When it comes to B2B marketing strategies, LinkedIn is the king of social media.
LinkedIn boasts an incredible 500 million users and 9-10 million active job postings at any given time. Some industries, including recruiting, have practically picked up and moved to LinkedIn. Survey after survey after survey name it #1 in terms of B2B leads generated online.
Since Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016, the pace of innovation on the platform has gotten faster. Still, there are fundamental aspects of the site that remain similar to what they’ve been since its 2002 launch – and that’s often where you’ll find opportunity.
What B2B marketing strategies work on LinkedIn? Let’s take a look!
1. Engage in Warm Email Prospecting
This is by far the most powerful of all LinkedIn’s B2B marketing strategies. All you have to do is find a prospect, do some research, and send out an InMail. If the user responds to your InMail, you even get it back so you can contact someone else. Sweet!
Here’s the thing: Nobody wants their LinkedIn inbox to turn into just another place for “cold calls.” For prospecting on LinkedIn the inbound way, you should always start with some strong research and find a connection between you and your prospect.
Many decision-makers respond to personalized messages that leverage one of these ideas:
- An internal trigger event that changes their B2B needs, like a new product launch;
- Something they said or did, such as a conference presentation, you can comment on;
- Something you share in common, like an industry membership or a mentor.
2. Create LinkedIn Groups for Prospects
Creating your own LinkedIn Groups is a great way to start your own “prospect pond.” Position your Group as a benefits-heavy place for prospects to get information they want. For example, “Digital Marketing Tips for Dentists: Get More Clients and Bigger Sales” would be a great Group for a digital marketing agency to add value for prospective buyers in the dentistry space.
Once you have a Group built up, you can use InMail to laser-target customized invitations for your prospects – remember the rules of warm prospecting above! A closed Group is a great place to disseminate useful content, answer questions, and find out what’s really on prospects’ minds. Plus, when they are ready to buy, you’re more likely to be the first person they talk to.
3. Publish Thought Leadership Content
One area where LinkedIn is expanding fast is its capability for publishing. Publishing articles was once limited to a handful of recognized industry influencers, but now anyone can leverage it to build a following and add fuel to their B2B marketing strategies.
Like the thought leadership content on your website, most content you publish on LinkedIn should interesting, informative, and useful. However, you can also burnish your brand by taking on subjects of broad interest in your industry: The latest trends, technology, and more.
The main purpose of thought leadership content is to foster trust in (and respect for!) your brand. After all, the more people see your content around, the more likely they are to conclude that you are doing innovative things in your field. However, this content can also drive Web traffic.
Combined with custom, micro-targeted offers, this can be a great way to pick up hot leads.
4. Answer Questions in (Others’) Groups
If you want to maximize LinkedIn’s potency for your B2B marketing strategies, you should be leading at least one Group of your own. Still, don’t hesitate to participate in Groups belonging to others, especially professional organizations that your prospects participate in.
When you pick the right Groups, some of their prestige is sure to be reflected on you. More than that, giving valuable answers to prospects’ questions can build the foundation for a relationship in a natural, low-pressure way. All the while, you’re qualifying potential prospects.
Depending on how active a Group is, your contributions can remain highly visible for a long time, motivating people to contact you. Just be sure to always follow each Group’s rules. For example, some prohibit linking to your website in your comments.
5. Make LinkedIn Status Updates
Recent changes to the site’s design have made LinkedIn status updates a lot more visible than they used to be, which improves the likelihood others will see and engage with them. LinkedIn status updates have more organic reach than those on Facebook, so they can be handy at times. Use them to amplify the reach of your other content and drive traffic into your Groups.
There you have it: Five core B2B marketing strategies just for LinkedIn. Use all of these consistently and you’re sure to notice a difference. Refine your approach to the top 2-3 that work best for you and you’ll get tremendous ROI, even without a fancy paid LinkedIn account.