LinkedIn has steadily grown since the platform launched in 2003 and has evolved into much more than a place to simply “find a job.” Today, LinkedIn has over 610 million active users around the world.1 It is a platform for people and businesses to connect, network and communicate.
LinkedIn has evolved into much more than just a place to direct recruitment advertising to. While it is a valuable tool for promoting career opportunities and acquiring talented team members, it is also a great platform for heightening brand awareness, educating customers about your products or services and establishing your brand as an industry leader.
Many manufacturing clients we’ve worked with sell products through a combination of an international network of dealers and distributors and directly to consumers. Depending on their product, some have an OEM component accounting for a percentage of sales. LinkedIn can be a great platform to generate qualified leads for new dealers, distributors and OEM customers. If your business is service-based, LinkedIn can be a great tool to reach, nurture and acquire new buyers and B2B business.
Buyer Research and The Value of Thought Leadership
Here’s some interesting facts about LinkedIn to consider:
- B2B buyers and decision makers are constantly researching new products and services for their business. According to LinkedIn, 69% research business products during their work day, 73% are researching during the evenings and 51% spend time researching on the weekends.2
- Thought leadership is an important component of a buyer’s initial review of a company. 55% of buyers and decision makers report using thought leadership as an important way to evaluate and vet organizations they’re considering working with.2
- LinkedIn plays an important part in a lead generation ecosystem. 82% of B2B marketers report LinkedIn as the most effective platform they use.2
LinkedIn and Content Marketing
My guess is that most of you have a Content Marketing program in place and you are creating a steady stream of valuable content and distributing it to your core audience(s). If you’re not, you may find A Map to Success with Content Marketing as a beneficial read. If you are, and you’re not using LinkedIn as a distribution method, you may be missing out on opportunities to reach and engage some of the active group of buyers and decision makers discussed in the section above.
Every business and business model is different and there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to strategic marketing. If your business functions with a combination of B2B and B2C sales you may want to adjust your B2C-targeted content to be more relevant to your B2B audience, but you certainly don’t need to “reinvent the wheel.” There should be some economies of scale you can take advantage of with your content production to minimize the cost to produce but maximize your results and the impact on your business.
Remember, thought leadership is an important consideration for buyers and decision makers spending time researching products and services and evaluating potential partners. A consistent stream of high-quality content on LinkedIn could open many doors and bring you closer to landing your next big account.
In addition to Content Marketing, LinkedIn Advertising can be a great way to “double-down” on the platform and leverage it for business success. Buyers and decision makers are active on LinkedIn and continual advances to the LinkedIn Advertising Platform now allow for new ad formats and precise targeting. This allows you to put the right message for your brand and company in front of the right potential buyers to generate quality leads, and ultimately convert those leads into sales.
LinkedIn Ad Types: 3
- Sponsored content
- Sponsored InMail
- Dynamic ads
- Display ads
- Text ads
LinkedIn Targeting Types: 2
- Website Retargeting
- Data Integrations
- Email Contact Targeting
- Account Targeting
- Matched Audiences
Based on your business, your objectives and the corresponding stages of the Marketing Funnel you are focusing on, a strategic and targeted LinkedIn Content Marketing and Advertising program can position your company as a thought leader with the buyers researching companies, products and services on the platform. In addition to that, it can put your brand in front of the right decision makers. Most importantly, leveraging LinkedIn for your B2B market can help you grow your brand and your business.
1 220 Amazing LinkedIn Statistics and Facts – DMR
2 Using LinkedIn for Lead Generation – Linkedin Marketing Solutions
3 When and How to Use Each LinkedIn Ad Format – Linkedin Marketing Solutions