A Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn for B2B Marketing
Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is one of the most influential Social Media platforms in the world for professionals. This article will look at the channel, it’s successes and opportunities for improvement, and how you can use it in your marketing strategy.
Before we jump in at the deep end, you may be asking “What is LinkedIn?”. It’s a fair enough question to ask if you’ve only scratched the surface of Social Media channels, or you’ve only just been introduced to the B2B world.
Simply put, LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the internet, boasting nearly 800 million members, with 40% of these accessing the platform on a daily basis. Although it sounds exclusive to CEOs, MDs and C-Suite executives; it’s really a playground for any adult professional from any industry. From jobs, to industry leading articles, to short courses and everything in between, LinkedIn is certainly the place to be for today’s professionals.
LinkedIn, although very inclusive, has a lot of “rules” on how to behave on the platform. Rules such as:
- If posting a personal post, you should preface it with “I know this isn’t Facebook but…”
- When posting on either your page or a company page you should write quality content
- Use a professional profile picture, with good lighting, neutral background etc
- Do not use the “About Me” section like a CV, you want to add value to those who read it, instead write about what problems you solve
OK, so maybe the first point isn’t exactly true, but it’s something that pops up more often than you’d think. A lot of people view LinkedIn as this corporate entity that won’t allow you to be yourself, however, this mindset is quite far from the truth. In fact, through the pandemic, adding a human touch to corporate profiles/posts didn’t negatively impact the feed of followers/connections, rather it boosted the collective morale of users.
Another question, or pondering, on your mind could be ‘why is LinkedIn important for B2B?’ That’s an incredibly broad thing to talk about. So, we’ve looked at common questions that people have about LinkedIn, and have answered them to the best of our ability.
What are the best LinkedIn strategies?
As always, quality of content is favoured over quantity. LinkedIn’s algorithm is able to pick up on whether the content is valuable or “spammy”; posting too many times a day can also have a negative impact on the algorithm, putting your posts down the pecking order.
To become a LinkedIn leader you also need to engage with other people, it is not enough to send out a post or ad if you don’t appear to be consistent with those who are liking, commenting or sharing your content.
If you have a blog you could share the link on a post, but what works better is creating an article within LinkedIn with the same content as the algorithm looks more favourably on internal links.
Are you paying for the platform? I would highly recommend investing in Sales Navigator, at £49.99 it’s great for lead delivery and management, which leads me to the next question…
How can LinkedIn deliver leads?
There are 61 million decision makers on LinkedIn, and you can use Sales Navigator to effectively target who you want to reach. Whether this is through a messaging campaign, where you talk directly to your targets about their business and how you could help alleviate problems they may have, or a clever content campaign that garners the attention of your prospects.
With filters that include company headcount, headquarters location, company revenue and many more, you can achieve a more comprehensive understanding of your target audience by using Sales Navigator.
Members of LinkedIn are more receptive to content marketing than other social media platforms; by ensuring that your content is high in quality and has engaging CTAs you can tailor your content to suit those who you are targeting.
A free way to get leads coming to you, is to use groups. By researching and joining different groups that are relevant to you and your target audience, you can post your valuable content to them, or get involved with other posts within the group. Be sure to check the rules on the groups you join, and as a handy tip don’t join one with less than 100, or more than 5K members.
We have a great resource about LinkedIn groups you can download for free on our website here.
An extra point which is important to make, is to remember that if a first degree connection (someone you are directly connected with) engages with one of your posts, then their connections will see it and potentially engage with it… and so on.
What are some B2B techniques for LinkedIn?
Using LinkedIn for B2B marketing is a fantastic way to increase brand awareness, but there are a few steps and techniques that are important not to ignore. Afterall, 80% of B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn.
First of all, you need to optimise your company page. It’s one thing to push great content but another to do it with a great page – consistency between posts and page will make your company look more credible.
The first hour is crucial to a LinkedIn post, so a technique we’d recommend is to share the post to employees in order for them to like it, or even comment on it. This will encourage others (not employed by the company) to engage with the post, and it will be labelled by the algorithm as quality content which will get pushed to the top of the feed for many.
Publish LinkedIn articles natively rather than have external links in a post, for one thing it boosts your ranking in the algorithm, but it also helps towards optimising your company page. These articles are also search engine friendly, meaning that they can rank on Google search results pages (SERPs). We would still recommend publishing on LinkedIn after the original post is established on your website.
The last (but certainly not least) technique is perhaps the most obvious: run an advertising campaign. This should only be done when everything is optimised and that content is of consistent quality. Similarly to Sales Navigator, you can filter the ad by your target’s professional attributes.
Why should I create a LinkedIn campaign, and where do I start?
Setting up a LinkedIn campaign in order to promote your business, is a lot less complicated than you might think.
Before you do anything make sure you have:
- An optimised page
- Researched into your target audience
- Researched hashtags relevant to your content
- Decided on a budget
- Decided on a schedule
When you feel you have completed all the above steps, you are ready to start. Our blog goes into more detail about setting up a LinkedIn ad campaign.
As for why an ad campaign on LinkedIn is beneficial to your lead generation & b2b sales, we’ve done some research:
- The amount of leads from properly targeted B2B campaigns are of higher quality than many other social platforms.
- You can increase conversion rates, where the average rate for Google Ads is around 2.5%, LinkedIn is at an average of 6.1% (source)
Tools for the job:
- Sales Navigator – In a nutshell, this tool allows you to find leads that are relevant to your business. Although it may seem a bit costly compared to other lead management tools, the fact that it’s an internal feature of LinkedIn makes it worthwhile to have. Oh, and you can integrate it with a number of CRMs.
- Hootsuite – More than just a social media post scheduler, you can create analytics reports on all-important engagement rates. You may not have thought about it in too much detail before, but when you post can be just as crucial as what you post. As LinkedIn is a platform for professionals, it’s only natural that you should post outside of working times, before 9am, between 1 and 2pm and after 5pm are the best times to post, with Wednesday being the best day for content.
- Salesforce – We mentioned in the first point that you can integrate Sales Navigator with a CRM, our chosen one is Salesforce.
We hope that this article has increased your knowledge of LinkedIn and how to utilise it best for your business. We’ve just about got through the surface of what LinkedIn has to offer, and we’re excited to see what developments and improvements will be made to the platform.
But before we sign off this article there are a couple of final things you should know.
- The maximum character limit for a LinkedIn post is 3000, with 210 of these characters being visible before “see more”.
- Your company cover image should be 1128 x 191 pixels. With a square logo for the company “profile picture” which needs to be at least 60 x 60 pixels.