If you’re not using LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy, you are missing out on an insane number of leads—LinkedIn is the top lead-generating social network for B2Bs. In addition to an creating a company page, connecting with industry professionals, and publishing and promoting engaging content on LinkedIn, you should also be taking advantage of LinkedIn ads to target your ideal clients.
What’s a LinkedIn ad like?
If you’re an active LinkedIn user, you’ve likely seen LinkedIn ads in the sidebar or underneath the navigation bar, and in many ways they’re similar to the ads you’ll see on other social networks or on Google partner site: ad copy and a link, oftentimes with a logo or other small image or video. LinkedIn offers both text-and-image ads and video ads, as well as some larger ad formats, on a PPC (pay-per-click) or cost-per impression basis.
As with any digital ad, a good LinkedIn ad will have compelling copy that encourages viewers to click, upon which they’re directed to a landing page where, ideally, they’ll convert to leads.
So what’s so great about LinkedIn ads?
LinkedIn has over 450 million members, and it captures information from these users on their on job titles, industries, company names, and more, all of which can be useful in targeting users who are potential clients. LinkedIn ads can be very specifically targeted by criteria that is relevant to your marketing strategy, industries, companies, company sizes, job titles, job functions, seniority, location, and more. According to the 2016 Salesforce Advertising Index Report, the audience of a LinkedIn ad has two times the buying power of the average web audience. What this means is that you can put your ads in front of the exact people who will have use for your product or service, and will have purchasing power, in a way that you can’t target them on any other platform.
Additionally, LinkedIn provides reporting on ad campaigns that includes aggregated data on who clicked on your ads by job title, industry, and seniority. This information is extremely useful in determining the effectiveness of your ads; is your target audience clicking? If not, you can use this information to make adjustments to your campaign.
What does this mean for you?
Using LinkedIn ads can generate leads like crazy. For example, if your company does plastic injection molding of components for automotive interiors, you can target your LinkedIn ad to product designers and sourcing specialists at the Big Three automotive OEMs. You’ll maximize your PPC budget by reducing clicks from users with no lead potential, since your ad won’t be reaching those users, unlike in paid search, where your ad is tied to a search term that is not necessarily completely specific to your target audience, and you’ll know that your target audience is seeing your ad, instead of trying to predict their search behavior.
LinkedIn is an essential component of any B2B marketing strategy in the digital age. If you’re interested in enhancing your LinkedIn presence, we have tons of resources on marketing with LinkedIn, including 6 Ways LinkedIn Can Work For Your B2B Marketing Strategy and our free guide to creating the perfect LinkedIn page for B2B manufacturers, located below:
If you have more questions about how your company can use LinkedIn to generate more leads, or you’re interested in expanding your digital marketing strategy, let’s talk.
Marketing for B2Bs has never been easy. Your audience is different than the general consumer market, and your product or service is esoteric, technical, and industry-specific. If your company is like many B2Bs, your marketing efforts are limited to industry trade shows and networking, if you do any marketing at all; if you make or do something super niche, you might be relying on limited competition and industry reputation to garner sales. In the digital age, those strategies are no longer as effective as they once were–integrating digital marketing techniques into your marketing strategy can help keep your company competitive as the marketing landscape changes.
If you have an unsexy, complicated product, how do you market it? There’s a reason your product exists, and a reason that you produce it: businesses in a specific industry need it. So what you need to do is educate your potential clients on what your product is and why they need it. Digital marketing for B2Bs comes into play when you create informative, educational content on your product/service and make that content available to prospective clients where they can find it–online, when they’re searching for your product or for solutions to the problems that your product solves.
Content serving consumers throughout the buyer’s journey
Since buying cycles are long for B2B purchases–if the equipment you’re selling costs $1M+, you can expect a long consideration stage before a customer commits to purchasing–you can keep your brand and your service or product top of mind for your potential customers throughout their buyer’s journey by providing content that addresses their needs, questions, and concerns at each stage. Your awareness stage content will inform readers about what your service or product is and does, consideration stage content will show the value of investing in your product or service, and decision stage content will prove why future customers should make this purchase now, and why you’re the right supplier to purchase from. You can tailor content format to buyer’s journey stages, as well; perhaps a e-book to provide them awareness information then a free trial when they’re in consideration.
Addressing each of the decision makers
Additionally, when it comes to B2B purchases, there are numerous decision makers. Often there is a long chain of necessary approvals before a business purchase can be made. Creating content that addresses these different audiences and expedite this process. The person who is purchasing your product or service will need informative content on how your service or product works, and how that will improve their process or efficiency; those who the purchaser needs approval from will be interested in information on cost vs, benefits: ROI, impact on bottom line, etc. Type of content matters here, too. While purchasers will be interested in long-form content like e-books and blog posts, a purchase approve is going to want something that is easily digestible and understood, like an infographic. Marketing in the world of B2Bs can seem impossible, but digital marketing provides new opportunities for B2Bs to reach their ideal audience and provide them with the information necessary to make informed purchase decisions.
If you have questions on how your B2B company can develop a digital marketing strategy, contact us. For more information on optimizing your B2B’s digital marketing strategy, check out our guide to inbound marketing specifically for B2B professionals, below:
When it comes to PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, you’re going to hear the same old adage repeated everywhere, “You have to spend money to make money.” While that’s true, it’s still important to be smart with how you spend it, especially since it’s easy to run through your PPC budget. Click costs are high, but there are several things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best possible return on your PPC costs.
1. Bid on Brand
Bidding on brand is essentially bidding on terms that are part of your brand, like your business name. This can be beneficial for numerous reasons:
It’s highly relevant to your business, duh, it is your business
People searching for your brand are already aware of your brand and closer to the decision stage (i.e., likely to convert)
Branded terms are usually inexpensive
You don’t want your competitors to bid on them
If your business is like many B2Bs and your product/service/industry is in your company name, it will show up in results for people searching for what you do
2. Optimize Deployment
Make sure your ads are optimized for location, dates, and time of day that generate the most qualified leads. Showing your ads when your ideal customers won’t see them isn’t generating you many qualified leads or conversions, so focus your efforts only on those locations and times that demonstrate high clickthrough and conversion rates. This is particularly relevant for B2Bs; with consumer products, people may be searching keywords at all times, but with B2B products and services, your customers are likely performing their searches during business hours–target your ads for those times.
3. Use Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are keywords for which your ad won’t show. Using negative keywords can eliminate irrelevant and unqualified clicks from visitors who aren’t actually searching for your product or service, or aren’t ready to convert. This can reduce your average cost-per-click andincrease your clickthrough rate.
4. Bid on Long Tail Keywords
There is typically less competition, and therefore lower cost for long tail keywords. Yes, the search volume for these more specific keywords will be lower than a more general keyword, but the specificity will attract more qualified searchers.
5. Bid on Bottom of the Funnel Keywords
If you want to maximize conversions and sales that result from your PPC activities, bid on keywords that are targeting prospects who are already at the bottom of the marketing funnel, in the decision stage. These searchers are closer to making a purchase than those searching for general awareness keywords. If you implement these strategies and you’re smart with your PPC budget, the high cost of clicks won’t ruin your ROI, but will instead, boost it. If you’re interested in maximizing your ROI when it comes to PPC and paid search, or are interested in developing your digital marketing strategy further, be sure to get in touch.
And for more ways to optimize your site for search engines, check out this SEO checklist specifically for B2B manufacturers: