Your website is a powerful tool for improving your online presence, but in today’s digital age, B2B LinkedIn marketing is just as important for discovering new business, connecting with customers and generating new leads.
When it comes to distributing marketing content on social media, 94% of marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel, beating Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Not only is LinkedIn highly effective as a marketing channel, but this means that your competitors are there too, which is why using a B2B social media agency can help ensure you are making the most of your B2B LinkedIn marketing.
We’ve written before about the benefits of social media for B2B, and in this post you’ll find an overview of our top ways to use LinkedIn to generate website traffic, leads and brand awareness to help you stand out from the crowd.
Expand your LinkedIn follower base
The more followers your company page has, the greater your influence on the platform. Having a larger number of followers not only increases your reach and perceived authority, but also puts your posts in front of an audience that’s already engaged and interested in what your business has to offer. And whenever one of your page followers engages with a post, it shares it to their own news feed, making it likely that many of their own connections will see it in turn.
So how can you expand your LinkedIn follower base to take advantage of these benefits? Along with posting regular, high quality content, LinkedIn also has an additional feature which can be very effective at generating new page followers. This relatively little-known feature enables you to grow your page following through intelligent use of your admin control. Super or Content Admins can invite their own personal 1st degree connections to follow the page, by accessing the Invite Connections option in the Admin Tools. This is a great option as it’s likely your connections will have an interest in the topics and posts that you, and therefore your company, are sharing.
Choose the right B2B LinkedIn marketing campaign to maximise advertising reach
LinkedIn advertising offers different campaign types and bidding options, and knowing which one is the best for your message and ultimate goal can be difficult. Carousels have been working well for our B2B manufacturing, engineering and technology customers, but getting the imagery and messaging correct is vital.
We use A/B testing to determine the best ads to use. Also known as split tests, A/B testing involves running two or more ads simultaneously, with just one difference between each – perhaps the call to action, image, or caption. To get meaningful results, we always recommend allowing at least two weeks for each test. You can then analyse the results to see how the different variants performed, and determine which ad to run.
When planning and running your B2B LinkedIn marketing campaigns, it’s also important to ensure you’re reaching the right audience through your campaign targeting. We regularly evaluate the audience being reached by our ads to see if there are any exclusions we need to make to ensure all our target filters see the message. You can also run a split test on different audience groups and measure this against engagement and conversion to determine which target group offers the best ROI.
While careful planning and testing is vital to ensure the best performance of your campaigns, it can be time-consuming to get right, so it can be a good idea to use a B2B social media marketing agency to manage this for you.
Focus your promoted work through company lists and filters
LinkedIn’s audience filters are perfect for when you’re trying to reach new audiences that fit your target criteria. With a range of LinkedIn audience attributes to choose from, you can use these filters to match your ad audience with your target personas.
However, if you already know exactly which companies you want to target, don’t waste your valuable LinkedIn advertising budget on using generic filters. Instead, try LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences option to upload lists of targeted companies and contacts to make sure your budget is going towards ensuring the right audience is seeing your promoted message.
Extend the life of your blog with LinkedIn Articles
Once your blogs or news articles have been added and indexed on your main website, consider sharing them as LinkedIn Articles too. Giving this content a new lease of life through LinkedIn Articles not only helps improve reach to a wider audience, but can also help position you as a thought leader. As a result, this reframing of existing content can help grow your company’s LinkedIn following and increase traffic to your website.
As well as reshaping blog content in LinkedIn Articles, there’s also significant value in posting links to your blog posts and news articles from your company page, as this can provide you with a consistent source of high quality content. Again, adapt your content to suit the channel, by perhaps creating new imagery to accompany the link, adding hashtags, and using the wording of your post to reframe the piece to suit different purposes and target audiences.
LinkedIn accounts for 46% of social media traffic going to B2B company sites – that’s double the amount of traffic generated by Twitter and Facebook combined. If you’re not sharing your blog and news content on LinkedIn, you could therefore be missing out on the full potential it offers for increasing website traffic and generating leads.
Engage your team effectively
Each time you post on your LinkedIn page, don’t be shy in sending your employees the link to like and share. Employee amplification of your content is incredibly valuable to your business, as 30% of a company’s engagement on LinkedIn typically comes from its employees. What’s more, employees are 14x more likely to share content from their company’s own LinkedIn page than other content. The companies who are best at B2B LinkedIn marketing are the ones who use this to their advantage.
Employee amplification through engagement such as liking or sharing not only significantly increases the reach of your content, but also enables you to put out consistent, on-brand messaging. Provide your team with example post text to share, and encourage activity on their LinkedIn profiles and within relevant groups to improve reach.
When employees engage with your company’s posts, it also indicates to the audience that the team are engaged and passionate about the company and its aims, and can positively impact your brand reputation in a way that your website alone can’t.
Establish thought leadership through B2B LinkedIn marketing
With so many B2B companies engaging in LinkedIn marketing, one way you can make your company stand out from the competition is by establishing authority in your industry. Thought leadership is still key, not just from your company LinkedIn page, but also from the thought leadership team in your organisation.
As well as regularly posting content which adds value and provides additional insight to your customers, ensure key members of your organisation, such as the senior leadership team or subject matter experts, are actively using the platform to position your company as a hub of expertise and thought leadership.
One example of this is to publish content from these thought leaders via LinkedIn Articles as outlined above. Attributing thought leadership blog posts to them, and tagging them in your LinkedIn posts can also help build credibility and improve engagement. You can also ask your in-house experts to post thought leadership content on their personal LinkedIn profiles and link to your company page or website, to help gain additional followers and web traffic.
The 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study found that senior B2B decision makers are willing to pay more to work with companies who have used thought leadership to clearly demonstrate their vision, so this activity is likely to be well worth the investment.
Show your company’s true personality
LinkedIn can offer a more informal platform than your website to share company and team updates and to really highlight your company’s personality, ethos and the people behind the business. These are the elements that start to set you apart from the competition and humanise your brand.
B2B companies often make the mistake of assuming their customers are very formal and only interested in business. However, evidence shows time and again that this is simply not true. People don’t want to work with a faceless, corporate entity – they want to work with real humans who are like them and understand them and their needs.
It’s also useful think back to that earlier stat about who’s engaging most with your posts – your company’s own employees. Your audience seeing these posts, especially when shared by your own team, will get the message that the company is friendly and has a great culture, and will gain a more positive impression of your business than if you just shared product-related posts.
It’s no longer an option for B2B businesses to “not do social media”. As the stats have shown, treating your LinkedIn page as a second website and staying active on the platform is the key to improving brand awareness, website traffic, authority in your industry and lead generation.
With the average B2B decision-maker consuming 10 pieces of content before finalising their purchasing decision, LinkedIn has a valuable role to play for your business. Focusing on growing your LinkedIn followers through implementing and embracing the tactics outlined above will ensure you have the best chance to show content to your audience repeatedly, keeping you in the forefront of their mind and to helping to influence their next buying decision.
If you need help getting started with LinkedIn profile branding, content strategy and follower growth strategy, we offer expert B2B social media services to support your business. Click here for more information.