Facebook and Twitter may dominate B2C marketing, but in the B2B space, there’s no better social hub than LinkedIn. With a built-in professional network, ad targeting service, and publishing platform, LinkedIn is the perfect place for B2B marketers to emerge as thought leaders.
According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ report, “B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America,” almost all B2B marketers use LinkedIn, making it the industry’s most popular social network, and the 63 percent of those marketers believe it to be the most effective social media platform. These stats are unsurprising, considering LinkedIn is responsible for more than 80 percent of B2B social media leads.
Further proving its importance to B2B marketers, LinkedIn recently announced its first major leap into ad tech. Following the acquisition of Bizo last August, LinkedIn is partnering with AppNexus to expand its ad offerings. Brands will soon be able to buy ads based on LinkedIn data that will run on LinkedIn’s site and apps as a well as a network of 2,500 of other business-centric outlets.
This is just the latest way LinkedIn has positioned itself as the B2B marketer’s best friend. Many B2B companies have already taken advantage of LinkedIn’s features in order to reach new audiences and share innovative content. These are the brands doing it best.
HubSpot has been dominating content marketing on LinkedIn since 2012, when the inbound marketing company reported that LinkedIn was 277 percent more effective than Facebook and Twitter for lead generation among marketers. With over 85,000 followers, HubSpot’s LinkedIn page is a crucial platform for sharing the awesome content they’re publishing on their marketing blog.
To spread the gospel of inbound marketing—an industry term that is almost synonymous with HubSpot’s business—the company created three LinkedIn groups: Inbound Marketers – For Marketing Professionals, HubSpot Academy, and INBOUND Conference, the first of which has almost 120,000 members.
To keep the look of their page fresh, HubSpot frequently changes up its header image. For example, HubSpot’s current header promotes its latest big study with Outbrain that focuses on data-driven strategies for writing effective titles and headlines. This image draws in users before they even get a chance to scroll down and teases the fact that HubSpot’s LinkedIn page is a must-read pool of knowledge for all marketers.
With over 2 million followers, Microsoft has paved the way for many B2B brands to embrace content marketing on LinkedIn. Their company page is populated with behind-the-scenes insights from the creators of its products, tips for marketers from Microsoft’s own enterprise team, and tales from the Microsoft Stories media hub. As one of LinkedIn’s hand-picked Influencers, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is also sharing his wisdom with almost 3.5 million followers on the platform.
Most notably, Microsoft was a pioneer user of LinkedIn’s Showcase Pages, which replaced the platform’s Products & Services pages last year. With Showcase Pages, brands on LinkedIn can create sub-pages for their main company profile to establish niche communities and conversations around their various products. Microsoft operates several Showcase Pages, including Microsoft Office, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Visual Studio.
GE’s LinkedIn page is full of original graphics, including inspiring quotes, interesting studies, engaging questions, and updates on the cool things GE is doing in the energy field. For example, GE posted a picture with the question “What if we could explore Mars as holograms?” inviting its community to discuss the future of innovative tech in the solar system. GE’s dive into creating these visual assets falls right in line with its forward-thinking strategy, given how the company has been a brand guinea pig for sharing multimedia on other social platforms such as Snapchat and Twitter.
To accompany these images, GE often shares links to external content, such as sponsored content on Medium and stories from its online magazine, GE Reports. Like Microsoft, GE also has a few Showcase Pages. However, it makes most use of its Affiliated Company Pages, with GE Healthcare, GE Power & Water, and GE Capital, each of which have hundreds of thousands of followers.
GE also takes advantage of LinkedIn to recruit new company members. For this reason, the company launched the Official GE Careers Group geared towards those interested in the latest news about GE careers, hiring, training, and development.
TEKsystems, a provider of IT staffing solutions and services, fits right in on LinkedIn, targeting IT employers with advice on recruiting the best talent. Appropriately, by staking out a presence on LinkedIn, TEKsystems is grabbing the attention of these employers in the exact place where these companies go to seek out IT professionals. To execute this task, TEKsystems takes advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing platform, offering informative pieces such as “Become the Employer of Choice for IT Professionals” and “Ounce of Prevention or Pound of Cure? Managing InfoSec Means Both.”
Additionally, TEKsystems wins for best B2B engagement on LinkedIn. Not only does someone from the company account actively respond to comments on their posts, but the contributors who write the actual content also respond via their personal LinkedIn accounts in order to engage readers.
As a leading provider of technology for digital media creation, Adobe has made it a mission to provide digital marketers with the tools they need to produce visually stunning marketing campaigns. In order to market their own products, Adobe is meeting these digital creators on LinkedIn with content that can help them grow their businesses.
Adobe posts frequently about company culture, including a look at the sustainable tech at Adobe HQ, insights from the Adobe blog, and articles from Adobe’s publishing platform, 99U. Most recently, Adobe celebrated 25 years of Photoshop by showcasing the best work created by their customers.
Furthermore, Adobe taps into LinkedIn’s network of talented professionals in order to recruit new hires. By visiting the “Careers” tab on the company’s LinkedIn page, users can learn more about company culture through the “Experience a day in the life at Adobe” video.
LinkedIn has provided a unique opportunity for B2B brands to emerge as thought leaders and generate meaningful conversation about their businesses. Chances are you already have the awesome content to publish on your own site. What better place to share it and amplify it’s reach than on LinkedIn’s own publishing platform? The five brands we highlighted above have already gotten the ball rolling with engaging content and smart distribution strategies, but there is still plenty of room for every B2B marketer to make their mark on the biggest digital stage for industry professionals.
rockstar: Adam Hicks