Doubling Down on the 3 Pillars of B2B Marketing Success
June 25, 2020
Brand marketing or lead gen? Lead gen or brand marketing? Attempting this balancing act can pose challenges for B2B marketers who recognize the value of both short-term and long-term thinking.
The truth is that while you could prioritize one or the other, based on your strategy and goals, building a strong foundation in both will enable your organization to simultaneously pursue the bottom-line results that drive your business in the short term, and the upper-funnel growth that makes these results sustainable in the long run.
As the foundational platform for B2B marketing, LinkedIn has done the legwork to identify the principles of B2B marketing success, diving deep into how you can accomplish your goals now while also planning for your brand’s future. Let’s take a closer look at what these pillars are, why they’re more important than ever.
The 3 Pillars of B2B Marketing Success Today
Gartner has predicted, “By 2022, profitability will replace customer experience as the CMO’s No. 1 strategic priority.” While these two priorities are closely intertwined — an exceptional customer experience will ultimately drive greater profitability for a brand — it makes sense for profitable growth to be the ideal outcome marketers aim for.
Adhering to these three pillars will keep your strategy on track as you build customer relationships that power your profitability.
1. Reaching buyers with the power to act
When we talk about buyers it isn’t just about reaching people who are direct buyers or users of your product or service. It’s also about identifying the people with the ability to influence business decisions. Since B2B buying cycles are complex, and stakeholders move in and out of these roles constantly, this means there are multiple stakeholders influencing every sale.
The LinkedIn platform helps marketers and advertisers to zero in on professionals with purchase authority and influence through sophisticated targeting tools that allow you to orient campaigns toward specific job titles, roles, behaviors and interests. Once you have your sweet spot, you can scale up with features like Audience Expansion and the LinkedIn Audience Network.
This helps solve another of the modern marketer’s trickiest balancing acts: precision vs. volume.
“With these campaigns, we can know exactly who this job title is that’s in front of this ad, and what
company they’re at. And it makes our job of finding these people much easier,” says Trey Buchanan, Senior Manager at the agency Metric Theory.
2. Driving meaningful engagement
Compared to other social networks, LinkedIn is distinct in its purpose. It’s a destination for people to find information, explore content, and connect with others, and these activities all take place in a professional context. For the most part, LinkedIn members are seeking to grow their careers and become more successful.
This makes the platform especially well-suited for the types of business conversations that fuel B2B relationship-building. To illustrate: a 2019 report from PathFactory and Heinz Marketing found that brands on LinkedIn saw a 33% increase in purchase intent resulting from ad exposure on the platform.
The B2B buyer’s journey can be long, and a comprehensive LinkedIn strategy will help your viewpoint stay consistently visible, alongside other trusted sources.
When it comes to the “how,” there are many ways to meaningfully engage your audience on LinkedIn with your organization’s Page, like broadcasting via LinkedIn Live and leveraging Sponsored Content to reach members directly in the feed. As one example, Automation Anywhere live-streamed a major product announcement on LinkedIn, and generated more than 1,000 quality comments.
“I was with the team in the campaign control room, and they couldn’t believe the quality of the conversations we were having with viewers,” says Automation Anywhere’s Global Head of Paid Social Media, Julian Foster. His company’s setup for their LinkedIn Live stream, which included a “campaign control room” staffed by brand reps ready to respond and interact with viewers, was key in bringing these conversations to life.
3. Building trust along the way
Trust is the foundation of meaningful relationships that convert prospects to customers. When you advertise on LinkedIn, you’re doing so in a trusted environment.
In 2019, Business Insider found for a third consecutive year that LinkedIn has been recognized as the most trusted social media platform, ranking at the top of the list in these categories:
- Confidence in data
- Feels safe participating
- Least deceptive content
- Least annoying ads
When your brand’s content appears on LinkedIn, it’s showing up next to people and organizations that members have curated in their feeds because they like them, and trust them. And when your brand adds content to their experience that is consistently relevant, impactful and credible, it benefits from this environment in a way that’s not possible elsewhere.
“We were able to find a lot of success on LinkedIn because LinkedIn gives us access to a very engaged and relevant audience,” says Joon Shin, Digital Marketing Manager for Aha! “When a potential customer sees meaningful, relevant content, they’ll view your company as a knowledge resource and as a partner. And in the future, once they build up that trust, they’ll come to you with their business.”
Do Business Where Business is Done — on LinkedIn
Doing business in 2020 is remarkably different than we could have imagined. And while marketing in this climate can be challenging and nuanced, there’s never been a better time to revisit how (and where) your brand shows up.
The 3 pillars of the B2B playbook can serve as your roadmap to form a simple, but irrefutably effective, B2B marketing foundation. Identifying professional audiences, engaging them meaningfully, and putting trust at the forefront throughout the process will help you drive a steady stream of results, with new qualified prospects entering the pipeline to replace deals that closed.
I'm delighted to share that we've explored these pillars as part of our new Brand campaign 'Do Business Where Business Is Done', launching today. To see our campaign and learn more about each of these pillars, and how to build upon them with your LinkedIn marketing strategy, explore our resource on building a strong B2B marketing foundation.