LinkedIn is the social media platform that’s most used by Fortune 500 companies. This makes it an ideal platform for B2B marketing. Small and medium businesses have a source of over 722 million prospects they can target.
LinkedIn B2B marketing has become an important marketing strategy because of its effectiveness. Of all social traffic that goes to business websites and blogs, LinkedIn makes up more than 50%.
These are just a few statistics about this platform. There are many more that will not only amaze you but will convince you that you have to use LinkedIn for your business if you don’t already. And if you already do, you’ll want to explore some of the tools mentioned in this article.
If you own a small or medium-sized business (SMB) or you’re a B2B marketer for SMBs, LinkedIn should be part of your marketing strategy. Read on to learn about some fundamental strategies you can use to generate leads and drive traffic to your website.
Benefits of Using LinkedIn for B2B Marketing
LinkedIn is an often-overlooked social media platform when it comes to users showcasing their lifestyles. It’s probably because its intent is to facilitate networking to create business opportunities for individuals as well as companies.
Here are a few benefits about LinkedIn that makes it an ideal platform for B2B marketing:
- It helps generate leads
- It helps to position you as an authority in your field and showcases the content of other thought leaders
- It increases traffic to company websites
- It’s considered the most effective site for B2B marketing (93% of B2B marketers agreed)
- The platform’s engagement rates have steadily increased by 60%
LinkedIn’s dedication to making a ‘good thing’ even better, has resulted in an improved ad platform. They have increased their functionality to create more opportunities for B2B marketers to reach potential customers.
The platform now has advanced search filters and a new video format for ads. LinkedIn also ensures that businesses get the most out of their user data.
How Much Does LinkedIn Cost?
You can join LinkedIn for free. If you wish, you can upgrade to Premium to access additional features, including LinkedIn InMail and LinkedIn courses. Not ready to make a decision? LinkedIn usually offers a one-month free trial.
Once you do decide, LinkedIn Premium is available in tiers:
- Job seekers – From $29.99 to $59.99 per month
- Sales professionals – $79.99 per month
- Recruiters – $119.95 per month
You can receive slight discounts with annual billing.
When it comes to the cost of LinkedIn ad campaigns, it will vary. The great thing is that you can decide how much you spend through a bidding process. Choose which type of distribution you want for your ad:
- Cost per view (CPV) – This is ideal for LinkedIn Video ads
- Cost-per-click (CPC) – This is ideal for traffic and lead generation
- Cost per 1,000 impressions – This is ideal for increasing brand awareness
With Sponsored InMail, you’re only charged upon delivery of your message. Choose your method, then start the bidding process. Engagement rates and other variables determine your relevance score. The higher this score and your bid, the better the chance your bid is successful.
LinkedIn B2B Marketing Strategies
1. Update Your Profile
Before creating your LinkedIn Company Page, create a profile or if you already have one, make sure it is up-to-date and reflects your most recent experience and interests. This is important as LinkedIn users will want to know more about the expertise of the person behind your company page. Give them a reason to become a follower.
Here are a few pointers to help improve your profile:
- Upload a professional photo that is forward-facing and well-lit (profiles with photos receive 36 times more messages and 21 times more views than those without)
- Let them know how they should view you by choosing an appropriate headline
- Have a clear personal statement that not only reflects your value proposition but is also optimized for searches
- Ensure your profile is thoroughly completed so that there are no missing fields
- Find people who know your work history and skills and ask them to recommend and endorse you via LinkedIn’s Recommendations and Skill Endorsements feature (try to get at least five)
Once you’ve done all of this, make it start working for you. Once users can tell from your profile how you can assist them, interact and give them a reason to choose you for their business needs. Be sincere and genuine. Let them get to know and trust you. Post valuable content regularly and try to keep optimizing your profile so that you show up in more searches.
Talking About Profiles
There is something authoritative about company pages that have an updated list of employees on LinkedIn. Those pages show 100 people working here. Encourage your staff and team to detail their position and link to the company page directly. The more people that do this, the further your content might travel. If they like your company’s content, then their connection list might see their activity and that’s how your reach increases.
2. Create Your Company Page
You may think your profile is enough to create business relationships with others, but a LinkedIn Company Page is a valuable tool that focuses on your business. Whether you’re a freelancer, consultant, or entrepreneur, it’s important to let potential clients see what you and your business have to offer.
You should also ensure your Company Page is complete and accurately represents your business and how you want clients to view you. Take advantage of the 2000 characters available for the company description to entice users to go to your website. Don’t be afraid to include a pitch. Your company page is the visual representation of your professional brand, it is yet another touchpoint that your online audience gets to engage with your brand and ultimately, it can affect the way they interact with you and your brand recall.
3. Show Your Expertise
Share valuable content that shows you are a subject matter expert. Content should not only provide information, but it should solve a potential client’s problem. Take the opportunity to include your opinion and any experiences you may have related to the content.
Create original content and share it. You can use LinkedIn Publisher to create and publish long-form articles or you can simply post a status update. Make sure any content you post focuses on helping your ideal client. You become a trusted authority when you do this. It is the first step to finding a client who will be willing to eventually pay you for solving their problems and challenges.
The emphasis cannot be placed enough on the creation of original content, however, curated content is also a great way for you to show that you have a finger on the pulse of your market and your industry. Strategically share pieces of content that are created by other authoritative brands within your industry, whether directly or indirectly involved, as long as the content is of interest to your audience. This shows two things: one, your brand is powerful enough to share the content of others simply for the benefit of your audience, and two, other brands might reciprocate by sharing your valuable content with their audience, and help you grow.
4. Find New Clients
Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature and enter the job titles of your ideal clients. Review the list for potential matches and research to ensure they meet your criteria. If they do, find the most ideal way to contact them.
The larger your personal network, the better. This allows you to find prospects that are first, second or third-level connections. You can then reach out to mutual connections to ask for an introduction. It is an effective way to find new clients.
Your searches should be specific and targeted. Save them for future reference. You can keep in touch with these connections by doing this. This is important so that you can nurture these leads and move them through your sales pipeline.
5. Build Partnerships
In addition to reaching potential customers, LinkedIn also provides an excellent opportunity to connect with other businesses with complementary products or services. These companies may have a similar audience to you that you can leverage through a mutually beneficial partnership.
It provides a great platform to build a network of strategic partnerships. Start with your connections and work your way out by asking for introductions.
You can also use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search for this. Have a strategy for when you find a good match. Know how you will reach out to them to start the conversation that will hopefully lead to a partnership.
6. Keep Up With Industry News
LinkedIn is a great way to keep up with the news in your industry. Your feed will reflect your most active connections as well as content from businesses you follow. You can get relevant, up-to-date industry developments.
To ensure you get information that is relevant to you:
- Follow organizations and companies
- Follow influencers and thought leaders
- Follow your competitors
- Follow hashtags
Most importantly, read your news feed. You will see the latest posts from your network. Sort it to suit your needs and get updated.
7. Create Brand Awareness With LinkedIn Ads
There are several types of campaigns offered through LinkedIn Ads. They will help increase lead generation and brand awareness which can lead to increased sales. The following are some of the available formats:
- Sponsored Content
- Sponsored InMail
- Text Ads
- Video Ads
You can use the LinkedIn Campaign Manager to access these advertising opportunities. It offers several targeting tools and analytics processes.
LinkedIn Sponsored Content
Is a regular post that features a headline and introduction, accompanied by an image that you can boost using an ad budget. It is usually used to build awareness of a specific event, increase followers, promote thought leadership, and generate leads.
When using Sponsored Content you should use your headline copy to directly address your target audience. Your content should be concise. It also helps to include statistics. Don’t forget your call-to-action (CTA) so the user knows what to do after accessing the information.
The great thing about Sponsored Content is that you can use lead generation forms to get additional information about potential customers.
LinkedIn Sponsored InMail
These are personal messages sent to a user’s LinkedIn inbox. It allows you to send specific content to your target audience. It includes a subject line, body copy, and a CTA button. You can also include an image.
Want to invite potential clients to an event or showcase a specific product? Sponsored InMail is the ideal channel. You can also promote content for downloading, allowing you to directly engage with potential clients.
Send messages from your profile, but include your company within your profile information. Keep the message short and to the point and personalize it where possible.
LinkedIn Text Ads
Is the most basic LinkedIn ad. It features short text that can include a small image. You can target specific audiences by addressing the ad directly to them. The ad’s headline should be effective and make the value of your offer evident.
The key is to educate potential clients while offering help and information instead of leading with a sales pitch. Images generate more clicks so it’s always recommended that you include one.
You should create a landing page based on what you’re promoting in your text ad. The landing page should be correctly branded and should include related messaging and offerings.
LinkedIn Video Ads
Video ads increase engagement and content views because they play automatically on users’ feeds. Sound is optional. It’s a great way to tell a story about your brand or position it as a thought leader.
You can also demo products and services and tease users with previews of webinars and other events. For the most effectiveness, keep your ads under 30 seconds. State or demonstrate your main message within the first 10 seconds.
However, there will be times when your video is longer because you may be demoing a product or introducing a service. A mixture of graphics, text, and people in the video may keep audiences interested in watching.
8. Use Different Types Of Content
It is easy to fall into the trap of using the same type of content over and over again since it’s convenient and can also save you money. However, in order to maximize your LinkedIn strategies, you should look at incorporating different types of content for LinkedIn to expand your reach.
For example, LinkedIn’s document sharing function which allows you to create a carousel effect with your images is a fantastic way to connect with your audience. It’s also the ideal way for you to create numbered posts or listicles. Ultimately, different people consume random types of content for various reasons, and they will have a preference. There are people who like to watch videos, and there are people who prefer to read a 2000-word blog post. If you can tap into all types of content, your strategy then allows you to expand how far your reach goes by appealing to different people.
9. Grow Your Email Database
Your LinkedIn strategy can help you build the database that you have for email marketing. LinkedIn is the exact right place for you to make connections with the decision-makers at your ideal target customer businesses. By allowing your LinkedIn strategy to include elements that allow you to grow your email marketing database, you are making it work for other marketing channels as well, and not just within the platform itself.
The best way to do this is with direct messaging, where you invite connections or followers to sign up voluntarily for your email marketing updates or newsletter. Remember, you need them to opt-in and sign up so that you’re ticking all the boxes when it comes to privacy laws. Thank them for the follow or the connection request, and ask politely if they’d like to stay in the loop with all your great content!
10. Measure and Review Your Results
Measuring results is the only way to know how effective your LinkedIn marketing strategy is. It doesn’t make sense to invest and not reviewing it to see if it works.
LinkedIn provides analytics for your Company Page. You can review the performance of your posts and campaigns. You can learn if your ads resulted in new followers and track interaction and click rates. It also highlights key trends that you can use for future campaigns. It gives you an insight into your follower demographics including seniority, title, and industry.
You can identify any content deficiencies and your ads with the highest engagement. Use this information to update your content plan for future campaigns. This is what makes LinkedIn B2B marketing a powerful tool.
Making Connections That Turn Into Sales
Many SMBs don’t have the luxury of a huge marketing budget. LinkedIn is a cost-effective alternative to target potential business clients to let them know more about your company’s offerings. LinkedIn B2B marketing allows you to showcase your products and services via your company page. You can catch the eye of potential clients by providing relevant content, or you can leverage your connections to reach out to potential clients.
David Taylor Design can help you craft your B2B marketing strategy. We also provide other services for small and medium business clients. Contact us to start turning your LinkedIn connections into sales.