It wasn’t that long ago that most business marketers thought of LinkedIn purely as a place for online resumes and prospecting future hires. Today, with nearly 350 million members world-wide, LinkedIn has become a formidable marketing and sales resource for B2B marketers across the web.
In fact, LinkedIn is evolving as a full marketing funnel solution through it’s mix of content and advertising solutions. In particular, through the LinkedIn Lead Accelerator that serves as a lead generation and nurturing service.
While new product and service offerings are fine and good, there’s a saying I live by when it comes to tools. “A tool is only as useful as the expertise of the person using it.”
“As a new lead generation and nurturing product, LinkedIn Lead Accelerator connects companies to the right professionals with the right content as they make their way through the purchase decision process. Think of it as an advanced nurture engine, one that goes beyond the inbox to allow marketers to reach unknown prospects (anonymous website visitors) and known prospects (through captured contact info), nurture them with display and social ads on and off LinkedIn, and convert them when they’re ready to buy.”
Think of LinkedIn Lead Accelerator as marketing automation for display and social advertising that you can use to identify audiences, sequence ads, increase conversions, optimize your creative and of course, measure impact.
Now on to the updated Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn: It’s essentially all about how to use LinkedIn as part of you integrated approach to marketing – updated for 2015.
At 58 pages, it’s a soup to nuts resource on everything from the thinking behind full funnel marketing on LinkedIn and the ad network to practical advice on:
Opening letter from Jason Miller, Senior Manager, Content Marketing at LinkedIn
You might be wondering who is giving all this advice? Internal marketing experts at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions of course. There are also a mix of quotes and expert opinions from a selection of sophisticated marketing influencers that includes:
Lastly, this eBook is full of useful stats that you can use in blog posts, presentations or in a brief to win budget for the LinkedIn Lead Accelerator
47% The value of purchases are 47% higher from nurtured leads (BuzzBuilder)
10 An average of 10 pieces of content are consumed before a purchasing decision is made (Google ZMOT)
95% of website visitors leave without leaving an email address (Sirius Decisions)
80% of marketing emails go unopened (MarketingProfs)
#1 LinkedIn is the number one social network for driving traffic to corporate websites (Invents IQ2)
And a few stats about and from LinkedIn:
347,000,000 million The number of LinkedIn members worldwide as of Q4 2014.
182 million The number of unique visitors to LinkedIn in Q4 2014
2 per second The rate of new member sign ups
2 million+ Unique publishers using the LinkedIn share button to send content into the LinkedIn platform
50% of LinkedIn members are more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn
80% of LinkedIn members want to connect with companies
94% of B2B Marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content
80% of B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn
150% The increase in leads B2B marketers are generating on LinkedIn since 2010
200% The increase in leads B2C marketers are generating on LinkedIn since 2010
If that’s not all, here’s a mini-interview I did with LinkedIn for the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide on how I use the platform and advice on how to get more out of it:
Do you regularly check your Pulse feed? If so, how do you use it?
I check LinkedIn daily including the Pulse feed. I follow a number of the thought leaders and also look for the news stories my network is engaging with. The feed offers content that I can interact with through liking, commenting, sharing on LinkedIn or curating to our broader community.
What’s your best advice for writing a compelling company page update?
This might seem like a cart and horse situation, but it’s important to have an audience. Updating a company page to 2 followers vs. 200 just isn’t the same. As with any other publishing platform, think of who your network is and what they’re interested in. What do they expect?
Giving people what they want in the form of useful content, tips and information about changes at your company is a great way to attract more followers and better engage those that you already have.
From a writing standpoint, write snappy, compelling titles. Check ubersuggest.org for popular keywords
and consider using specific phrases in the title and description, but only if they make sense and add value to the message. You can attract more followers to your company LinkedIn page through search on LinkedIn as well as organic search.
How can a business take advantage of LinkedIn as part of a content marketing strategy?
Content participation on any social network or web platform should be informed by a company’s business
and content marketing strategies. Are customers there and what are they doing? What are they interested
in? What opportunities are there for the brand to be valuable to those prospective customers?
For most companies that sell into the business market, participating on LinkedIn should be a no-brainer.
The specific way LinkedIn is used depends on the company, industry and product mix. It also depends on what kinds of opportunities there are to be “the best answer” on LinkedIn for the things customers are interested in.
At a minimum:
1. Ensure executive LinkedIn profiles are filled out and optimized
2. Make sure the Company Page is robust.
3. Curate useful news as status updates and on the Company Page
4. Use LinkedIn as a follow up after meeting people online and especially at offline events where business cards are exchanged
Beyond that, LinkedIn’s social network platform provides many opportunities to engage with prospects, support individual and brand thought leadership and connect with other groups like industry media and prospective employees. Whether it’s targeted advertising or curating a mix of industry and company news on the brand page, companies that want to attract and engage other businesses need to be on LinkedIn.