If you’re a B2B marketer, there’s no doubt that your customers are doing more research than ever before making a purchase. But what’s changed in the past decade is where they’re finding that information. Here are five reasons to add a LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy to your marketing mix.
The average decision-maker reads at least 10 pieces of content before finalizing his or her purchase decision. And customers are not only demanding reliable content, but they’re also consistently turning to a key place to find it — and that’s LinkedIn.
Studies show that 80 percent of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. What’s more, other social media channels produce less than 19.67 percent of all leads, making LinkedIn the largest producer of all. Still not convinced? Check out these five reasons why having a solid LinkedIn strategy can help you maximize results.
LinkedIn groups provide niche outreach.
The majority of LinkedIn users, 81 percent, belong to at least one group, which makes them the perfect place to generate more prospects. But how can you find the best groups and maximize your marketing efforts in those groups?
Type terms relating to your target market in the search bar located at the top of the LinkedIn home page. For example, if I want to target people who market technology, I might enter “technology marketing.” At the top of the page, you will see several tabs. Click on the one that says “Groups.” In this example, the technology marketing keywords generate 1,622 groups. Start by finding a few to test and requesting permission to join.
Once you’ve joined, leave comments in existing conversations and focus on adding high value. In addition, it’s very powerful to start posting high-quality content to groups. There are more than 130,000 posts published weekly on LinkedIn Pulse, but only a fraction of this content is posted to groups. Plus, the credibility of this platform is high, with 71 percent of users reporting they feel that LinkedIn is a credible source for professional content.
Create a plan to integrate LinkedIn into your existing content marketing strategy. For example, you might create a blog post on a trending topic and publish it to the company blog. Take that content and also post it to LinkedIn groups and share it through LinkedIn updates to generate maximum exposure.
Key takeaway: LinkedIn groups are a powerful way to get in front of specific target markets and contribute in a meaningful way. Join groups, post content, and contribute in an authentic way to generate results.
It’s a hidden opportunity to drive greater traffic.
One great benefit of LinkedIn is that you can use it to generate not only leads but also traffic for your company’s website. How? It starts with creating great content that’s not only interesting but also truly amazing ― the kind that leaves people wanting to read more about what your company does.
For example, let’s say that you publish a post to LinkedIn Pulse. At the end of that article, you can link to other popular pieces of your content. Review analytics to discover what pieces of content prospects like best, and then link to this content to drive prospects to your website and create a steady flow of traffic.
Make sure that once prospects finish reading the content, they know what to do next so you don’t lose them forever. Create strategic lead magnets to entice prospects to provide their email addresses. This could be a high-value white paper that addresses a specific pain point or some other piece of amazing content. Once you collect emails, you can start nurturing, providing value, and moving those contacts closer to the sale.
Key takeaway: Drive more traffic from LinkedIn to your website by strategically linking to related content at the bottom of your posts. Then create a plan for how to move those visitors into a nurturing strategy.
You have the ability to tap into the genius of thought leaders.
LinkedIn recently implemented a new feature that allows users to identify and learn from top influencers in specific industries. Check out this tool and identify hot influencers related to your niche. Share their articles in your groups and LinkedIn updates to start building a reputation by association and capturing influencers’ attention.
You should also start commenting on the content of these influencers. Why? Your target market is reading these articles, and influencer content typically receives the highest number of views. By leaving useful and valuable comments, you will drive exposure and even traffic to your business. Plus, you can review an influencer’s most popular content and use those topics as inspiration for your own content.
Key takeaway: LinkedIn is a great place to focus on influencer marketing efforts. Use this platform to discover powerful influencers and then implement a few key strategies to leverage that content and piggyback on it for future marketing efforts, making powerful influencer connections along the way.
It makes generating inbound leads more effective.
Prospective customers search for companies like yours each day through LinkedIn, but the key is getting found. You can optimize your company page with keywords related to your business to generate more exposure, but once prospects arrive at your page, it’s also critical to make an impact.
For example, check out Microsoft’s LinkedIn page. At the top, it starts with the basics of what the company does, along with website and location details. But what makes this company’s LinkedIn page unique is the depth of its content. For example, the company features behind-the-scenes insights from the creators of products and tips for marketers. In the “Recent Updates” section, you can see the content that the company is sharing, which can include tales from the Microsoft Stores’ media hubs and other hot, new content.
Key takeaway: Create a strong LinkedIn page so that once you get found on the platform, prospects are already presold on your company and products before they contact your sales team.
It empowers you to uncover powerful marketing insights
One of the most valuable benefits of using LinkedIn in your marketing efforts is the ability to listen to what customers are saying. Every product is built around a pain point, and that pain is what drives prospects to purchase.
For example, perhaps marketing tasks are time-consuming and the prospects need a method for automating and streamlining those tasks. Whatever the pain point, you need to continue learning more so you can create marketing that truly resonates with your customers. You can learn the exact language that customers use to describe their problem and in turn use that language in your marketing to instantly build a more powerful connection.
Join groups, listen to conversations to find out what people are talking about, and tie those conversations back to your products and services. These insights can be powerful ammunition for blog posts, white papers, and even case studies as you zero in and focus on the specific problems that customers are facing.
Key takeaway: Set aside a small amount of time each week to listen to what prospects are saying in key groups. Make notes, and use that intelligence to shape your content marketing and overall strategy.
A few last words
Your company likely has a presence on LinkedIn already, but at the end of the day, it’s important to ask whether your presence is strong enough and whether you could be doing more. This is where testing becomes so important.
Test some of the above strategies to determine the effect on your leads and engagement with prospects. Review those results, and iterate as needed to create a LinkedIn marketing strategy that is powerful and effective. Because there has never been a time when you can reach so many prospects at once with such a high level of trust, by fine-tuning your LinkedIn marketing strategy, you can generate greater results now and in the future.