5 Tips to Reach Your Target Audience
It is no secret that LinkedIn is a powerful tool for B2B social marketing. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content and believe it is the most effective of any social marketing platform. This belief is not unfounded; the 2015 B2B Buyers Survey Report revealed that LinkedIn is the most important social media channel for United States B2B buyers during their research process.
It is essential that B2B brands are not only using LinkedIn, but also make the most of this platform. Here are five things that B2B companies should be doing:
1. Create compelling content – and measure it.
Like all social and content marketing platforms, to make the most of LinkedIn, you need content to share (surprise!). Use your company page for sharing updates about your company, your people, your industry, and so on. Content will be shared with your page’s followers, who have the opportunity to comment on and engage with your post.
Not sure what resonates with your audience? Measure your posts. LinkedIn’s Analytics allow you to see post impressions, reach and engagement, audience demographics (by job title, industry, etc.), and more. Refresh your content strategy as you learn what works – and what doesn’t – so that you’re always sharing effective, engaging, fresh content with your target audiences.
2. Explore paid opportunities.
Like Facebook and Twitter, there are also opportunities to advertise on LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers a variety of advertising solutions, including sponsored InMail (messages to your LinkedIn email), display ads, text ads and sponsored updates. For paid banner advertising, as of 4Q 2014, the engagement benchmark for a 300×250 banner with tabs was one to two percent, while LinkedIn flash banner benchmarks were .03 to .08 percent.
Similar to Facebook, sponsored updates appear in your defined audience targets’ newsfeed. Select your best posts to promote, such as an industry thought leadership article placement or a white paper download. Use Analytics to measure what type of engagement promoted posts provide your page, which post types resonate, which result in audience growth, and so on, to help you inform future paid campaigns.
Sponsored update example
Display ad example (from one of our client programs)
3. See if Showcase Pages are right for you.
In addition to your brand’s page, you can also take advantage of LinkedIn’s Showcase Pages (these replaced the channel’s Products & Services pages). With Showcase Pages, brands on LinkedIn can create sub-pages from their main profile. If your organization has a business unit directly connected to a specific target audience, then you may want to consider creating a Showcase Page. These pages allow you to create smaller, niche communities and facilitate targeted conversations with unique audiences around specific products/services.
An example of a brand that is leveraging Showcase Pages is HP – check out the company page to see the many Showcase Pages it is utilizing.
4. Follow SEO best practices.
Yes, Google also crawls LinkedIn pages and content. So not only should your company page be complete and descriptive, but it should also follow SEO best practices. Some things to keep in mind:
– Include keywords in your company description. Avoid keyword stuffing – the description should still be engaging and natural. Check out how we’ve added keywords in our company description.
– Take advantage of the Specialties section of your page. With up to 256 characters allowed in this section, you should be able to include at least 10 keywords here.
Optimize your other content – follow best practices and include keywords within Groups and Showcase Page descriptions where possible. Content descriptions of LinkedIn posts show up in search results, so include keywords where possible.
5. Don’t forget about some of your most valuable assets – your employees.
Your employees are an extension of your corporate brand. Just as you market your company’s thought leaders by traditional methods (bylined articles, interviews, corporate blog posts, etc.), use LinkedIn to establish key individuals as online thought leaders in your industry. Work with them to optimize their LinkedIn profiles, just as you optimize your brand page. Encourage them to be active on the channel, by publishing content on the LinkedIn publishing platform, sharing on Pulse (hint: you can repurpose content you’ve already written), creating status updates, sharing and commenting on other individuals’ content, participating in groups, and so on.
Seeking more advice for B2B social marketing? Connect with us on LinkedIn; we’re always sharing tips and tidbits for marketing communications professionals in all industries: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fahlgren-mortine.