B2B Marketing is evolving and things have taken a new turn post the pandemic. Brands need to advertise and effectively market their brands and at the same time, some of the conventional ways to advertise have changed. With the onset of the next normal, the marketers need to figure out the destinations that are most worthy of investing time and spend to show tangible results in terms of ROI (Return on Investment).
LinkedIn is thriving as a B2B marketing platform with over 706 million members, in over 200 countries and territories across the globe.
There are above 55 million companies on LinkedIn and over 2.9 million groups on the platform including communities from the industry and the alumni members and groups from the universities.
LinkedIn has evolved as a B2B marketing platform all through the post-COVID period.
A report by McKinsey reveals that digital interactions during COVID are 2-3 times more interactive than those that used to occur during the traditional times.
Optimizing the digital experiences should be the core focus of the B2B companies. Self-service channels have gained precedence as the B2B buyers are looking for seamless experiences across omnichannel as they move through the buying funnel. From the research to the evolution phase things have mostly gone virtual. Not that it wasn’t so before but more than ever now customers are willing to start their research cycle and end it online.
LinkedIn B2B marketing campaigns serve as excellent platforms for brands to connect with business customers and online.
The Q1 and Q2 of the year 2020 witnessed a surge in the usage of LinkedIn as a platform by 26%, which is an astonishing and unprecedented record of engagement, as is evident by a report from Microsoft.
LinkedIn member engagement is stronger than ever and LinkedIn now boasts 690 million members when compared with just 675 million in January 2020. Every month over 1 billion interactions happen on the LinkedIn pages and there is a considerable surge in the amount of content being created.
According to LinkedIn in between March 2019 and March 2020 about 60% more content has been created.
Even though the customers can’t directly buy the products or services on LinkedIn, LinkedIn is reputed to be the most trusted platform for fueling all types of B2B discussions and for forging a congenial community.
According to a report by the Business Insider, LinkedIn has been voted the most trusted social media platform for 3 consecutive years.
Research by LinkedIn reveals that once the ads of a brand are published on LinkedIn, the brands are perceived to deliver 50% better quality.
They are also considered to be 92% more professional and 74% more intelligent apart from commanding 59% more respect.
Brands on LinkedIn have noticed a 10-15 percent surge in their short-term sales performance.
Let’s have a look at how B2B marketers can make the best use of LinkedIn to make their businesses flourish:
1. Long-Form Content is the Way to Go
According to a report by eMarketer, 43% of people are investing in the process of content creation.
B2B marketers are wisely reallocating their event marketing budgets. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for B2B content creators who want to syndicate their content or even reflect on their subject-matter-expertise.
LinkedIn can specifically serve as an excellent platform for brands, who want to motivate their target audience groups to think beyond the consideration stage, to eventually expedite the sales cycles.
Companies also use LinkedIn to convey their stance on topics of vital socio-economic importance or on other important trends that are evolving within a particular niche.
2. Ensure to Enlist Your Employees
LinkedIn can serve as an excellent platform to vocalize the company culture and even if the employees want to specifically project ideas that brands associate with such as corporate social responsibilities (CSR) activities and even the local or international summits that their brands sponsor or are willing to promote for some specific reasons.
The following are some of the effective ways to involve your target audience groups in the process of content creation on the platform to nurture relationships with them, as well as to provide them with seamless experiences to finally optimize the bottom-line conversion goals.
The attribution modeling of the platform largely depends on how one uses LinkedIn to deploy diverse pieces of content in an impactful, snackable, and agile manner to reflect on the ideologies of the brand and showcase the value proposition of specific goods or services at the same time.
So, here’s how brands can deploy LinkedIn to drive engagement amongst their employees as well as the prospects:
Assimilate issues that resonate with the employees in your company in your content mix on the company page and encourage your employees to share those pieces of content directly from the company page. As the reach of the content gets amplified by social sharing, the brands can engage with their customers more convolutedly and nurture relationships way beyond just sales, to post-sales services and repeat purchases.
4. Unleash the Power of LinkedIn Elevate
LinkedIn Elevate is the paid platform by LinkedIn that curates content and shares it with employees through an online dashboard. The engagement data of the target audience groups gets captured by the platform and can be further used by employers to optimize their employees’ experiences.
5. Encourage Participation in Virtual Events
Post the COVID disruption, the majority of marketers across the globe were forced to cut down on their marketing budgets. During such a time, virtual events can be excellently deployed to engage with the employees and enhance the visibility of the target audience groups. Brands can collaborate with their employees to create LinkedIn Event or apply to broadcast live with LinkedIn Live. This can be specifically useful for the employees who were to engage in some tradeshows that have been canceled now.
6. Employ LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn is a great platform for marketers to create organic posts and develop sponsored content. Marketers can create ads and put their dollars behind demographic targeting based on age, gender and location. The targeting can further be streamlined by industry, organization name, job title, years of experience, groups, and more.
The marketers can further upload a list of current leads that they wish to include in their targeting to ensure that interactions along the omnichannel are optimized and they are hyper-targeted and meaningful for the target audience groups.
Research by eMarketer established that LinkedIn will secure about one-fifth of all the US B2B digital ad dollars in the year 2020.
Beyond Sponsored Content, LinkedIn leverages an array of paid opportunities that include Message Ads, Lead Gen Forms, and Conversation Ads.
Marketers can specifically benefit from the following types of ads:
- Message Ads – These ads allow marketers to send direct private messages to prospects when they are online. The ads have a call-to-action button and the prospects are provided with either a URL or a LinkedIn Lead Gen Form populated with users’ LinkedIn information that can be set up in advance.
- Conversation Ads – These ads are like Message Ads and are combined with Choose Your Own Adventure stories. The marketers plan a conversation that they might have with a prospect by the queries that they might have along with their buying cycles. If a webinar is to be promoted, for instance, the customer might sign up after the first message or may question a speaker or content. Marketers can clone the message in the conversation through the series of messages that they have prepared. Much like the Message Ads, these ads end with a URL or Lead Gen Form.
The marketing solutions from LinkedIn serve as an excellent launch pad for the B2B marketers to stay in touch with their existing and prospective customers, even as the pandemic situation and the time following that doesn’t allow much of congregational physical interaction between the customers and the businesses. The marketers can provide seamless experiences to their customers throughout their buying cycle for the entire period that it takes for the buyers’ cycles to expedite (typically the length of a B2B marketing cycle ranges anywhere between 12-24 months).
The marketers need to remember that their entire target market is on the web. They haven’t disappeared and hence it is important to keep them engaged and play at the top of their minds. Explore LinkedIn’s marketing capabilities to the best of your advantage, now is the time when you can get more conversions and amplify your sales revenue more than ever before.