The small business B2B marketing toolkit is getting even more robust. Thanks in no small part to Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, small businesses and entrepreneurs now have access to LinkedIn tools previously reserved only for big brands. Since we bring big brand agency thinking to growth-minded companies, consider those formerly-big-brand-only tools yours. There are more than 400 million users on LinkedIn, and four out of five are business decision makers. It’s a good bet your next customer is waiting for you there.
Target Your Prospects Like No Other
You know LinkedIn for both its job listings and its power to connect a B2B audience. It gives CEOs and entrepreneurs the ability to show thought leadership in posts. But companies can also promote their content through paid targeting to an unmatched degree. LinkedIn lets you target your audience very specifically — by a combination of title, seniority, location, industry, and interest group to name just a few — giving you surgical accuracy in putting content in front of your decision makers. In combination, that means a small business could market relevant content to prospects in Kansas City with a title matching your decision maker, with 8-10 years seniority.
But it isn’t just in-feed content. Brands can use LinkedIn’s new Lead Gen Forms to capture prospect contact data pre-populated with their profile data, saving time and removing a major obstacle to conversion. That gets them to your gated content (information they exchange for contact information) even faster. Or, use direct InMail campaigns to send messages directly to your prospects’ LinkedIn mailboxes with an offer or call to action. Until now, direct InMail was reserved only for the biggest spending national brands.
Can I Just Focus on Lead Generation?
Sure you can, but please don’t. According to Forrester Research’s Lori Wizdo, B2B prospects are anywhere from two-thirds to 90 percent of the way through their buying journey before contacting a vendor. That means you’ve got to build awareness as part of your marketing investment. And LinkedIn gives you options there as well.
Display ads on LinkedIn provide the same precision of targeting to build brand awareness. In combination with a solid content marketing strategy and social engagement, your brand will be top of mind when it’s time to make a decision. It’s part of a strategy.
Social Media Strategy
LinkedIn has some amazing tools for small business. Should you use LinkedIn for your business? It may or may not be the right social media choice. (We could always talk about Facebook, if you’d like.) But for many small businesses — especially in the B2B category — it offers some great opportunities, which are now even better.
If you’d like help evaluating priorities and determining if LinkedIn is right in your social media mix, let’s talk.
“Buyer Behavior Helps B2B Marketers Guide the Buyer’s Journey,” Forrester Research’s Lori Wizdo.
VP/Director of Client Services
EAG Advertising & Marketing