B2B Marketing Blog

What is the return on investment from a B2B online community?

This is the single question, budget holders ask most frequently to both marketers and service providers like us.

Everyone understands what are the benefits of adopting an inbound based, community driving approach. Everyone gets it, however to get the support of the big guys you will need to be able to back up the bold statements you’ll be making with some hard facts.

We’ve drawn upon HubSpot’s research with their 30,000+ customers and the findings to demonstrate how a community based marketing strategy can impact your metrics – from website visitors to actual tangible customers.

The ROI is represented in three main areas, visits, leads and sales:

You will get more visitors to your website

Okay but how many more visitors will you get? The answer is that you will more than double the number of website visitors in the first year and more than triple in the second year.

This is making an assumption that your website does not receive more than 100,000 visits a month.

We all know with the art of sales it is numbers game and therefore doubling your website visitors will inevitably increase your sales further down the funnel.

Another way to look at this is how much would it cost you to invest in external advertising and outbound methods to achieve this figure?

More webiste visitors

You will generate more leads

This is where it starts to get more interesting and compelling. If you as an organisation currently track the numbers of leads your website generates on a monthly basis, you now have a convincing argument that will get the CEO, sales teams and other senior members attention. How?

Imagine telling your boss in the Pub, or while you both share that uncomfortable moment while you are both making a cup of tea in the office kitchen.

Mr. CEO/MD/Big Boss, I have been thinking about the ambitious growth goals for the business this year, and I am convinced that given the right resources the marketing deparment will be able to increase the number of leads by 200% in 6 months and 600% in 12 months.

Making a bold statement like this will definitely get their and the rest of senior management's attention. 

So, if you still don't know the number of leads your website generates on a monthly basis, find out or we can help you with this, then share/show this table with your peers.

More leads converted


You will inevitably close more sales

Yes, because this is a numbers game, your sales team will definitely be able to close more sales, it is a fact. Measuring how much exactly is difficult to standardise as conversion rates from leads-to-customer vary dramatically from one business to another, and it is highly dependant on many variables. But in our ebook we included a guiding table from HubSpot's report.

How can you say no to numbers like these? It’s pretty simple to sum up what the above figures show. This is a compelling case and one that can be demonstrated. We are happy to put our name to it and you should be able too.

A sustained community building approach = increased website visitors, leads and conversions into customers.

The longer you keep at it, the more substantial these increases will be. The data also gives you an idea of the scale of what you can achieve depending on your starting point, and allows you to set realistic expectations. Goal setting should be a key part of your online community strategy, so make sure you draw upon these metrics when setting out your plans for community success.

The most important action you need to take from this piece is: Start tracking your conversions. If you need help with this we can assist you with it and help you build the business case for your particular case. 

This is the sixth chapter of the ebook 'Realising ROI from your B2B Online Community’. Download your complimentary copy below.

Download the ebook Realising ROI from your B2B Online Community


Topics: Marketing Automation B2B communities