With more than 562 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, LinkedIn serves as a key consideration for business-to-business (B2B) outreach. In fact, with all of these professionals in one place, not only can you make new business connections, but you can also generate leads and build your company’s brand. In this article, I’m going to give you four tips that will help you get started and easily leverage LinkedIn to be a strong B2B marketing tool.
Social media platforms aren’t always the best for generating B2B leads. Among the top social networks, there is one that stands out as a successful marketer when it comes to B2B outreach. According to InsideSales, of the five major platforms: Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn, LinkedIn is the most effective. This social platform is responsible for more than 80% of a business's social media leads.
Knowing this information, all that is left is to leverage LinkedIn to the best of your company’s ability! These four tips will help you to do so.
1. Set up and Optimize Your Company Page for Lead Generation
If you don’t have one, create one. Your company page is the forefront for LinkedIn leads to visit your actual company website. If you set up your company page in a way that leads to a conversion action, users will be able to click through to your website. This can be done in the company description section or Recent Updates.
In your company description, you want to speak directly to your target audience. For instance, instead of explaining facts about your office and history you might share how your company solves a specific business problem. Why? LinkedIn previews only part of your description, so it’s important to hook them in the first few sentences. In order to read the rest of the description, the user must click “see more.” Based on how well you grab your prospect in the first sentences, they’ll then click “see more” and be able to see your website link.
If your prospect doesn’t click through to your website in the company description, all is not lost. You can hook them in your Updates section. The best way to do this is to directly aim your posts at your target audience through blog posts, infographics, videos, whitepapers and other content pieces. To get that click-through, make sure your content links to somewhere on your website. As long as you’re regularly posting updates, you shouldn’t have a problem getting leads in this section.
2. Create a Showcase Page
LinkedIn Showcase Pages are primarily used for companies to promote individual brands that are extensions of the company. If your business has multiple target audiences, you can have your main company page but have separate Showcase Pages for different products or services that target different personas. For example, Microsoft uses Showcase Pages for 12 of its popular products and services including Office and Visual Studio. The pages differ in product offerings but have an overarching presence of the Microsoft brand.
To create a Showcase Page, do the following:
- Access your company page
- At the top right of the page, click the drop-down arrow where it says Admin tools, and select Create a Showcase Page
- Create a Showcase Page name
- Click Create Page
3. Take Advantage of LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are a great way for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to come together and find answers, share content, network and establish themselves as industry experts.
Sharing your relevant content in a LinkedIn Group can drive more visitors and prospects to your website. If these people are in a Group relevant to your business, it makes them valuable as potential leads. Hootsuite’s blog, LinkedIn for Business: The Ultimate Marketing Guide, says “Groups can help you gain insight into your target audience. You can join Groups with audience demographics you think may be interested in your brand’s product or service to see what kind of information the participants deem valuable and worthy of sharing.”
To find a group with interests that align with your business goals, use the search feature at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
4. Paid Ads
How can LinkedIn advertising help your business? LinkedIn has so many targeting capabilities, which allow you to make strategic decisions about incorporating LinkedIn ads into your social media marketing strategy. As an example, instead of your ad going to everyone on LinkedIn, it would only appear to those who fit certain criteria (i.e., industry, title, company size, geography, etc.).
Examples of LinkedIn Paid Ads:
- Sponsored Content: Boost your content across devices by promoting your company updates to targeted audiences. Sponsored content can be used to drive awareness and leads to prospects’ news feeds.
- Sponsored InMail: Deliver personalized ads to people’s LinkedIn inbox by sending personalized messages that drive more conversions than email.
- Text Ads: These are similar to pay-per-click ads that appear on the LinkedIn homepage, profile pages, Groups pages, search results pages and more. By adding a compelling headline, description and image, you can quickly reach your target audience.
No matter what size your business or budget is, these ads can help you achieve your marketing goals. The amount you pay to advertise on LinkedIn is up to you, for you can start with any budget and stop your ads at any time. These ads are sold through an auction, so when you run an ad, you compete with advertisers who want to reach a similar target audience. The three ways you can control your advertising spend are by creating a total budget, daily budget, and maximum bids. Learn more about controlling your advertising spend.
LinkedIn offers a ton of room for social marketing strategies, gives you many opportunities and is the ideal resource for B2B marketing. By spending time researching these features, you will be on your way to your next B2B sale.