LinkedIn is one of the most useful tools for B2B brands. It is easy to make connections, generate leads, establish partnerships and create better brand awareness.
This is because LinkedIn is essentially a professional social network. It focuses on career development, creating professional connections, hosting industry discussions and other types of business-related activities. The network’s audience is interested in networking and learning. Businesses post white papers, research findings and other industry-related information to connect with peers and position themselves as leaders.
- Find highly targeted customers and connections
Small businesses can zero in on the exact industry, company size and job role of the people who typically would buy their product or service. For example, if you are selling SaaS to small businesses in the UK, you can set your posts to show only to businesses with less than 100 employees, based in the UK, and only to executives at those companies with a customer-support title.
- Stay on customers’ radars
Search on LinkedIn for people who fit the criteria and then introduce your company to them. Stay in touch with the people who have expressed interest using LinkedIn. Update your posts and share content so that your brand stays in front of your customers.
- Grow your email marketing list
Thank your LinkedIn connections for choosing to join your network, and invite them to be part of your email marketing list. LinkedIn lets you message 50 people at a time this way. Remember to include a direct link for the email signup. It is imperative that you have reciprocity in the message: 1. Tell them what they will receive by signing up for the email list, and 2. offer to look at something of theirs, which is a fairly noncommittal method to garner goodwill.
- Use Sponsored Updates
With Sponsored Updates, businesses pay to push their post onto an individual’s LinkedIn feed. This “pay-per-click” or “pay-per-1,000” impression feature offers demographics similar to other social platforms (location, gender and age), but one key differentiation is the ability to customize based on a company name, job title, job function, skills, schools and groups. Users can target interested industries, without competing against other companies and messages that are not part of your market. A sponsored update can be an excellent way to promote thought-leadership content useful primarily to the targeted audience with a strong call to action. People want something useful for free from their advertising. By promoting your content through a LinkedIn Sponsored Update, you can target a niche audience, increase website visitors and, ideally, generate sales leads.
- Post high-quality content
Good content should accomplish two goals; it should teach and it should inform. It then establishes you as a thought leader in your field. This will also generate more leads.
- …and go viral
If a post begins o get attention on LinkedIn, the platform will put a ‘spotlight’ behind it in a specific category, putting in front of thousands of potential readers. This is a great way to improve your visibility while reaching readers in a way that would not have been possible on your own website/blog or even posting an article link on LinkedIn.
- Give a face to your employees
Get as many of your employees as possible to create and complete their profiles on LinkedIn. These should include appropriate photos, relevant job history that includes a description of how they help your business, and professional connections. It helps employees feel connected to your company and is great for optics.
- Join groups and stay active
Your company should join groups that are relevant to your target demographic. It is this a great way to learn what your audience is talking about, there may [also] be times for that you can interact or offer advice. You can also message the members of groups you are in, even if you aren’t connected.
- Create your own LinkedIn group
Create your own LinkedIn group and then join as many groups (LinkedIn allows you to be in 50 groups) where your prospects are registered. Then pick one of the new groups and start searching for leads. Once you’re an approved member, click on Members and filter the list further by searching for certain job titles or industries to find your ideal prospects, and then invite them to join your group. You can control this LinkedIn group so that no competitors get in, and you can share great/valuable content within the group. You also get to demonstrate your value/expertise for them while avoiding overt sales pitches.
- Make your Company page matter
It’s important to have an updated and consistent presence for your brand with its own Company profile page. Imagery, colours and content on this page should be consistent with your website and any other social media profiles the business has. The page should be updated regularly, so the brand is active and appears to be a current business.
- Claim your custom URL
Everyone should claim their custom URL to ensure it includes their name. This is especially important for people who have a lot of contact with potential clients — especially for those who [are in] professional services and the B2B sector — because when meeting with someone they have not yet met, many people will search Google for the name of the person with whom they’re meeting in order to learn more about them. Claiming your custom URL makes it more likely your LinkedIn profile will rank in the top of those search results.
- Complete the Summary section on your own profile
The summary section is the most overlooked section. You have 2,000 characters to speak to your target audience, directly and persuasively. Use complete sentences, write in first person, and address their pain points clearly and succinctly. Many people prefer to go to LinkedIn than a website. Most of the time, people want to connect with the person before the product or service, and this is your opportunity to introduce yourself to prospective clients and customers. Also, include your contact information at the end of the summary section.
- Think of it as a numbers game
LinkedIn is a marketing tool, and much of it is free to use. In terms of ROI, if you are using the platform correctly, it should be quiet high. You need to monitor the times when your core audience is most likely to be online and be active in those peak hours. By engaging at these times and being part of the community it becomes easier to attract leads.
- Avoid hard selling
Treat LinkedIn like any other form of marketing and understand the latest trends. Be part of the discussion and make your company voice heard on trending topics. Use hashtags, images and well-researched content to ensure that you are selling your ideas, not your product.
- Start with connections, then build relationships
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals to connect with other professionals. A business owner can, and should, connect with prospects, strategic partners, referral partners and other business owners. And once those connections are made, the business owner can decide how to nurture specific connections to grow the relationship.
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