Beginning a Social Selling Campaign: Where to start…and where do I get the budget?

Marketers beginning a social selling program wrestle with many basic questions that often accompany high-growth new campaigns. They want to know what to expect. Will a social selling program bring in new revenues and leads? If so, how soon? Finally, and most importantly, how much will it cost and where to find the budget.

Let’s start with addressing why Enterprise marketers are evaluating social media now more than ever. Social has long been seen as part of the omnichannel that content marketing must address to reach a diverse and increasingly distracted buyer’s persona. As more content proliferates on the web, promoting content has become more expensive and complicated. Branded messages sent by email and on social are being ignored. The problem of how to make content sell has become extraordinarily difficult to answer. At the same time, individuals are finding that social media has given them a voice and knocked down walls between buyers and sellers. Pressed for time, sellers have taken advantage of distributing content created by marketing and marketing is now trying to activate sellers at scale.

Curious marketers are asking themselves if they can really find ROI by distributing content this way and how soon they can expect results. We find that within 6 weeks salespeople will begin to see the fruits of their labor when distributing content. Beyond the anecdotes from sales analytics will often confirm that a regular audience is built around the networks of those who are regularly sharing content. By tapping into the buyer’s journey in this way, results are around the corner, right? Well, kind of. We see that it takes about 6 months for many complex tech products to start seeing a regular flow of leads and sales that can be traced back to social selling. While it may take time to get the pump primed, the effort is worth it monetarily.

The next question marketers want to be answered is how big an investment is social selling. Could spending the money in different ways, drive the same results with less demand on internal resources. Social selling can require far fewer resources than content creation or other marketing functions. We’ve seen programs with high rates of return costing less than 30% of a full-time marketing resource. More importantly, these programs are practically turn-key requiring 1-5 hours per week to manage. When comparing that to the cost of content creation itself, social selling is a bargain. And it’s a bargain your content cannot live without.

Ok, so the social selling program is all teed up. Your sales teams are excited to be a part of it because it will lift their street cred online and you can’t wait for them to place your content with buyers with a strong call to action. The only problem is where to find the budget. We see budgets for these programs coming from several sources. First, there is training. Getting salespeople trained on social can often be a gateway to a vibrant program that includes content distribution. The second source is the content budget. If existing content cannot be measured or is not meeting the mark, a social program can solve that problem and save the overall budget for content from being scratched. Lastly, sales enablement can be an excellent partner when trying to give content wings on social. We have seen sales enablement often wanting to own the program from a budget perspective.

We will be offering more tips on creating your very own social selling program in the coming months. Please join us by reaching out to [email protected]. We’d also be happy to show you a demo of our social selling platform that makes creating a customized social selling program simple. Be on the lookout for our upcoming webinars.

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