This is a guide to using LinkedIn for your Business marketing (also known as B2B marketing). It’s important to know how to do this because LinkedIn (more than any other social media platform), is primed for business communications. Thus, as a business, your target audience is likely on LinkedIn and is ready to see what you have to offer. So, if you want to:
- Build your online reputation
- Maintain business relationships
- Position yourself as a thought leader
- Gain access to useful analysis
- Generate Leads
Then this guide is for you. Let’s begin.
Table of Content
- Importance of Linkedin for B2B Businesses.
- Setting up your LinkedIn Account
- Creating a marketing strategy
- Marketing your account
- LinkedIn Groups
- Advertising for LinkedIn
Why use LinkedIn?
As of the time of writing, LinkedIn has about 756 million members and has pages for about 57 million companies. It also has over 10,000 B2B software product pages. Basically, the LinkedIn environment is perfect for B2B marketing. Consequently, it should be no surprise that 96% of B2B content marketers use it for organic social marketing and 80% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn ads. This makes it the top social Network for B2B marketing. It is also the third most utilized platform for Business Marketing purchase research. Basically, considering its relevance and the advantages that it offers, there are no upsides to not using LinkedIn.
Chapter 2: Setting up your LinkedIn Account
Step 1: Set up your LinkedIn profile
Becoming a LinkedIn Member is easy. All you have to do is go to LinkedIn.com and sign up for membership using your email address or phone number. Once you’ve done that, you then have to work on creating and optimizing your profile.
This will be very useful for you as it will help people to know who you are, and it will help bring up your profile in relevant search results. The following items should be filled into your profile:
- Your name and heading. Your name must be your official name, and your heading should be your job title. An example of this would be John Smith, Founder at “Generic Company Name”
- Your profile picture and Banner. These images should be clear and professional.
- Your Contact Information. Things like your address and channels that you can be contacted through.
- Summary. This is where you can provide an overview of your professional experience and expertise. You can do this with text, or you can use slideshows, videos, or a host of other media. The important thing is describing yourself in the best possible way.
- Current and Past Job experience.
- Skills and Expertise.
Step 2: Set up a Company Page
If you are a freelancer, and “You are your business”, then you might choose not to set up a separate company page. However, if your company is a distinct entity, then it would be very useful for you to set up a page specifically for your company that can provide a specific overview of your business and products.
Company pages also provide further benefits like:
- The ability to share updates and run sponsored messages
- Connection with all your employees
- Acting as a constant company news feed.
All you need to create a company page is your companies name and a company email. LinkedIn will not accept an email without your companies domain name, so it has to be something similar to firstname.lastname@example.org, not email@example.com.
Once you have the aforementioned items, then you can follow the steps given below;
- Click on the “Work” icon on top right side of your LinkedIn homepage
- Select, “Create a company page”. This can be found at the bottom.
- Choose the business type that best describes your business.
- Fill out your page identity, company, and profile details.
- Check the verification box that confirms that you are allowed to manage the account on behalf of your business.
- Click “Create page”
- Begin to customize your company page.
Creating a Marketing Strategy
Your strategy will be unique to your business because it will be based on your specific industry, your budget, your marketing goals, and your target personas. As I’ve previously stated, LinkedIn offers a lot of potential in terms of Business marketing leads, it also offers lots of information to help you refine your target market.
Do this by using criteria like industry, location, strengths, weaknesses, and what motivates people. Once you’ve refined your criteria, then you should map out your content using a content calendar, this will provide a sense of structure that will make it easier for you to follow through on your plans.
Chapter 4: Marketing your content
Once you’ve set up your personal and company pages, it is up to you to share them as much as you can, amongst employees and followers alike. However, your pages must contain relevant content that will make potential leads want to follow and interact, otherwise, your pages could hurt instead of help you. This is where content marketing comes into play. You have the option of sharing status updates from your company page, or posts from your private page. You can also use SlideShare to share your content in a slideshow format. Beyond this, you should also curate the posts of others that could be useful to your followers.
In terms of the actual content that you will be producing, research suggests that posting industry trends, how-to’s, and thought leadership content are great ways to connect with your followers, as they consider this information to be valuable. Thought leadership basically requires you to provide your reasoned insight, and you can provide this on your industry, your organization, or your products. Remember to use images and videos as well, to make sure that your content leaves an impression on your viewers.
Learn more about content marketing to better refine your strategy.
LinkedIn Groups are a wonderful way to make connections. Within them, share content, learn from others, post and view jobs, and make business connections. If you join a group, it is important that you participate.
This way you can establish yourself as a Thought leader on topics that are relevant to you and your business. Groups can also helpful for Small Business Owners if the groups that they join serve their target demographic. Here, they will find insight into the things that their audience is talking about in the present, which in turn gives them perspective on what content is relevant as well as what products will be relevant. They can also interact with their customers and in doing so build strong business relationships. You can join up to 50 groups at a time.
You also have the option of creating your own group. This gives you another platform to communicate your ideas to the members of the group. However, doing so may be quite demanding as moderation of the group will be required of you as the group administrator.
Just like Facebook, LinkedIn offers users the option of displaying advertisements to potential leads as a means of lead generation. A huge upside of using LinkedIn Ads is the precision it gives you regarding targeting. This means that you don’t waste money advertising to unlikely prospects. There are different types of advertisement options offered to users, they are;
- Sponsored Content: These show up directly in your audience’s LinkedIn feed, both on mobile and on desktop. They are also called native ads. On the LinkedIn feed, they are labelled as “promoted”, as a means of differentiation.
- Sponsored Messaging: This was previously called “Sponsored Inmail”, and it allows you to directly advertise to prospects in their inboxes.
- Text Ads: These show up on the right side of your LinkedIn desktop feed. They are the simple pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) ads. This means you only have to pay for the ones that are clicked on.
- Dynamic Ads: These ads are personalized based on the profiles of individual members of the target audience. They also show up on the right rail of the desktop feed. Examples of sponsored ads are Follower ads and Spotlight ads.
Other Useful Tips
- LinkedIn offers Premium Accounts of different levels, to support those who would like to step up their functionality. They offer different services, so pick a plan that best meets your needs.
- Use the Analytics on your company page to get a greater insight into your viewers. Examining analytics can tell you about the kind of content your audience likes, as well as providing insight into who your audience is, which helps with targeting ads.
- Use data to find out the best time to post your content, and schedule your posts in advance. This way your pages will always seem alive.
- Observe your competition to see the ways that you need to improve.
Congratulations on getting through the guide. With this, you have the necessary social media armoury to succeed as a LinkedIn marketer.
Read our guides to learn more about marketing for other social media platforms: