LinkedIn is no longer a small professional networking platform where you simply upload your work experience and hope to get noticed. It is now a powerful social media platform.
It houses numerous professionals and companies from across the globe, making it incredibly easy for B2B brands to market themselves. A lot of company representatives and decision-makers, including those of the C-Suite level, are active on the platform. This makes LinkedIn the perfect place to channel your brand’s B2B marketing efforts.
However, LinkedIn often feels intimidating to many business owners. Others have simply not had the chance to explore and master the platform to maximize its potential. To help you get started, here are five steps that you should follow to create a good B2B marketing strategy on LinkedIn that will help you target and sell your products or services to other businesses.
1. Make sure your company page is informative
Putting together a compelling and informative company page is a must. Start by uploading your brand visuals. In most cases, your profile photo should be your company’s logo, sized to fit the platform’s requirements. Make sure you also add a LinkedIn banner that will make a good impression by being informative and compelling.
The next step is to grab the attention of your prospects by writing compelling text in the About Us section. Ideally, this section should give answers to the 5Ws and H questions (who, what, where, when, why, and how) about your brand.
Do not forget about the LinkedIn Headline, a 220-character description that appears in search results together with your company name and profile photo. It should intrigue readers and make them click on your profile to learn more about your products or services.
2. Grow your network by using LinkedIn’s advanced search
The reach of your LinkedIn searches is a function of the size of your network. Big network, big reach. This makes finding prospects easier, it makes your content more visible, and it makes your profile sparkle. But you should not just connect with everyone, right? Accept invites from anyone in your target industry or anyone in your geography. If the person is in both, send them a quick hello. If they are in neither …ignore.
Why is this important? As an admin of your LinkedIn Page, you can grow your followers base by sending out invitations to your connections to follow your company page. This feature is very reminiscent of sending invites to your Facebook friends to like your page. The only difference is that on LinkedIn, you can directly target professionals who are decision-makers or influential individuals and who can help you grow your B2B brand.
To boost your success, you have to look for prospects. This is where LinkedIn’s advanced search comes into play. The advanced search on LinkedIn is so granular that it yields highly specific results which can help you find the exact type of people you are looking for. You can search for people by location, connections, current company, past company, schools, industry, languages, service categories, non-profit interests, keywords, etc. You can always apply different filters and rework your initial search.
If you are willing to invest, you can gain access to more powerful tools such as the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This is a premium service that provides B2B sellers with advanced search features that are not available in the free LinkedIn version. Sales professionals can highly benefit from this tool because it offers far more powerful search capabilities and improves your visibility into extended networks.
3. Create valuable content that follows a posting schedule
Just looking for prospects will not get you anywhere. You have to create content. Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate leads. However, that does not mean that you should just post for the sake of having content.
Always think with your target audiences in mind. Your aim should be to add value to their everyday lives or their businesses. They should be able to expand their knowledge or find a solution to their problems within your content. A simple Google search will shed light on some of the best tips for social media engagement that will help you retain your visitors’ interest.
Start with analysing LinkedIn’s page analytics so you can gain in-depth knowledge about the demographics of your followers and your visitors. When you know who to target, you will know what type of content to create to cater to their needs.
The next step is to develop a content posting schedule that will help you plan content. You can also schedule LinkedIn posts which makes it easier for you and your employees to focus on other important business tasks.
A good idea is to have content pillars in place. That means that if you are a PR company, you can post about different PR topics each day. For example, Mondays can be reserved for posts on risk management. On Tuesdays, you can share tips on personal branding. On Wednesdays, you can upload videos about different communications strategies. The possibilities are endless.
4. Leverage LinkedIn to generate leads and sales
Although other social media networks such as Instagram can work for your B2B PR strategy, LinkedIn is the best place for generating B2B leads. A well-structured company page will direct LinkedIn users to your website, increasing your chances of converting visitors into customers.
Whenever you post recent updates, make sure that you integrate call-to-action and thought-provoking captions. Offer a freebie in exchange for an email address such as a guide, e-book, checklist, tutorial, free trial, demo, etc. This is a great way to discover what attracts leads so you can tailor a good drip email marketing campaign.
LinkedIn’s product pages are another great way to raise awareness about your B2B products and services, build trust, and generate high-quality leads. On your Product Pages, you can spotlight featured customers, and add images and videos. The ones that highlight your product features, and get ratings and reviews from people who must prove that they are genuine customers. More importantly, you can drive action with custom call-to-action buttons such as Download Now, Get Started, Request Demo, Try Now, Contact Us, Learn More, etc.
Your main goal should be to position your brand as a source of valuable information and as an innovator in its field. Remember, you are targeting the decision-makers. Although that does include CEOs, you should focus on grabbing the attention of Marketing, PR, Sales, and HR directors.
5. Take advantage of LinkedIn automated tools
You and your staff are not expected to do all the above-mentioned manually. Repetitive or routine tasks such as sending connection requests, liking posts, commenting, sending follow-up messages, and searching for potential leads are very time-consuming. Your sales team should be focusing on more important tasks and automate the rest.
There are a lot of ways you can improve sales with LinkedIn automation. We already mentioned the LinkedIn Sales Navigator as a great tool to improve your search capabilities, but did you know that it also doubles as a great automation tool? By setting the right filters, you can always save searches and set up alerts that show you when your prospects update their profiles or change their job.
There are a lot of perks to using automation tools. You can:
- Personalize your messages to your target audiences based on the information on their profile;
- Extract crucial information about your leads and integrate them into your CRM software where you can track lead performance;
- Generate reports about your outreach campaigns that show you how many leads were reached and how many of them converted;
- Recycle your evergreen LinkedIn content that resonates with your target audiences;
- Schedule posts in bulk;
- Set automatic replies and automate messages to new connections, etc.
In addition to Sales Navigator, some of the best LinkedIn automation tools currently include Expandi, Zopto, Alfred, Dux-Soup, WeConnect, Linked Helper, InMail, Crystal, Cirrus Insight, and many many more.
If you plan to create and execute a successful LinkedIn strategy for B2B brands, then always aim to start conversations within your network. Build your company page in a way that ensures conversions, and keeps creating valuable content. Besides the five crucial steps we explored above, you should also look into leveraging LinkedIn ads and making the most of the platform’s community features (think about joining groups and reaching out to influencers). LinkedIn offers endless possibilities for B2B marketing and lead generation.