LinkedIn & B2B – A match made in marketing heaven
In our time working in social media marketing (and as an idea of how long it’s been, a couple of the team here remember trying to make sense of how we could use this new fangled tool called Twitter to start promoting our employers at the time) we’ve seen social media in general evolve from basic apps designed primarily to broadcast updates through to today’s wide-ranging and immersive platforms that have pretty much digitised the entire human social experience.
It’s an evolution that has opened up a myriad of new ways for businesses to connect with potential customers but in this blog we’ll be focusing on the B2B world and one thing that hasn’t changed here, in pretty much forever, is the preeminence of LinkedIn as the B2B social media marketing platform of choice.
On this point we think the numbers tell the story best*: LinkedIn is the leading professional social media network with 467 million members globally; Over 50% of social media traffic to B2B sites comes from the LinkedIn platform; Over 80% of social media-generated B2B leads originate from LinkedIn; 91% of B2B marketers rate LinkedIn as delivering the best ROI on campaigns when compared to other social platforms.
So, how can you and your business take advantage right now?
The first way is by using LinkedIn in exactly the way it was intended and the great news here is it costs you nothing besides some time, creativity and commitment. On LinkedIn the organic promotion of both your business and your personal profile is achieved by simply getting engaged in the platform and contributing your voice, opinions and content to the mix.
Get your profile and your company profile set up, completed and be as concise as possible in summarising who you are and what you do well. Highlight your personality and what makes you different from others in your field. Use imagery that grabs the eye and don’t waste any opportunity that the platform provides you. Make sure your profile picture says the right things about you for the nature of the network (maybe leave those drunken selfies for Facebook guys) and utilise your header image – it’s the biggest single space on the page where you have complete control over what is displayed.
Once your profiles are set up and looking great it’s time to jump on in to the LinkedIn fray. Build your network with connection requests and don’t be afraid to strike up new connections if you think you have something to offer someone or you’re interested in what they do, it’s kind of what the network was designed for!. Follow companies and LinkedIn Influencers and join groups that are focused on topics, industries or geographies that you have a particular interest in. This all helps develop your network and reach meaning your continuing engagement is likely to have a more significant impact.
The feed is where you’ll land first of all on LinkedIn and it’s the natural place to get your engagement started. This is where updates and content from your network will appear as it’s posted to LinkedIn and it’s where you can begin to get properly involved in the discussion. Get scrolling and when something catches your eye give it a like, got something to say then comment away and if you think something could be of benefit to others in your network then share it.
And what about the options if you’ve got a bit of money to spend?
Well, first off, before we even get to the subject of advertising options, which is often what people jump straight to when thinking about spending money on LinkedIn, let’s mention the paid-for accounts available that actually build on the functionalities of the platform and help you get even more from your general social activity.
Premium accounts such as Sales Navigator are a great (and affordable) option for any business looking to maximise the impact and effectiveness of their people’s LinkedIn activity. Social selling is a real buzz word right now and it’s premium accounts like these that really allow you to access the full power of LinkedIn as a prospecting tool.
What this doesn’t mean is you need to morph in to old school full-on salesman mode just because you’re using this kind of account. No, through functionality such as lead identification, recommendations and list building along with various lead and account alerts, premium accounts like Sales Nav simply allow you to get more from your activity, engage with the right people and make sure you never miss a trick.
The most powerful B2B social advertising platform
Now then, let’s take a look at those advertising options we mentioned previously and why LinkedIn is one of the most powerful B2B advertising tools you have available to you (in the mind of this writer anyway).
The first reason we believe this to be the case is the sheer amount and variety of different types of advertising that can be deployed across LinkedIn. From placing sponsored content in to people’s news feeds through to simple text ads or very smart dynamic text ads that can be personalised to the exact user seeing them. Rich display adverts are also available and can be placed using your preferred programmatic advertising platform (DSP). As well as these options, you can even take your targeting to a new level and land your messaging straight in to the LinkedIn inboxes of your prospects through the use of sponsored Inmail.
What all this means is that as an advertiser you can structure campaigns to suit your exact message or content, deliver this in the most appropriate way (or ways) and to the most appropriate people. The targeting possibilities within LinkedIn, based on a wide range of professional criteria, go beyond any other social platform when it comes to B2B advertising. Focus your advertising spend on the prospects that matter to you by profiling recipients by industry sector, job role, seniority, interests or geography to name just a few of the criteria that can be leveraged in order to define your audience.
The power of LinkedIn doesn’t end at this functionality for structuring, targeting and implementing your advertising campaigns though. What you can also expect from LinkedIn is the ability to prove a return on investment through the platform’s powerful reporting tools. Measure reach, engagement, website visitor acquisition and even define then record conversions using the LinkedIn insight tag.
This reporting capability is what turns LinkedIn into a truly comprehensive business generation tool for B2B organisations and it’s probably the major reason why, at fourgreenleaves, we love the platform so much. It’s what allows us to show our clients exactly what the campaigns we develop and implement on their behalf are achieving and why growing their business through LinkedIn was such an excellent choice in the first place!
Convinced? Then let fourgreenleaves help…
There we have it then, the reasons why we see LinkedIn as the ultimate B2B social platform, maybe even the best B2B tool for business development full stop. If you’d like to chat through how the experts at fourgreenleaves could help you with your own efforts to achieve growth over LinkedIn, either as a standalone campaign or as part of a wider-ranging social marketing strategy, then simply get in touch today.
We’ll be happy to discuss all the options and how we’d help to deliver maximum impact, value and that all important return on investment through a LinkedIn strategy that taps in to the full power of the social media platform designed for doing business.
*According to The Sophisticated marketers Guide to Linkedin