LinkedIn offers enormous potential for B2B marketers. For starters, it's the world's largest professional network, with some 675 million members in more than 200 countries and territories.
This is a huge opportunity for brands that are looking to generate leads and make connections with prospective buyers.
The statistics show that businesses all over the world are making LinkedIn a central part of their B2B marketing efforts.
- 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the number one channel for this purpose
- Six out of ten users of the network actively search for industry insights
- 280 billion feed updates are viewed every year
- Professional content gets 15 times more impressions than job postings
In short, if you're a B2B marketer, you can't ignore the potential of LinkedIn. To make the best use of the platform, you need to come up with a bespoke, targeted strategy.
1. Optimize your company page and profiles
If you want people to find you on LinkedIn and form a positive impression of your brand, a well-designed, up-to-date and informative company page is essential. This page should provide plenty of opportunities for potential clients to learn more about you, your brand identity and what you have to offer your customers.
Essential ingredients of your company page include:
- Your logo
- A description of the company
- Website URL
- Company size
It's equally important to ensure that the key points of customer contact within the business - sales managers and reps, for example - have a well-presented and accessible personal profile.
2. Set clear goals
You can't hope to get results from your LinkedIn marketing efforts if you don't know what you're aiming for.
Generating leads and increasing brand awareness are probably among your chief objectives, but you can give your strategy more detail and direction by coming up with SMART goals. Where lead generation is concerned, these targets will be based on how many leads you hope to acquire from your LinkedIn marketing over a specific period of time.
3. Share great content
Just like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, success on LinkedIn is largely driven by the quality of the content you're sharing and distributing among your audience.
The top priority should be to post relevant content that - based on your knowledge and understanding of your customers - they’ll find interesting and educational.
You should also be looking to drive engagement by sharing plenty of compelling visual and video assets, as well as enticing content that encourages people to take further action. You could share an attention-grabbing headline or a summary, for example, that links to a full blog post, helping to drive traffic to your website.
4. Optimize for search
Just like your blog posts and other pieces of lead-generating marketing content, everything you share on LinkedIn should be search engine-optimized.
As well as sticking to usual SEO rules like producing well-written, high-quality content and avoiding frowned-upon practices like keyword stuffing, there are some specific things you can do to boost the search visibility of your LinkedIn pages.
One useful trick is to include links to your LinkedIn company page from your website, blog and other marketing assets, which can improve your ranking in search.
5. Expand your following
The more followers you have on LinkedIn, the more opportunities you have to generate leads that’ll eventually become customers.
This raises the question: how do you expand your LinkedIn following? Once again, it's important to update your page regularly with great content to draw people in and achieve organic growth.
Other useful tactics include:
- Using your employees as advocates and encouraging them to share your content throughout their networks, boosting your exposure and visibility
- Inviting customers and other partners to become followers
- Promoting your company page in emails, newsletters and blog posts
- Adding a 'Follow' button to your website
6. Consider ads and sponsorship
There are various organic methods that can help improve your LinkedIn performance and generate more leads from the platform, but you can also consider going down the paid route.
One option is sponsored content, a form of native advertising that allows you to promote your most valuable and effective content directly in the LinkedIn feeds of the people you want to reach.
The network also offers advertising options such as self-service ads and managed campaigns, with the latter offering the support of an account team and benefits like dynamic ads.
The ability to draw data-based conclusions about the effectiveness of your LinkedIn marketing and the results you get from it puts you in a stronger position to create content that continues to resonate and has a positive impact on your audience.
LinkedIn offers company page analytics that can deliver the data you need to monitor and improve your free campaigns, as well as additional data and services like conversion tracking for paid campaigns.
To really make the most of this platform and the potential it offers to grow your business, it's vital not only to analyze your results, but to learn lessons from them.