety of companies that are integrating social technologies right into the corporate website, bringing the trusted discussions closer to the corporate site.

Although the highest state of nirvana (seamless integration) doesn’t yet exist, we should expect there to be very little difference between social technologies and corporate websites as content will assemble on the fly. I predict URLs won’t matter, as content will be dynamically assembled around the buyer and their context in a variety of devices. Sure, that’s far out thinking now, but that’s why we have several other stage gates that companies must first go through.

Owyang continues on the new social web presence:

  1. Although it’s a new and experimental medium, brands should plan a roadmap.
  2. The future of web experiences will be based around people – not products.
  3. Take inventory of all corporate web assets and identify where they are in the framework.
  4. Next, identify the desired state, and then build a plan against it. Start small and slow, and be sure to have a strategy.
  5. Don’t arbitrarily jump into the social marketing space without measurable KPIs. Be deliberate in your actions.

Owyang’s thinking is important especially for vendors of WCM / WEM software solutions since he may be pointing the way to future web presence solutions (a future that is not that distant).

Read Part II: Future Web Presence Management Solutions – What Could They Look Like?