You’ve invested a lot in developing standout B2B products or services. You know your target audience as well as its members’ wants and needs. Your marketing messages are on point, and you’re delivering them to those on the email lists you’ve grown via relentless lead nurturing consistently over time. You seem to be doing everything right. So, why do those in your sales funnel seem to trickle to the next stage so slowly? It could all boil down to three simple words: Lack of reach.
According to Active Blogs President and Founder Marc Dube, “When B2B companies are struggling to grow, they may be using a marketing automation system, growing through people who sign up for their content — their blogs and newsletters — and using SEO. But the biggest thing they’re missing is a strategy to really get a lot of reach.”
In the B2C realm, leaders seeking to expand company reach invest in premium opportunities like Super Bowl advertising. Why? Because the Super Bowl is annually the most-watched television event of the year — 111.3 million tuned in for Super Bowl 51 — making marketers’ opportunities for instant and significant reach unparalleled.
What’s the Super Bowl equivalent for B2B marketers? There may not be a single event in the B2B space that matches the magnitude and reach the Super Bowl offers, and very few companies have Super-Bowl-size marketing budgets anyway. But, according to Dube, there is one B2B platform that has similar reach, the right audience, and a palatable price tag: LinkedIn.
Make it count
Many companies are missing out on LinkedIn’s reach potential because they use the platform more like an online resume rather than a social selling tool, Dube said. But LinkedIn features like Sales Navigator allow B2B marketers to hone in on their target markets quickly and with precision. Plus, the platform offers marketers the advantage of rapid, meaningful engagement opportunities with targeted prospects.
“Once people are linked with you on LinkedIn, you have the ability to communicate, reach out, and have an ongoing discussion,” Dube explained. “You can grow really fast on LinkedIn. If you really want to accelerate as a business, you can get five people on LinkedIn targeting different verticals. It’s like putting the ‘10x’ to your business growth.”If LinkedIn’s own company growth is any indication, leaders of the social media giant know what it takes to develop a client base. In 13 years, LinkedIn has grown by 1,000% — from 500,000 users to 530 million users. And it’s not just the number of LinkedIn users that make it so effective but also the quality of users from a business perspective.
“It’s much more of a businesspeople platform,” said Dube. “Even though there’s a lot of good things you can do on Facebook businesswise as Facebook is larger in terms of numbers, it’s still used as a personal networking platform whereas LinkedIn is where the businesspeople are.”
In fact, almost half of LinkedIn members are decision-makers within their companies. That means B2B marketers have access to faster routes to engaging the right people when selling products or services. But engagement doesn’t mean a hard sales pitch. By applying thoughtful content marketing to your company’s LinkedIn strategy, your sales people can build relationships with LinkedIn connections, rather than simply sell. This allows them to build authority and gain trust — while potentially speeding up the sales cycle.