Higher Quality of Social Engagement
I love to compare B2B and B2C tactics for audience engagement.
How often do you get a plain message to buy something on Facebook or email?
I got that messages only from crypto brokers and some strange credit firms (all are scammers in general).
So during the out-of-work time, people receive direct messages and offers mainly from strange and questionable people and companies.
Example of B2C Content Marketing Strategy
Based on that, how can we expect a different first impression from your list of ideal clients sending a connect with a straight cold pitch?
In B2C, there is one exciting example of high-quality engagement -
- You visited the winter sports shop to check new equipment for skiing.
- You went on the auto reseller website.
- You start to see ads on Facebook / LinkedIn / Instagram with a picture of that auto on winter background with the equipment you checked recently and CTA "It's time for new adventures."
Next time you will see a video of that car driving in the mountains with another Call-To-Action.
Do you see? B2C brands took your digital footprints and created personalized and relevant high-end content just for your particular case with custom images and specific video materials.
B2B Target Audience Engagement on Social Media Platforms
Simultaneously, B2B brands frequently fall short even on simple retargeting when it ends pitching cold plain text, as I have never been on their website.
For example, marketing automation software can pitch me on retargeting image CTA to use segmentation. At the same time, I could spend most of my time on analytics and behavioral tracking capabilities of their product on a landing page.
Many B2B companies are even missing a few ads based on different interactions with their own content.
Considering any relevant, exciting visuals, video content? Rarely seen :)
Here is an example of a Facebook set of ads from contact data providers like ZoomInfo and Cognism -
Browsing their ads feed, you can clearly see their focus on particular Buyer Personas and Market Segments.
Also, there is a peace of traffic generation for their webinars and social activities.
What is missing?
In one case, we can say that a lot of produced content is not covered with the relevant set of ads. In another case, too many creatives are done around plain text or vice-versa.
In none of the cases, we see any video content. However, according to LinkedIn, while images lead to two times higher comment rates, videos are five times more likely to trigger a discussion.
Content Strategy for LinkedIn Advertising
Our suggestion of higher content quality?
Create more visual creatives!
2 min platform demo on the main page shows 100%+ higher conversions vs. landing pages without videos.
The easiest way to pitch your product is to show an abridged version of it with a relevant use case!
For example, in Rocks & Gold, we created a set of video shoots of our platform with different use cases. Even after more than half a year, we continue to generate positive feedback from our videos!
Another case we use is GIFs. You can create a set of videos for each use case and make a quickly loaded gif from them to fast showcase your point -
We at least tripled our reply rate on each message done in such a way!
Finally, be consistent! Based on Buffer's post, LinkedIn shared information that 20 posts per month can help you reach 60 percent of your unique audience.
High-quality content, differentiation on content types, and consistency are king to generate a new opportunity and move the business forward!
We discussed high-quality content and relevancy in messaging to increase engagement and response rates for your LinkedIn activities.
However, as you may see, it requires
- Creativity (have ideas around video/images)
- Time (you need to research/read a lot to push consulting-type of content)
- Expertise (you need to have some level of professional knowledge to reply and work with objections)
- Suitable equipment for video - good mic and camera are a must. Noone gonna watches 360p recordings or side noises).
- Hard skills for video and image editing
- Soft skills for video engagement
So, what can we do today to improve our conversions from LinkedIn?
Based on a survey ran by Neil Patel, more than 80% of social leads for B2B are generated on LinkedIn! Also, as you remember from the first visual, 84% of B2B content is generated on the LinkedIn platform. 2nd place after email!
All this content and engagement is public and accessible on social networks...
So you can collect the list of these social media profiles and engage directly with them, even with more personalized messages! Cause you know with what type of content they start engagement!
Posts as a source of Leads
Practically, I want to show you a workflow using tool such as LinkedIn Helper 2 -
Step 1 - Find Relevant Blog Posts, articles, LinkedIn Groups, etc.
For example, I have revenue alignment software and post about a bridge between sales and marketing is relevant to me and the engaged audience has high chances to convert -
Step 2 - Copy link of this post
Step 3 - Open it in LN Helper
Step 4 - Choose Tab "Collect" and what type of data to gather
Finally, choose the target campaign and launch your sequence (invites + intros/follow-up, whatever your strategy is!)
Here you go!
You will get a list of engaged audiences from high-quality, relevant video content posted on LinkedIn. Without all preps, strategy, and equipment mentioned before. Also, you can have much higher consistency in the process of collecting multiple posts and engaged people.
The drawback? The approach is similar to paid ads or cold outbound. It works until you do it. Some own produced content can be split, reused. It can be found over and over again. So with high investments today, you will get additional returns in the future.
Retargeting and audience collection are more about an intelligent way to make cold connections relevant and get higher response rates.
Based on our LinkedIn analytics during the last few years, we can conclude that
- Making content calendar (consistency)
- Photo posts and Video posts (engaging content)
- Consulting-led approach (informative content based on your own research)
- Relevancy (use up-to-date content and audience pain points)
- Uniqueness (use your own data where possible)
It will help you reach above-average engagement, make fruitful professional connections, and delight the LinkedIn search engine to showcase your organic posts.
If you want to test personalized connection requests and private messages based on current job opportunities, you can check our platform - Rocks & Gold.
In today's post-Covid times, most sales and marketing activities continue to be done digitally.
B2B engagements moved from in-person events to social media interactions, webinars, podcasts, Clubhouse rooms, and YouTube interviews.
In terms of B2B networking, we saw a rise of community platforms, community-led growth tactics (Facebook groups, like Frase Insider), and Slack communities (like RevGenious)
At the same time, being a professional network, LinkedIn saw a 40% growth in 2020 alone, reaching more than 740 million members from 200 countries worldwide!
While social selling in professional networks was a big trend in past years, it is more than ever essential to apply these methods today to improve your top and bottom-line metrics -
- Based on Forbes's study, 40% of salespeople close at least one deal directly thanks to social media platforms.
- 50%+ of net new revenue sourced from social media in multiple sectors, like IT, Healthcare, and Marketing
- Based on the LinkedIn study, at least one-third of marketers and sales see an improvement in win rates during the last deal stages using socials.
All that has been true before 2020, but how does it look like today?
Start Using Relevancy in Every Message
Even if you have thousands of connections and valuable profiles in the target industry, there is still very hard to make a sale just out of the gate.
You need to have something more than generic types of content pushed to everyone (even if it is very high quality!).
The engagement rate in social media marketing activities on LinkedIn is much higher than other media, but competition for original content is starting to rise.
As a result, your content strategy needs to be relevant to your audience. Also, you should avoid appearing in a trap of buzzwords noise, like "Digital Transformation," "Account-based strategy," "AI," etc.
Post Consultative Content on LinkedIn and Be Consistent
What can be applied to LinkedIn? The form of consultative selling starts to become famous and proving its efficiency on an example of Outreach.io with SalesHacker community -
Consultative selling is an approach that puts focus on customer relationships. Your goal is to open dialogue to identify customer's needs. After that, do you start figuring out how your product can be applied to customer care?
In high-value, expensive deals, it is a common cause to have the first step in Pipeline as a "Discovery call" to be relevant in your pitch for the customer. You don't want to figure out on 3rd meeting that the primary pain customer has is analytics rather than integrations, etc.
How to make it work on LinkedIn?
You can generate posts about relevant industry trends from popular journals!
When you buy a consultation, you buy time. The same is with the consulting-focused posts.
You should save your audience time to know something new and valuable. A few people have several hours to read and understand a new paper from Gartner about marketing or IT trends.
In this case, a person created an enormous analytical article based on multiple sources with Gartner included and shared a piece inside the LinkedIn platform to boost engagement. Within the first 4 hours, he got dozens of likes from his audience (while many CEOs can't get a few from their "thought leadership" content).
Share actionable content from 1st party data like your product.
While research journals, papers are an example of 3rd party data. Another way to engage with your target audience is to use 1st party data. It is not applicable for anybody, but it has a powerful influence and abused by companies like Gong.io. It's a revenue analytics platform that aggregated billions of sales activities. They generate a custom summary and vision of what works for the sales and revenue team.
Similar to them, Rocks & Gold from time to time posts job statistics on IT market.
If you can build a marketing strategy for your followers around the custom statistics of your product solves, it will generate interest and a high level of relevancy.
Avoid Thought-leadership content without a strong content marketing plan.
If you don't have an audience and authority among your network, it might be a big waste of time to share your vision of a future.
Not anyone can create similar engagement as Elon Musk on Twitter -
Among B2B community, valuable content is rarely equal to visionary content.
Even Justin (famous in sales automation), with over 40k followers on LinkedIn, gets from time to time low engagement scores on his posts that don't resonate with his audience.
You can browse and find many respectful CEOs from big companies with just a few liked/views/comments on their posts (where even this came from their employees).
So don't be concerned too much about your results. Until you have a strict strategy and vision for that approach.
Engaging Content is Gold
Finally, high-quality content in the form of video materials is gold!
Based on Adélie Studios' research, videos get 1,200% more engagement than text and images combined.
Our brain can process visuals much quicker than text. From childhood, our brain is trained to understand the world around us, and only after several years, we start to understand the text.
Image recognition is in our DNA, while text recognition we have to learn!
During our life, this skill continues to develop. About 90% of the daily information our brain receives is from visuals.
On top of that, based on HubSpot and 3M Corporation stats, your brain can process video 60,000 times faster than simple text.
The human brain is not only more used to seeing visuals but is also better at interpreting them.
You can check the recent book on neuroscience, "A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins, where he discusses the latest vision of how our brain operates.
So, it's time to present your potential customers on LinkedIn, not just single text post types!
As for the statistics on LinkedIn alone, video generate 3 times more engagement compare to text :)
Use direct messages to inform, educate, and Generate Awareness about a problem.
Connect, and pitch is a flawed strategy and has a slight chance to work on LinkedIn.
Opportunities for direct communication on LinkedIn should be used as one more channel to talk with your buyer casually.
- Ask them how the company is doing, making reference to recent news or open hiring positions.
- Congrats on their current promotion or ask about social activity
- Share some relevant to the article
- Invite for mutually beneficial event
Make this list to the first 100 people and start working with the most engaging. It is an excellent opportunity to switch your focus on promising prospects and put non-engaging aside.
With recent changes on LinkedIn, almost all people have invites limit of 100 per week. It creates a tremendous barrier for LinkedIn B2B Marketing and Demand generation drive leads from Linkedin.
On the other hand, it frees time to test other LinkedIn instruments, like
- scraping-entering LinkedIn groups
- check relevant LinkedIn page, Linkedin post, comments
- Try LinkedIn advertising among target LinkedIn B2B audience
- Test LinkedIn Inmail after spent weekly invites
- Improve your LinkedIn company description and SEO
- Improve your LinkedIn Bio :)
All that can substitute drop in LinkedIn B2B direct invites, but there are few interesting articles how to keep outbound LinkedIn Advertising on the same via creation of fake LinkedIn profiles. We can't say it is a good practice, while LinkedIn pushed its users to such approach.
Another great work-around and within LinkedIn practices to keep your outbound marketing efforts on a good level is to use "Invite by Email" feature -
You will need a list of emails on the other hand. However, based on common feedback, LinkedIn can match people and companies even without emails if you give him as much data as possible in original .CSV
Social Media today is a great source of lead generation and LinkedIn with its vision to be a professional network tried to break free from it.
From my opinion, having powerful outbound-networking engine using features like LinkedIn Post, LinkedIn sales Navigator, and testing omni channel LinkedIn capabilities will level up you to new heights!