When it comes to the B2B/social media partnership, everyone’s attention seems firmly fixed on the likes of Facebook and Instagram, and strategies on how to succeed there. As a result, LinkedIn often tends to fall by the wayside and get ignored – after all, it’s not particularly sexy.
Back in the day, LinkedIn was used almost exclusively for job posting, with companies advertising positions, and job-seekers actively searching for new roles. And it still largely is today; you don’t have to scroll for long to see plenty of job ads, often interspersed with (somewhat over-the-top) business advice.
But LinkedIn has now evolved into something new, and this new and improved product is arguably the most powerful B2B tool out there. Statistics show that more than half of all social traffic driven to B2B sites and blogs now comes from this platform alone, so it’s time we all started taking it seriously!
With that said, we present our LinkedIn B2B marketing guide: everything you need to know about why it’s a recipe for success, and tips on how your business can build a killer LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Why use LinkedIn for B2B marketing?
So why is LinkedIn B2B marketing so successful, and why should you be using it? The truth of the matter is that it all comes down to lead generation – and when you look at the stats, you’ll understand why.
A huge 80% of leads for B2B companies come from LinkedIn. It has the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of all of the social networks, and is 277% more effective at lead gen than the likes of Facebook and Twitter. That’s pretty impressive!
As a strictly professional network, the people using it are already looking for business/industry-specific information – and many of them are in upper level management positions. They’re the decision makers, the big players in the industry with the autonomy to take action.
A huge 80% of leads for B2B companies come from LinkedIn.
Other key benefits of LinkedIn for B2B marketing
The incredible lead gen statistics should be all the convincing you need, but there are a number of other advantages that lend themselves to B2B marketing. Let’s take a look…
Advanced Search Options
While LinkedIn does makes you easily discoverable to prospects, sometimes you still need to get out there and find them yourself. Thankfully, LinkedIn makes this easy too! The advanced search functionality lets you home in on exactly the kind of people you want to convert. You can filter by everything from location and company, industry and interests, to job function and seniority, to produce a really focused search that brings back results.
LinkedIn analytics makes it easy to make sense of all kinds of useful information associated with your account. From which types of posts get the most engagement to your follower demographics, you can use this data to adjust your approach and grow your presence.
A cost-effective Solution
Even with all of the great features and opportunities that LinkedIn provides, it still remains a relatively low cost option for B2B marketers. Other social media platforms have become pretty expensive in terms of doing business on them, but LinkedIn is quite accessible to all budgets. It has a good basic service that’s free to use, and while you can upgrade to a premium version to unlock more features, you can still achieve plenty without having to pay a penny.
Using LinkedIn for B2B sales
It’s safe to say that the buying process has evolved over the years. It’s now much more consultative, a process that’s focused on solving a problem for the buyer (with not a cold call in sight). Most importantly, it’s now all about building relationships with your prospects – and that’s why using LinkedIn for B2B sales is so effective.
Everyone you’ve ever wanted to sell to is right there within your reach, and if you go about things the right way, they’ll be more than happy to speak to you. But this part is crucial: don’t just jump straight in. According to a LinkedIn study, buyers are more likely to engage with a salesperson if they’ve been recommended to them by someone within their professional network, so approaching people via common connections or referrals is the way to go.
In today’s world, it’s about selling smarter, not harder – and LinkedIn allows for that.
LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead gen than the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
How to create a LinkedIn marketing strategy
So the benefits of LinkedIn for B2B marketing are pretty indisputable, but without a clear sense of direction and a set of objectives, you’re unlikely to reap all of the rewards. A LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy is essential for your success on the platform – so here are just a few key things you should be implementing for best results.
Optimise Your Company Page
Your company page is your chance to make an impression and convince prospects, so it needs to be optimised effectively. Make sure your bio includes a really clear pitch as to how you can benefit their business – ideally within the first couple of lines. Use an impactful header image, then of course be sure to have your website URL included so that visitors can click through to your site.
Invest in content marketing
According to research carried out by the Content Marketing Institute, 78% of B2B marketers deem LinkedIn a good tool for their content marketing efforts. Why? Well, it’s likely down to the sheer reach of the platform. There’s a very good chance that the content you publish here will find its way in front of your target audience, and that will in turn increase the odds of them engaging with you or even turning into customers.
Look at producing a range of both long-form content (like guides and how-tos), and shorter content. It’s a great way to demonstrate thought leadership, even if you’re only repurposing content that already exists on your site’s blog – and be sure to share regularly, at least once a day.
Use images and videos in posts
It’s a fact that LinkedIn prioritises posts that are multimedia-rich. If you use an image in your post, it’s likely to get twice as many comments, while posts containing videos earn roughly three times more engagement than text-only ones.
Encourage employee advocacy
Getting your staff onboard with your LinkedIn efforts can pay dividends. According to LinkedIn data, content shared by employees gets double the engagement compared to that shared by a company, and it can really increase your brand awareness.
Expand your network
The larger your network, the more likely you are to come into contact with the people that matter to your business. Join and start groups to open up some great networking opportunities where you target market can gather.
LinkedIn looks set to remain one of the most valuable and effective tools for B2B marketing and selling in 2019. It’s a cost-effective solution that brings you closer to your target audience, and one of the best ways to generate quality leads for your business. If you’re using LinkedIn to add real value to your B2B offering, then everything else will follow.
We’re always on the lookout for the latest insights and opinions on brand strategy, so be sure to keep up to date with our blog. And if you’d like some help using LinkedIn to accelerate your business, just get in touch!