Social media enhances SEO

The recently released State of Digital Marketing 2012 report from a California-based marketing firm revealed the latest trends in online marketing and the roles both SEO and social media are playing in developing the digital marketplace. The report outlines the current state of the online marketing industry while providing insight into future best practices to guide marketing teams on the path to success.

Breakdown of the report's findings
The online marketing study found business-to-business marketers are engaged in social media just as much as business-to-consumer teams. About 63 percent of B2Bs are moderately to highly engaged with social media, compared to 70 percent of B2Cs. The most common areas of social media investment for online marketing teams are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Nearly all advertisers are generating leads from these top three websites, and roughly half of online marketing teams report closing deals from these leads.

For B2B advertisers on Facebook, 39 percent of marketers generated leads from the website and 19 percent report sales off the site, compared to 67 percent of B2Cs generating leads and 39 percent of which closing deals. For LinkedIn users, 44 percent of B2B marketers and 21 percent of B2C advertisers generate leads off the site, while 23 percent of B2Bs and 9 percent of B2Cs report sales from the leads. From Twitter, 30 percent of B2Bs and 43 percent of B2Cs are collecting leads, while 14 percent of B2Bs and 19 percent of B2Cs have finalized transactions from the generated leads.

The focus of digital marketing efforts is also in a state of influx. Fifty-four percent of B2B marketers are launching digital campaigns to generate leads, 28 percent are looking to increase brand awareness, 10 percent hope to increase sales and 6 percent are generating website traffic.

The study revealed SEO, combined with an online campaign, is producing the greatest impact in lead generation for digital marketers' local SEO campaigns. About 59 percent of B2B marketers consider SEO as the factor leading to the greatest generation of leads, while 21 percent consider social media alone as a top lead-generating channel.

Takeaways
Based on the results of the study, the current trends in online marketing consist of a combination of both SEO and social media tactics. As social media engages directly with clients and consumers, it is on the cutting-edge of marketing strategies. But the power of social media is significantly reduced if the content being offered is not highly optimized and searchable for the average consumer to find online.