LinkedIn kind of became a big deal in the world of B2B marketing last year. While the numbers were certainly impressive (and I will get to those in a little bit), just the way that customers and prospects were talking about LinkedIn made it clear to me that it has been coming into its own as a marketing channel. People would call in out of the blue and want to talk about it, and while they did not all have a good idea of what could be done on LinkedIn to help generate prospects, they certainly knew that it could be used to attract them. Let’s take a look at just how LinkedIn marketing grew in 2013 and why you can’t ignore it in 2014.
Why LinkedIn Became Relevant
Over the past few years there has been a shift in the way that we market on social media, with a greater focus being placed on picking the sites that particularly relevant for a particular brand. The conversation used to be about just needing social media, but now it is about needing the right social media channel. When it comes to B2B, the best channel is LinkedIn by a wide margin. Here are a few reasons why:
LinkedIn Creates a Clearer Picture of Potential Partners
That is because it helps businesses to get a clearer idea of who this other business is, how they operate, whether or not they are a thought leader in their field, and a wealth of other info.
LinkedIn Connects Business People First, Then Businesses
LinkedIn shows the faces behind the business. People do business with people, and being able to learn about the key figures in an organization allows leads to see who they would actually be working with.
LinkedIn Practically Became a Necessity for Businesses
At the beginning of last year, LinkedIn celebrated a major milestone when it finally passed 200 million users. Back in June it also hit another major milestone by hitting over 3 million company pages. Both individuals and organizations are keen to the fact that they need a presence on LinkedIn, and this has spurred further growth. This has resulted in a need to be on LinkedIn just to be taken seriously as a business, the same way that a website is.
What to Expect from LinkedIn Marketing in 2014
There is no doubt that LinkedIn will continue to grow, as will its importance to businesses. Last year, it released a variety of new tools and offerings, many of which are directly applicable to marketers, such as sponsored posts and more sophisticated options for status updates.
Search Will Become Even More Relevant
Back in May of 2013, LinkedIn updated its internal search engine to help make it easier for people and businesses to find each other. It’s pretty clear that the plan is to continue to develop the search aspect of the site to better achieve this. This means that, like with general SEO, having a LinkedIn page that is optimized for internal searches will become more critical to getting noticed.
Greater Emphasis on Content
Last month, LinkedIn announced its top ten company pages in a blog post. While each of the pages was unique, there was definitely a common theme of using different types of compelling content in order to educate (and hopefully convert) visitors. This emphasis on content will only grow this year, so it is important to have a content strategy that includes LinkedIn.
If you are looking to learn more about how to attract leads on LinkedIn, then please feel free to share your questions in the comments section below.