It’s no surprise that LinkedIn, the world’s largest social media platform for business professionals, is the absolute best b2b social media channel for companies’ advertising solutions and b2b marketers.
LinkedIn has 61 million senior-level influencers. For the generation of millennials itself, there are over 87 million registered members, and counting. 11 million of them are the decision-makers. There is little appetite for trivial or personal sharing on LinkedIn. Instead, you will find mostly experts and professionals looking to make connections with like-minded business people and other organizations.
LinkedIn is a logical entry point for people who aren’t looking to get more likes, followers, and comments, especially for b2b marketing campaigns with fierce competition. This issue is this: vaguely measured brand awareness metrics and performance don’t impress the boardroom, especially for b2b brands. You need real results. Qualified leads. Cold hard conversions. You’re looking for the kind of bottom-line impact you can trust to bring to the board and other stakeholders with confidence. Good, productive reasons for them to continue investing in social media are imperative.
LinkedIn once again comes to the top spot for generating leads for B2B marketers. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are far behind in terms of engagement and lead generation. Sagefrog’s new report found 86% of marketing professionals will rely on LinkedIn to generate a lead. The report also examines how COVID-19 dramatically impacted marketing spending and shows how ABM is making a major comeback in the market. It found that ABM has been a huge hit in the past year and that it is an important player in the field of marketing.
Does Your B2B Social Media Strategy Approach Make Sense?
The key challenge of a successful b2b social media campaign is to center and target your resources in the right social media channels and share the right topics. What matters to you about social media is what LinkedIn delivers, a real business connection, and business professionals are taking notice. B2b marketers are more likely to land a conversion when talking to their target audience through LinkedIn than other channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Those other social media platforms are great for building widespread name recognition and even as a customer service strategy, especially for b2c brands. But b2b social needs to focus directly on clinching a sale, which is what the LinkedIn platform specializes in.
Recently, LinkedIn has developed conversion-driven digital marketing options built for b2b businesses, and marketers are swooning. It has become a powerhouse platform in its own right. When best practices are employed, it outdoes the digital marketing capabilities of other popular platforms like Facebook ads, Instagram, and Twitter.
And here’s all the proof and insights you need:
- LinkedIn is responsible for an eye-popping 80% of social media b2b leads. The second closest is Twitter, which claims just 12%.
- Businesses saw a whopping 55% increase in conversions amongst their LinkedIn connections in 2020. When the pandemic hit, they trusted their LinkedIn connections.
If you haven’t thought about your LinkedIn social media strategy in a while, now is the time to reconsider.
Tap Into Contacts With The Most Optimized Social Network for B2B Marketing
Since being purchased by Microsoft in 2016, LinkedIn has leapfrogged ad formats and content power of other channels for b2b business like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. LinkedIn now offers the best social media marketing strategy context for connecting business-to-business marketers directly to the customers that matter.
B2b marketers find that LinkedIn outperforms others in the following categories:
- Targeting through
- Lead Generation
- Authority Building
- Content Marketing
Let’s look at the reasons why marketers love it.
Targeting Success: LinkedIn OutPerforms Every Other Social Media Platform
One of the biggest problems companies face in b2b social is the use of targeting tactics to fuel conversions and ROI. A LinkedIn Strategy is your answer to finding the right person and turning them into a customer.
The Answer to B2B-Oriented Demographic Segmentation
When you think about it, the information needed to target decision-makers in a b2b company isn’t something a user would provide to say, Facebook or Twitter.
On the other hand, LinkedIn gets all of the up-to-date details b2b marketers need to place their LinkedIn ads. LinkedIn member profiles come from a self-selected group of professionals with the intent of networking, so they keep their profiles up to date. This provides an incredible resource of potential customer data — including about 200 of these up-to-date professional attributes.
Here are a few unique ways LinkedIn lets b2b marketers target potential customers:
- Company page
- Job Title
- Professional Interests
- Matched Audiences
The ability to mine these useful nuggets of intelligence makes LinkedIn an effective b2b social marketing strategy and a cost-effective one. Using target audience data in the industries that matter, such as job titles, reduces the steps needed to get your products in front of the right individuals. Your dollar goes farther when your ad campaign targets the people who need your services.
Hyper-Specific Prospecting Leads to B2B Sales
LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences feature is a tool offering three easy ways to find potential customers on their platform.
- Retargeting. Once a member clicks on your page, video ads, or lead generation forms, they are saved as an interested audience. Ads and content can then be created and targeted back to this select group.
- Account targeting. This allows you to upload a list of specific company names you are trying to reach to LinkedIn so it can find relevant team members to target, enabling you to find the team members that matter.
- Contact targeting. You can upload a list of emails of specific people to find the corresponding profile so you can select who to target down to the person.
You know your customers and competitors use LinkedIn. These resources are built to help you find them and wring every last drop out of your b2b marketing investment.
Target Expansion Tools B2B Companies
Simply put, LinkedIn lets you supersize the target list for your ads. And it is awesome, especially for product launches and brand expansion within your b2b space.
Based on similarities in information from your current customers, sales-vetted leads, and b2b buyers, LinkedIn can bring in similar prospects to increase the size of campaigns. Have a really big announcement? Trying to make more industry connections? No other platform places you where you need to be. Add the LinkedIn insight tag to your website, and you can see important information about your new site visitors.
Feast on B2B Leads with LinkedIn Ads
How a LinkedIn browser is approached in the endless stream of social media platforms is just as meaningful as the content. The website has several unique features to its ad platform that help you build relationships and connect with your target followers in a way they are likely to respond. If you are looking for additional in-depth reading on how to generate leads with ads vs recruiter I recommend reading my previous post “Linkedin Advertising vs Recruiter.”
Message Ads Are More Effective than Email “LinkedIn InMail”
Message Ads, also called LinkedIn Inmail, is a paid ad tool that sends direct messages to someone on LinkedIn.
What stands out among other marketing channels is that LinkedIn’s functionality lets you place a direct message to the inbox of members you are not connected to promote upcoming events, webinars, and more; this is not the case with all social media platforms.
It may sound a bit aggressive, but LinkedIn users don’t use mail the same way people do on other platforms. The results speak for themselves: LinkedIn InMail has a higher open and click-through rate than cold sending an email.
Lead Generation Ads
A lead gen ad campaign offers something of value in exchange for potential customer’s information.
The difference from other business-to-business social media platforms is that it prefills the form with the prospect’s information, which makes it easier for them to say yes. No need for your prospect to fill out their email; it shows up in place automatically.
It’s a great way for your company to obtain the phone and email information of highly qualified prospects. You could assemble helpful content such as a guidebook, white paper, or even a landing page to drive website traffic, but only provide access to someone in exchange for an email or phone number.
Build Authority with B2B Social Media Leadership
Thought leadership can be a scary word to many C-level leaders, but there is no doubting its value to b2b marketing strategy and brand awareness. LinkedIn is a channel that sets you up for success, with specific features in place made to meet your goal.
Let Your Business Drive Thought Leadership
Research conducted by marketing and public relations firm Edelman shows how b2b decision-makers leverage authority on social media :
- 47% will share their personal contact information after reading a thought-provoking source from another company
- 50% spend an hour or more consuming interesting content that is part of the industry conversation
- 55% say using thought leadership content is an integral part of evaluating the businesses, services, and products they work with
- 58% choose to do business with a brand based on their perception of authority
The importance of being a source of knowledge in your industry is indisputable. It’s one of the most important trends in brand visibility. According to the data, roughly half of your target audience is looking to you to provide it. It builds credibility, trust, and expands your professional networks. They want you to be their guide, they want to benefit from your experience, and at the end of the day, it’s a solid way to start networking with a potential customer and build relationships.
Channels like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube are each known for launching the careers of influencers. But things are a little different for a b2b organization. You don’t need the masses, you just need to grow your reputation among a specific set of people.
When it comes to business to business, LinkedIn has more than one tool at your disposal to launch and boost your brand’s credibility and cut through the other voices to influence your targeted audience.
Mint Your Name Where it Matters
All of this amounts to building your online reputation and this is where LinkedIn thrives in the world of b2b marketing. Here are a few ways professionals can leverage LinkedIn to establish authority and feed the ever-hungry sales funnel.
Participate in LinkedIn Groups
Linkedin Groups are online communities where professionals in the same industry can ask questions, engage in conversations, share news and give expert advice. Sure, there are groups on other networks but LinkedIn Groups tend to have a higher number of marketing professionals on them.
Businesses can join an existing LinkedIn community or start one on their own. By hopping in with helpful advice, it provides an authentic, natural starting point for solving prospects’ needs and nurtures your experience in the trade. It shows your human side and it could even end up creating a link to a relationship that turns into a sale.
Curate a Page that Reflects Your Expertise
The new LinkedIn Company Pages host your profile information and offer intuitive tools that make sharing news and product links to your feed easier than ever, increasing customer interactions. Instead of endlessly looking for good content and trends to share, browse and post from its source of news articles based on your preferences. It also makes it easier for you to highlight the work of your employees and showcases them as experts.
Become a LinkedIn Influencer
Linkedin selects a little over 500 of their platform’s preeminent thought leaders to be on their official influencers list. The top ten include people like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, and Mary Barra.
But you don’t need to make the list for your business to reap the rewards of being an influencer on LinkedIn. It just takes mastering the art of networking with content marketing.
Create Sales-Generating Content Marketing
LinkedIn is a content marketing channel designed to give companies the right context. Other channels prioritize consumer communications, which focus on building audiences, customer service, brand health, and audience engagement. On the other hand, LinkedIn has a range of unique content marketing resources that are ideal for generating b2b sales and networking.
LinkedIn also offers third-party management tools like Sprout Social to get the most out of its content publishing services.
Document Posts Built for Business
Linkedin is the only social media network with Slideshare technology that lets you post different types of content like PowerPoints, White Papers, Word Documents, and PDFs directly to the feed — mediums made for communicating between businesses.
This type of informational media can be complex. Often, they make a better impression when accompanied by visual elements Besides, they’re usually longer than the 1300 words allowed in the comment box. With Document posts, you can get interesting reports, relevant content, detailed press releases, and other content directly to your target audience — and have them looking professional.
LinkedIn Polls for Market Research and Lead Generation
LinkedIn Polls is a tool companies can use to speak directly to a qualified audience. The insights gained can be used to inform marketing strategies in various ways. Here are a few effective ways to use LinkedIn Polls for B2B marketers:
- Build interest in a product
- Conduct market research
- Drive traffic to your website
- Get opinions and feedback
- Have fun with your audience
- Lead generation
- Promote events and launches
- Start a conversation
Polls even have a unique lead-generating aspect. Respondents can be segmented according to an answer, so they can be retargeted with appropriate content. For example, if you run a poll asking your audience’s favorite color and use that information to create highly specified ads.
Live Video Content Rules B2B Social Media
YouTube is larger than all other search engines except for Google. Video content is expected to make up 82% of online traffic this year. And how about this data: Nearly 65% of executives visit a brand’s website after watching a video.6 Video is king.
Whether it’s showing your authentic selves on live video or publishing polished fact-filled, informational videos, the capabilities on LinkedIn are perfect for business-to-business users.
Take LinkedIn Live Video for example. When brands run live on Facebook, it boosts engagement 10x over the regular. It’s 24 times on LinkedIn where video views are skyrocketing.
LinkedIn Live vs. Facebook Live (Engagement with live video)
The reason why is clear: Audience parameters on LinkedIn ensure the people you want to be talking to are the same people tuning in. As long as you provide good, quality content that stays on top of the trends, they will take notice.
LinkedIn Articles Grabs Your Prospects Attention
LinkedIn Articles is a unique blogging platform native to LinkedIn. It is made up of long-form articles with images and headlines formatted similarly to other b2b blogs, but instead of (or in addition to) getting posted on your website, it gets published directly on your LinkedIn page for your followers to see.
Here’s why that matters to your business.
- LinkedIn Articles stay on the feed longer than blog posts linked from your website
- They are more likely to go viral on the platform
- LinkedIn Articles show up in Google’s search results and may rank higher than blog posts on your site since they borrow LinkedIn’s domain authority (which is a high 98)
- Long-form posts on LinkedIn perform better than shorter posts
With a simple click, the buyers you are targeting can be reading and sharing links to your page or news about your organization. It could even strike up lead-generating relationships. LinkedIn Is the Best Because it Works!
No one wants to waste money. Not you, your user base, or your marketing agency. When you see the analytics report, you want your efforts to improve in terms of growth rates, not net.
Marketers love LinkedIn because the results go deep. More than giving you “presence,” it provides actionable tools so you can go out and get the ROI you need.
Using the available thought leadership sources drums up momentum for b2b brands. Intuitive lead generation options make it more likely for your company to turn an engagement into a lead. The content marketing resources are tailor-made for work communications (not to share vacation photos or quippy one-liners). And, armed with the most precise business-to-business ad targeting, you’re more likely to hit the intended target every time.
All you need to use LinkedIn for your b2b brand social media strategy is a marketer who understands best practices and can create the type of content that resonates with your audience.