LinkedIn is a powerful tool for B2B organisations. Firstly, as the most professional social media platform, it’s a way to showcase your brand, products and services to like-minded colleagues, potential investors and other influencers. Secondly, it provides access to a hive mind of critical thinking and peer-led reviews to help you develop your offering further.
And lastly (but definitely not least), advertising on LinkedIn often yields quality engagement and leads as you connect with people who are truly engaged by your brand. And a more engaged audience means a greater possibility of purchase. The average conversion rate for lead generation forms on LinkedIn, for example, is around 13% for B2B organisations, which is 5 times more efficient and effective than landing pages or social media marketing.
These are just a few examples of benefits that your B2B brand obtains by having a strong presence on LinkedIn. However, in order to really maximise these benefits, it’s important for B2B organisations to consider several important factors that can make, or indeed break their LinkedIn strategy, particularly in regards to advertising.
The biggest benefit of LinkedIn over Facebook or other social media platforms for specific targeting is that B2B organisations can hone in clearly on who their prospect is. The parameters and demographics are extremely broad including location, interest, experience, age and other factors such as company, degree or time spent working for that company. As a result, you can run multiple campaigns that are pitched at different levels if necessary. However, even if the key concern for your stakeholder is going to change, you must ensure that your brand personality and tone of voice remains consistent regardless of who you target.
Using LinkedIn effectively from an advertising perspective is not necessarily going to be cheap for B2B companies. LinkedIn advertising focuses on detailed targeting as explained above and this targeting comes at a price. The more senior your audience, the more you can expect to pay per impression, or per interaction depending on your advertising strategy. We’ve already discussed how LinkedIn can perform better than other methods when it comes to conversions. However, achieving that conversion rate will be vastly more expensive compared to Facebook or other methods as the costs are much higher on the whole. You need to be prepared to invest initially to test what works and then scale your campaign accordingly. Once you have ascertained a suitable CPA for your product, you can look at reducing it – but beware this may also affect the campaign performance, at least in the short term.
It sounds obvious, but LinkedIn advertising must fall into a wider content and advertising strategy for your B2B business. Whilst glitzy PR activity, or social media activity on other platforms might give you a significant reach and get your brand name out there, targeting LinkedIn activity is more likely to lead to tangible enquiries and conversions. There is a need to balance proactive brand promotion with the generation of qualified leads to generate business revenue and sometimes businesses swing too far to either side, meaning the whole campaign suffers. A good way to approach this is by creating broad campaign content on LinkedIn or other platforms to raise awareness, before honing in on a key demographic with a highly targeted call to action or lead generation form to generate prospects.
When it comes to measuring success on LinkedIn for B2B organisations, it can fall into two main modes of thinking. Firstly, you can look at page performance, engagements and number of followers. Whilst having a significant following can be useful and lead to quality interactions, which in turn can only increase your brand credibility as a whole, it isn’t necessarily going to generate business revenue and therefore shouldn’t be the main KPI in most cases unless you are simply looking for vanity metrics.
Instead, KPIs should be aligned to the end goal of all advertising activity, which is generating prospects and converting them into revenue. Once you have run your campaign for several months, B2B organisations should be able to clearly work out their own personal conversion rates for leads and actual business and in turn, this should help them estimate revenues and profits. Of course, all of this then feeds back into the viability of the campaign which in turn helps you adjust your targeting and budgeting accordingly!
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