Benefits of LinkedIn in a B2B Marketing Landscape

21 February 2013

LinkedIn has more than 10 million users in the UK, with an incredible 4 out of 5 British professionals now using the site. It distinguishes itself from the other social networking sites by having a distinctly professional focus, which makes it an ideal platform for B2B marketers.

When users visit LinkedIn they tend to be in a professional mindset. They are on the site to network, seek information or promote their work. This is why advertising on the site can be a really good way of being seen by business people on a highly targeted, relevant platform.

There are two types of ads on LinkedIn: rich display ads and CPC ads. Rich display ads are suited to businesses with larger advertising budgets. Display ads are visual, promise a “premium audience” and are charged on a CPM basis. A more affordable option for businesses wanting to market to other professionals is CPC text or video ads on the site. Paying per click rather than per impression means that it is possible for your ad to be seen by many people for very little cost.

Because the profile information that LinkedIn collects from its members is so detailed, it means that ads can be specifically targeted. Whether you want your ad to appear to men or women, to people in a particular job or industry, people of a certain seniority (such as Managing Director or CFO), people in a specific geographical area, to those in companies of a certain size, or to members with a particular number of connections on the site, LinkedIn allows you to do this.

This has numerous benefits, including bypassing the gatekeepers in a company by having your ad displayed directly to the decision makers, only advertising to those who are in the location or industry you serve, or finding people that have certain skills.

Sites which have such a perfect platform for B2B marketing are few and far between, and because LinkedIn users visit the site when they are already in a “business mindset”, they are likely to be more receptive to the advertising which is displayed to them. Having a specific audience in mind will also help you to write suitable ad copy and a relevant call to action, because you know the exact type of person who will be viewing the final ad.

Similarly to Facebook you can choose whether your ad keeps the user within LinkedIn or sends them to a desired landing page on your website. If you are going to use the ad to keep users within LinkedIn and drive people to follow your company page, then making sure it is really well optimised is important. Making sure the page has up to date information on your company. You can also update your newfound followers with relevant news about your business.

If instead you are driving people to your website with a desired conversion point in mind then tracking should be implemented. This can be done with the use of UTM parameters and Analytics goal tracking. As with traditional PPC, best practice is to set up several different versions of an ad and then test each to see which is the most successful.

If you’re looking for increased exposure for a B2B client, LinkedIn could be the ideal solution for you. With a number of other options to consider (Groups, InMail emails), as well as granular targeting and high impressions through low cost advertising we’ve already discussed, LinkedIn could be the branding tool you’ve been looking for.