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Daniel Kushner: Helping B2B Marketers Prove the Business Value of Social Media

Oktopost

A serial entrepreneur, B2B marketing expert, and a social media enthusiast, Daniel Kushner has more than a decade experience of leading marketing and sales organizations and building startups. Currently, Daniel is the CEO of Oktopost, a social media management platform architected for B2B enterprise companies.

Considering Daniel’s extensive experience, Mirror Review reached out to him to find out more about the success of Oktopost. Moreover, Daniel also shares his journey, from the beginning of his career to the future growth of Oktopost. Here is what we discovered.

Can you start by giving us an overview of your professional background? Which has been your proudest career achievement to date?

Before starting Oktopost, I was the VP Marketing of Nolio, an application release automation company. At Nolio, we were able to track and measure all of our channels but one: organic social. This meant that as the VP Marketing, I didn’t have enough data to understand which channels were the most effective in terms of lead generation.

The majority of our leads were actually coming from social networks – LinkedIn, to be more specific. However, I was unable to track this channel and therefore – I couldn’t track the true business value of social media.

This pain point made me realize that the existing social media management tools weren’t addressing the challenges of B2B companies. This led me to start Oktopost, in order to help B2B marketers prove the ROI of social media. This company is my biggest professional accomplishment to date.

Brief us about the services and solutions offered by Oktopost. What is the value Oktopost offers to its clients?

Social media plays a significant role in the B2B buyer journey, and Oktopost empowers B2B marketers to capture those opportunities.

Our B2B social media management platform allows marketers to manage and schedule large volumes of content, engage with audiences at scale, and track B2B-relevant metrics on social media, such as clicks and conversions. By tracking those metrics, B2B marketers can demonstrate the true impact of social media marketing on the company’s bottom line.

With our employee advocacy platform, marketers are able to distribute content that can be easily discovered and shared by employees. In addition, it offers them sophisticated social compliance features and advanced analytics. Oktopost’s advocacy platform enables marketers to amplify their brand’s social reach, boost engagement around their content, and attract qualified leads.

We offer additional value to B2B marketers through our integration with leading marketing automation platforms. This integration appends social engagement data gathered in Oktopost to lead profiles in the MA platform. Using this data, marketers can then create highly targeted lead scoring, segmentation, nurturing, and attribution programs.

Do you have any new innovations in the pipeline?

We are constantly looking for ways to innovate and introduce new capabilities for our clients. We have recently launched our new mobile employee advocacy app, with multiple advanced new features, such as post-level analytics, video-upload support, and many more.

At the moment, we are working on adding more capabilities to our advocacy platform, such as the Content Suggestions feature, as well as a WeChat integration, which will allow advocates to share content to their contacts on this social network.

What is in store for Oktopost in the coming years?

Currently, we are experiencing major growth, doubling our sales and marketing teams and launching our first office in the US. We have added dozens of new clients to our portfolio, as well as new capabilities and features to our products.

In 2019, we plan to continue growing and expanding our product development, sales, and customer success teams. This will allow us to offer more value to existing clients and also bring on new business, across several key verticals.

What are the biggest challenges for B2B marketers at the moment?

The social media marketing landscape is constantly changing, which means that B2B marketers keep encountering new challenges and need to adjust quickly. There are two key challenges that I’ve seen.

The first one is the changing feed algorithms. The new Facebook algorithm is a different ball game for B2B marketers, and as a result, we’ve seen the organic reach of company content decline. This, coupled with the Human to Human Marketing trend, gave rise to more social selling and employee advocacy than ever before.

Another key challenge is that of social ROI measurement. B2B CMOs are no longer satisfied with measuring solely “vanity” metrics, such as likes, comments, followers, etc. They are zooming in on B2B-relevant parameters, such as click-through-rates and conversions. To track those, they are turning to tools and platforms that support this vision and transforming the way they measure the business impact of social.

What advice would you like to give anyone thinking of starting a business in your industry?

If you’re not having fun, don’t do it. To start and grow a company, you need to be passionate about what you do, enjoy your work and your interaction with partners, customers, prospects, and everyone in the industry. That’s the only way to truly evangelize your product and win in the market.

 

What is your forecast for the future of the MarTech arena?

AI has become a key element in marketing, and social media marketing is no exception. I believe it has the potential to help B2B marketers to do a better job. It’s already being used to predict optimal posting times across social networks, and with time it will become more and more common.

Chatbots are also a rising trend, with many companies utilizing them for social customer care. I expect this trend to grow and become an industry benchmark as customers are becoming used to not having to “wait on the line” but reach out to chatbots for service instead.

Another development is the market maturing and making a clear distinction between B2B and B2C social media marketing. This wasn’t always the case, with most social media management tools catering largely to B2C brands, while B2B companies’ needs weren’t necessarily met. Now, B2C brands continue to focus on brand awareness and engagement on social networks, while B2B companies leverage social networks as a lead gen tool, looking to establish its ROI.