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3 Important Social Media Trends For Defense Contractor Marketing

Are you profitably leveraging the latest social media marketing trends for your defense industry firm? Here are three that will keep you flying high.

defense industry social media trends

While the adoption of social media gains traction amongst defense contractors, the attitudes and usage of social media by marketers overall continues to evolve. Social media is a moving target.

Social Media Examiner has released its 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry ReportHow Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses.”

The 50-page report includes not only how marketers are using social media but also their future plans. The report has over 70 charts detailing the study’s findings on social media topics such as:

  • The most prevalent social media questions
  • How much time marketers are spending on it
  • The benefits
  • Most-used platforms
  • Outsourcing social media

As I read through the report, I found three key trends especially relevant to defense contractors:

1. Businesses are placing an increasingly higher value on social media. A significant 92% (up from 86%) indicate that social media is important for their business.

The top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and site traffic. Survey respondents reported increased benefits across all categories since 2013. In addition, social media marketing has contributed to increased sales, growing business partnerships, generating leads, reduced marketing expenses and improved search rankings.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

 

These findings are consistent with the first-ever study of defense industry social media by DefenceIQ. Shown here is "Overview of the advantages for defence contractors of social media," (Page 9, Figure 4):

 

Social Media Benefits for Defense Contractors

2. Looking to the future, blogging topped the charts for the first time as the number-one area of increased focus and activity for marketers.

While blogging is often overshadowed by the popular social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.), blogging is one of the oldest forms of social media. If defense contractors could only pick one marketing tactic, blogging would have the most bang for the buck.

A study by Internet software company HubSpot explains why blogging is so powerful:

  • Companies that blog get 70% more leads than those that don’t blog.
  • 57% of companies have acquired a customer through their blog.
  • 71% of companies said blogs affect their purchase decisions

But the benefits of blogging don’t stop there. Another marketing benefit is the impact blogging has on search engine rankings. When a company zeroes in on a prospective customer’s problems (and Internet search terms), a blog can quickly turn into a magnet, drawing organic (non-paid) search traffic. An effective blog usually becomes the most-trafficked section of a website.

Commonly used content in social media marketing

3. Original written content is most important for social media marketing.

More and more companies are understanding that the key ingredient needed for any kind of social media success is original content.

Content is fire. Social media is gasoline. – Jay Baer

When social media became the new shiny marketing object, many defense contractors tried to put a toe in the water (or jump on the band wagon) and “do” social media. They set up a variety of social media accounts and then… not much happened.

Social media is great for distributing your content and getting it shared. But without content it’s like buying a fleet of sexy new jet fighters with no fuel to power them.

What defense contractor social media trends are you seeing?

To download the report from Social Media Examiner, click here.

douglasburdett
douglasburdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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