Saturday 1 October 2016

How B2B & B2C Companies Can Connect With Customers on LinkedIn

Ian Dodson

Published 09/06/2015 | 09:51

Many business owners assume that LinkedIn is an effective marketing channel that works only for B2B companies. However, B2C companies can also make use of its content and targeting capabilities to showcase their expertise and win new business.

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Whether you run a B2B or B2C company, you can implement the following organic marketing and paid advertising tactics for creating lasting engagement and customer loyalty on LinkedIn.

Below, I’ll explain how to create a carefully considered content plan that helps people appear smarter and more clued into their chosen industry and how to make the most of LinkedIn’s quality targeting options.

How to Market on LinkedIn Organically:

The most important thing to consider when creating content for LinkedIn is to identify user intent. People consume content on LinkedIn to inform themselves about industry insights, news and best practices. They want to show their peers, their network, bosses and potential employers that they are smart, knowledgeable, qualified and capable. They want to demonstrate that they are continuously learning and honing their skills. Clever marketers will cater to their customers’ and prospects’ needs by creating useful and informative content that helps people get ahead in their jobs and industry.    

Types of Content That Work Best on LinkedIn:

  • Useful how-to lists about industry-rich topics.
  • Industry surveys and benchmark reports.
  • Industry opinion pieces.
  • Educational ebooks and whitepapers.
  • Job opportunities and information about your culture, etc.

How to Create Engagement on LinkedIn:

  • Position your brand as a thought leader by sharing influential, inspiring and educational content.
  • Maximise your company’s LinkedIn profile page by adding an eye-catching header image and including relevant keywords in your description.
  • Join relevant LinkedIn groups and contribute relevant content. Don’t forget to comment and engage with other people’s posts and conversations too. 
  • Repurpose your blog content on LinkedIn’s built-in publishing platform, LinkedIn Pulse.
  • Ask industry influencers for their opinions and include them in your content to add authority and credibility and to help extend your content’s reach.

Master LinkedIn’s Paid Advertising Platform:

LinkedIn offers paid for ads and Sponsored Stories. Sponsored Stories appear in the user’s newsfeed just like regular content and therefore do not obstruct the user experience. They also display perfectly across web, mobile and tablet. You can choose to create a text only ad, a video ad or one that includes both text and an image. Visit the LinkedIn Ads Guide to learn how to get started with LinkedIn advertising. 

LinkedIn’s paid advertising is a great option if you want to prospect for new leads. This works especially well if you wish to target people in specific industries or roles. It also helps if you want to reach those with specific skillsets. Due to the career-focused nature of the platform, LinkedIn’s paid advertising platform gives marketers a larger range of better quality career targeting options than Facebook or Twitter, for example.

LinkedIn Ads Consist of a Range of Useful Targeting Options, Including:

  • Job Titles (job functions and seniority)
  • Industries (company sizes and names)
  • Skills, gender and age
  • Location
  • Followers and/or non-followers
  • Schools

Additional Paid Advertising Tips for LinkedIn:

  • Include a relevant image to grab your prospect’s attention.
  • Use a clear and concise call to action in your text.
  • Keep your text to the point and make your value proposition clear from the outset. 

Stay tuned for next week’s article, where I’ll discuss eCommerce and investigate whether selling online is right for your business.

Ian Dodson

Co-founder and Director, Digital Marketing Institute

Ian Dodson is Director and Co-Founder of the Digital Marketing Institute. He has been at the forefront of the Irish digital industry for the past 10 years and has been instrumental in the setup and success of a number of groundbreaking online businesses. Ian writes for various well-known digital and marketing journals on all topics digital.

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