B2B Businesses Hang Out on LinkedIn, Not Instagram. Are You There, Too? LinkedIn Mail and LinkedIn Sponsored Email are great tools for you to reach the non-Instagram, non-Facebook crowd.

By Syed Balkhi

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Thomas Trutschel | Getty Images

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are fun, casual, fast-paced and flashy, all of which is perfect if you're in an industry like beauty, apparel or fitness. No wonder marketers flock to use these platforms, to increase their brand awareness and boost sales.

But for B2B businesses, audiences aren't typically hanging out on those platforms -- instead, they're on LinkedIn.

Related: What Marketers Need to Know About LinkedIn

So, if you lead one of these businesses, use this information, because LinkedIn isn't just for networking. You can use the platform to market your B2B and generate qualified leads that you can then convert into clients or customers. In fact, according to LinkedIn's claims, 80 percent of B2B marketing leads from social media come through LinkedIn.

But, hold on ... you can't just start connecting with professionals and expect your sales to go through the roof. So, how do you proceed? Here are some strategies on how to use LinkedIn for effective B2B marketing.

1. Optimize your company page for leads.

The first step to using LinkedIn for effective B2B marketing is to create a company page. But don't treat your LinkedIn company page as merely a simple business listing that displays your company info, address, website, etc. Your LinkedIn company page needs to be optimized to generate leads for you.

To do that, start publishing and sharing fresh, engaging content. Publishing content will not only present your company as an expert in your industry but might also attract more of your target audience members to your company page and encourage them to visit your website and make a purchase.

While publishing written content and sharing blog posts can work, don't forget about video. Videos on LinkedIn stand out in the feed and perform extremely well. In fact, in a report from Aberdeen Group, companies studied that used video grew their revenue 49 percent faster year-over-year than companies without it.

Take a look at this example from Amazon Business's LinkedIn page. The company shared this video showcasing how small businesses are using its credentialing program to gain exposure and include a call to action, so other businesses can do the same.

Image Source: LinkedIn

You don't need to hire a production company to create a winning marketing video for LinkedIn, either. Many business owners and entrepreneurs find great success just by using their smartphones to film themselves giving great advice or sharing a business-related story.

Related: 4 Reasons LinkedIn Has Become Indispensable to Business Leaders

2. Take advantage of LinkedIn ads.

To cast an even wider net, take advantage of LinkedIn ads. As a B2B business, you want to spend your marketing dollars where your potential clients are, and that's on LinkedIn rather than Instagram or Facebook. In fact, according to LinkedIn, 92 percent of B2B marketers leverage LinkedIn over all other social platforms.

With LinkedIn Sponsored Content and LinkedIn Video ads, you can take your regular LinkedIn posts and videos and push them to even more businesses that might be interested in your products/services. These ads can be displayed right in the LinkedIn feed, so they look more natural, as illustrated by the example below from SurveyMonkey.

Image Source: (Screenshot) LinkedIn

There are over 560 million active professionals on LinkedIn, according to the platform; and with ads, you can target the people you want to reach by job title, function and industry to increase brand awareness as well as generate qualified leads for your company. Plus, you can use LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads using the platform's Lead Gen Forms tool to collect even more qualified leads.

This tool allows you to add a seamless form to your ad that is pre-filled with the user's profile data so this individual can go from user to lead in just a couple of clicks.

Just remember: When creating sponsored content or video ads, include a clear call to action; that way, when users see your ad, they'll know exactly where to go and what to do.

3. Use LinkedIn Sponsored InMail.

Aside from Sponsored Content and Text Ads, you can also use LinkedIn Sponsored InMail to send direct messages to professionals in your target audience. Since LinkedIn Sponsored InMail is sent from someone within your company, not from the company itself, this channel offers a more personal touch. It also allows you to build more meaningful relationships with your potential clients because they'll more likely open a message from a real person, versus a message coming from a company.

LinkedIn's Sponsored InMail has some other great features to ensure that your message gets opened and read as well. For instance, these messages are delivered only when users are active on LinkedIn. Plus, they have strict delivery frequency caps that can guarantee your message gets noticed.

Just be sure that when sending Sponsored InMail:

  1. It's relevant to your target audience; ask yourself, "Why would my audience read this?"
  2. It's personal, genuine and conversational -- not brochure-like or salesy.
  3. It clearly outlines the benefits to the member for engaging with the message and includes a clear call to action.

Over to you.

Don't use LinkedIn just to grow your personal brand; use it to grow your business, too. With these tips for using LinkedIn for effective B2B marketing, you can easily discover more businesses that could benefit from what you're offering.

Related: 5 Ways to Turn Your LinkedIn Connections Into Paying Clients in 2019

Brand awareness isn't the only benefit from using the platform, either. You can actually use LinkedIn to generate high-quality leads that will bring in cold, hard cash for your company. And that's always welcome, right?

Syed Balkhi

Entrepreneur, Growth Hacker and Marketer

Syed Balkhi is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of WPBeginnerOptinMonster and WPForms

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