Saturday, November 17, 2018

How to Turn LinkedIn into an Effective B2B Marketing Tool

How to Turn LinkedIn into an Effective B2B Marketing Tool

1. Choose contacts very carefully (no family and friends here), zeroing in on the decision-makers. For example, if you offer financial services to banks and other financial institutions, constrain your re/search to the decision-making vertical, i.e., VP-SVP-EVP

    2. Expect 20-30% effectiveness. Could be higher or lower depending on the mutual interest and compatibility. Regardless, try to align with the decision-makers. 

3. Contribute frequently, preferably daily. Content is king so do not waste time on unrelated issues/themes (stick to your business and competition). Instead of sharing articles from various news agencies, place your own articles and commentaries so your business stands out. Originality is greatly rewarded. 

 4. Unless specifically requested, avoid all direct marketing. Do not spam your contacts with unsolicitated literature. It's a serious turn-off for the busy business people.  

 5. Define the target population you would like to achieve within a specified timeframe. High-water mark is critical. Quality is more important than quantity; for instance, 1,000 vertical-level decision-makers (quality) are more valuable than 2,000 random bankers (just quantity), most of whom are non-decision makers. Set a timeframe, say within 6 months, to achieve this goal. Spend an hour each night – religiously – reviewing candidate profiles and sending out invites.

 6. As liquidity increases, intensify your marketing efforts. At the end of the day, it's a numbers game. 1-2% effectiveness becomes significant when the underlying population is large and impactful. In other words, if you have a contact population of 3,000 decision-makers, 1% response rate (or 30 leads per day) is significant – initially!

 7. Considering it's a "100% targeted" environment, minimize the use of automated or impersonal campaigns. Instead of placing a marketing flyer in front of your contacts, write a meaningful introductory piece, followed by a set of links to your flyers. When leads are self-enticed (after having read your piece), they are already half-sold.     
          8. Just the way you would grow your business, keep your LinkedIn base growing as well. The growth pattern must be collinear, meaning they must grow in tandem (as they complement each other). As your base grows, you will receive more requests. Remember, it’s your business so do not unnecessarily relax your acceptance rules. On the contrary, now that your base is liquid, try to tighten it a bit. For example, roll up your original VP-SVP-EVP vertical to SVP-EVP now.

 9. Finally, here is an optional consideration – an exception (to the stringent acceptance rule) I personally follow. Now and then, when I receive requests from certain rule-breaking yet deserving candidates like the mothers trying to return to work, new STEM graduates looking for jobs, etc., I wholeheartedly welcome them into the network.

    Good Luck!

    Sid Som, MBA, MIM
    President, Homequant, Inc.

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