Before we begin, let’s reflect on a perspective – We’re living in a time when there are no gatekeepers to block us from connecting with anyone in the world, regardless of their social and economic status. All of this is happening in real-time.
Social media started out as a fun activity for people to be able to connect with the entire world to express themselves and when businesses realized where most of the attention is going, they started capitalizing on it as well.
Fast forward to the present, we’ve peaked so much that every single industry has its own virtual presence. This also leads to a belief that every single niche has been oversaturated, and even though that may be true for some, it doesn’t take away from the fact that several businesses in the same industry have a huge disparity between their popularity.
Let’s take Skype for example. A telecommunications app released way back in 2003 that specializes in offering services like video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, and mobile devices could have made fortune during the current pandemic, right?
Instead, as soon as the pandemic happened, video chat apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, and even a new app like Houseparty were on people’s tongues, but no one was talking about Skype. That tells us how important marketing is, especially in the IT industry.
How Many Ways Can I Market Myself on the Internet?
Let’s be honest, old school marketing tactics are obsolete. Marketing on the internet plays the biggest role in this day and age and for the sake of this article, we’re solely going to focus on that. Here are broad ways to grab your target audience’s attention.
Paid Traffic (Advertisement)
Gone are the days when pamphlets, hoardings, and newspaper advertisements played a big role. Now, all it takes is grabbing attention on the internet. One of the most effective ways to do it is Internet Advertising.
There are 2 ways you can advertise on the Internet – PPC Advertising and Social Media Advertising.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is a model of advertising where the advertiser pays every time someone clicks on their online ad. These ads are commonly visible on the top 2 or 3 search results when you look for something on Google.
Google ranks different advertisements based on bidding. The advertisers bid on certain keywords that their potential consumers would typically search for. The more sellers bid on the same keyword, the higher the bidding amount goes.
For example, Google “Hair Loss”, and this is what you may get:-
The top 3 results you see here are of the companies that bid on the keyword “Hair Loss” but the first 3 advertisers haven’t paid the same bidding amount for that keyword. The more a seller pays, the higher will be their ad’s ranking.
The pricing of a keyword will differ depending on how much your competitors have bid on that keyword. And there’s no way you can pay more to improve the prominence of your advertisement. It’s an automated process and will only influence the ranking of your ad. You will need a guide to PPC advertising if you want to try this by yourself.
Social Media Advertising
Advertising on social media is not so different. All social media platforms have various parameters based on which you can target your audience.
Depending on the nature of your business, you can choose to advertise on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. But since our sole focus here is to generate B2B traffic for an IT business, the most relevant platform for you would be LinkedIn.
When 97% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel, that alone should act as a reason why you should use Linkedin for business marketing. Advertisement on LinkedIn is not so different from Facebook or Instagram.
For example, the following is how your LinkedIn Advertisement would look like:-
If you look carefully, you’ll see the word “promoted” under the advertiser’s name, implying that the content was sponsored by the advertiser. These posts look like normal posts and will pop up between posts made by your connections on your timeline.
Just like you develop your buyer’s persona and target accordingly for other forms of advertising, there are parameters on LinkedIn based on which the advertiser’s target a particular archetype of people by creating relevant campaigns.
Benefits of LinkedIn Advertising
Every social media platform caters to a specific audience. Just like Facebook and Instagram are youth-centric and Informal platforms, LinkedIn is a platform for professionals. Following are the reasons why LinkedIn should be used for business marketing:-
Reach a Professional Audience
There is a collective paradigm of every platform that roughly defines the kind of audience that spends time on these platforms. For example, Facebook is known for sharing already curated blog posts and Instagram is used for sharing original pictures and videos. However, both of these platforms have an informal tone to them.
LinkedIn is different in all aspects. It has a professional tone to everything. You’re allowed to show humor but only within the constraints of formalism. You can use LinkedIn to find more educated and high earning groups of people, mostly in the age group from the early 30s to entrepreneurs in their 60s as well.
If you’re targeting a demographic that’s educated, high earning, and holds significant work experience, then LinkedIn is the platform for your business marketing.
Multiple Industry-Specific Variables
The entire purpose of your advertisement is to reach the right audience. What better way to do that than to have multiple factors based on which you can sort who this post should reach to?
Just like Facebook takes pride in being able to sort the target market based on their interests and behavior related factors, LinkedIn is able to accomplish that by targeting your ads based on Job title, Job function, Seniority, Company name, Company size, Industry, Skill, Degree type and name.
When it comes to B2B (Business-to-Business) Marketing, Linkedin seems to be the most viable solution because of the fact that LinkedIn exists as a social network for business owners. LinkedIn offers a professional context to the conversation between users.
Multiple Advertising Types
In pursuit of standing out, Social Media platforms try to pack as many features as they can so as to maximize customizability, and subsequently, efficiency. LinkedIn provides several ways to advertise on their platforms, such as:-
- Sponsored Content – These are promoted LinkedIn posts. They can be available in the following formats: single image, video, and carousel.
- Direct Sponsored Content – The way in which they are different from Sponsored Content is that these ads are not published on your LinkedIn page feed. However, they look like a regular LinkedIn post.
- Sponsored InMail – This is an advertisement that pops up in people’s inboxes. LinkedIn says that these ads offer more effective conversions than emails.
- Text Ads – These are text ads that appear on the right rail and top banner on the desktop. They have a short headline, blurb, and a small square image. These are the PPC advertisements for LinkedIn.
- Dynamic Ads – These are similar to text ads except each ad can uniquely target its viewer with their profile photo and address them by their name.
Most social media advertising tends to focus on creating brand awareness and generating leads. However, without thorough nurturing, you might not be able to convince those leads that becoming your consumers or clients is in their best interest. Up till now, lead-nurturing tends to be limited to email messages but with LinkedIn, it can be more.
The Lead Accelerator feature of LinkedIn allows you to track your most high-value prospects and target more ads specifically towards those prospects. Through list-based advertising and remarketing to recent web visitors and, it helps you nurture your leads in a better manner, thereby improving their probability of becoming customers.
Improve Conversion Rates
When there are so many parameters based on which you can sort what archetype you want to target, have various ways to advertise your product or service, and have remarketing capabilities to target high-value prospects, you will inevitably improve your conversion rate.
According to Hubspot, the conversion rate of leads from LinkedIn is 6.1%. If you don’t realize, it’s almost 2.5 times as effective as Google Ads, that have a conversion rate of 2.58%. That’s how powerful LinkedIn advertising is.
When you’re launching a new IT service and you don’t have any followers yet, you can definitely rely on LinkedIn advertising to get more conversions instantly. You can always learn how to scale your business on a budget.
Organic Traffic on LinkedIn
Grabbing attention on the internet is everything. And it’s fun because it’s still in its primitive phase and everyone is still trying to figure out new ways to create content that can go viral.
Well, we may not have a recipe for a perfect organic reach yet, but tracing the footsteps of the market leaders who have walked the path that brought them success is a good framework. The unpredictability of the internet is what makes it exciting!
How to Maximize Your Organic Reach Through LinkedIn
Did you know that LinkedIn has 303 million active monthly users, 40% of whom visit the site daily? This makes LinkedIn a great place for marketers to promote their business. Since we’ve already discussed how you can advertise on LinkedIn, it’s worth mentioning how you can maximize your organic reach on the platform:-
Revamp Your Profile Content
Whether you’re starting out or you’ve been on the platform for a while and haven’t capitalized on it yet, it’s time to give your profile a professional look. Create posts that portray your experience level in the Industry and that cater to your target audience.
Doing so will not only help your profile look impressive but will also help the LinkedIn SEO algorithm to better sort your company page. It’s important to use good quality images and content on LinkedIn if you’re going for business marketing on the platform.
Optimize Your Keywords
Think about this – Every platform has an algorithm based on which it tries to rank certain links based on relevance. What better way to convey relevance than keywords? LinkedIn is no different, and it ranks pages based on relevant keywords.
Therefore, you have to make sure that the content on your page includes write-ups and links of your landing pages that will resonate with someone searching for your services. That’s how you should use Linkedin for business marketing.
Post Videos Frequently
If you’re active on LinkedIn and have good quality connections, then you’ll notice that these people regularly post videos on their page. It shows how much effort you are putting into your work, which subsequently leads to people believing how successful your business is.
When people believe that your business is doing well, it creates social proof for your users, and that’s the greatest incentive to your potential leads to wanting to work with you.
Use Hashtags Effectively
When it comes to platforms that are deemed to be most useful in terms of hashtags, Instagram and Twitter come to mind. However, the most overlooked platform is LinkedIn where people constantly use hashtags to find relevant services for themselves.
One of the most popular hashtags is “#FindaPro” through which people can find professionals like Web Designers, Developers, and Digital Marketing professionals. There are several other hashtags that can effectively be used for IT businesses.
Interact With Your Audience
If you’re an active LinkedIn user, you must have also witnessed how companies interact with people in the comment sections. This is something that the users do so as to be seen by connections of your connections.
You may interact with your connections in the inbox but interacting in the comments will open you up to a wider audience that may increase your chances of generating more leads.
While advertising may be a great way to grow your LinkedIn, simultaneously working on maximizing your organic reach is a good way to make sure that you get both inorganic and organic traffic on your page and increase brand awareness. If you want to market your mobile app, you can use this guide on mobile app marketing to do an excellent job at it!