In conversation with business owners, it is very common for the topic of LinkedIn to come up for discussion. A common question that pops up is How do you drive business growth using LinkedIn ?. A lot of people do a variety of things on their Linkedn profile, but are not able to leverage their LinkedIn account to drive business growth.
LinkedIn ranks very high as a popular B2B social media platform
LinkedIn has long been seen as the formal business network compared to the casual friendly Facebook network. Facebook is used to hang around with friends while LinkedIn is the place to be for professional networking. According to a report from Content Marketing Institute, for North America, 92% of B2B marketers use social media for content distribution, a rate just below email usage (93%). And LinkedIn commands a massive 97% of B2B marketers who take social media action, almost double the number reported back in 2010. 5 simple steps to get LinkedIn working for your business growth
What B2B marketers need to know to succeed on LinkedIn
1.Find the Connecting dots
In the world of B2B marketing, you need to have a lot of professional conversations. That is in fact the starting point of any evaluation or sales cycle. For any conversation to happen, you need a starting point, a reference point. LinkedIn’s connections (2nd degree or 3rd degree) offer you those connecting dots to see if you can get into a conversation with someone from your target market.
2. Share experiences
People want to share their experiences. They want to be able to help others – help inform and inspire. LinkedIn may have started as a way to find career opportunities via job listings and networking, but that’s not why people return regularly these days. Today, visitors view content on LinkedIn seven times more often than job listings.
3. Content is prime
It’s not hard to see why. LinkedIn has steadily evolved into a content platform, acquiring and integrating other content services such as news aggregator Pulse, presentation platform SlideShare, and online learning company Lynda. Just seeing the amount of work that’s going into developing the platform and, especially since the Microsoft acquisition, the amount of product innovation that’s happening, it’s really, really interesting. LinkedIn is growing and building that reputation to be that one place for professionals to stay informed, stay connected, and learn. In this journey, Content is what will be prime.
4.Social Media more trusted than Advertising
The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer report reveals that 62% of people trust a brand’s social media more than its advertising. And Business Insider’s Digital Trust Report found LinkedIn is far more trusted by users than either Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn is up there as the number one among social and is also (comparable) to publications like The Wall Street Journal and Forbes. That says a lot about how people are using the platform and how they see it. For brands, that’s a massive opportunity.
5.Consistency is the key
While most B2B marketers are using LinkedIn, some still use it as an occasional strategy when time, budget, and resources allow, or when there is a big campaign or product launch. It’s more crucial than ever to be ‘always on. Pretty much any B2B buyer (will consume) 10 pieces of content during that purchase process, So, if you want to Drive business Growth using LinkedIn, and what to be in that consideration set, then you want to be part of the 10 pieces of content, you need to be visible at all times. The brands that are flourishing and doing really well – getting the best return on investment and the best performance from their campaigns – are those that have this ‘always-on’ strategy.
6.Content leading to conversions
While B2B marketers spend a lot of time publishing and sharing content on LinkedIn to build a following, most eventually want the audience to follow a link to the website or wherever the lead might be captured or conversion might happen. It is quite likely that the audience will consume info in the social feed and will take time till they feel compelled to drive off platform and into your website. It takes time to build this trust before you can start to Drive business Growth using LinkedIn.
7. Much more than own content
On LinkedIn, people view you as a personality. You may be posting some content that talks about your niche. But along with all those pieces of content, you should also be seen as a personality having views about specific topics. You cannot be just promoting your content and for all other times, your account is just about mute. Engage with people. It is a professional network, Tag people, congratulate them for their achievements. All of this will help your engagement get more natural. How to create a LinkedIn business profile
8. The power of groups
You can join upto 50 groups based on your interests. Generally, you will find that the popular groups have over 10,000 members or more. Engaging meaningfully with the group is always helpful. It is not just about promoting your content. Answer questions, help others. It helps build engagement
9. LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn offers a variety of paid ads, where you can reach your target market efficiently through paid ads. Whether it is content based ads, text ads, or In Messaging, all of this will streamline your messaging in front of the relevant target audience. LinkedIn does have a lot of data about the target market, so you can segment the users the way you want
10. The Analytics
If you are a premium paid customer or have a LinkedIn Sales navigator account, you get to know detailed analytics of what other users are doing with your profile. You can see your profile views, target specific accounts, build specific lead lists and reach out on an ongoing basis to your target market.
These are good starting points. There can be a lot of other things, that you can do to drive business growth using LinkedIn. What are you doing currently and how is it helping your business?
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing