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LinkedIn For Advertisers: Finding the B2B Buyer

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As prospects and customers continue spending their Internet-browsing time on social networks, B2B marketers are creating innovative ways to reach their target audiences. With 1.15 billion active Facebook users, 500 million Twitter users, and 238 million Linkedin users, it is no secret that social media platforms provide an unparalleled opportunity to reach the right buyers. But while such staggering usage of social media allows instant reach for B2B advertisers, creating meaningful and cost-effective impressions is a separate challenge altogether.

Of the many social networks used today, LinkedIn has emerged as the ideal B2B marketing platform.

Here’s why LinkedIn Advertising is made for B2B:

Nature of the Platform

What is it about LinkedIn that makes it 277% better for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter? The answer to that question surely starts with the very nature of this platform. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, and as such, is the hub for business people networking online. LinkedIn users are seeking connections with other professionals and approach the site with a business-related mindset, unlike the more personal and socially-oriented usage of Facebook and Twitter.

LinkedIn boasts the highest concentration of educated professionals on social media, all of whom self-specify personal information such as industry, position title, educational background, and geographical information to get the most out of their experience on the site. The abundance of professional, categorizable information creates many options for detailed targeting and makes it easy for advertisers to build relationships with target prospects.

Sophisticated Segmentation

LinkedIn Ads allows B2B advertisers to create advertising campaigns with very high-level targeting options. Rather than being limited to segmentation based on location, age, school, gender or “interests”, advertisers can tailor campaigns even further by users’ companies, industries, job titles, and skills. Furthermore, marketers may edit as they go — testing various targeting combinations and deciding whether they want increased segmentation for narrower targeting or broader audience categories. These highly-customizable segmentation options can be used across all LinkedIn ad offerings.

LinkedIn Content Marketing Options

Content marketing has arisen as one of the most useful lead-generating tactics for B2B marketers. Not only does it establish one’s company as a thought-leader and play a huge role in SEO, it can also be a way to generate quality leads. And beyond lead generation, content marketing has seen great results in generating brand awareness and customer acquisition — two key objectives in B2B marketing.

LinkedIn offers numerous ways to distribute content and generate conversation with potential customers. LinkedIn’s Facebook-inspired newsfeed allows companies to share Sponsored Updates with relevant audiences, substantially increasing visibility, similar to the way Facebook’s promoted posts and Twitter’s promoted tweets work. These updates can include links to a new blog articles, white papers, Ebooks or powerpoint decks that viewers might find useful or timely.

Another effective way that marketers may share content is through conversations on LinkedIn groups. Currently, there exist more than 1.1 million users groups on LinkedIn that are specific to a user’s industry, professional-interests and work-related or networking needs. Members may join up to 50 unique groups, networking with fellow users as they go. These groups are ideal for targeting the right content to the right people because these users have demonstrated active interest in a certain area, and marketers can capitalize on this by delivering valuable content to users. For example, we here at ReTargeter might decide to post the link to a white paper explaining search retargeting on a group for “Digital Marketers” because we feel it’s relevant to the conversation on Google Adwords optimization.

A powerful aspect of distributing content via LinkedIn is the fact that marketers are then able to segment their audiences based on their engagement with content and use that information to edit campaigns. To continue with the search retargeting example, we can track who clicks on the link to the white paper and put those users in a special segment to later serve them “Search ReTargeting” banner ads.

Social Retargeting 

Retargeting is a form of behavioral advertising that uses cookie-technology to help advertisers focus their digital advertising efforts and dollars on re-engaging with past website visitors and customers. Social retargeting often involves re-engaging with past website visitors on social media platforms — but it can also mean using data about those who click on your links or engage with your content through social media to start retargeting them with advertisements.

Social retargeting at a grand scale has been a huge leap forward for marketers hoping to optimize their social media marketing dollars. When it comes to increasing conversions and tracking ROI, retargeting has unprecedented success, and as a result is quickly gaining traction on LinkedIn as well. As alluded to earlier, you can use links shared through LinkedIn and other social channels to create retargeting pools. When a prospect clicks on a shared link, a cookie is placed on their browser, and they may be incorporated into whichever retargeting campaign is deemed appropriate in your marketing strategy. In this way, LinkedIn ads can serve as the foundation for crafting your digital campaigns.

LinkedIn and Retargeting

Content-marketing and social-media marketing for B2B lead-generation can both be enhanced by retargeting those who visit the landing pages associated with your advertisements, sponsored updates, or shared content.

However you decide to use LinkedIn for your digital B2B marketing, retargeting strengthens your efforts by creating segment-specific campaigns that can be tailored based on whichever of your landing pages your users view instead of serving the same ads to everyone and hoping they will be effective. For example, if you are an elevator vendor that offers both new elevator installation and elevator repairs, you need to make sure you serve viewers ads that correspond to the service they are currently in the market for. A viewer who clicks on the link regarding elevator repairs can be placed in a retargeting pool that advertises the many perks of your repair service, whereas a new purchaser can be served ads that flaunt your product instead. By creating specific retargeting campaigns around which landing page a viewer visits, marketers can reach buyers in far more effective, cost-efficient ways.

A different case in which retargeting works well when incorporated with a LinkedIn initiative is as follows. Imagine someone visits your company’s blog based on a LinkedIn sponsored update, but doesn’t fill out a lead form, you can decide to serve them ads that features a free white-paper download on a similar topic, but one that requires that they fill out a lead form. In this way, you can move people who have demonstrated interest further down the pipeline.

These examples demonstrate the high level of detail retargeting can provide to your marketing strategy online, however, it is important to remember that even less targeted tactics can create brand awareness among the right audiences and help you serve more relevant B2B ads.

Closing Tips for LinkedIn

“LinkedIn Advertising” doesn’t just mean paying for ad space on the right-hand side of LinkedIn’s homepage. The opportunities for reaching prospects via this platform continue to expand, and marketers should continue adapting their strategies accordingly. However, beyond just planning how best to use LinkedIn’s new features, consider including external services. Retargeting technology is a service that integrates seamlessly with any LinkedIn initiative, and the past success of retargeting on social demonstrates that this service has enormous potential for improving the results of your B2B campaigns.

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