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While LinkedIn may seem like just an online resume host or way to stalk potential employees/employers, it can have a much larger impact for B2B companies. Consider this:
- At least one in three professionals are on LinkedIn, according to LinkedIn
- Every second, two new members join LinkedIn
- There are about 84 million users in the U.S. alone, 40 percent of which check the platform daily
- Three million companies or organizations have LinkedIn business pages and there are over 2.1 million groups
While it might not be the mecca of cat and baby photos (Facebook), a micro-diary site for complaints, connections, and snippets (Twitter), or what all the kids are using to post photos (Instagram), LinkedIn holds its own when it comes to the social network battle of the platforms because it is a professional network.
Those just passing the time are weeded out, and instead LinkedIn focuses on those users who view time on the platform as an investment—whether for connecting within their network or researching for their company, industry, or brand.
Engaging with Purchasers in the B2B Industry
In a recent webinar I attended held by LinkedIn employee Andrew Kaplan, the company shared insight that B2B decision makers with purchase power are 60 percent through their purchasing process when they contact a vendor.
That means, as a B2B brand, you need to educate, inform, and advise those purchasers to build trust, become an online authority, and achieve top-of-mind-awareness (TOMA) before you ever expect your phone to ring with a sale.
Here’s a glimpse at a webinar slide that shows the purchaser’s process before contact a vendor or chosen B2B provider:
As you can see, the purchaser (and target audience for B2B companies using LinkedIn) goes through a discovery and exploration phase before selecting a company (and becoming a lead for that B2B company). So how does a company engage with those purchasers on LinkedIn during discovery and exploration? By creating valuable content!
Let’s first explore more on why you should use content and then delve into how you can engage by publishing content to the professional social platform.
Using Content to Engage on LinkedIn
We already know that content is king, and recently, Forbes predicted that LinkedIn will be a major player for B2B business growth in 2014. According to Andrew, 88 percent of vendors say that content has an influence on selection of a B2B company or service.
Andrew also taught me that six times as many people are engaged with content rather than jobs—they are engaging with brands, thought leaders, peers, news, and groups within the platform as opposed to just sifting through job postings.
These professionals are using Linked for mainly three reasons:
- Seeking advice and recommendations from industry authorities
- Learning how to make different business decisions
- Finding articles or blog posts that advance their understanding of the industry
Hopefully by now you realize the value of content and now it’s time to create some for your company and industry to post. It doesn’t matter if you’re a home remodeling company, a large e-commerce website for outdoor skiing products, or an SEO start-up—content will help not only your engagement but also your online presence and authority (and if you read this blog post, you know that creating content and building authority go hand in hand).
Best Practices for Using Content to Engage on LinkedIn
Creating remarkable, valuable content that LinkedIn users will want to share is your first step. But there are some tricks of the trade that will help make how you share this content on LinkedIn even more valuable:
- Make it snackable—including snappy leads and concise introductions to pull readers in
- Include a call-to-action—according to Andrew, posts of content with CTAs (like “click here!”) engage 2x more than those without
- Ask questions to illicit involvement—whether that is within the comments section or for people to share it further
- Include rich media—this can include graphics or image that will catch the eye of the person scrolling through
- Post videos—like images, these have high engagement rates and are easily digested by the viewer
- Avoid hyper-targeting—it is suggested that you pick two targets (e.g. geography and job function) but no more than that. Remember to allow your current employees to engage with the content and expand its reach within the platform
- Respond to comments—don’t just post a blog topic and leave it; follow up and respond to comments to keep the conversation going and expand the post’s lifespan
- Monitor and analyze—what is your target audience engaging most with? Industry news? Answers to FAQs? You can look at the demographic profile of who is engaging with you and further target or provide similar valuable content
- Promote yourself (sometimes)—Andrew says that one in five posts can be self-promotional. Feel free to share your values, vision, or culture to add some humanizing factors to your brand or company.
- Check LinkedIn groups—if you’re having a hard time coming up with content that LinkedIn users will want, check what is being discussed in groups for inspiration
Social Media Marketing Services
If you need help with your content creation or social media marketing, contact us at Blue Corona! We can put together a thorough content calendar and posting schedule that will not just engage on LinkedIn but all social media platforms valuable to your B2B business. Call us today!
About The Author: Hannah is the Organic Team Lead at Blue Corona. If she's not busy daydreaming about the training session for her team, you can find her improving client conversion rates and planning her next trip.
View more blogs by Hannah Nelson