LinkedIn for B2B Marketing
It can be a tricky old beast that has tripped up, disappointed, and/or confounded many a marketer. So here's a quick question for you to ease us into proceedings.
"Are you using LinkedIn the right way for your B2B marketing?"
Your answer may well be "yes".
But in actuality the answer (whether you like it or not) is probably "no".
Did you know (based on the latest stats from those cool dudes over at HootSuite):
- Only 16% of LinkedIn users are active daily
- Only 48% of LinkedIn users are active monthly
That means more than half of all LinkedIn users are using the thing LESS THAN ONCE A MONTH.
And this is an issue because most B2B brands want to use LinkedIn as a purely lead gen/sales activation channel, supposedly picking off people who might just possibly one day maybe have need for what you do (whilst they doom scroll their way through all of the Dimfluencers poorly filmed content)? 🤨
It's a VERY big ask. Especially when you consider the old 95/5 argument (that only 5% of your target market are actively buying right now).
Do you really think that your ideal customer is going to be scrolling through LinkedIn with a signed P.O. in hand desperate to sign on the dotted line.
It's highly unlikely, right?
Shift your thinking
Instead, what we need to do is shift how we think about LinkedIn to consider it more as a targeted awareness channel.
Think of LinkedIn more as a billboard, poster, or magazine ad (which you can stick under the nose of the right people - including that 95% of your audience who aren't buying right now - if you're smart about it, either by clever connecting from a personal account or via well granulated paid campaigns).
Treat it first and foremost as an opportunity to engage, intrigue and excite people. Because don't forget, it's people you're marketing to after all. You want to pique their interest and stop their thumbs scrolling.
It MAY cause people to take action and find out more, but an overt sales message will fall flat.
Because when we're looking at complex and lengthy B2B sales cycles people aren't going to buy there and then. [This isn't Instagram and all the golf gadgets I end up buying that I don't really need]
Every Ad Counts
But every ad people see - if it's interesting and eye-catching enough to be remembered - increases the probability that when they are ready to buy what you do they come to you first (and not a competitor).
You need to remain front of mind of people over an extended period of time. It's going back to the age old "long and short of it" conversation where brands need to effectively balance long term brand building with short term sales activation.,
As it turns out people think LinkedIn is best used for the later, when in fact it's the former.
So keep LinkedIn in your marketing mix. Just ensure you give it the right approach.
P.S. If you do shift your approach make sure you change how you measure LinkedIn performance (and associated ROI) too. Follower numbers is a vanity metric. Having the right followers and ensuring you drive awareness with them - therefore increasing their propensity or likelihood to buy - is the key.