Freddie Marryat, Marketing Manager, EngageIQ
We live and breathe LinkedIn here at EngageTech. We continually praise it as one of the most important tools for SDRs.
But it can also be a great tool for marketing professionals looking to increase brand exposure, speak directly to customers and drive leads.
We’ve tried every trick in the book to get the most out of the platform. Now it’s time to pass on what we’ve learned to B2B marketers.
Ready? Then let’s start by overcoming the one objection you probably already have.
Why Use Linkedin for B2B Marketing?
Before we can start discussing how to get the most out or your LinkedIn profile, we first need to overcome the number one objection we hear from marketers:
“Why should I bother with LinkedIn for B2B marketing? Shouldn’t I just leave it to my sales team?”
No, you shouldn’t. There are several reasons B2B marketing professionals should be active on LinkedIn.
For starters, your customers are almost certainly on the platform, even if they aren’t using it daily. Research shows that one-fifth of LinkedIn users are decision-makers at their companies. It’s also the most popular social media platform for FTSE 500 and Fortune 500 companies.
If you’re advocating the use of digital marketing to leaders, it’s a good idea to practice what you preach, too. Why should leadership continue to give you the budget to invest in LinkedIn ads if you aren’t paying the platform the respect it deserves?
Perhaps most importantly, LinkedIn offers marketing professionals the opportunity to position themselves as a thought leader within their industry. If you’re servicing clients in a particular sector — like eCommerce, logistics or finance — it’s essential to show you (and therefore your organisation) know what you are talking about. No one wants to buy a product from someone who doesn’t understand their needs. Sharing industry news, updates and opinions on LinkedIn are some of the easiest and most effective ways to demonstrate your expertise.
Incidentally, LinkedIn is also the best place for marketers to learn more about their industry and keep their fingers on the pulse of the latest updates, whether that’s in the field of marketing or the sector your company operates in.
Now you understand the value of being on LinkedIn as a B2B marketing professional, let’s get your profile up to scratch.
How to Improve Your LinkedIn Marketing Profile
What makes a great LinkedIn profile for marketers? Quite a lot of things, actually. The great thing about LinkedIn is that it provides a huge number of customisable features marketers can use to make their profiles stand out. The bad news is that these features often create a rod for your own back. If you don’t use them well, your profile can be a massive turn off.
Start by Completing the Basics
There are some fundamental features of your LinkedIn profile that you’ve probably already completed. But it’s worth spending a second to go over them:
- A professional profile picture. No, not a selfie from your latest holiday. If your face is on the corporate website, use that one.
- A headline. Most people put their job titles. Below we’ll tell you why we don’t.
- A summary. This gives you a chance to tell people who you are and what you do. Most people’s summaries are boring. Below we’ll show you how to make sure yours isn’t.
- Your work experience. This section is more useful if you are using LinkedIn to look for a job rather than for B2B marketing. It’s still worth filling in, though.
Optimising your LinkedIn Headline
Most people use their job title as a headline. But a job title doesn’t entice people to click. And as a marketer you want potential customers to click on your profile and connect. The solution? Entice them with an intriguing headline based around a pain point you know their customers have.
Here’s what our director Callum Henderson uses for his headline:
If you want better sales development, why wouldn’t you click on that profile?
“If potential customers see value in the top executives they follow, they will then follow their companies”
Write a Better LinkedIn Summary
People have clicked on your profile thanks to your enticing headline. Now what? This is where a great summary comes in. Don’t use this as a place to sell yourself. Use it to sell what you and your company does, instead.
If your product helps a particular industry, focus exclusively on them. If you sell to a particular department within a range of different organisations (like IT) speak to your target prospect.
You’ll want to show you understand your target market’s pain points while demonstrating your industry knowledge and giving them a reason to get in touch.
How to Increase Your Exposure on LinkedIn
There’s one surefire way to make sure people see your now-excellent profile on LinkedIn — and that’s by being active on the platform.
LinkedIn users follow more people than they do companies, says Red Fan Communications’ Kathleen Lucente. So it pays to have a profile packed with content. “If potential customers see value in the top executives they follow, they will then follow their companies.”
B2B marketers are no exception.
Getting in front of your target market means posting regularly. Even if you aren’t well connected yet, the things you post can get shared and commented in a way that makes them visible to others on the platform.
Don’t be salesly here. Offer value instead. Use your unique perspective to discuss what you’re seeing in the industry and what you expect to happen in the future. Talk about what’s working for your current clients. Share interesting articles that you come across.
Whatever you do, don’t encourage people to leave the platform. The LinkedIn algorithm doesn’t take kindly to links in posts, and will limit the organic reach of your content if you include them. If linking out is necessary, make sure do put the link in a comment and not the post itself.
If you write content for your blog, you should be writing LinkedIn articles. If you don’t write content for your company, you should still be writing LinkedIn articles.
LinkedIn articles are an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge to your target market, encourage interaction and increase the organic reach of your profile.
Used cleverly, they can also be an excellent sales tool. If you’re struggling for things to write about, focus on your prospect’s pain points. Demonstrating you understand the issues they are struggling with will instil confidence that your company could offer a solution.
What’s more, publishing articles on LinkedIn offers benefits that you won’t get from blogging on your company website, says consultant Ian Brodie:
- Your content gets automatically shared. Some people even receive notifications
- Users you aren’t connected with can see your content and follow you as a result
- Your content can be found on Google as well as on the LinkedIn platform.
Position Yourself as a Thought Leader
If you’re serious about using LinkedIn as a B2B marketing tool, a few posts or the odd article isn’t enough. You need a strategy to position yourself as a thought leader.
When used in combination, the features discussed above are one of the most effective ways for marketing professionals to make a name for themselves in the industries they serve. Being consistent and delivering quality content is essential. But don’t forget to focus obsessively on your target market.
The key is to be specific, says KSA Marketing + Partnerships’ Katie Schibler Conn. “Don’t build generic and broad content that is designed to reach the masses. Instead, focus on detailed, niche targets who you can serve well, and build content that delivers value for that specific audience.” It’s much better to be a well-known source of information in a small market than it is to be another voice screaming to be heard in a much larger space.
Being a thought leader on LinkedIn is more important than ever. Research by Edelman and LinkedIn found that only 14% of decision-makers rate the thought leadership they come across as very good or excellent. B2B marketers suffer from a lack of thought leaders within their organisation in particular.
Perfect Your Company Page
If you’re serious about using Linkedin as part of your lead generation strategy, then you need to devote time to fixing your company page. For the vast majority of B2B businesses, their LinkedIn pages are little more than an about page. And you wonder why no one reads them.
Your company page should be a lead magnet encouraging people to visit your actual website and interact with your marketing materials — and it should be structured as such. In the same way you wrote your LinkedIn summary to encourage interaction with your profile, your company page should be doing the same thing.
When you post content, take a personable approach — just like you do with your own profile. Don’t push your branded content out into the abyss, interact with your audience, ask questions and respond in kind.
There’s plenty more you can do with a company profile on LinkedIn from a marketing perspective. Creating ads and promoting your content can all be effective, but we’ll save them for another article.
Do all of the above and you’ll be leagues ahead of your B2B marketing colleagues. And if you ever want more tips on using LinkedIn effectively, you know which social platform to find our reps on.