LinkedIn's specialized tools and features make it a goldmine for sales and marketing teams in the B2B space. With precise targeting, networking capabilities, lead generation, dynamic advertising opportunities, and content sharing, it's a one-stop platform for building brand awareness and establishing a strong online presence in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
But you are not alone. More than 92,000,000 manufacturing professionals are LinkedIn members. So, it’s critical that you are strategic and thoughtful about how your company leverages the power of LinkedIn, without getting lost in the crowd.
In part one of this series, we outlined some simple tips for your sales and marketing leaders to build a personal brand on LinkedIn through a well-crafted professional profile, strategic connections, and thought leadership content. These steps are essential to establishing your company as a leader in your sector. The next step is creating your LinkedIn business presence.
A Business Focus
In this article, we’ll discuss how a business can leverage LinkedIn to build strong brand awareness and drive marketing and sales. First, build an optimized company page using the same best practices outlined in Part One for a personal page. Relevant keywords, strong calls-to-action, a complete company description, logos, and links to the website and other landing pages are all essential to include on your company page.
Just like a personal page, maintaining a LinkedIn company page is an ongoing process. It's important to maintain an active presence, network with your followers, and regularly update your page with valuable content to achieve your business goals on the platform. You'll also need an optimized company page for advertising, which we'll discuss next.
78% of B2B content marketers used paid ads on LinkedIn in the last 12 months. They reported excellent results compared to other social media. 36% said their LinkedIn ads were very effective, and 13% said they were extremely effective.
Like most social platforms, LinkedIn offers a variety of ways to highlight your brand message beyond organic reach. But LinkedIn offers some ad features that can be especially powerful in generating interest and engagement for B2B companies.
The most important thing to keep in mind when building LinkedIn ad campaigns is your target audience's buying process. For industrial or manufacturing companies, the buying cycle is typically lengthy and complicated and involves several decision-makers. The goal of your ads may not be to make a sale but to establish a long-term relationship that will eventually become a sale. Or the goal may be to provide additional information after someone follows your page or downloads a piece of content. Providing the right content to the right person at the right time is critical when considering the strategy behind your LinkedIn ads.
4 out of every 5 LinkedIn members drive business decisions at their organization. For your business, success means reaching the decision-makers uniquely interested in what your company offers. LinkedIn's ad targeting options can help you reach the right audience.
Through LinkedIn's ad platform, you can leverage accurate, member-generated demographic data, including job title, company, industry, seniority, skills, and more, to reach the best audience for your ad. You can also securely upload your own list of contact IDs or connect the ad platform to your CMS to target specific people on your lead list. Segmenting an audience can also be based on traits like professional or personal interests, actions with your company page, location, education, school, or a combination of two or more attributes.
Testing is possible by running similar campaigns with variations in targeting criteria to see which attributes are more effective for meeting your advertising goals. Once your campaigns launch, you can better understand who’s interacting with your ads through campaign data and use these insights to refine your targeting, content, segmentation, and testing.
LinkedIn dynamic ads appear in prime locations on the LinkedIn interface, including the right-hand sidebar on a desktop. This premium placement increases their visibility and reach. Dynamic ads are personalized ads that feature a person's own LinkedIn profile data and are a simple way to capture attention. These ads can include a target's photo, company name, job title, and more. Dynamic ads can take several formats, including:
Follower ads: These ads are used to expand an audience and acquire more followers for a LinkedIn Company or Showcase Page.
Spotlight ads: These ads share insights, best practices, thought leadership, and other valuable content with a target audience.
Job ads: These ads are used to find more applicants for job postings.
You can set up dynamic ads to automatically follow up with your connections based on their interactions with previous ads. For example, you can send personalized thank-you messages or provide more detailed information when someone clicks on an ad. Ads automatically update with your latest content, such as event invitations or product recommendations, ensuring your audience sees the most relevant and timely information. This helps you stay top-of-mind with your connections.
Dynamic ads can build brand awareness, drive traffic, and convert prospects. Personalization is crucial in B2B relationships because it shows that you understand your audience and are willing to tailor your message to their needs. With robust personalization options, these ads can successfully build relationships and nurture prospects through an elongated sales funnel.
LinkedIn sponsored content is targeted native advertising that appears directly in a user’s LinkedIn feed, making it a less intrusive and more engaging way to reach your target audience compared to traditional display ads.
Sponsored content ad formats include:
Single image ads
Single job ads
This variety of ad formats offers you the opportunity to highlight all kinds of content, from thought leadership pieces to product information to sales promotions. You can use LinkedIn’s precise targeting features to reach users based on factors like job title, company size, industry, location, seniority, or based on their stage within their customer journey.
Sponsored In Mail
This is a unique form of LinkedIn sponsored ads that allows you to send personalized messages to the LinkedIn inboxes of your target audience. Sponsored InMail delivers tailored and relevant messages to your most important customers and prospects. When done right, these ads can come across as highly personalized and genuine messages to the receiver. But they are still ads, so you can include CTAs and target them based on audience profile criteria.
Lead Generation Forms
In a recent Demand Sage report, LinkedIn generated 2 to 5 times the ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) of other social media platforms in terms of technology.
Part of the reason for that higher performance is LinkedIn's Lead Generation Forms. When a member clicks the CTA button on an ad, the attached Lead Gen Form is automatically filled with their contact and profile information. They do not have to manually type it in before sending it. LinkedIn claims these Lead Gen Forms typically outperform their benchmarks. Lead Gen Forms are available on both mobile and desktop for sponsored content and sponsored messaging campaigns.
Your Next Steps
LinkedIn has proven to be a lucrative sales and marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. A smart LinkedIn marketing strategy for an industrial or manufacturing company should look slightly different than other industries. Dealing with longer buying processes and more technical products or services means emphasizing the relationship aspect of LinkedIn. By prioritizing who your leaders connect and engage with while focusing on brand engagement and alignment, you'll develop a strong strategy that attracts, engages, and converts your target audience into prospects, partners, and customers.
Your sales cycle is unique and your business model is complex. You can't rely on out-of-the-box approaches and see results. That's why all our marketing strategies are customized to include your target audience’s specific needs. If you're wasting time and money on LinkedIn outreach that isn’t achieving your sales and marketing goals, reach out today. Whether you have specific questions or don't know what to do next, we have answers.