This week I’m excited to introduce you to another tool and the man behind it: Oktopost CEO and Founder, Daniel Kushner. Oktopost is another great social media management tool that specializes in B2B services, tracking relationships and helping you target your marketing. They’ll soon be launching an employee advocacy program as well, helping companies simplify the advocacy process. In this episode, learn more about Oktopost, and where Daniel sees social media being used in the marketing funnel.
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In This Episode:
- Daniel Kushner, founder and CEO of Oktopost, and his team from Israel will be at the Social Tools Summit on May 12th
- Most people who use Oktopost use it for B2B, and most people who use social for B2B purposes are using it for lead generation
- When you use social media, what are you measuring? The current metrics for most social media is consumer based – how many likes, how many follows
- The top things B2B social media marketers should be measuring include the number of leads, the quality of those leads, and lead attribution
- The tools that are providing in depth lead attribution analysis are still at marketing automation level
- Social media is used at two points in the marketing funnel: for traffic generation or first touch points, and in the middle to engage with potential customers and push them through the funnel
- Oktopost tracks every interaction on social media: what post someone clicked on, who wrote that post, what campaign it belongs to, and it feeds that information into marketing automation
- The more information you have about a lead, the better you can nurture and score that lead
- Oktopost can also track campaigns, so it always knows what campaign a LinkedIn post or a tweet came from, and then when a person clicks on that post, it can track who clicked what, so then you know how to target materials like newsletters, etc.
- Oktopost is closing the gap between what happens on social and what you can do with that information and data inside the marketing automation platform
- Oktopost has lead capture technology
- Daniel has seen a shift towards advocacy
- There aren’t that many companies that have dedicated products and software technologies to support the advocacy programs
- Oktopost has a new product called the Employee Advocacy Board that allows employees to share content that has been approved by the corporate marketing team
Resources & Links:
- If you’re a B2B company trying to implement social media, start with these tips.
- Build better client relationships with social media for B2B sales.
- Put content marketing to work in social media for your B2B brand.
- Trust is an important part of social media for your B2B company. Here’s how to build it.
Neal: Hi everybody. This is Neal Schaffer and welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social. Today I am very excited to present to you a special guest, a guest that through the magic of technology is actually calling in from Israel for this interview. His name is Daniel Kushner and he is the CEO and founder of Oktopost. Daniel, welcome to the podcast.
Daniel: Thank you very much, Neal. It’s a pleasure to be here and I’m very excited and thank you very much for the invitation.
Neal: Thank you Daniel. You know Daniel is going to be one of the amazing speakers that is going to be at the upcoming social tool summit in Boston on May 12 and I wanted to use this podcast really to begin the conversation that we’re going to be continuing on that day. Now Daniel, I am a user of Oktopost myself and I know that a lot of the people who use Oktopost tend to be using it for a B2B perspective. So why don’t we start with sort of the difference between B2B social media and consumer facing social media.
Daniel: Yeah. I think that’s a great place to start because what I’ve found in my experience in running worldwide marketing teams for B2B companies is that social media is done very differently and one of the main aspects is what are you measuring. Now when we look at a B2B marketer does, it’s mostly around lead generation. That’s like the number one objective that a B2B marketer has and all the PPIs are around this lead generation.
So when we go into a trade show for example you know how many business cards you collected or if you’re running a webinar you know how many registrants and how many attendees. Even if they’re doing online activities, like Google activities, so there are systems in place where you can see how much you’re spending and how many clicks and how many leads you’re generating from these ads, but when it comes to social what we see is that most of the metrics around social are very different.
It’s more around the consumer metrics, how many likes, how many followers, how many re-tweets, how many comments and if you can’t correlate those metrics to the number of leads that you’re generating from social for the B2B market it’s not really worth that much. So I think the main difference in B to B and B to C is what we’re measuring as the effectiveness of our social media activities.
Neal: You know that’s a great point because I think everybody in social media marketing is looking for ROI and obviously the ROI comes from the measurement. So I guess what you’re saying is that B to B markers have always been doing this and therefore if they’re going to engage in social, they need to be able to measure, right? So what are the different things that – I mean you mentioned some of them, but if you had to throw out the top five things that B to B social media markers should be measuring and in fact their tool or their dashboard should be helping them measure. What would those few things be?
Daniel: So the top five, one is definitely leads, the number of leads that I’m generating. In every company the lead is something I something which is – it’s different. It’s the same name, but every company has a different meaning of that name. The most basic is somebody leaving their information in the system at minimal the email and that becomes the lead. The second is the quality of the lead because if we have 1,000 leads, what does that mean if these 1,000 leads are all from let’s say the UK, but my market is in the US?
So it’s the quality of the lead after they go through qualification and then in every company they have different names. If it’s marketing qualified leads, qualified lead, etc. we need to know the lead attribution. Where did we get this lead from? And I think one of the – this metric is one of the hardest today for marketers to measure because it’s a very vague question. Where are my leads coming from? So I’ll try to give you an example just to show you the complexity of the question.
So say we’re running a webinar. So I have a webinar landing page. Now somebody registers to that webinar. So is that webinar the source or the content that got my lead? Maybe. How did they hear about the webinar? I they heard about the webinar from a tweet, maybe the tweet is the lead attribution. If they heard about the webinar from a blog post, maybe the blog post is an attribution. So it’s very hard for the marketer to discern where the leads are coming from although it’s one of the most critical things that we need to measure, especially because it’s not all linear.
It’s not all a single point of contact. You might tweet about a blog post and in the blog post you mention the webinar. So it went from tweeted blog to webinar. Which one do I give credit for bringing in the specific lead? So although it’s a very hard thing to measure, it’s something which is extremely important, and what we’re finding is that the most advanced or the more advanced marketers, they’re using massive automation tools like [Inaudible] [00:05:17] to try to understand the lead journey and the lead cycle and how to attribute these content sources and the channels towards the leads.
Neal: Oh that was going to be another question I was going to ask you. We’re finding along the customer journey that we have these multiple touch points and some of them may even be offline, right? And that’s the problem with attribution. So what you’re saying is that right now the tools that are really focusing on providing in depth analysis as to where that journey is taking place are still at the marketing and automation level. You don’t see this functionality and a specific social media tool per se right now, correct?
Daniel: So I think when we – if you’re looking at the marketing funnel, social media is used in two places. One it’s used for traffic generation so it’s at the very top of the funnel. We might say that they’re the first touch points and it’s also used in the middle of the funnel to engage with prospects and even customers to push them through the funnel itself.
So and because social doesn’t live in a silo, but as we said we have trade shows and webinars and blogs and other content sources and other marketing channels, the actual social media tools is not the – I wouldn’t say it’s not the correct place to be your lead source of information because not all leads are coming from social, but what we find that the social media is definitely an input to other marketing platforms where it should share the data with the marketers of the world, with the [inaudible] [00:06:49] to help get a bigger picture of the lead journey itself.
Neal: I guess this really leads into I know that your platform is very strong at integrating with other platforms like those that you just mentioned, right? And I guess that’s one of the critical things about measurement is one tool alone in social media can’t do it alone and you need to have those integration points. So tell the listeners about the different integrations that Oktopost currently supports.
Daniel: Yeah. With Oktopost, the integrations that we have with market automation is basically what we enable to do is every single time there’s a social interaction, if it’s – somebody clicks on one of the social links or somebody fills out a form on your website and they came from social media, we have that information. We know exactly what message they’re clicking on, who wrote the message, what social campaign it belongs to and we feed that information into market automation.
Now the premise of this data is that within marketing automation, the more data that you have around a lead, the better you can nurture those leads and the better you can score those leads. So let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean about nurturing and scoring. So let’s say for example that I have inside my Oktopost different campaigns and each campaign has social content. If it’s a tool to Facebook updates or LinkedIn updates, each campaign has a different social content around a certain topic.
So, one campaign talks about ROI. Another campaign will talk about let’s see security. Now when my audience is clicking on those social links, because this link went through Oktopost we know the exact campaign the tweet from or the exact campaign the LinkedIn page update came from and this information is now fed into let’s say for example a Marketo. So a Marketo your automation platform is now aware because of a social click of the interest of that person. Just because that person clicked on a tweet that was in my ROI campaign I can now see that that person is interested in ROI.
So when I come and program my marketing automation platform let’s say for example to send the monthly newsletter, I can then do a diversion and say okay if this lead showed interest in ROI because they clicked on my ROI tweets, my newsletter is going to be ROI tailored. If this person is interested in security, I’m going to tailor my monthly newsletter around security. So now we’re providing better context to our readers based on their interest that we learned from their social media activity. So in the end we’re closing the loop between what’s happening on social and what we can do with this information and data inside the marketing automation platforms.
Neal: So it sounds like I mean from the way you described it that Oktopost is really extending the functionality of those marketing automation platforms which weren’t built for social into the realm of social right? I guess on the other hand I’m curious as to maybe smaller businesses that have never invested in marketing automation and once they start seeing the ROI from using your platform, they want to go the other way and then add that marketing automation. Have you seen both of those types of customers in your experience?
Daniel: Yeah, definitely. So for the smaller businesses that we sell to, they can use what we call our lead capture technology. So whatever web form they have on their website, if it’s a static web form. If it’s something that they wrote in PHP or put out on their Word Press, whatever, we can still capture that information of the person who filled out that form and left their email and their name and the company.
If that person came from social, we can show the connection and we show that data inside of Oktopost instead of inside the marketing automation platform and just to kind of express the strength of that connection, we can even follow cases where let’s say you tweet about an article that was in Wall Street that mentioned your company name. So somebody comes along. They click on that tweet. They get to Wall Street Journal. They read the article and they see the company or the product name and they do a Google search.
They get to your website and they fill out that contact us form that feeds that information into your mail. Because that person originated from a tweet, we can still do the connections. So as a marketer you can now see which social content is now not only generating traffic to third party websites, like Wall Street Journal in this case, but also ending up at good lead generators on your website.
Neal: So clearly those especially in the B2B industries that are still questioning the ROI of social obviously haven’t been using Oktopost. So that’s a first step. I’m also curious and I do believe that even tools that are meant for B2B can be used for consumer facing brands. I’m wondering if you’ve had customers and even B2Bs or even consumer facing brands have B to B aspects as well, right? Do you have any case studies or experience working with consumer facing brands and how they’ve used your tool to achieve similar results in that different type of industry?
Daniel: Yeah. So because we market to the B2B area very vast majority of our customers are B2B, we do have large enterprises that have both B2C and B2B divisions. Customers like Panasonic for example, but still the major use cases is using – because of the way that we track social data and more about the leads and integrations with market automation platforms. We tend to attract the B to B type companies more than B2C.
Neal: Got you. Okay. Well, you know, we’re near the end of our podcast and is there anything else you want to share about your vision for your product or the direction that you see the market going over the six to 12 months that our listeners should be aware of?
Daniel Kushner: Yeah. One of the things that we’ve seen in the market and this has been happening for many, many years or since social has existed in the B2B area is all around advocacy. It’s the dream of every company, especially the larger ones, to have their employees start sharing the social data. So if I manufacture hard drives and we have this new amazing technology to get a gazillion giga in one hard drive and maybe I want the employees to share that information on social, but we haven’t seen it take off.
You don’t see many B2B companies have large and successful advocacy programs and then we studied the market a bit and what we found is that there are only a handful of companies that have dedicated products and software technologies to support these employee advocacy programs and one of the major issues after speaking with our customers is that they don’t want to have a second product where they have to create and enter content for their employees to share and then what occurred to us is that hey we have the B to B marketers creating social content within Oktopost.
Why not use this same content and create a different platform that will basically distribute this already generated content to the employees and allow the employees to share the content onto their social profiles. So we’re coming out now with a new product with an employee advocacy board which allows to do this exact thing and employees to share content that’s been created and approved by the corporate marketing and the nice thing or the added bonus is because everything is now funneled through the Oktopost platform if your employees are sharing content and that content is getting clicks and leads, we’ll have all this information.
So now your Salesforce, your Marketo, and your Oktopost can show you the value of the employee advocacy program not only how many shares their doing and the outreach, but if you’re generating leads in your business from that activity.
Neal: And Daniel when do you plan to release that product?
Daniel: So the product has been released. It’s version one. We’re releasing the new version in the middle of April, in a week or two or just before the summit. It has some very interesting case studies and of course because it’s a product that just started out we have a very enriched and interesting road map that we’ll be moving forward that will include the identification of very exciting things that we can add to the social board.
Neal: That’s great, Daniel, and well for some of you, you may have heard it first here on the Maximize Your Social podcast, but it’s really these conversations and getting to know more about the vision of each platform that I think is the value that I want to bring not only with this podcast, but obviously with the social tool summit.
So you have as Daniel said there are standalone advocacy platforms and then you have a solution like an Oktopost which was built very well to do something that now is adding that advocacy functionality into it and with it comes all the other benefits that the platform originally provided, such as those integrations, being able to do the granular measurement and what have you. So there are many, many different approaches to the same problem, right?
And before investing in a tool, you really should be looking at what’s out there and I’m really glad for those of you listening hopefully you’ll get a little bit of a competitive advantage by understanding more about Oktopost and the direction and the good news if you’ve been already using them adding an advocacy component is I’m assuming going to be very easy and integrated throughout your dashboard. Correct, Daniel?
Daniel: Yes, that’s exactly correct.
Neal: Great. Well, this concludes it. Any other – one final last statement Daniel before we sign off?
Daniel: Once again, thank you very much for having me. We’re very excited to be attending the social summit in May. We’re flying our team over from Israel. If any part of your audience would like to meet us personally there, we would love to set up meetings and just one last tip for the advocacy was I think there’s a big difference between technology and a program itself.
We definitely very strongly recommend that even if you’re using a platform like Oktopost to run your advocacy that you find somebody who can help you run the program if it’s not something that you have the knowledge and expertise in house because doing it right – when you’re testing tools and marketers they like testing new technology and testing things out and if things that’s okay marketing.
Where we’re taking our technology and our new ways of doing things and expanding this across different employees, they might be less tolerant of things going wrong and things not working smoothly. So creating a very vigorous and thought out program is not less important than just picking the right technology.
Neal: Well said, Daniel. Thank you so much for being on the show. I’m really looking forward to meeting you in person at the social tool summit and I encourage those of you listening to plan on attending the social tool summit. Reach out to Oktopost. Reach out to Daniel. Schedule some time together.
The presentations and the speed dating where you get to see the demonstrations of the platforms are all going to be great, but it’s also making those one to one connections that I think is really going to help your business. So this ends another episode of Maximize Your Social. Wherever you are in the world, make it a great social day. Bye bye everybody.
Transcript provided courtesy of GMR Transcription Services, Inc.