Does B2B marketing work on LinkedIn? Given the very fact that you’re reading this post, you almost certainly already know the answer to this question. Yes, B2B marketing works on LinkedIn. Rather well, in fact.
There are many reasons LinkedIn is so effective. To start, there are plenty of people on the platform, consistent with LinkedIn’s news center, there are 722M+ active users, with 191M in North America and 174M within the US alone. Global LinkedIn Membership, EOY 2020. But, even better, LinkedIn’s members are the proper demographic and they’re there for the right reasons; this is a professional social network. meaning that, while there are still some cat memes and obnoxious political posts, there’s plenty more business networking happening here than on places like Pinterest or Facebook. Most members join job searches, network, make sales, and learn.
If you’re in B2B, LinkedIn may be a good place to be. As the following stats show, B2B marketers overwhelmingly agree. Neil Patel notes that LinkedIn is liable for 97% of B2B businesses' social media leads. 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content. 1 in 3 B2B marketers says LinkedIn is generating revenue for them. The opportunity is there. The bottom line: Yes, LinkedIn works for B2B marketing. If you approach this platform correctly, it can build your bottom line.
The Purpose Of B2B Marketing On LinkedIn
Okay, we’ve clarified that B2B marketing on LinkedIn is often worthwhile. So, what are you able to do to make your marketing worthwhile? As with marketing on any channel, the primary step to success is to define your purpose. There are two main purposes for using LinkedIn:
You can use LinkedIn to build your brand. Effective branding helps companies differentiate themselves from their competitors and build a loyal customer base. This is top-of-funnel stuff – the marketing that will get you in front of people, build an audience, and make a “positive perception”. If you would like to stand out in your market, using your LinkedIn profiles for inbound marketing may be a great approach.
The second purpose of LinkedIn marketing is to get leads for your business. this is often a lower-funnel approach. While there could also be overlap with branding, this may more likely involve more outbound activities – reaching out to qualified prospects, running LinkedIn ads, and so on. While branding and lead generation are both worthwhile, it’s typically knowing to focus on a single purpose as you begin your LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing on LinkedIn
Inbound marketing, as HubSpot explains, is “a business methodology that draws customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.” rather than going out and finding people, inbound marketing relies on your audience finding you.
On LinkedIn, this system typically entails three key tactics: optimizing your personal profile, optimizing your company profile, and posting content regularly.
1. Optimize your LinkedIn personal profile.
The first step to LinkedIn marketing is to optimize your personal profile.
An optimized profile has:
A clear, recent profile picture showing your face. Hopefully, you’re smiling.
A header image that gives additional context on who you are, what you wish, or what you are doing.
A compelling header that explains what you are doing and who you do it for.
An audience-focused description that provides more detail on the problems you solve and provides viewers with a next step (i.e. a link back to your website).
Relevant past experience linking to appropriate company profiles.
Accurate educational background.
Volunteer experience at the organizations you care about.
It’s important to notice that the more customer/client-facing your role is, the more important it's that your personal profile is optimized. it'd not be important for back-office staff, but it’s definitely important for anyone within the following roles:
An executive position (CEO, CFO, COO, VP, etc.)
If you’re serious about investing in LinkedIn marketing, I’d recommend compiling an inventory of all of the employees who should be part of the initiative. By involving them, you'll vastly increase your reach when you reach the third tactic on this list – creating and posting content.
2. Optimize your LinkedIn company profile.
Once you’ve optimized personal LinkedIn profiles, you’ll want to make sure that you optimize your business’s profile, too. The best approach to optimization, generally, is to use all of the fields that LinkedIn provides. Besides the fundamentals (photos, header, description), you'll go pretty deep here and add information like:
Special sections (i.e. “Life at Your Company”)
Here’s an example of a nicely optimized company page from Salesforce:
Salesforce takes full advantage of all the features of a corporation page. take a look at how they’ve used a variety of sections to communicate a lot of helpful info.
Finally, to sum things up here’s a helpful video on company profile optimization from Hootsuite.
3. Create content and post regularly.
Now that you’ve optimized your personal profile and your company profile, it’s time to place them to use and start posting content. There are multiple types of content you can upload on your LinkedIn profile.
There are two keys to success here. First, your content has got to be good – and by good, I mean helpful for your intended audience. It is often entertaining, informative, or both, but it's to connect to the audience. Otherwise, you’re posting for vanity’s sake. Second, to successfully build your brand, you would like to post consistently. Ideally, meaning at least once per day, and, at the very least, you ought to be posting 2-3 times per week. If you can’t get there to a level of consistency, you almost certainly won’t be able to use LinkedIn as a viable marketing channel.
What do you have to post?
Great question, and, really, the answers are endless. Here’s a basic formula to follow, though:
Post 1-2 news-related pieces each week; share a post and add your own insights.
Post 2-3 original posts each week; videos work particularly well.
Post 1 call-to-action post each week; share something which will lead your audience toward an engagement with your company.
Post 1 article to LinkedIn itself.
How to Expand Your Company’s Reach
The easiest way to expand your company’s reach on LinkedIn is to tap into your employees’ networks. Basically, encourage all of your employees who are on LinkedIn to share company posts.
If you would like to move faster, though, you'll want to try outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing on LinkedIn
While inbound marketing is about drawing people in, outbound marketing is about finding people. In my opinion, this is often the ideal way to use LinkedIn for B2B marketing.
Here’s a three-step process to place it into action.
1. Identify your audience.
The first step in any outbound marketing campaign is to identify your target audience – the people you want to reach with your offer or message.
You likely have some idea of who your target is – what size company you serve best, what industries, and what roles make buying decisions. If you don’t, you’ll have to do market research. whether or not you think you do, ensure that your assumptions are based on data. If you've got data, LinkedIn rocks. Search data from LinkedIn Sales Navigator. LinkedIn is especially great at reaching targeted demographics because it’s a business-centric platform, which suggests that it’s packed with company data. Let’s say you’re selling office management software to parents in the IT industry. you'll use LinkedIn to identify office managers at IT companies of a certain size in a certain location – and then you can reach out to them directly. Depending on how targeted you want to make your search and how many people you want to reach out to, it's going to be worthwhile to use LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. this is often paid functionality that gives you advanced search capabilities. Honestly, if you’re serious about outbound marketing on LinkedIn, it’s table stakes. User seats start at $65.
2. Reach out consistently.
Once you’ve identified your audience, it’s time to succeed consistently.
Sales teams are all about this. And permanent reason; while B2B sales have shifted online, as I’m sure you recognize, many (most) are still closed with a private touch. This isn’t a piece of writing on personal selling, so I’ll refrain from giving an excessive amount of advice in that arena. But I do want to notice that there are some awesome marketing tools that can make reaching out to prospects very efficient while maintaining customization. We frequently recommend Reply. Basically, it allows you to customize messaging campaigns; you pick a prospect, then target them with a campaign that will include LinkedIn messages, email, and more. Although it’s automated, you'll set things up so that your messages are tailored based on contact info and appear as personal as possible. Then, when an opportunity responds, you'll jump in and close the deal.
An example of a sequence back.
As with content production, the key to any outreach strategy is consistency – both with individual prospects and over the long term. Many of us will ignore your outreach efforts, but if you are doing things the right way, over time, you'll see results.
3. Use LinkedIn Ads.
And, last but not least, you'll use LinkedIn ads to power up your outbound marketing efforts. LinkedIn ads are often extremely powerful because of the business data that’s on the platform. However, they also tend to be fairly expensive, especially compared to Facebook and YouTube. We’ve found ad campaigns on LinkedIn often double the quantity we pay to drive a similar amount of traffic on other platforms – but we’ve also found that they tend to have a far more targeted reach.
So, before you start a LinkedIn ad campaign, define what you’re trying to accomplish. What could it be? Will you drive website traffic? Form submissions for an ebook? Consultation calls? In my view, middle-funnel campaigns intended to drive website conversions tend to be the foremost efficient; they balance volume with cost efficiency. Now, to the fundamentals. There are four major components to think about in any ad campaign. All these components can help attain more viewers to your profile on LinkedIn. These are:
The goal. As noted above, this is often the desired outcome or action that you’ll be seeking from your ads. In LinkedIn’s Ad Manager, you’ll define this at the Campaign level.
The audience. This is often the carefully defined segment of people you will be showing ads to. You’ll define this at the Campaign level. The content. This includes ad copy and collateral like videos and pictures. You’ll define this at the Ads level. you ought to run 2-3 ads per group so that you can compare for effectiveness. The budget. This refers to the quantity of money you’ll spend on your ads over a specified amount of time. you'll define this at a Campaign or Ad Set level. Again, the specs for ads are always changing, but here are general guidelines from LinkedIn to assist you to create compelling content. Choose words that catch the eye of your target audience. People use LinkedIn to realize unique insights relevant to their profession or skills, so put yourself in your audience’s shoes as you create your ads. Give people a reason to require notice and click the ad by highlighting whitepapers, free trials, unique benefits, or demos. Include strong call-to-action phrases like Try, Download, Sign up, or Request a Quote. Include a picture with your ad that’s relevant to what you offer. The LinkedIn background color is neutral, so images with bright colors are more likely to capture the eye of your audience. Review the LinkedIn Ads Policies for details on what’s appropriate to incorporate in your ad.
Here’s to your success on LinkedIn!
Engage48 is a full-service B2B Content Marketing and Appointment Setting Agency servicing B2B marketers worldwide on their digital lead generation programs. We also provide accurate and verified b2b contact data for your marketing and sales outreach programs.
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