These days every marketer seems to be obsessed with Twitter, Facebook and now Google+. LinkedIn seems to get forgotten along the way with a lot of companies really missing out on a great opportunity for B2B lead generation.
LinkedIn is one of the most popular B2B websites people turn to for answers to important business questions. Apart from searching for answers in group discussions and LinkedIn Answers, most people find LinkedIn pages through its internal search function.
The LinkedIn internal search function works differently to Google. LinkedIn identifies keyword results based on a “personalized relevance algorithm” that ranks profiles, company pages and LinkedIn Q&A discussions based on relevance to the searcher. This is decided using the proximity to the searcher (i.e. degree or number of connections to a company), and the number of recommendations.
Last November, LinkedIn quietly introduced an upgrade to LinkedIn Company Pages that makes it a powerful tool for maximizing your company’s online efforts (especially if you are a B2B company).
The basic features allow you to upload a logo, add a paragraph describing your business, list contacts and attach their profiles. There’s a good chance someone at your company has already done this. You also have the ability to post job listings.
However, there are some really awesome features that can take you up a notch or two…
Products & Services Tab
The best feature of LinkedIn Company Pages is the addition of the Products & Services tab. Your company can list each of its products or services, upload a 100 x 80 pixel icon and description of each, and create a bullet list of attributes. But you can do more with this…
Through a simple admin tool, you can upload three gigantic 640 x 220 banners (JPEG, GIF or PNG, no Flash) that rotate on the page and link to specific URLs that you designate. This enables you to set up a landing page for B2B lead generation.
You can now also embed a YouTube video on the Overview page and each of the individual Products & Services pages you create. This enables you to really promote your companies messages to potential customers. You can use different videos and embedding them is as simple as copying and pasting a URL from YouTube.
A very important feature that will become ever more powerful over time is the ability to ask for recommendations from your customers for each of your products or services. This works just like the Recommendations feature does on an individual LinkedIn profile. You can send a tailored message to existing customers asking them to recommend your products and services.
LinkedIn allows you to completely customize how you present your products and services to distinct audience segments. Wow, just stop and think about this for a second.
To set up this “audience segmentation” may take some strategic planning before you set it up (which, by the way, is fairly easy). LinkedIn lets you easily “Create an audience segment,” select its attributes (job title, seniority, company size, industry, location, etc.) and then edit a duplicate of your base company profile to be shown to that segment.
Each product or service (for each audience segment) also has a placeholder for a unique offer associated with it. For example, you can easily create an offer for a free eBook or seminar or a product demo etc., linked to a landing page on your site. You can then run a promotion campaign on LinkedIn to drive prospects to the offer.