Companies Turn To LinkedIn For B2B Marketing
LinkedIn, the popular social networking site known widely as a tool for job seekers, has also become a significant business-to-business marketing platform for many companies.
According to LinkedIn’s website, approximately 50 percent of Fortune 100 companies tap its marketing solutions division (which allows companies to target clients with marketing tactics such as sponsored updates and brand “showcase pages”) for content and brand marketing tactics. And according to The Guardian, LinkedIn’s marketing solutions division accounts for approximately 25 percent of the company’s revenue, with second-quarter 2013 profits increasing 36 percent from the prior quarter to $85 million.
In fact, according to a recent survey of 815 LinkedIn “B2B Technology Marketing Community” members, which include business marketers from numerous industries, 71 percent said they use LinkedIn content marketing for lead generation.
And in another recent survey of approximately 5,200 businesses, HubSpot, Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based marketing software provider, found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74 percent—a rate nearly triple that of Twitter (0.69 percent) and Facebook (0.77 percent).
John Nemo, a marketing consultant in the Twin Cities, is one example of local business owners using LinkedIn as a successful business-to-business marketing tool.
Nemo, whose “day job” is running a marketing agency that serves the debt-collection industry, told Twin Cities Business that 99 percent of his clients come from LinkedIn. He said that he began using information from potential clients’ profiles (including their education, hobbies, and former employment) “to build an instant rapport” when he contacted them through the social network platform in an effort to gain new clients.
The success of building a personal rapport with his clients through LinkedIn led Nemo to create Linkedinriches.com, a website that provides online webinars and classes that teach business leaders how to use LinkedIn as a business-to-business marketing tool. He has also begun marketing his own clients’ companies on LinkedIn.
“LinkedIn has turned from a jobs website into a platform for doing deals,” Nemo said. Additionally, Nemo said that conducting business via LinkedIn eliminates many meeting expenses, particularly for companies with internationally based clients.
Nemo said that “95 percent of my clients have never met me” in person because they conducted business remotely and largely through LinkedIn. He added that using LinkedIn as a business-to-business marketing tool bolstered his own advertising business in a short period of time. Nemo said that he made approximately $135,000 in revenue in 90 days for his own marketing operations using LinkedIn’s messaging and group features to attract new clients, market his services (such as Web design, PR, and content writing), and forge business deals.
“I like to say that LinkedIn is the ‘sleeping giant’ of social media platforms,” he said.