A report from eMarketer found that implementing content marketing and a social strategy helped AT&T foster better relationships with current and future prospects.

In an interview with eMarketer, AT&T social media lead for business marketing Trish Nettleship detailed the company’s campaigns, which include aggressive B2B social media marketing. The business positions itself as a thought leader while generating demand for its services via social content, and Nettleship says businesses should encourage employees to help build on brand efforts through their own social sharing.

According to Nettleship, AT&T sought a way to boost engagement with its customers. However, like many businesses, it struggled to find the resources to optimize its interaction.

In December 2010, AT&T launched its internal ambassador program to “foster discussions with business leaders on technology innovations.” Adding content marketing through an ambassador blog and actively encouraging employees and other participants to discuss telecommunications topics on their social media accounts essentially provided free marketing for the company.

Ultimately, Nettleship said the goal was to increase the sharing of their social content and boost overall engagement. She found that sharing links increased traffic to its blog content by 50 percent, and that social media content became far more frequent.

As they discussed new technology referenced in AT&T’s content and social initiatives, prospects requested more information about the company’s services.

“The idea is to build that thought leadership and engage customers earlier in the research process, as they’re starting to learn about these technologies and how they are going to help their business,” Nettleship told eMarketer.

Providing informative content across many channels via an integrated content marketing campaign is key to web conversions. Brafton recently reported that the average consumer consults 10.4 sources when making a decision on a purchase.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.