LinkedIn – The B2B Marketing Powerhouse
Choosing the right online marketing platform can be a confusing process. With so many different options available, this first decision is immensely important if you are going to achieve your marketing goals. If your business exists in the B2B world, LinkedIn is a great place to start. With more than 350 million registered users, there is no denying LinkedIn’s potential as a marketing platform. The population of LinkedIn is comprised of professionals and businesses, and so it exists as an excellent resource for B2B opportunities. In fact, recent studies report that 80% of social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn. If you’re not using LinkedIn for your B2B needs, then you are missing out on a great resource and may need to rethink your marketing strategy. So what is LinkedIn? Launched in 2003, LinkedIn’s initial aim was for professional networking. Three years later, the user base tipped over 20 million. Nine years later, it reportedly has over 350 million users in more than 200 different countries and territories. Australia has 3.5 million active members, making LinkedIn the 3rd largest social media platform behind Facebook and Instagram. There is one key difference though – the users are primarily professionals and businesses looking to grow their network and find new opportunities. In fact, a whopping 39% of members are senior-level executives (and above).
How do you use LinkedIn to market to this powerful audience? Much like Facebook, LinkedIn users create a profile page that tells the story of their business. LinkedIn profiles will often appear high in Google’s organic search results when people search for your business, so it’s important to have a detailed profile that shows off your strengths. Users can follow your business page and will be updated when you post content. Once your profile is set up it’s time to get involved in the community. A good place to start is the discussion group section where passionate people discuss thousands of business topics. Simply find your target niche and you can quickly start networking with decision makers in a whole range of industries. If you want to ramp things up a notch, LinkedIn provides one of the most powerful B2B advertising platforms available. A highly targeted system designed to promote sales and drive leads. There are currently five different advertising options for LinkedIn users:
- Sponsored Updates
Stories that appear in users’ news feeds, linking back to your website.
- LinkedIn InMail
An inbox message that directly appears in a user’s LinkedIn mailbox.
- Display Ads
Image ads that appear both onsite and on LinkedIn’s Display Network.
- Text Ads
Succinct text ads that are displayed throughout LinkedIn.
- Lead accelerator
A suite of tools designed for one maximum lead generation.
Okay, so text ads and image ads aren’t ground-breaking, but what makes LinkedIn marketing so powerful is not the type of ad, but the targeting options available. Users can target people or organisations based upon:
- Company Size
- Job function
- Including/excluding company employees.
So, if you want to target your ads to CEOs of Australian companies with more than 200 employees in the IT sector, LinkedIn is the place to do it. With these kinds of targeting options, a whole range of possibilities are opened up. Let’s look at some case studies to see how companies have used LinkedIn ads successfully. Samsung SDI report a 7x higher ROI with LinkedIn Targeted Display Ads Samsung SDI, a market leader in lithium-ion batteries, wanted to increase their overseas business via new leads and expanded brand awareness. Using LinkedIn display ads, and targeting people with expert credentials in select professions, they were able to reach new B2B customers and achieve a 7x higher ROI on their marketing budget. Read more here. CPA Australia Targets two key demographics to drive user engagement Using Sponsored Updates, CPA Australia targeted two key demographics to improve brand awareness and create long lasting relationships through membership. Their campaign was targeted to mid-senior level professionals and also to students/younger professionals. CPA Australia shared content concerning interview techniques, starting businesses and recruitment, which appeared on the news feed of their target audience. They received positive user engagement and a great click-through rate, resulting in an increased number of followers. Read more here. Nissan gets 4x open rates for LinkedIn InMail When promoting their most popular car, Nissan India used LinkedIn InMail to directly target people who had recently got a promotion or were classified as on an upward career trajectory. The 89% open rate is 4x higher than the industry standard for inbox mail and resulted in a high number of test drive leads. Read more here. In summary, with such an array of targeting options, LinkedIn is a B2B marketing powerhouse for businesses of all types and sizes. If you are interested in generating B2B leads through LinkedIn, give Webcentral a call today to speak to a digital marketing specialist. Written by Vincent Corneille — Performance Media Specialist at Webcentral.