With LinkedIn’s 500 million members in 200 countries and access to 9+ million companies, the B2B social platform represents the biggest professional community that has ever existed and an incredible opportunity for businesses looking to connect with other businesses. Every new connection represents a potential new opportunity. But just how can you effectively leverage LinkedIN as a B2B marketing tool to get your brand in front of the decision makers?
Here are 7 steps and strategies you can implement today which will instantly bolster your brand’s presence on LinkedIn and make it easier to engage your target audience.
Optimise Your Company Page
Before you do anything else you should make sure your Company Page is in order. This is your first and most crucial opportunity to demonstrate the value you can provide to your target audience and give them the chance to engage with your brand, establishing your credibility as a trusted resource right from the get-go.
Make sure that all of the necessary information is available on your Company Page. Your company logo should be consistent with the logo image found on your website and other key assets in order to ensure brand recognition. The information on your page needs to be clear, accurate, and compelling. The very first sentence should immediately communicate to readers what your business is all about.
Your Company Description
Company Pages can be found by LinkedIn users when they search by name or keywords so it is important that you include keywords towards the beginning of your description (google search previews display up to 156 characters of your company page in search results) that accurately reflect your business.
In your company details be sure to include the link to your website or other owned property. Make the most of the chance to tell readers what your key products and services are by adding Specialties (you can add a maximum of 20).
Add a background photo that both suits your brand and makes your profile stand out. You can even utilise the background photo to feature tag lines or give prospects a glimpse of your company headquarters. Make sure that your image file is the right dimensions so that it doesn’t end up looking stretched and pixelated. LinkedIn also allows you to upload all sorts of rich media — like documents, photos, links, videos, and presentations — to your company page. If you have a company blog you might like to feature your latest post.
Formatting your Profile
Two things Hays, Woolworths Group and Hotmart have in common – they have all been selected as winners of LinkedIn’s Best of Company Pages in 2018 or 2017 and they have all made the most of the opportunities available to format their descriptions on their company pages. You can use capital letters, spacing and even hyphens (which can be used to create lines to separate sections) to make particular lines of text stand out and make it easier for people to scan your profile. You can highlight certain parts of your description that you think are particularly important.
Share and Amplify Content that Adds Value
When you regularly create and share content via company updates that your connections want to see, they’re far more likely to engage with that content and believe in your brand as a credible authority in your industry. When they share your content, that content is then seen by people outside of your immediate network, and the more connections it is shared with the more opportunities your brand has for exposure amongst your target audience. This is just one example of the power that LinkedIn has as a B2B marketing tool.
Avoid sharing content that sounds like a sales pitch. Aside form posts about jobs and industry events, the content on LinkedIn that gains the most cut through are industry trends/news, tips/best practices, educational articles and inspirational stories.
Sharing original video content on LinkedIn is a great way to engage your target audience. LinkedIn started rolling out native video to users towards the end of 2017. The feature is available only on mobile, so you need to either download the app or update your app so that you have the latest version.
Once you have identified which content you have that is of most benefit and interest to your target audience you may wish to consider sponsoring content via the platform. LinkedIn Sponsored Content lets you take your best-performing organic content to a wider, targeted audience. This paid amplification allows you to reach new audiences, build your follower base, establish thought leadership, capture leads, and increase conversions.
Publish Long-form Content on Pulse: Become a Thought Leader
One of the best B2B marketing tools LinkedIn offers companies is their own publishing platform – Pulse. The Huffington Post describes LinkedIn Pulse as “an online news aggregation feed within LinkedIn designed for members to share self published content with the audience.”
While you shouldn’t stop sharing your own company blog content on LinkedIn, publishing directly on LinkedIn’s native publishing platform is an opportunity to have your content published in a highly visible, highly credible publication. By publishing long-form content on Pulse that answers burning questions your target audience is asking right now or exploits trending topics you can cement your position in the industry as a thought leader and highlight the ways your business can solve your prospects’ problems.
To start publishing content on Pulse simply head to the home page in order to post an update and click on the ‘Write an article’ button located under the space where you type in your post. LinkedIn has a great overview video about publishing articles on LinkedIn which will help you get started.
Turn Your Employees into Advocates
Your employees can become advocates of your brand simply by having their own profiles and optimising them where possible. Staff can also establish themselves on LinkedIn as thought leaders in various subject areas relevant to your target audience by sharing updates, joining and participating in groups and publishing Pulse articles via their own personal profiles. Ask your staff to engage with content published and shared by other team members.
Improve Visibility and Engagement with Groups
LinkedIn groups are a great way to access your target audience and establish your credibility as an authority in your space. You can search for relevant groups or even start your own group where you can share your expert knowledge and experience with group members who may have a keen interest in your specific niche. Group members can ask questions, share content, post and view jobs and make business contacts.
Personalise LinkedIn Connection Requests
This might seem like a minor issue but when you first reach out to someone if you use the default message, ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,’ you are missing out on an opportunity to add your own personal touch and make a positive first impression. The recipient of your request is likely to appreciate something different and you’ve got a chance to stand out by taking a moment to personalise this message.
Use LinkedIn as a Lead Generator
Once you have optimised your Company Page and started sharing relevant content and cementing your thought leadership status by publishing Pulse articles and interacting in Groups you may well find that members of your target audiences begin engaging with you by commenting on your updates, sharing your articles or responding to your posts in Groups or mentioning you using the @ mention feature. However, LinkedIn’s advertising tools (Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads are the three available formats) make it possible for you to promote your brand and content to targeted audiences on desktop, mobile, and tablet. Strategically planned and executed LinkedIn Advertising campaigns can serve to drive awareness and leads in the world’s most viewed professional news feed.
LinkedIn recently made it easier for marketers to collect more leads from their LinkedIn campaigns with the introduction of LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. This feature makes it easy for your audience to submit their information through forms that can be pre-filled in a couple of clicks. By adding a Lead Gen Form to your Sponsored Content or InMail campaigns, you can collect lead data from people who sign up for their ebooks, demos, newsletters, etc., all in a way that protects member privacy.
LinkedIn also offers other products in the form of Paid Membership Levels such as LinkedIn Premium Business and Sales Navigator Professional which can be used as effective lead generation and sales prospecting tools.
The extensive search filters in Sales Navigator make it possible for you to precisely search for your exact ideal clients, and you can save those searches to receive new results every day, week, or month automatically.
Image Credit: LinkedIn
Both LinkedIn Premium Business and Sales Navigator Professional subscriptions include a certain number of Inmail message credits allowing you to send InMail messages directly to other LinkedIn member you’re not connected to.
Whether you utilise the free or paid membership subscription levels, the right LinkedIn marketing strategy can enable you to focus on the right people and companies within LinkedIn, stay up to date with what’s happening in your industry, and build trust with both your prospects and customers.
Need help unlocking the power of LinkedIn B2B Marketing?
We can help you leverage LinkedIn Marketing and other B2B marketing tools to engage your target audience. Get in touch with Balmer Agency today at firstname.lastname@example.org or for more business inspiration visit our blog at www.balmeragency.com.au.