B2B Marketing Consulting 2.0

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This is a guest post from Rebekah Donaldson, President of Business Communications Group LLC and author of a B2B communications blog called Red On Marketing:

In early February, Cris Rominger and I published a free B2B marketing e-book called The New Rules of Outsourcing B2B Marketing: What Marketing Directors need in a B2B marketing consultant today.

The e-book is aimed at helping Marketing Directors see the standard to which they should hold us. We discuss the traits a B2B marketer needs; how to cut ROI guesswork; why B2B marketing differs from B2C… and more.

There is a forum for discussing the e-book’s ideas, and I hope you’ll weigh in.

Keyword research 2.0, too?

I’ve been thinking since the e-book came out about visibility into b2b buyers’ search behavior. I have an idea, and it’s sketched out below. What do you think -- any input?

  • To attract and engaging B2B buyers, we need to know their search behavior. Where are they searching, and with what words and phrases, for example?
  • Keyword research 1.0 shows us what B2B buyers search for in the major engines. It does not, as far as I know, show us what they type into search boxes on Twitter, LinkedIn, Technorati, Digg, ITtoolbox, or the like.
  • Business use of social media is exploding.
  • Keyword research 2.0 must account for searches within social media platforms.

It seems that, as social media grows, so grows our our blind spot.

Admittedly the volumes are nothing like searches in Google. But, depending on the particular B2B buyers, we have a big or tiny blind spot.

What I know

Note that I’m not thinking here about how social media participation influences one’s SEM results – something that folks like Oneupweb have covered.

Also, I'm not thinking about tracking mentions of one’s brand across oodles of platforms and contexts. That’s about finding instances of words and media, not patterns in search behavior.

What I don’t know

I’m thinking, specifically, about how I’d answer a client who asks:

"In Twitter, how many searches were there for ‘internet marketing’ vs ‘website marketing’ since 2007?"

"In LinkedIn, are more visitors searching for 'marketing services' or 'marketing consultants'?"

LinkedIn clearly has such stats. They have rolled out context-relevant advertising. They might help advertisers incorporate popular search terms into their ad copy, too.

But for an internet marketing consultant, those stats aren’t accessible. Are they?

What do you know?

I can think of at least two objections to my line of thinking:

  1. Keyword research 2.0 is already happening; xyz does it.
  2. Keyword research 1.0 is plenty; it’s not important to know what’s searched within social media platforms.

We’re hoping to hear feedback. Please weigh in!

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My thanks to Red for this guest post! I encourage you to check out the ebook and then respond here or on their forum.

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