As part of my series on integrated marketing over the last few weeks, I looked at account-based marketing as an alternative, since it clearly focuses on the customer by identifying the target accounts as the starting point which is a shortcoming of many integrated marketing campaigns. In these posts, I talked about how marketing automation can make account-based marketing scale more easily than it has in the past.
But in addition to marketing automation tools, there is one relatively new tool that makes account-based marketing an option many organizations should consider. That secret weapon is LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. OK so maybe it’s not that secret and it can work for many marketing approaches but I believe it’s being grossly underused by most B2B organizations.
That’s because many organizations still view LinkedIn as a recruiting tool first and foremost. And even those companies, that used LinkedIn for marketing tend to start and stop at Company pages while a few more will go with Showcase pages or Groups. Instead of focusing on these aspects in this post, for those that still need to get started with these minimum requirements for marketing on LinkedIn, here are the relevant pages on their site: Get Started, Expand Presence and Best Practices.
Today, I want to look at the key LinkedIn marketing solutions that most companies can leverage effectively for account-based marketing and their other plans, in order of budget and size:
- Text ads – If you’re on a budget then self-service pay per click (PPC) ads could be the answer. You can easily create your own ads, then set the budget you want to spend and only pay for the ads that work.
- Sponsored updates – You can get the word out about your content or event or other updates by advertising in the professional feed so you capture the attention of key prospects where they are most likely scanning.
- Sponsored InMail – Send targeted messages directly to your prospect in their LinkedIn inbox. Think of it as email marketing on steroids and more targeted than other ads as you can deliver very personalized messages.
- Display ads – Reach your audience on and off LinkedIn to increase brand awareness with display ads across LinkedIn Onsite Display. Use these ads to drive traffic to your site or to follow your company profile or join your group.
- Lead Accelerator – Nurture prospects across the Web with relevant content through targeted display and social ads, including Sponsored Updates. It helps you engage known prospects who don’t open your email by using other channels.
But you may say that many sites have these types of advertising options too. So why is LinkedIn the secret weapon? That’s because of the targeting options and the depth of info contained in each profile. You can target based on location, industry, company, company size, job title, job function and more. All of this is key for any account-based marketing plan.
And more importantly, I can’t think of another site that has the same level of information about a potential prospect that is maintained by that person. On many other sites, people tend to use personal details, contact info or interests but not on LinkedIn, where they talk about their professional experiences. Or, you’re buying a database of info that has been collected but not validated.
This combination of tactics that can be used, which vary based on budget and goal, plus the level of targeting and the validation of the information makes LinkedIn a goldmine waiting to be harvested by marketing professionals looking to launch account-based marketing campaign or others too. And, there are still the LinkedIn Sales Solutions which I’ll explore in a subsequent post.