Why LinkedIn must be part of your B2B promotion strategy
Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has gone on to become one of the world’s most popular social media websites, and the best B2B networking platform available.
Not only is it a fantastic place for making connections and chatting about business, it’s also ideally suited to promoting your B2B content.
So why should LinkedIn be part of your B2B social media strategy, and after you’re convinced, how do you start?
Why use LinkedIn for B2B marketing?
Businesses should use LinkedIn for B2B marketing because the platform is specifically designed for networking and lead generation. Users on LinkedIn are typically more open to engaging with business-related content, and the platform has numerous built-in B2B marketing features, like lead gen forms and discussion groups.
For content promotion specifically, LinkedIn also has paid advertising capabilities so you can boost your posts to more people, or send them sponsored messages.
But proof is in the numbers, right? Well check this out:
- LinkedIn has a user base of 575 million. LinkedIn Slideshare has 70 million monthly users. (LinkedIn stats).
- 80 per cent of B2B leads come from LinkedIn (LinkedIn stats).
- 92 per cent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content distribution (Content Marketing Institute).
- LinkedIn is responsible for 64 per cent of social media traffic that is driven to a corporate website (Econsultancy).
LinkedIn B2B marketing best practices (and useful tips!)
So we’ve answered the question of ‘why use LinkedIn when promoting B2B content?’. The next logical question then is, “So … how?” Let’s dive into that in three parts:
- Setting up a company page.
- Setting an effective strategy.
- Joining LinkedIn Groups.
Part 1: Creating your company page
A LinkedIn company page is the portal through which new users can learn about your business via the platform. Business owners use these pages for all sorts of reasons, from recruitment to networking, and, of course, content promotion.
It’s easy to set up a company page. All you’ll need is an existing profile and a verified email address, then you can click the link on the LinkedIn company pages help guide to start the process. When you’re set up, you’ll add a profile picture and cover image, then write a short bio.
But does it end there? No!
A LinkedIn company page is the portal through which new users can learn about your business via the platform.
Using your company page to generate leads
You should view your company page as a way to generate leads – it’s not just an information pamphlet. It’s easy to make this happen, you’ll just have to…
- Use compelling imagery. Your header image is probably the first thing someone will notice on your page. If this banner is big, bold and interesting, you’ve got someone’s attention. So use this banner to promote your most recent Ebook, or an upcoming webinar. In the first two seconds of someone’s visit to your page, they are already seeing your promoted content.
- Write a smart bio. The description is the next logical step for a user wanting to know more about your company. However, LinkedIn only shows a small section of this – the first two lines. Ensure your description answers the following question in only two lines: “Who are we, who are we for, and what is our USP?” You can expand on these for anyone who clicks ‘Show more’.
- Include your URL in the description. The third step for our intrigued user is to click a link. Therefore, you must ensure your business’ URL is in the description to give an interested party a next step.
- Make sure your website is set up for lead generation. Your target audience is now funneling through LinkedIn and coming to your website. Maybe they are eager for that content you promoted, or hungry for your service in general. Either way, they are going to your home page and you need that to be set up to capture their details through on-site content promotion and lead gen forms.
Once these are set up, all you need to do is keep your news feed up to date and change the banner image every now and then to reflect new promoted content!
A quick word about showcase pages
LinkedIn has another company page feature called showcase pages. A showcase page is like a subsidiary of your main brand – it highlights a specific brand, initiative or product. Basically, if one of your offerings is important but has its own message, or a different audience, you can use a showcase page to separate it without creating a whole new company page.
You will have access to similar features for a showcase page as you would a company page, like a news feed and sponsored content – both valuable tools in amplifying B2B content to LinkedIn users.
Part 2: Establishing your strategy
Train your staff to use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social networking platform first and foremost. Even though we’re using it to promote content in today’s article, it’s still geared towards forming relationships. So, in order to form the most relationships (and, thus, create a wider audience for your content), it makes sense to have as many key staff on the platform as possible.
Train your managers and other key staff members in the use of LinkedIn and encourage them to use it – show them the benefits. That way they will form their own networks, which could help amplify your content to an even wider range of people – without spending on ad dollars.
Train your managers to use LinkedIn so they expand their professional network. Then ask them to promote your content to amplify its reach.
Post useful updates regularly
Keep your company news feed up-to-date. Posting your own content and sharing that of others can build your presence on the platform and increase your perceived thought leadership. This can build people’s trust in your brand for when they first visit your page.
Posting relevant content also creates more opportunities for visitors to transfer back to your website, where you can target them with e-books, webinars and other important content pieces that match their needs.
Find new leads with advanced search
LinkedIn’s advanced search function is a wonderful tool for finding the right audience. Remember – this platform is about relationship building, right? So rather than sending out tweets or Facebook posts and gunning for virality, with LinkedIn we can try to promote content to specific influencers and other high-importance individuals who might be valuable audience members.
Add as many filters as you like to your advanced search to whittle down the right people, and try reaching out with an introduction. If you feel uncomfortable spamming someone with your content – fair enough, many will be turned off by “Hello, here is a link” – just make the connection to start and come back to promote content in the future.
BONUS TIP: You can save searches for future use. So if you find a good one but don’t have time to speak with everyone, save the search and come back later.
Check out who is viewing your personal LinkedIn profile
You can’t see who has viewed your company page, but you can see who is viewing your personal profile. Do they seem relevant? Try reaching out with an introduction!
Chances are if they were interested in you, they might be interested in your content.
Use paid promotions
There are three types of paid ads on LinkedIn, each of which can be used to promote your content to a wider range of people.
- Sponsored content: These ads appear in people’s news feed as though they were a normal post. Catch people’s attention with a bold image and compelling post text, encouraging them to click through.
- Sponsored InMail: Here you’re sending personalised mail to people’s inboxes. Hook people with a great sales pitch, then attach a link to a LinkedIn Lead Gen form to capture their details (they won’t even have to leave the platform if they don’t want to!).
- Text ads: These ads appear in their own area of LinkedIn and can be used to draw attention to content without it being cluttered by other posts. You’ll need a great headline and a stand-out image, because these ads are pretty small.
Part 3: Get in to LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups are where business professionals on the platform go to discuss ideas, ask/answer questions and establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche. For someone in your situation – looking to promote valuable content – these are another opportunity to make your brand a part of a wider discussion.
Here are our LinkedIn group tips for B2B marketers:
- Join only a handful of groups in your niche: If you join too many, you won’t be able to meaningfully participate in all of them. So focus on the areas you can offer the most expertise.
- Don’t make it all about your content: It’ll be seen as spam if you just promote your content in every response. Like all content marketing, first focus on providing value, then attract conversions as a byproduct of someone’s interest. If your content is a natural part of the best response to a conversation point, add it in. If not, leave it out.
If your niche doesn’t really exist or you think you can add something new to LinkedIn groups, consider creating your own, too. One thing to remember though is that, as a group owner, you’ll need to moderate the conversation and remove spam, to keep it safe and productive.