Fully leveraging the resources of LinkedIn for B2B marketing takes more than time… it takes a strategy. The B2B marketer who approaches LinkedIn as one piece of a multi-channel strategy, sets objectives, allocates appropriate resources, insists on quality content, and weaves all this into the organization’s marketing plan, secures a significant advantage.
The problems B2B marketers confront on LinkedIn include the lack of consistency, the failure to successfully segment, the creation of lame content, and the perception that lead quality is inferior to what could be cultivated elsewhere.
With more than 590 million users worldwide (December 2018) and 146 million in the U.S. (March 2018), the opportunity for lead gen and cultivation is massive. But the very size of LinkedIn can be daunting, and while most B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel, the quality of this content differs dramatically.
With a few exceptions, the fundamentals of leveraging LinkedIn are the same today as they were when the platform launched in 2002.
Best practices include…
- Taking steps beyond lead gen so the organization can articulate how it creates value in the marketplace.
- Joining groups with your own name, not your company’s name.
- Before joining a group, not being influenced solely by its size, but also by developing a feel for its activity level.
- Posting content that informs and educates rather than purely promotes.
- Sharing content on a regular basis.
- Explaining specific capabilities that underscore the organization’s advantages.
The Growing Importance Of LinkedIn Groups
When users post content, LinkedIn provides a a two-step process. In step two, users see groups they currently belong to. They can easily add their post to these groups.
“This change may seem small but it’s actually huge,” says Daniel Burstein, senior director, content and marketing with MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute.
“Since the dawn of Facebook, social networks have done an exceptional job at reducing friction to increase engagement. The fact that Microsoft chose to actually add friction into LinkedIn posting must mean that they are placing a high priority on Groups.”
Solving The Lead Quality Problem
Separating the wheat from the chaff has always been a core function of marketing and sales. On LinkedIn, the challenges are much the same as elsewhere.
“Quality can be an issue with leads from LinkedIn,” says Burstein.
The platform is populated with people looking for jobs, consultants, and others working on business development.
“If lead quality is an issue, it likely means that the messaging and offers are too broad and not targeted enough at the type of person they’re trying to reach,” says Burstein. “It also means the way the marketer collects information about the lead – usually a form – isn’t asking enough qualifying information. The more you ask on the form the less leads you will get, but also the higher quality those leads will be.”
The Overlooked Opportunity On LinkedIn
Content sharing is a statistical rarity. Roughly 3 million users share content every week, less than 2% of monthly users.
With 3 million people attracting close to 9 billion weekly impressions, the upside for content sharing is significant.
The B2B Marketer’s LinkedIn Strategy
The strategy should embrace more than lead gen. A marketer’s LinkedIn strategy can be expanded, without a loss of focus, to include other aspects of value creation:
- Keeping current customers informed.
- Positioning the organization for the recruitment of future employees.
- Driving traffic.
Each one of these functions creates value for the organization and its stakeholders. This type of a cohesive LinkedIn strategy provides new channels for content distribution, new ways to articulate a value proposition, and new opportunities to create and keep customers.
This article was originally posted on – https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultalbot/2019/01/29/best-practices-for-b2b-marketers-on-linkedin/#11a3e39b1d31