5 Amazing things you can do with data on LinkedIn
How to use metrics to guide your B2B strategy
March 9, 2016
It’s often said that you can’t manage what you don’t measure – and it’s particularly true of B2B marketing. Capturing the right metrics doesn’t just help you demonstrate ROI – it’s also crucial for unlocking new opportunities, identifying barriers that prevent your prospects converting, and developing tactics to overcome them. In the process it will help to build better and more powerful relationships between sales and marketing.
With empowered buyers navigating more of the purchase funnel under their own steam, there’s more responsibility for marketers like you to influence their journeys. We developed the Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Metrics and Analytics to help. It’s packed with ideas for making more effective use of data to guide your strategy on LinkedIn. Here are five of the key take-aways:
Swapping tunnel vision for funnel vision
B2B marketers have traditionally placed a lot of emphasis on the number of leads they pass onto sales. On one level, this seems to make sense. Marketing exists to drive growth. Ultimately that means generating revenues by helping sales to close deals – and that’s difficult if sales don’t have any leads. However, focusing on one metric in isolation tends to distort the balance of your marketing strategy – and leads to diminishing returns and frustrations for your sales colleagues. The fact is that your metrics could and should be doing more – at both ends of the funnel.
When it comes to the bottom of the funnel, metrics around the number of deals actually closed and the amount of revenue generated through them have a lot more value than a simple number of leads. When you optimise your content strategy on LinkedIn around the tactics that deliver valuable conversions rather than simply a high volume of leads, you use your sales team’s time a lot more efficiently – and you can make a more demonstrable contribution to the bottom line.
The other problem with focusing on leads in isolation is that it misses the importance of filling the funnel from the top. If you aren’t raising awareness amongst new prospects, both you and your sales colleagues will find yourselves fishing in a shrinking pond. LinkedIn metrics such as the engagement rates for Sponsored InMails and Sponsored Updates, or the number of likes and shares that your content generates, provide today’s marketers with far more visibility into their effectiveness at the top of the funnel. Integrate LinkedIn profile data for a meaningful view of who is engaging with your content and you can confirm that you are nurturing the right types of prospects.
Identify problems and solutions
Metrics aren’t there just to prove the value of what you’re doing. They’re also vital for identifying gaps and barriers that are preventing your strategy from delivering its objectives. If a business succeeds in driving more traffic to its website, but finds the value of that traffic undermined by a high bounce rate, LinkedIn metrics can help to pinpoint the problem. Analysis of those engaging with the campaign can confirm whether it’s reaching the intended target audience or driving the wrong kind of traffic. AB testing can investigate whether the call to action is properly aligned with the web page it takes people to. Testing such hypotheses holds the key to keeping prospects moving smoothly through the funnel.
Partner more effectively with sales
A shared set of metrics is often the key to a positive, aligned relationship between sales and marketing. It allows you to determine what a genuinely valuable lead looks like, and focus your marketing efforts around prospects that have the greatest propensity to convert. With the visibility that LinkedIn provides through member profile and behavioural data, you can make sure you’re focusing your time, effort and budget on targeting the right audience, with the right message.
Secure more marketing budget
With more visibility on the impact of different marketing tactics, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about allocating your marketing budget. You’ll not only know which approaches are working for objectives like building awareness and generating leads, you’ll also know where more investment is needed to address challenges and barriers to your prospects converting. And when you’re able to make data-driven predictions about the likely ROI that extra budget will drive to the business, it’s far easier to secure it.
Boost content creativity
Besides shaping your content strategy, LinkedIn data has an equally valuable role to play in optimising your content execution. Testing elements such as headlines, images and the copy of Sponsored Updates or Sponsored InMails enables you to try a range of creative approaches, and then focus your budget on those that engage most effectively. It’s an opportunity to plug more creativity into your B2B marketing, with the confidence that you can optimise around the ideas that work.
These are just some of the ways in which LinkedIn metrics can help you to build a more data-driven and effective B2B marketing strategy. For more ideas check out our ebook The Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Metrics and Analytics