[box] LinkedIn has always been a powerful tool for those interested in business networking; however, in recent months, the platform has finally begun to realize its potential as a major player in news, social networking, and advertising. [/box] More specifically, here is an overview of why LinkedIn is becoming such a great tool for marketers:
Increasing Year-Over-Year Traffic is Making LinkedIn Increasingly Useful
As seen in the graph below of traffic data provided by Quantcast, LinkedIn has seen an immense boost in their daily traffic and, more importantly, has seen an uptick in regular visitors to the site. As a job search and business networking platform, LinkedIn was a great tool for some people; however, by adding features that encourage return visits like news and real-time updates, the site has been able to maximize its user base and increase the time consumers spend on the site.
Marketers looking to get inbound traffic from LinkedIn should begin working to send messaging not only to Twitter and Facebook, but also to LinkedIn. In many social management platforms, that simply involves checking an additional box- which I believe is probably worth your time. Is LinkedIn Useful for Marketers? It’s looking that way.
The Best Social B2B Demographic for Marketers
One of the largest constraints of social networks is what I call the “low-hanging fruit problem.” This refers to the fact that social platforms tend to share essentially the same demographic and, frankly, most of the same specific people. I would say its a safe bet to say that nearly everyone who’s actively using Foursquare is on Twitter, and that nearly all Tweeters have a Facebook page. Facebook, with its colossal audience base, is escaping this problem- but more on that in another article. Based on demographics, the question of “Is LinkedIn Useful for Marketers?” is assuredly “yes.”
LinkedIn has a fundamentally different target market than other social networks. In emphasizing professional development and utility over novely, LinkedIn has built a network of B2B decision-makers that is difficult to find online. Marketers looking to reach high-ranking people in major organizations (that aren’t marketers or salespeople) needn’t waste their time on Twitter and Facebook but, instead, should actively participate in LinkedIn Groups or on other Linkedin-specific networking options.
Ad Network Targeting to Job, Industry, or Function-specific Targets Answers the Question,”Is LinkedIn Useful for Marketers?”
For any readers who are active in paid media advertising, this header requires almost no explanation. LinkedIn provides marketers with the ability to target specifically to industries, discrete companies, job functions, and even hierarchical position. With traditional paid advertising, the question of “Are my leads qualified?” is difficult to answer; however, with this level of granular functionality, you can be assured that upwards of 90% of your leads will fit the bill (there’s always some people that lie on their profiles).
Additionally, I answer the question “Is LinkedIn Useful for Marketers?” by bringing up a unique competitive advantage in LinkedIn’s ad platform that makes it especially useful- the lack of complexity. Unlike AdWords, Facebook (to some extent), or many display networks, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to evaluate your ads intensely based on CTR or even have an implicit quality score. Ad Fatigue, also, is less of a problem unless your ads are getting a pitiful CTR for a number of days, in which case they’ll stop serving. In not having to cater to a multitude of internal rules designed to maximize earnings for the site (i.e. Google Adwords), LinkedIn gives you the freedom to experiment with Ad Copy, extremely small segments, or different landing pages without worrying about being penalized or paying outrageous prices for your clicks.
I hope I’ve made my point that the question “Is LinkedIn Useful for Marketers?” should be answered with a resounding “Maybe!.” B2C Marketers can expand their demographic reach and market to an increasingly high volume of users but it certainly doesn’t have the power that LinkedIn provides for B2B initiatives.
Read some more articles, comment if you have any questions, and go try marketing on LinkedIn for yourself!