Is LinkedIn marketing just for business-to-business (B2B) companies? You might think so, and if you’re a business-to-consumer (B2C) brand, you may skip over this influential and growing social platform. But there are good reasons why you should add LinkedIn to your arsenal of social media marketing platforms.
Let’s look at some of the statistics and then talk about how you can utilize the power of LinkedIn marketing to expand your organic reach.
LinkedIn Is A PowerHouse Social Platform
Since its debut in 2003, LinkedIn has become synonymous with CVs, job boards, and a digital Rolodex. However, it has grown into one of the largest social platforms for individuals and companies to share their accomplishments. Business leaders turn to LinkedIn to build brand awareness, make connections, reach potential customers and develop a reputation as a thought leader in their industry.
When we think of LinkedIn, we tend to think about B2B and employment. But LinkedIn is quickly becoming an effective marketing channel for B2C brands. So, if you’re debating whether or not to market your brand on LinkedIn, consider these statistics:
- More than 770 million active users in 200 countries and regions worldwide, projected to grow to more than 1 billion by 2025 (Statista statistics)
- More than 57 million businesses have LinkedIn accounts
- 94% of B2B marketers choose LinkedIn first when searching for content to distribute to their social media platforms. (LinkedIn Marketing Solutions)
- Approximately half of adults with a bachelor’s or advanced degree report that they use LinkedIn. (PewResearch Org)
- According to Hootsuite, LinkedIn is the most trusted social platform in the US.
What does this have to do with me? I’m a B2C company.
There are a vast number of people on LinkedIn, actively engaged every day.
The platform enjoys worldwide popularity, so no matter your marketing footprint, you’ll quickly expand your organic audience.
LinkedIn is one of the most trusted platforms, which is key to building brand authenticity and consumer trust in your brand. In our previous blog article on why your digital footprint must be authentic, we spoke about the widening trust gap between consumers and brands. So why not take advantage of a social platform that ranks among the most trusted?
LinkedIn Marketing: Build a Team of Brand Ambassadors
LinkedIn users are professionals who have the money to buy your products and services. B2B companies and executives may dominate the platform, but they are people. And, they’re still looking for gifts or staying in shape, relaxing, traveling, saving money, or making a delicious gourmet meal. In addition, most users have networks of hundreds. So, if they like your brand, they can recommend it to hundreds or perhaps thousands of their connections.
LinkedIn Sounds Crowded
With the traffic and number of members on LinkedIn, how do you get your brand voice heard?
There’s room to stand out even on a crowded platform like LinkedIn by publishing content that appeals to LinkedIn users’ interests outside their work life.
The advantage you have as a B2C company is that you can post personal interactive, inspiring content and use a brand voice designed to touch the emotions.
LinkedIn users are typically on the platform during the day, providing you with a greater chance to reach an organic audience. Therefore, you won’t have to compete for their attention during the off-hours when they have other priorities and multiple social channels to visit.
For instance, let’s say your target audience is youth and children. You’ll be able to reach their parents or teachers on LinkedIn during the work-day.
You utilize the same strategies you employ now on other social media channels:
- Post often and be consistent
- Publish engaging content
- Build a community
- Be authentic
LinkedIn is not the place for your hard-sell messaging. Instead, create content that LinkedIn users will want to enjoy outside of work.
Focus on brand awareness and how you stand out from your competitors.
LinkedIn Marketing Tactics for B2C Brands
LinkedIn, just like any other social platform, requires you to do your homework.
- What are your marketing goals?
- Who is your target audience?
Engagement is Key
The goal on LinkedIn is no different from other social platforms—engagement. The more engagement, the more your content is seen. The greater exposure, the more opportunity you have to reach an organic audience, draw them to your website and turn them into consumers and brand ambassadors.
You want LinkedIn readers to do more than give your content a reaction or merely comment “great post.” Instead, ask questions, prompt your readers for responses, seek out feedback, create an ecosystem for conversation. For example,
- create question posts
- post polls to get a deeper insight into your potential consumer base
- ask for user experience and feedback
- brainstorm on the challenges you’re facing
- ask open-ended questions to generate a discussion.
Engagement is a two-way street, which means that you also need to spend time reading and engaging with what your connections are posting. So invest time daily to read your feed, leave thoughtful comments, and reply to questions and polls. In this way, you’ll build brand awareness and authenticity.
Use Your Company Page to Personalize Your Brand
Utilize storytelling on your company page to personalize your brand.
Focus on the behind-the-scenes issues:
- why did you start your company
- what’s your mission and vision? Who are you, the founder, and
- tell the stories of other team members, co-founders if there are any.
Post success stories about your company, such as mentions in the media, new product launches.
Publish photos showing you and your team at work, your office environment, days out of the office, participation in volunteer or other social action activities.
Educate your audience about your service or product with messaging that is inspiring and engaging. Keep the tone personal; you don’t need to sound like a major corporation.
Keep an eye on what others in your niche are posting. Pay attention to what kinds of posts or topics are garnering the most engagement.
Always link to your website, and whenever you post content on your company page, share it to your LinkedIn profile. Be sure your entire team has profiles on LinkedIn, with everyone linking back to your company page.
At the same time, share your website blog articles to your company page on LinkedIn and then to your profile. In this way, you’ll create a continuous spiral that will maximize your content’s exposure.
Publish Thought Leadership Content
Establishing yourself as an authority in your niche is a powerful way to expand visibility and develop trust between consumers and your brand. When you consistently provide something of value to your audience, you set yourself apart from the competition. Thought leadership content could reach across the perceived boundaries between B2C and B2B companies. For instance, depending on your niche, you can publish thoughtful articles on LinkedIn about
- health innovations and research studies
- the impact of sleep, diet, or exercise on productivity
- how to drop unhealthy habits
- strategies for founders to mentally and emotionally prepare for pitches to investors
- how to save money or make better investment decisions
- how to get your children to spend more time reading.
Maybe you’re thinking, okay, but I’m a clothing brand, so how does this apply to me? You can create thought leadership pieces relevant to your industry too. Become an expert in some aspect of your niche and write informative articles on that subject. You can use it as an opportunity to raise awareness about efforts to improve the clothing supply chain and to address problems with slave and child labor.
Highlight Your Corporate Social Responsibility
LinkedIn is a great platform to share your corporate social responsibility. In previous articles, we discussed increasing interest in purpose-driven brands. A Porter Novelli study found that 71% of consumers prefer to buy from a purpose-driven company over a competitor if quality and cost are equal. Consumers want to know that a brand cares about more than the bottom line, and you can use your LinkedIn marketing to spotlight your contributions to your community or the world.
Coming from a place of purpose will drive marketing to new heights and bring customers better suited for what you have to offer. (Lynne Golodner, Your People LLC)
Livestream Works Great on LinkedIn Too
According to LinkedIn data, livestreams are seven times more likely to stimulate conversations and 24 times more likely to generate meaningful comments. So, make use of the “Live on LinkedIn” feature.
Be Sure to Use Hashtags
Hashtags are essential on LinkedIn, and it’s the way to reach users outside of your network. Research hashtags that are relevant to your niche and trending. You can also follow specific hashtags to stay updated with the latest news and posts from others in your industry. This makes it easier to engage in posts that will broaden your visibility.
LinkedIn marketing requires an investment of time and consistency. But, during these days of increasing encroachment on our ability to reach an organic audience on other platforms, it’s worth it to consider LinkedIn marketing even if you’re a B2C brand. First, you need to tweak your brand messaging to an audience focused on the business world. Get personal and tell stories. Be consistent, share the successes of others, and engage with your connections.