LinkedIn has become a revelation for B2B marketers all around the world, giving them a built-in audience of professionals that make purchasing decisions for their organization. The LinkedIn platform has over 380 million members, and they are growing as a social network, expanding their offerings like Pulse, company pages, and advertising. In addition to those increased offerings, they’ve also allowed marketers to start measuring the effectiveness of advertising on the medium by offering analytics for the company pages. Data-driven analyses are central to ensuring your marketing time and money invested in a particular platform is worth it.
We are going to explore four different LinkedIn strategies that B2B marketing managers should embrace when outlining an editorial calendar or advertising plan for this particular platform. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Use a Personal Profile to Build an Influencer Profile
While LinkedIn does offer advertising options and company pages for marketers to use, personal profiles are the only tools that allow a user access to all of the capabilities that LinkedIn has to offer. It’s imperative to start building a personal profile of someone within your organization that is going to be easily seen as an influencer. This personal profile should focus on the following items:
- Build a strong number of relevant connections. This is you building an audience for your content distribution, so make sure you’re aware of who are you adding when you’re making these connections.
- Join relevant groups that include your peers and your audience. This will allow for you to build a reputation within your industry as an influencer, while still marketing to your peers.
- Post your content regularly on Pulse using strategic tags so that your blogs can fall in the right hands. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 94% of B2B Marketers use LinkedIn to distribute their content.
- Share all your company updates, personal updates, quotes, and content links through your personal profile. Make sure your profile looks like a living, breathing entity.
By using these strategies for your personal profile, you can create visibility for your organization, as well as establish a personal profile as an influencer. This may be the owner, CEO, COO, CMO, President, Vice President, or CTO.
Build Out and Use Your Company Page
Jason Miller, LinkedIn’s group manager of content marketing, has reported that nearly nine out of 10 LinkedIn users believe a company should maintain an up-to-date company page. According to a study conducted by LinkedIn, 50% of LinkedIn members report they are more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn, and 65% of companies acquired B2B customers through LinkedIn in 2013.
You should think of your brand’s company page as your content hub, and you should be posting at least one update per day if you’re trying to actively market to B2B prospects on LinkedIn. By being active, you will establish the most effective way to launch a conversation and engage with your target audience. As a brand, here are the type of things you should be posting:
- Company news
- Job opportunities
- Industry articles
- Hot topic conversations
- Inspirational quotes
- Community initiatives
- Human interest stories
Capitalize on Increased Reach With Sponsored Updates
Native advertising on all social platforms drive ROI for several companies trying to reach a very specific audience. Sponsored updates achieve that improved and targeted reach that B2B marketing managers are looking for in their advertising strategy. The primary goals for companies using sponsored updates are to promote longform posts, drive traffic to branded content, and increase awareness for upcoming events.
LinkedIn analyzed their top performing sponsored updates for 2014, and they can be found in a SlideShare for B2B Marketers to review. Some of the tips they offer to optimize the sponsored posts are:
- Mix up your sponsored content with lighter, not sales-driven posts.
- Large format or rich media images command attention in the news feed.
- Industry trends, especially those with a career impact, are one way to share useful information.
- Call out your target audience directly in the copy.
- Add a clear call-to-action to drive a higher CTR.
- Start with a question or quote to hook your reader.
- Strong language creates a sense of urgency.
- Use link posts to optimize mobile clicks, as long as your landing page is responsive.
- Eliminate intro copy or keep to 150 characters or fewer.
- Numbered lists make content easier to consume.
Generate a Content Marketing Strategy Specific to LinkedIn
Craig Rosenberg, TOPO and Editor of the Funnelholic, recently said, “Buyers today are looking for trusted partners as much as the features and functions of your product (if not more). Content is the ultimate vehicle to build your organization into the trusted advisor buyers crave. And LinkedIn is the ultimate platform to deliver this thought leadership to your audience.
There are several ways you can market your engaging, thought-provoking content to your audience on LinkedIn, and it’s important that you generate a marketing and distribution strategy for each and every piece of content that you generate, as they each may serve different audiences.
For example, if you’re a retirement fiduciary marketing manager trying to reach CFOs and human resources managers, you’re going to find out how best to reach your audience on LinkedIn. Ask yourself the following questions to best determine how you should market your content:
- Who is my audience?
- Are any of my current connections within my audience?
- Which groups contain members of my audience?
- What tags should I use on Pulse to best serve my audience?
- Should I do a sponsored update to reach my audience?
- How should I post on my company page to best reach my audience?
If you’re a B2B marketing manager, there are several ways you can reach your audience and ensure that you’re engaging with them and turning them into customers or clients. If you need assistance in laying out a content marketing strategy on LinkedIn or any other platform, contact us at 866-998-6886 or fill out our contact form online.