According to LinkedIn, 97% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers use the platform for their content marketing efforts. You may wonder if joining that group is the best thing for your company. Or, you may already know you want to use the platform for B2B marketing, but don’t know where to begin. In this article, we’re helping you decide how to get your business started with LinkedIn B2B marketing with the following topics:
As a marketer, you already know doing research rather than what taking someone says at face value is important. Yes, the people at LinkedIn think they have a great platform for B2B marketers, but they wouldn’t have a job or a product if they didn’t. We probably all feel the same about our own companies. Instead of taking LinkedIn’s word for it, here are some other reasons the service benefits your B2B marketing efforts. It:
Demand generation is the marketing efforts of the lead generation process. It uses data to drive awareness and interest in your company. Many B2B clients and customers use online research to vet their options before contacting a sales department. Making sure you’re on the channels where people do their research, like LinkedIn, allows you to be part of that vetting process and keep up with your competitors.
Social media is a popular marketing tool because you can run it in-house. You also have control over the content posted, and it’s free unless you choose to engage in paid marketing. While social media marketing isn’t easy, it is a good option to choose if you want to feel you’re being productive and proactive, even on a small marketing budget. No matter what other types of marketing you do, adding social media, like LinkedIn, to your strategy can help you get more reach, leads, and brand awareness without spending more money.
Other social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, don’t have a pre-defined context, no matter how popular they are for marketing. People use them for all different purposes, from researching products to staying in touch with family and friends. LinkedIn, in contrast, markets itself as a professional social network. It has the context of the platform built right into the business model.
People come to the service to search for jobs, read industry news, and, yes, research B2B products and services. By having a presence alone, you’re narrowing the appeal to a certain target audience: professionals. People on the platform are there to do business.
Speaking of targeting, LinkedIn B2B marketing uses ad targeting data sourced from users to provide you with as much information as possible about your audience. It updates in real-time and comes mostly from self-reporting features, so you’re getting that audience information from the targets themselves. You can use this information when creating content, engaging in ad campaigns, or conducting searches on the platform to aid your research and marketing efforts or engage in conversations happening across the platform.
If you already have data on your target audience or a list of clients with whom you want to connect, LinkedIn B2B marketing lets you do it. For example, you can upload your email subscribers list to LinkedIn and it can match those emails with user profiles. If your list matches 300 or more profiles, the system creates a Matched Audience you can target with any of your LinkedIn campaigns.
Other options included uploading an Account Audience, a list of company names that you want to target, or generating a Lookalike Audience, which curates a list of LinkedIn users similar to those with whom you already work.
Many of your team members, from your CEO to your interns, are likely on LinkedIn. Connecting with your team through the platform uses your employees as a tool for increasing reach across the service and bringing new connections from their personal sectors into the business. Any information your employees share about the company on their personal pages is an opportunity to get more visibility across the internet, so encourage your team to share any updates that come from your company’s page.
Google and other search engines crawl every LinkedIn page, business or personal, and that information can show up in search results. Anything your team members share, from articles to posts, has more potential to appear in other feeds or on search engine result pages (SERPs). This amplifies your messaging and gets employees at all levels involved in the marketing process.
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LinkedIn lets you use two different marketing tactics on the same platform to attract customers and build brand awareness. They include:
Examples of these strategies you can use on the service include:
Posts and articles are the top way to get people to see your content on LinkedIn. Both appear in the feeds of people who follow you or subscribe to your content. Posts are also a way to get people to share your content for a wider reach. You can develop any relevant content for a post or article, from a blog topic to a company update. Both posts and articles have the option of adding other media like videos, images, links, or slide presentations to provide information in the format to which your audience is most receptive.
Joining groups can help you network on LinkedIn. They’re good places to take part in discussions and share more of your content. Doing so allows you to serve as a helpful resource and showcase your company as a thought leader or viable solution to industry problems. Within groups, you can also become the student and find tips and resources to better execute your LinkedIn B2B marketing strategies.
You don’t have to just be a group follower. You can also start your own. Anyone can create a group on LinkedIn. Be sure to create groups for topics that don’t already exist and that have a real purpose. You may find opportunities for additional groups through discussions, posts, or messages. When you create one, you become the owner and moderator, gaining the leadership privileges and recognition that come with it.
LinkedIn offers button widgets you can add to your website, blog, or email newsletter to let people know you have a presence on the platform. Adding them wherever you include social media icons or share buttons alerts people to look for you when browsing the service. These buttons are also a way to expand your network. If someone finds your blog and likes the content, they may head to LinkedIn to learn more about your company, and follow your page.
We call LinkedIn a social networking site for a reason. The point is to make connections with other people in the same or similar industries, or those looking for solutions in those fields. If you’re on LinkedIn, you’re likely familiar with how to connect with someone else the more traditional way, but you can also connect by asking people to join your groups, collecting a newsletter subscribers list, or answering questions in trending posts about certain topics.
Start by making connections with people you already know. This can help the program’s algorithm suggest other relevant pages and accounts with which you can connect. When networking with people on LinkedIn, remember to focus on what you can do for the customer. B2B marketing thrives on meeting client needs and solving their problems.
Your best marketing, in any industry or on any platform, comes back to creating high-quality, valuable content. These pieces get your audience to notice you. They find it valuable if it solves their problems, answers their questions, or makes them think deeply about a topic.
It’s important to pick the right keywords around which you can craft your pieces. It’s equally important to optimize the experience for the reader or viewer. For example, make sure each piece has a quality headline, engaging visuals, and a scannable format. Types of content that work best for B2B brands include long-form articles, blog posts, eBooks, and white papers. Start a call with CopyPress to learn how a content partnership with us creates interesting written and custom design content for your LinkedIn profiles and other digital marketing channels.
LinkedIn has a feature that allows connections to review your company or share their personal experiences working with you. These reviews function like testimonials you may use on your website. Studies have shown that 91% of B2B buyers say word-of-mouth marketing like testimonials affects their purchasing decisions. You can ask satisfied customers to leave their feedback on the platform so others can see it. Those initial recommendations may help more grow organically.
As you work through a marketing strategy, it’s important to start with research and end with tracking and monitoring metrics for all your efforts. It’s important to use not just the native LinkedIn tools but additional third-party ones to bring your strategies to life. This may include post-scheduling software, automated messaging replies, and keyword search tools.
To learn how your content performs on social media platforms and other channels, like your blog and website, request your free content marketing analysis report from CopyPress. This report tells you how your content stacks up against your top three industry competitors. It also shows gaps in your keyword strategy, providing new opportunities to create content for LinkedIn or other channels around topics your audience craves.
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LinkedIn isn’t just an organic traffic platform. Like other social media networks, you can advertise on LinkedIn to put your content and messaging directly in front of your target audience. You have complete control over your campaigns on LinkedIn and can set everything from the objectives, audience pool, ad format, timeline, and budget. Using paid marketing techniques on the service allows you to expand your reach to the most qualified leads on the platform.
Showcase pages let you highlight brands that are extensions of your parent company. For example, HarperCollins publishing could create Showcase pages for its imprints, like HarperTeen or Greenwillow Books, rather than creating separate company pages for each one. Using a Showcase page helps you segment traffic on LinkedIn and provide further targeted material for subgroups of your larger brand.
Another way to be a proactive marketer on LinkedIn is to use advanced search to find clients and companies to target with your campaigns. The advanced search features let you narrow prospects by a variety of categories, including industry, company, school, function, and group. To access all storing features, you need a LinkedIn Premium membership, but even without one, there are still plenty of ways to narrow your search results and pinpoint new connections and leads.
If you’ve developed a filter you like for one of your audience segments, you can save the criteria by using the “Save search” button in the upper right corner of the window to access it later.
Did you know you can create a newsletter on LinkedIn that shares your native articles with a list of subscribers? Like an email newsletter, you can set the dates and times of publication and curate your newsletter around industry topics or talking points. People who want to read more of your content can subscribe and get alerts when a recent issue is ready.
Like other social media sites, LinkedIn allows you to use hashtags in posts to contribute your comments, content, or other materials to an ongoing conversation. Like tags within content management systems (CMS), hashtags allow you to categorize what you’re talking about and allow people looking for the information to find it easily. Using hashtags for trending topics when appropriate can get you the most notoriety and reach. Overusing this feature can make your content appear spammy, so keep the hashtags between one and three for any post.
You can also search relevant hashtags for your industry and engage with the posts that others have published. Make sure that your comment is engaging so it doesn’t seem like you’re commenting just for commenting’s sake.
Like hashtags, you can also directly tag another business page or an individual account within your content to increase your chance for reach and making new connections. For example, if you share a guest blog post, you can tag the author. If you’re working with another organization on a partnership program, you can tag that company in your post. Remember, LinkedIn is all about who you know. The more you share, the better you can build rapport and credibility.
The new LinkedIn Live feature isn’t available for everyone yet, but you can see if you’re eligible for early access. Why? By learning how to use this marketing feature before it’s available to the public, you can learn how to leverage it for your B2B audience before it becomes mainstream. With this feature, you can host live discussions, meetings, or interviews right on your page, from anywhere in the world. There are criteria to meet to see if you qualify for early application, and three ways to run an automated assessment to see if you have the right privileges.
LinkedIn claims there are 63 million decision-makers on the platform. By starting your B2B marketing campaigns there today, you can leverage your pull with them to get more qualified leads and grow your brand awareness to keep your company thriving for years to come.
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