There is definitely a reason why Fortune 500 companies are keen on LinkedIn marketing more than any other social media platform out there. LinkedIn is proving to be the king of B2B marketing with studies showing that 80.33% of B2B leads are generated from LinkedIn. Furthermore, 50% of members on LinkedIn report that they are more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn unlike other social media platforms and not to mention that there are more than 630 million users on LinkedIn in May 2019.
LinkedIn offers incredible opportunities for B2B companies especially when it comes to creating brand awareness and generating as well as nurturing leads. There are however mistakes that brands make on LinkedIn daily that damage their brands credibility and waste time that would otherwise yield great outputs in terms of leads and connections. Such mistakes are sometimes made out of fear or out of ignorance. This article is the ultimate guide for B2B companies that will help you discover the critical do’s and don’ts when it comes to leveraging LinkedIn as a tool for B2B marketing.
Understanding LinkedIn Marketing
Set Smart Goals – be Purposeful and Definite
Before you even start thinking about sponsored content campaigns, you need to ask yourself, why are you on LinkedIn? You need to identify success when you see it. Best in class marketers reverse engineer their campaigns by first visualizing their desired end goals before setting out on sponsored content strategy and step by step strategies to achieve the desired results through LinkedIn marketing. Most marketers’ goals on LinkedIn can be classified into two categories:
Building your brand through thought leadership. According to LinkedIn, thought leadership is a form of content marketing that can deliver measurable value to your organization.
Create a Thorough Content Marketing Strategy for your Professional Audience
Your target is to fill the world with ‘insights’ not ‘content’; you are focused on where your audience wants to be as opposed to where the market is headed. Be sure to map your content to the goals of your target audience. Here are a few questions to start you off this journey:
What are the top 10 problems your target audience has at any particular time
What about 10 aspirations of your audience
Here’s How to Make Great Thought Leadership Content on LinkedIn:
Relevancy– address a burning issue for your target audience.
Novelty – bring on new ways to solving their problems.
Depth – should be substantially and authoritatively knowledgeable about the problem and how to solve it.
Validity– prove with examples, that is, measurable success stories of your ideas.
Practicality– demonstrate how to overcome obstacles when implementing your ideas.
Clarity – communicate your idea in a simple to understand language.
Coherence– have models that simplify your solution.
Rigor – have logic that is hard to dispute.
Visualize your content – Users find visually appealing messages more engaging. Be sure to include thumbnail images (crisp, clear images), infographics, SlideShare presentations as well as videos.
Enhance your content to compelling sponsored content and targeted advertising (dynamic and display ads)– the LinkedIn flagship advertising format is normally sponsored content. Sponsored content helps B2B brands to publish relevant content directly to the LinkedIn feed and reach their targeted professional audience beyond their LinkedIn followers. It is
An accurate targeting approach based on up-to-date data in the professional profile like seniority, company name, skills and job functions.
A professional mindset, that is, majority of users on LinkedIn are there to further their professional interests, they are therefore more receptive to high-quality content that seeks to further their success.
Premium audience. 75% of sponsored content engagement happens through mobile devices; be sure that this content is compatible with mobile devices.
Monitor, test, learn, develop and optimize– To continue growing you need to develop your idea, test it, monitor, learn, optimize and develop again.
Dos and Don’ts of Creating Compelling Content on LinkedIn
Be helpful to your audience by answering their pressing questions and challenges.74%of B2B buyers buy from a company that was first to help them with insightful and useful content.
Stick to a topic you are comfortable with so that your audience recognizes you as an expert.
Look for your authentic voice that is friendly, trustworthy but authoritative.
Connect your content to an economic benefit or insight.
Be a journalist; publish highly snack-able, shareable, interesting, and surprising in its plot and revelations.
Challenge your audience’s assumptions and surprise them with what they didn’t expect.
Use influencers, industry leaders and executives.
Send relevant messages.
Create content that can easily be consumed via phones and tablets.
Don’t deliver a sales pitch; build relationships using trustworthy insights. Don’t ignore comments and questions. Do not criticize or comment negatively. Don’t post self-serving content.
Do not be excessively broad in your selection of themes or topics.
Don’t use flowery, ‘salesy’ or complex voice.
Don’t publish company or product-focused content for audience at the top of your funnel.
Don't be extraneous.
Don’t take forceful headlines and arguments.
Don’t go it alone!
Don’t send spammy and irrelevant messages
Don't forget to use visual content (images, videos etc.).
Consider Tracking Your Performance with Relevant Metrics
Here LinkedIn Analytics can be a great tool whereby you can understand your audience better with detailed demographics such as industry, seniority, and function. As a result, you will be able to optimize your content strategy for the platform based on keywords in comments and related conversations on LinkedIn. In essence, the tool will help with determining the following:
Engagement with your content: likes, shares, comments, downloads, clicks, and company follows among others.
Traffic on your site and time per visit. According to Joe Lazauskas, Editor-in-Chief of Contently, Director of Editorial:
As a brand, you really want to measure the relationships you’re building. One key indicator is the time that people spend with your content. Per Chartbeat, if someone spends 3 minutes of engaged time with your content, they’re twice as likely to return to your website within a week compared to someone who spends only one minute with your content.
Volume of qualified leads: Hubspot offers a terrific tool for qualifying your leads based on prospect’s needs, goals, budget, and timelines, etc.
Cost per lead: this is calculated based on your conversion rates and customer lifetime value.
Boost your open rates engagement.LinkedIn has a terrific tool ‘LinkedIn Sponsored InMails’ which helps send personalized messages to users and its open rates are much higher than those of standard email campaigns.
Empower your LinkedIn Marketing Strategies
To get the best results from your LinkedIn marketing program, it’s important to take your time. Invest in refining your goals and KPIs, and coordinate with your team members to contribute. There are many do’s and don’ts; and getting to understand them, you will definitely discover the hidden riches in LinkedIn online as well as LinkedIn marketing.
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