A B2B Best Practice Guide.
LinkedIn now boasts a staggering 225 million members in over 200 countries & territories across the globe which makes it a vital component in any B2B marketer’s arsenal.
As a B2B marketing tool, LinkedIn allows you to build relationships, establish thought leadership, generate leads, gain insights, conduct market research, improve reputation and build online communities.
One of the most interesting developments is LinkedIn’s recent focus on establishing itself as a professional publishing hub for its users. Products such as LinkedIn Today, the professional e-zine that aggregates and features top news items and LinkedIn Influencers or anointed experts like
Richard Branson who contribute exclusive content to LinkedIn are both part of this new strategy – to establish LinkedIn as the go-to site for professional content. This strategy which sees LinkedIn appointing 200 professional celebs to influencer status will be pivotal to LinkedIn hitting 9.8 billion page-views, excluding mobile, in Q4 this year, according to CEO Jeff Weiner.
So how do you as a B2B professional harness the considerable power of LinkedIn? Clickworks have some tips on optimising your LinkedIn presence in order to maximise customer engagement and ultimately win more business.
8 Tips to Optimise Your B2B LinkedIn Presence:
- Go Visual: To keep up with the social media trends spearheaded by Facebook and Pinterest, LinkedIn has decided to become more visual. Like Facebook, it’s possible to incorporate a banner image for your company’s LinkedIn page as well as incorporate video. Practice basic branding techniques by using your logo wherever possible and keep the tone consistent with your brand. LinkedIn members can now use the share box on the home page to upload images, documents, and presentations as part of their updates. In addition, members can attach videos and rich media content hosted elsewhere by pasting a link into the box.
- Optimise the “About” Section: Most companies simply copy and paste the “About Us” section from their website onto their LinkedIn profile. However, this strategy is a mistake for those seeking to network on LinkedIn. Put some thought into the messaging required here for a B2B audience. Reconnect with lost customers, earn new prospects and win fresh business by asking your existing networks to write recommendations to appear in your profile.
- Create a Group: While most professionals and brands join groups for exposure, why not create your own? This truly establishes you as a thought-leader and as the group grows, so does your authority. Instead of making the group self-promotional, add value to the discussion by focusing the group on industry news, best practices, new ideas, obstacles, and similar topics of interest.
- Use LinkedIn Polls: The poll function in Groups allows you to ask thought-provoking questions about trending news and serves to distinguish your brand as a thought-leader in the industry. Not only do you engage your current followers, you’re increasing your reach as the polls spreads across connections immediately. If you’re a member of any groups on LinkedIn, begin discussions based on the results of the poll. This tactic is focused on widening reach and establishing thought-leadership.
- Maximizing the LinkedIn news feed as a content delivery mechanism: Brands that have built a decent list of “followers” can target content based on follower personas – targeting by company size, industry, function, seniority, and geography. For example, by targeting localised status updates to followers, Salesforce increased engagement and sharing of content by 30 percent. But what if a brand doesn’t have followers? Or the right followers? At the very minimum, including calls to follow a company page in all outbound materials, using LinkedIn follow buttons, and paid follow ads are simple mechanisms for increasing follower numbers. And, brands are now no longer limited to delivering content to just their own followers’ news feeds. LinkedIn recently unveiled Sponsored Updates, which allows brands to reach targeted members who are not already company followers, effectively opening up a huge new addressable audience.
- Install plug-ins: Add rich content to your LinkedIn profile and increase the value of what you’re sharing by installing these 3 plug-ins:
- WordPress/Blog Link automatically syncs your last 5 blog posts with your LinkedIn profile. It’s a great way to engage your audience and optimise customer experience by adding to your story.
- Slide-Share lets you feature 3 presentations of your choice on your profile so it’s an invaluable tool for successful internet marketing.
- Amazon reading list actively showcases your knowledge by sharing the books you’re reading.
- Business Content: More and more, LinkedIn is becoming the resource people utilize when looking for informational business content to do with their industry. Utilize useful content as a means to target and engage your customers through the use of whitepapers, news articles, educated discussion threads, and so forth. Use Sponsored Updates which allow businesses to promote native sponsored content, such as white papers and research reports, in users’ status updates.
- Market Your Company’s LinkedIn Page: Looking to generate more followers for your LinkedIn Company Page? LinkedIn’s follow button makes it simple for your website visitors to follow your company’s LinkedIn page with just one click. Add it to your email signature also to build more traffic.
Clickworks partnered with the Digital Marketing Institute and hosted a Linkedin Masterclass earlier on this September. If you missed it, here is a video and here is the slides of the seminar by Greg Fry (Microsoft Silverlight plugin required).