For businesses in B2B industries, LinkedIn is the social network with perhaps the most marketing potential. In fact, one study found it to be the single most effective platform for B2B lead generation and sales.
The network offers companies a wide variety of ways to engage with potential customers, ranging from traditional paid efforts to more modern content marketing opportunities and even individual prospecting. If you’re asking yourself how to market on LinkedIn, consider these three possibilities:
1. Traditional PPC: Sidebar Ads and Sponsored Content
Like any social network, LinkedIn offers marketers the opportunity to reach out to their target audience using pay per click (PPC) advertising. Text-based sidebar ads can work to enhance brand awareness, but sponsored content has been the network’s most successful paid opportunity and revenue generator.
In short, the network enables marketers to add budget to regular posts, which turns them into content-oriented ads that can reach beyond your LinkedIn follower base. Users on the network will see these ads in their newsfeed rather than their sidebar, resulting in significantly higher click through rates.
Meanwhile, extensive targeting options that range from employers to education level, skills, and even specific job titles enable B2B marketers to reach the exact audience they’re looking for.
2. Content Marketing on Site: LinkedIn Pulse
Of course, LinkedIn has not been immune to the content wave that has swept the marketing world over the past few years. As audiences are becoming increasingly immune to regular ads, the importance of high-quality content that engages visitors rather than promotes your company has continued to rise.
As a result, LinkedIn has established its own content network, called Pulse. Essentially a network-internal blogging platform, it feeds a steady stream of relevant, long-form content to LinkedIn users on a daily basis. An optional daily digest of the most relevant Pulse posts adds to the exposure this content receive.
For marketers, LinkedIn Pulse presents a remarkable opportunity. Especially if you already engage in content marketing on your website, publishing some of your content on Pulse instead enables you to reach your audience while they’re in the mindset to read this type of content. Tagging it with phrases appropriate to your industry automatically matches it to members of your target audience, who will discover your content, read it, and begin to consider you a thought leader.
Thanks to this natural progression and ease of linking content to your audience, LinkedIn Pulse has become the single most effective native content publishing platform to date.
3. Individual Prospecting Through LinkedIn Groups
Finally, don’t underestimate the potential of harnessing potential clients through LinkedIn. Since its inception, the network’s most vibrant aspect has been its groups, in which professionals in all industries discuss and exchange thoughts on trends, practical advice, and more. Today, more than 400 million members share their thoughts in over 2 million professional groups.
As you can probably imagine, these groups offer an undeniable opportunity to get in touch with employees from potential client companies. But nurturing these prospects requires time and effort.
Don’t simply spam groups of your target industries with your contact information and company website. Instead, become a frequent contributor in the most relevant groups to your target audience, establishing yourself as a valued contributor and thought leader over time. Once your audience considers you as such, you can begin to reach out to individual members to get in touch about helping their company reach their goal through your service.
Of course, these are just a few of the many ways in which LinkedIn enables organizations to reach out to business audiences. Sponsored InMail, along with an advanced search option that further enhances individual prospecting options, are other intriguing methods not covered in this space. To learn more about the network and how to integrate it into your B2B digital marketing strategy, contact us.