There's no question that companies have recognized the way the Internet has transformed the way people and companies get information about other businesses. Certainly the way business-to-business (B2B) marketers have responded to the changing advertising landscape is indicative of the heightened role of the Web for communication. According to the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 30% of overall marketing budgets is devoted to content marketing. But where should B2B marketers focus this budget? Blogs? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Try LinkedIn.
While marketers are using these channels more frequently than in years past, LinkedIn has started to reign supreme in generating customers. 65% of B2B companies have acquired a new customer through the professional network, according to Hubspot. (Tweet this Stat!) Initially, it's fairly evident why this business-minded social networking site has been such a go-to source in reaching out to prospective employees, but how do you make the argument for B2B marketing?
LinkedIn and Educative B2B Content
Unlike some other social media platforms, LinkedIn allows for easy sharing of white papers and long-form content. This not only allows for brand awareness similar to other social channels, but also for search engine optimization and providing potential buyers with more information on your product or service. Twitter and Facebook allows for optimal brand awareness, but are primed for just that. LinkedIn users have grown increasingly receptive to looking at content posted by various businesses on both mobile devices and desktops, meaning you're really hitting a large swath of individuals. During the first quarter of 2013, there were 63 percent more page views using mobile technology and PCs compared to the same period in 2012.
According to Hubspot, LinkedIn has a much higher conversion rate for B2B marketers. Businesses saw a conversion rate 4x higher on LinkedIn in comparison to the other social media Goliaths. While your business may be seeing success in lead generation and audience reach on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, start investing extra time towards generating leads from LinkedIn. A hub for small to medium-sized business owners, presenting your content in the form of white papers, infographics and newsletters will help you to guide your LinkedIn visitors down the marketing funnel and convert them into customers.
If your company is on LinkedIn and it isn't using the veritable suite of ad products, you're wasting some excellent resources. One of the benefits of the site is the fact that members freely divulge their roles and job titles within their organizations, making it easier to target company representatives. You are able to target based on industry, role within the company, company size, function of the company, etc. What's more, as Business Insider highlighted, the ads themselves are less intrusive to the user experience compared with those on other social media sites. Display ads are effective not only because they integrate well with the feed users see on a regular basis, but also because it allows for cross-channel sharing. The cost is relatively low as well, just seventy-five cents to reach 1,000 people advertising on LinkedIn.
Related: Find out how you can enrich your brand awareness online
Combine with Other Social Avenues
Twitter has become an excellent resource for B2B marketers, but it's an even more powerful tool when used in combination with LinkedIn. A recent study conducted by LeadTail showed 35 percent of B2B marketers in North America shared LinkedIn content on their Twitter feeds during June and July 2013. Twitter is effective in delivering short, to-the-point headlines drawing attention to the informative case studies and white papers you post on LinkedIn. Connecting the two social media tools shouldn't be done haphazardly. You need to make sure there's a measurement strategy in place to gauge how much companies and individuals are responding to your content and the role Twitter plays in spreading the word.
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