LinkedIn has become an invaluable platform for B2B companies looking to establish and nurture relationships with other businesses. With over 722 million users worldwide, LinkedIn offers unparalleled access to decision-makers across all industries and company sizes.
For B2B companies, LinkedIn provides a number of advantages that can help drive brand awareness, generate leads, and ultimately boost revenue. Some of the key ways LinkedIn helps B2B businesses include:
Networking and establishing connections
LinkedIn makes it easy for B2B professionals to expand their networks and connect with potential clients, partners, and influencers. Users can search for specific companies or titles to find relevant connections. The platform’s algorithm also suggests new contacts based on existing connections, shared interests, groups, and more.
Once connected on LinkedIn, users can nurture relationships by engaging with other’s content, sending messages, and joining common groups. These ongoing touchpoints help build familiarity and trust between brands and prospective customers.
Company and product branding
Every company on LinkedIn gets a customizable Company Page that serves as its digital storefront. B2B businesses can use their Company Pages to share in-depth information about their products, services, mission, team, and more.
Company Pages also allow brands to publish regular content that shows industry expertise. This content appears on followers’ feeds and helps drive awareness.
Thought leadership content
Publishing blog posts, articles, and other content on LinkedIn establishes B2B brands as industry thought leaders. Followers value educational, informative content that provides solutions to common pain points.
LinkedIn’s algorithm favors high-quality content, increasing its distribution to wider audiences. B2B content also attracts organic engagement (likes, comments, shares) that expands reach.
LinkedIn Ads enable extremely targeted marketing. Businesses can define their target audience using parameters like job title, company, industry, skills, and location.
Ads can be further optimized based on engagement with content topics, groups, and brands. This level of targeting means higher conversion rates for B2B companies promoting products, content, and events.
Several LinkedIn tools help B2B brands generate sales leads:
– Sponsored InMail allows sending customized messages to prospects that meet defined criteria. Open and response rates are significantly higher than email.
– Lead Gen Forms can be attached to content and ads. Users fill out the forms with their contact information to download content, enabling follow-up communications.
– Targeted display ads can drive traffic to landing pages with lead capture forms. Automated lead nurturing flows can be triggered once prospects complete forms.
How B2B Companies Use LinkedIn for Marketing and Sales
LinkedIn is integral for B2B companies in every stage of the sales funnel, from driving awareness to closing deals. Here are some of the most common B2B marketing and sales tactics applied on the platform:
Top-of-Funnel Content Promotion
Blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, and other educational materials attract and engage LinkedIn audiences. B2B content builds awareness of a company’s expertise and establishes it as a thought leader. Content promotion tactics include:
– Posting links to owned content in relevant LinkedIn Groups.
– Sharing content through employees’ personal profiles.
– Running Sponsored Content ads to reach highly targeted audiences.
– Promoting content in the LinkedIn feed and messaging with an #article hashtag.
Middle-of-Funnel Lead Nurturing
Once prospects consume top-of-funnel content, they become sales-qualified leads. Lead nurturing via LinkedIn keeps brands top-of-mind and develops relationships through:
– Targeted InMail messages that provide value and prompt action.
– Customized ad sequences based on prospects’ interests and pain points.
– Connecting with prospects and engaging with their content.
– Adding prospects to curated LinkedIn Lists for segmented messaging.
Bottom-of-Funnel Sales Prospecting
LinkedIn is invaluable for sales teams seeking qualified accounts and contacts. Prospecting approaches include:
– Searching for prospects using advanced filters and Boolean search.
– Joining LinkedIn Groups related to target accounts’ industries.
– Connecting with decision-makers at target accounts.
– Monitoring target accounts for trigger events like new leadership, funding rounds, or mergers.
– Running ads promoting discounts, demos, or trials targeting key accounts.
LinkedIn enables B2B businesses to connect with potential partners that can help expand reach. Tactics include:
– Searching for non-competing businesses in adjacent industries or geographies.
– Researching startups and emerging brands that could be strategic partners.
– Joining Groups related to the partner vertical.
– Running co-branded campaigns and content.
– Promoting partners’ content and events to build goodwill and reciprocity.
LinkedIn Features and Tools for B2B Brands
In addition to standard profile and posting features, LinkedIn offers sophisticated options to maximize B2B marketing and sales success.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
This paid tool helps sales teams identify, track, and engage prospective accounts. Key features include:
– Lead recommendations algorithmically generated based on ideal customer profiles.
– Recent company updates on target accounts.
– Conversation starter suggestions tailored to individual prospects.
– Team Link functionality for sharing targets and collaborating.
Recruiter allows sourcing candidates for open roles right on LinkedIn. Benefits include:
– Search filters for skills, experience, education, location and other attributes.
– Automated scoring of candidates’ fit.
– Recruitment analytics and pipeline tracking.
– InMail integration for communicating with prospects.
Complementing Company Pages, Showcase Pages highlight specific brands, products, services, or causes. Each organization can create multiple Showcase Pages.
Sponsored Content Ads
These native ad units promote content (articles, reports, videos, etc.) to interested audiences across LinkedIn. They drive significant traffic plus engagement that also increases organic reach.
|Appears in feed alongside organic posts. Used to promote blogs, videos, and other content.
|Customizable InMail messages sent to targeted members that drive clicks.
|Text-based ads ideal for branding and awareness. Appear on right rail of page.
|Automated ads that feature specific products/services based on recent site activity.
Lead Gen Forms
Custom forms can be attached to content or ads so prospects submit contact information right within LinkedIn. The lead contact data is automatically downloaded for follow-up.
Polling LinkedIn audiences provides quick insights into topics and trends. Poll results can inform content strategy and outreach messaging.
LinkedIn Events enable promoting webinars, conferences, and other events to relevant audiences. Attendee registration and management features streamline event administration.
Measuring LinkedIn Success with Key Metrics
To continually optimize their LinkedIn strategy, B2B brands should monitor performance using both vanity and business metrics.
These measure general engagement and brand awareness:
– Company Page followers
– Content post reach/impressions
– Content reactions, comments, shares
– Employees’ network size
These tie activity to business impact:
– Sales qualified leads from content downloads, form fills, etc.
– New customer acquisition attributed to LinkedIn
– Content conversion rate (downloads/views)
– Sales pipeline influenced by LinkedIn activity
– Revenue from LinkedIn generated leads
Regularly tracking these metrics ensures maximum ROI from LinkedIn. Activities can be adjusted according to results.
For B2B organizations, having a presence on LinkedIn is no longer optional. 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, and 97% of B2B organizations use LinkedIn for marketing. With its unmatched targeting capabilities and sales features, LinkedIn drives real business growth.
B2B companies that actively post content, run ads, tap into tools like Sales Navigator, and forge strategic connections will see game-changing results from LinkedIn. Rather than a “nice to have,” LinkedIn must be central to any modern B2B marketing and sales strategy.