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4 LinkedIn Strategies That Drive Growth for B2B Organizations

Most business leaders know it is valuable to be present on LinkedIn, but few leverage it to its full potential as a B2B marketing tool. In fact, only about 1% of LinkedIn’s user base publishes regularly on the platform. For those who take the time to use LinkedIn strategically, it has the potential to be an invaluable part of your content strategy.

In a recent survey, 40% of B2B marketers indicated LinkedIn as the most effective channel for driving high-quality leads. Those surveyed also cited 2x higher conversion rates from LinkedIn advertising efforts compared with other advertising efforts. The true value of LinkedIn lies in the decision-making power of its userbase.

As the go-to gathering place for business leaders, LinkedIn is frequented by 58 million companies, 750 million users, and over 8 million C-level decision-makers. Access to engage with this audience presents a valuable opportunity for organizations to increase brand awareness, showcase thought leadership, implement highly targeted advertising campaigns, and stay fresh in the minds of prospects.

In this post, we will delve into the four most valuable things your B2B business can do on LinkedIn to drive growth.

Best Practices for B2B Organizations to Leverage LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

First, Optimize your Company Page

Before starting any outreach or campaign, take time to fine tune your company page. LinkedIn recently shared that companies with complete information see 5x more page views than those without.

Quick Tips for Optimizing your LinkedIn Company Page:

Open your LinkedIn company page and review these essentials:

  • Are your banner and profile photo high-quality and in-line with your brand standards?
  • Do you include introductory information about your business, including a strong tag line and a succinct description?
  • Do you offer a simple way to learn more about your company (e.g., website link, follow button)?
  • Are all page details (Home, About, Products/Services, Posts, Jobs, and Events) complete with in-depth information about your company?

Now that you have the essentials in place, you can start refining your presence and expanding your reach. Consider the following strategies:

  • Optimize for SEO: Tweak your company description and tagline to feature important industry keywords. Keep this in mind when writing native content and posts on LinkedIn as well.
  • Engage your team: Ensure that all employees have set your organization as their employer in their own profiles, are following the company page, and are actively commenting on and sharing organization posts.
  • Capture key communities: Use a few relevant hashtags in your posts to catch the attention of your target audience. These will be different than keywords, so do a little digging on LinkedIn to pinpoint which hashtags are used frequently in your industry and relevant to your post.

Second, Promote your Industry Experts and Business Leaders Profiles

On its own, your business page may eventually gain a solid number of followers—but in the B2B space, it will likely be a slow burn. However, there are several effective strategies to accelerate the growth of quality followers. One strategy is to leverage your internal resources beyond the basic tactic of engaging the team in reposting and liking company posts.

This approach relies on company leaders and subject matter experts capitalizing on their existing networks to build the credibility and reach of the larger organization. Individual professionals typically have sizeable networks and can nurture more meaningful connections and inspire more engagement than a corporate organization page. Additionally, it’s likely that your leaders and experts have already cultivated a strong set of connections within the industry—and can use that base to expand your company’s reach and influence among relevant industry professionals.

We know asking leadership to add more tasks to their overflowing schedule is a big ask, so here are a few high-impact, low-effort ways they can get started:

  • Join and interact with industry-relevant LinkedIn groups
  • Comment on and share company posts
  • React to, comment on, and share posts of other industry professionals and companies

Once they have the hang of these simple tactics, your leaders may be ready to engage more meaningfully on LinkedIn. Two slightly more advanced strategies include:

  • Sending connection requests to prospects: Connect with potential prospects and collaborators using a short, personalized message (Note: stay away from salesy talk in these early connection stages – your goal should simply be to connect and engage.)

For example: “Hi, I notice you are a [category of professional in your space], I [insert what you do that is relevant to them/mutual connection, etc.] [I’d love to connect to learn more about what you do]… OR… [here’s a blog post on a topic that might interest you] have you run into this?”

Posting regularly from personal pages: Post original content regularly, keeping it short, focused, and thought-provoking. Generating post ideas can be the largest barrier to posting. The key is to not overthink it. The most engaging LinkedIn posts are authentic. Consider the following as post-topic thought starters:

  • What personal/professional philosophies guide your work?
  • What topics do you know a lot about?
  • What lessons/tips relevant to these topics can you share? What questions can you ask your network relevant to these topics to start a discussion?
  • Gratitude – what are you thankful for in your work?
  • Why does your work/industry inspire you? Why do you do what you do?
  • Are there stories about challenges and successes in day-to-day work life and your past career that influenced you, inspire you, or that others may learn from?
  • What thought leaders do you look up to in the industry?

When leaders regularly show up and post and engage on LinkedIn, they help increase awareness of your brand, build larger networks, and drive more traffic to your company page.

3. Develop a LinkedIn Content Plan and Schedule for your Company Page

LinkedIn recently calculated that companies posting weekly see a 2x lift in engagement with their content. Posting fresh, quality content once (or a few) times a week requires a thorough, thoughtful plan and schedule. We suggest planning your LinkedIn posting strategy on a quarterly basis around timely industry trends, your key service offerings, and company news and happenings. Your posts should be informative and engaging, not salesy. Consider the  following when creating your LinkedIn plan:

  • Create a plan to post 2-3 times a week
  • Plan to post a combination of informative/educational posts, company news/internal culture posts, and insights from other industry thought leaders or press outlets.
  • Consider which holidays are relevant to your company. These should include both social or cultural observances as well as industry-specific seasons or celebrations (for example, “National Nurse Week”)
  • What are common pain points of your client base that make sense to address and share insights around?
  • What events and conferences will we need to execute social media promotion for?
  • How often do we want to highlight company culture and/or share recruiting needs?
  • What are our leaders and experts producing that we can strategically distribute to our audience (podcasts, webinars, press features, etc.)

Organizations that want to augment their brand and presence on social media should also work to share resources and content in a way that is both intellectually stimulating and aesthetically pleasing. For example, a post that has a photo or graphic is more likely to grab attention than a text-only post. Additionally, trends show that posting in the morning mid-week and keeping a positive posting tone increase post engagement.

4. Leverage LinkedIn Paid Features to Supercharge your Prospecting Efforts

If you’re ready to level up your LinkedIn use—and have an advertising budget—there are several valuable paid features on the platform you can leverage to expand your brand’s reach on LinkedIn and connect with qualified prospects. Here are a few effective paid features:

LinkedIn Premium (Sales Navigator): This tool features the ability to send a larger volume of InMail messages, see everyone who has viewed your company’s profile, and use enhanced search abilities to search for target decision-makers by company size, job title, location, and more. With two new members joining LinkedIn every day, your target audience is refreshed and updated frequently. Sales Navigator combines LinkedIn’s network data, relevant news sources, and an organization’s accounts, leads, and parameters to help improve connection capabilities and nurture relationships between both people and businesses.

LinkedIn Advertising: LinkedIn has several excellent options available for those who invest in advertising, including:

Image Source: LinkedIn

Sponsored Content: Sponsored content allows you to promote a whitepaper, a blog post, or another piece of content in your prospect’s LinkedIn feeds. The content appears similar to a normal feed post and reaches beyond your company and employee connections. Through this format you can share an image ad, video ad, carousel ad, or event ad. These are a great way to get more relevant eyes on your content resources and showcase your expertise.

Image Source: LinkedIn

Sponsored InMail: LinkedIn offers two different advertising options to engage with prospects via LinkedIn messaging. The first format is Conversation Ads. Leveraging Conversation Ads, you can send introductory messages to prospects you are not connect to and offer them a “choose your own path” experience. For example, you can invite them to select whatever is most relevant to them at their phase in the customer journey. For example, you can include links to visit your website, register for a webinar, or sign up for your newsletter. The second messaging-based ad format is Message Ads that offer the ability to send direct messages to prospects you are not connected with. These are ideal for inviting a prospect to demo your product or schedule an introductory conversation.  

Image Source: LinkedIn

Text Ads: In addition to messaging and native content ads, LinkedIn offers more traditional text ads, spotlight ads, and follower ads. These are the ads you see in the margins of your LinkedIn feed. These can be leveraged to showcase a specific product, service, or event and ideal for more bottom-of-the-funnel advertising efforts.

No matter what type of advertising you use, you can manage it all in LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager—making it easier to develop and execute strategic plans. These plans can include approaching specific audience subgroups (you can target based on job experience, company, interests, education, and demographics), A/B testing content, geotargeting, and more.

Importantly, Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn is critical to advertisers on the social media platform, as it provides a more comprehensive view of professional audiences and offers advanced precision in targeting.

Where to start…

Social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses—but it requires a focused strategy to be effective. Striking a balance between organic LinkedIn posting and paid efforts depending on your business goals and budget can be a delicate balancing act. Good first steps are to consider your strategic goals and make a realistic plan for LinkedIn posting and engagement.

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