LinkedIn is the premium social media platform for businesses and B2B communication. As a major force in modern business, any changes that affect it ripple out and change the business landscape. With this article, we’ll look at some of the latest developments and what they mean for the marketing industry.
GDPR & Marketing in Europe
We’ve previously covered some of the ways the GDPR affects online marketing. With the eprivacy directive of 2021 in full swing, businesses on LinkedIn have to adjust. One of the areas this can have an effect on is that of sponsored messaging. As the platform states:
This rule has made a few B2B processes more complex now that user data is private. In terms of eprivacy, the GDPR is quite thorough, requiring a few key points of clearance. To have a lawful basis for processing personal data, you will need one or a few of these cited reasons:
- Legitimate Interest
- Legal Obligation
- Vital Interest
- Public Task
While these are major changes, there are important facts to keep in mind. LinkedIn has disabled sponsored messages in Europe. Most day-to-day use for regular users is unaffected but other features have some restrictions (inmail, for example).
LinkedIn Inmail vs. Messaging
Another area where GDPR and B2B Marketing on LinkedIn intersect is with the use of inmail. Inmail has been severely restricted under the new laws. Companies can no longer market using Sponsored Messaging campaigns targeting Europe. This has been the case since December, with many companies withdrawing from campaign plans entirely.
Sponsored inmail campaigns were a huge source of marketing but are now unviable in Europe. This has caused a notable shift towards personal messaging. More and more accounts are sending direct messages after adding people to their networks since sponsored mails are ineffective but messaging within their network is still on the table. This has become a major tactic, especially among recruiters.
While this may seem like a downgrade, it has its benefits. For one thing, some argue that personal messaging and adding people to networks is more conducive to conversions in some instances. Another advantage is that many accounts block sponsored messages altogether, so messaging can have less uncertainty in communication.
The important thing is that companies adapt their strategies within Europe and don’t catastrophize GDPR’s impact on marketing.
LinkedIn Growth Hacking
For your business to grow on LinkedIn, it’s all about proper targeting and regular posting. Here are the key takeaways for what works best for B2B marketing growth hacks in 2022:
- Keywords: Find the industry’s hottest trends and work them into your social media content. Work the keywords into your “About” page and use them in posts.
- Connect: Forging connections is still the best way to improve your network and boost your profile.
- Content: Blogs, articles, and case studies perform better on LinkedIn than other platforms.
- Page utilities: Remember to add the follow button to your company’s page by changing your page settings.
- Targetting: It’s important to target the exact people you need. On LinkedIn this is often about knowing your goals (sales, for example) and matching it to the personnel (a sales manager). Use the proper targeting functions on the platform when setting up campaigns.
- Personalization: Give a human face to your company. Put employees front and centre, tell human stories, and talk about issues people care about.
- Soft-selling: Generally, the hard-selling approach is not as effective on social media. This depends on the product, but generally its better to generate interest before locking in the sales pitch.
- Cross-promotion: Find other companies willing to host your content or host their’s. You can work out a plan to grow together.
- Lists and Groups: As we mentioned earlier, sponsored inmail ads are out of the question in certain regions. However, LinkedIn mailing lists and groups are a great way to communicate with people within a circle. Use these to push content that can be shared to build your brand awareness.
In terms of content, the most popular forms of media are still visual (both video and pictorial). Images with 1200 x 627 pixels are what LinkedIn highly recommends, with images being twice as likely to cause meaningful engagement. A good rule of thumb for images is to avoid stock imagery and formulate your own brand guidelines for consistency.
LinkedIn Blog Content
In terms of blog posts there are some tried and true methods. B2B marketing copywriting tends to err towards informational for a reason. Most businesses aren’t into the “emotional sell” and they want to see results. That doesn’t mean B2B copywriting has to be dull or uninspired, just that it needs to return to a utilitarian argument.
That said, this isn’t the only type of content one should post. We’ve already listed the benefits of humanizing your workforce, so sing their praises. Build a rapport and tell the stories that make your company stand out. Show the company having fun or doing charity work.
Post articles and news items worth noting. Generate conversations while relating them to your industry. This can show off where your company stands on major issues, which audiences have come to expect from companies. However, if that doesn’t suit your brand, personal stories about employees, initiatives, and team-building strategies are all good ways to make alternative content.
Collaborations & Third-Party Content
Form symbiotic connections with other companies in your ecosystem. Co-author articles for link building and boost each other to build a feasible marketing collaboration. This is also useful in general, as having your work published and linked elsewhere is great for organic traffic.
Even aside from collaborations, posting other people’s content can be useful for generating conversations. Post an article and get people talking, discuss your company’s stance, and ask other people crucial questions.
There is debate about the efficacy of videos on LinkedIn. Generally, they are a good idea and some companies have seen success with multimedia efforts. The types of videos that succeed are related to business and business practices or event showcases.
In terms of format, short and punchy is the way to go. It’s important to use subtitles, not just for the hearing-impaired, but also because many prefer to use LinkedIn with the sound off. Another handy tip is to use CTAs and link to your website or socials in the videos.
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