May 7, 2013 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
“If you build it, they will come” is a mantra that may work in baseball movies, but definitely not in B2B content marketing. While great content can (and will) do well organically overtime the sheer volume of B2B content that is being produced on a daily basis means your particular blog post/white paper/infographic/webinar is just a drop in the bucket. Even the greatest piece of content ever written needs help getting in front of some eyeballs!
Most businesses can’t afford to sit and wait for their customers to come to them, so you need to make sure your B2B content is where your audience is when they need it. One of the best places to promote B2B content has got to be LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups in particular.
This graph shows the dramatic difference that promoting just one piece of content a week in various LinkedIn groups can have in the amount of traffic coming from LinkedIn for a B2B business. Before we started promoting this client’s blog content they were getting hardly any traffic from LinkedIn (as you can see by the orange line). Maybe a few visitors from the company LinkedIn page from time to time but definitely nothing to write home about. What a waste of great content!
Just a few weeks later you can see that traffic from LinkedIn has increased over 1,000% from less than 50 different LinkedIn Groups. What’s more, our client has been noticing a stark increase in the number of white paper downloads from LinkedIn traffic as well.
Unlike SEO, which is long term, generating targeted traffic from LinkedIn with B2B content promotion typically happens much more quickly. If you need to generate a good chunk of traffic relatively quickly to make the boss happy, LinkedIn might just be the answer to your prayers.
Best of all, you don’t have to pay for it! Another one of our B2B clients mentioned that the amount of traffic they were getting from their own LinkedIn content promotion efforts blew their traffic from LinkedIn ads out of the water, and all it cost them was writing time.
For most B2B brands, the buying cycle is long and complicated and involves a lot of people. After all, if you are trying to sell a $50,000 software program or a $3,000 a month business service someone wants to be 100% sure they are making the right decision.
For instance, if you are trying to sell SEO services your audience could consist of marketing managers, VPs of marketing, CMOs, or even the business owner themselves. Each potential customer is going to have different wants/needs and be looking for slightly different information based on their particular needs. And different people will have different amounts of control over the buying process. For example, the marketing manager might be the one who does all the research into hiring an SEO partner but the CMO is the one that signs off on it. Or a small business owner might be looking for an SEO firm that specializes in local SEO while the VP of Marketing needs a company that is comfortable managing a large site and even larger SEO program.
Your B2B content marketing process has to cover every step of the buying cycle, including identifying and targeting those specific influencers and decision makers and their unique needs.
There are thousands of LinkedIn Groups that cater to very specific niche audiences. And the best part about it is your audience sorts themselves! You don’t have to worry about digging through an email list to find the best prospects for a particular piece of content, simply belonging to such and such group sets that person up for a being a prime target. You can write and promote different pieces of content to different groups based on who you are trying to reach and what you are trying to accomplish.
For most B2B marketers, coming up with new topics is one of the biggest roadblocks to having a successful content marketing campaign. The way I see it, we are so used to living and breathing our own niches that information becomes “well, duh” to us and it’s not nearly as exciting as it used to be. But for your target audience that is just getting their feet wet that “well, duh” piece of information is actually ground-breaking!
You may not get a ton of comments on your blog (which should not be taken to mean that no one is reading) so take a look at your various LinkedIn Groups and see what your audience has to say. Do they agree or disagree with the points you tried to make? Do certain topics seem to generate more response than others? Do any of your LinkedIn connections offer insights that would be great for future blog post or articles? There is a plethora of topics out there to write about, sometimes you just have to get out of your own way.
For B2B brands, LinkedIn is arguably the best content promotion platform around. Save money, grow your targeted traffic AND build your brand’s online authority in one fell swoop. Not to mention the social signals and links that can come out of it as well.
Shawna Wright is a senior SEO specialist at Boston search marketing firm Brick Marketing. She is also Brick Marketing’s SEO instructor for the company’s full-day SEO workshops that are hosted in major cities across the US.
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