B2B businesses & LinkedIn: a match made in heaven
For around 95% of the businesses we speak to, there’s usually one crucial aspect of the marketing mix that’s almost always neglected, underappreciated, or bolted on as an afterthought: Social Media.
Over the years, we’ve spoken to a LOT of B2B companies. It’s kind of our thing.
But for around 95% of the businesses we speak to, there is usually one crucial aspect of the marketing mix that is almost always neglected, underappreciated, or usually bolted on as an afterthought:
Here’s how the process usually goes down:
- Business is told they need to use social media marketing.
- Business doesn’t have the time, knowledge, or inclination to dedicate the time it needs.
- They give it to a friend’s son/daughter, or usually the youngest person in the office with no commercial social media experience and ask them to take charge of it.
- Results fail to materialise… because they don’t know what they’re doing.
- Business says social media marketing “doesn’t work for them because they’re B2B”.
- Wait 6 months, then go back to 1) and start over.
Did that ring a bell? I thought it might.
The truth is, B2B businesses leave tens of millions on the table every single year simply by not taking social media seriously. And the vast majority of that hidden treasure is left behind on LinkedIn.
What’s So Special About LinkedIn?
I’m glad you asked. Not all social media platforms are created equal. And when you’re trying to make money, it’s important that you go where your audience is.
If you’re trying to sell delicious ice cream or fancy jewellery, then Instagram is the place for you.
If you’re trying to get your message in front of decision makers at FTSE100 companies, then you need to be spending some serious time on LinkedIn.
Let’s talk some numbers:
LinkedIn has 722 million users, and over 57 million companies registered on there. Out of the 310 million monthly active users, LinkedIn estimates that 40% of those people use it daily.
Also, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.
So, the next time someone says “our audience isn’t on LinkedIn”, please refer back to those stats.
But by far the most important statistic is that only 3 million (0.01% of those Monthly Active Users) publish content weekly. That is because so many businesses are still stuck with the archaic (and completely false) belief that LinkedIn is strictly a professional job seeker network, and should be devoid of anything that isn’t strictly business-related.
Whilst it may well have been formed as that, LinkedIn is now, first and foremost, a social media channel. And the businesses that treat it as one are the ones that you see snapping up massive chunks of market share in their respective industries.
With so many people fearful of posting content, this leaves multiple markets wide open for forward-thinking businesses looking to connect with audiences who now crave personal connections before making key buying decisions. If you haven’t started taking this platform seriously yet, my advice would be to get in there now whilst the bar is still low and competition is so painfully scarce.
So Where Do I Start?
Each and every person at your company will have different passions, pet peeves and experiences. The larger and more diverse your team, the more chance there is that one of those people will resonate with one of your potential buyers on a personal level.
People don’t just buy from people. They buy from people they like.
Release the corporate noose and let people show off who they really are. Your leads, revenue & brand sentiment will go through the roof. Oh, and your staff will appreciate the freedom to express themselves, too. It’s literally a win-win for everybody.
Think of your LinkedIn Company Page as a salesman that never sleeps. If you were to go and take a look at yours right now, would you honestly say it accurately represents the quality of the service you provide?
And if you don’t have one at all, what do you think that says to potential customers doing their due diligence online? We live in a world now where your socials are the FIRST place people will look to decide whether you’re the real deal or not. That blurry photo of Jane’s Starbucks that you chucked on 4 months ago doesn’t really scream “give us that 6 figure contract” does it?
Let people see behind the scenes of your business and help them to form an emotional bond with who you are and what you do. And if you have a team, then you should be showing them off at every opportunity you get.
Content is King
Don’t fall into the trap of posting about “National Crème Brulee Day” for your software company.
Relevancy is key and bandwagon jumping isn’t recommended. Customers can tell when you’re not being authentic with the causes and occasions you celebrate, and trying to shoehorn in something completely pointless isn’t going to do you any favours. Be strategic and plan out your content strategy so that you can be both proactive & reactive.
It’s Not “Just Writing”
Knowing how to write compelling copy is one of the most important factors in social media marketing. Ironically, it’s one of the things that almost everyone thinks they can do themselves.
Think about this blog post. If the first 3 lines were terrible, you wouldn’t have made it this far and got all this juicy info. Find and hire someone that knows how to craft engaging, emotive & persuasive copy. Do not skimp on this part or your LinkedIn posts are doomed to a life of anonymity.
Stand for Something
New generations of buyers are more socially, ethically & morally conscious than ever before. Buyers want to support companies that are proud to be vocal about the causes they believe in.
Not everyone will agree with everything you say. And that’s totally fine. But the absolute worst reaction someone can have to your business is indifference. Be bold in your beliefs, and you’ll soon find your crowd.
Follow the Data
One of the best things about LinkedIn Company Page posts are the Analytics they provide. It’s so easy to get disheartened when you pour your heart and soul into a post and it only gets 2 likes. But that isn’t always the case.
On the surface, a post may only have got 6 likes and a single comment. Not earth-shattering.
But check out the Company Page Post Analytics and there were actually 112 people that clicked on this and consumed the information, giving an engagement rate of over 25%.
Never underestimate the “lurkers” on LinkedIn. Just because they aren’t engaging directly on your posts, doesn’t mean they aren’t reading & enjoying them. This is how people make their buying decisions now.
Some might stalk you for a few weeks, and for some it might be a year. But when they do finally contact you, they’re already pre-sold thanks to the quality and frequency of content you’ve been posting on your LinkedIn Company Page.
Congratulations, you just made life a hell of a lot easier for your sales team.
OK, So What’s Next?
Whilst we’ve given you some top tips here on how to leverage LinkedIn for your B2B business, we aren’t daft.
We know that you’re already super busy. And so are your team. Doing the things that you actually hired them to do. Nobody has got time to take on another full- time job alongside their daily responsibilities.
So, there are only two realistic options:
- Hire someone full time. They might be good. They might not be. Oh, and don’t forget all the tax, NI, pension, recruitment fees & everything else that comes with that.
- Hire a proven agency that does this every single day for B2B brands across the country, and get access to a full team of experienced creatives & strategists for a fraction of the price of hiring a single person in-house.
FYI – you might have already guessed, but that agency is us.
So, if you’d like someone to take charge of your LinkedIn presence to get those leads flowing back in, please just get in touch.