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When it comes to planning an influencer marketing campaign, chances are LinkedIn isn’t a channel that often comes up in conversation. However, this is a missed opportunity for B2B brands. LinkedIn influencers can drive a significant amount of relevant reach, engagement, traffic, and conversions; even more so than other channels when it comes to B2B content. Because of this, we’ve been including LinkedIn as a core part of our B2B influencer marketing efforts in 2017. Here are a few reasons we advocate LinkedIn as part of a B2B influencer marketing program. 

Why LinkedIn for Influencer:
When it comes to launching social campaigns, most brands will tap into LinkedIn for B2B whether it’s organic or paid content. This is partly due to the targeting capabilities, but it’s mostly because of how users interact with content on the network. Users are seeking out and engaging with B2B content more on LinkedIn than on any other network and get turned off when the conversation steers into another direction. Scroll through your homepage feed and you’ll likely notice at least one person complaining that a post isn’t “B2B-focused” or that it “belongs on Facebook.”

By tapping into the right set of influencers and letting them develop and distribute engaging content, LinkedIn can be just as effective (or more) as other channels when you compare how B2B influencer content performs on against other networks.

Ways to Use LinkedIn for Influencer:
Many of the same consideration exist when developing a B2B influencer strategy on LinkedIn compared to a B2C Influencer strategy on other networks – you want to set clearly defined goals, select the right influencers, have them create engaging content, reach the right audiences, amplify and distribute content (paid and organic), and deliver results.

However, LinkedIn offers some unique capabilities that can tie into influencer marketing including:

  • LinkedIn Articles: LinkedIn’s version of a blog – provides a way for B2B influencers to post long-form content directly onto the network and engage their followers.
  • LinkedIn Company Pages: In many instances, a B2B influencer campaign will use an influencer that’s tied into a specific business. It might be a CEO talking about how your product helped benefit their business or a CMO demonstrating your product. With these types of campaigns, you can leverage both the influencer’s personal LinkedIn account and their company page.
  • Direct Sponsored Content: Every social network offers paid ads in one form or the other, but what makes LinkedIn’s unique is their targeting: job titles, seniority, company size and other B2B-focused parameters. You can argue that these are available on other networks, but LinkedIn’s are the most accurate with B2B parameters and typically produce a higher reach.

Our experience has been that LinkedIn tends to be the most effective for influencer marketing for campaigns trying to drive the following actions:

  • Product demonstrations / free trials
  • Webinar & event registrations
  • Whitepaper reads / downloads
  • Traffic / engagement for B2B content
  • B2B conversions

Distributing Content:
Amplifying the reach of influencer content is something RhythmOne is an industry leader. We have a variety of tools in our belt to ensure content is seen by the right people on the right channel and device. When it comes to LinkedIn – remarketing has been one of the methods we have found to be extremely effective.  Why? Because B2B products typically have a longer conversion cycle than B2C. Having an always on influencer strategy paired with paid content distribution can keep your brand top of mind to potential consumers through each stage of the conversion process. For example, your first influencer campaign might focus on general product awareness, your second can reach the same users but might focus more on unique features of the product, and your third can continue to reach the same audience while promoting a free trial.

Content distribution isn’t limited to just promoting influencer’s own content.  We encourage tapping into influencers to distribute your own content. For LinkedIn, leveraging influencers to distribute your whitepaper, blog post, or infographic can be a great way to reach new audiences and generate a high volume of engagements and traffic. 

Users are getting more and more accustomed to native ads and brand social posts. You might have heard the term “banner blindness” which refers to users ignoring or not seeing banner ads on sites because of how often they’re being exposed to them. I believe this could happen for native ads and social posts as more and more brands advertise on social.  Using influencers to distribute your content, instead of simply posting onto your own channels, is a great way to cut through the clutter and have your content effectively reach with your core audience.

The above isn’t just limited to LinkedIn. Whether it’s B2B, B2C, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. distribution should be part of every influencer marketing campaign.

Measuring Results:
As with any influencer campaign, how you measure results on LinkedIn should tie into the goals you set for the campaign.  This could be anything from reach, engagements, traffic, sentiment, and/or downloads.

Advanced measurement studies are also a great way to gauge the impact influencer has on more revenue-driven metrics like purchase intent. These studies can also provide advanced data around brand awareness and consideration.

As mentioned, B2B products typically have a longer conversion cycle. If influencer marketing on LinkedIn is being used to drive leads or conversions, it’s important to have goals and attribution modeling set up properly in your web analytics platform. If your sales cycle is normally 2 months, for example, analyze conversions (especially assisted conversions) from LinkedIn for a couple of months post-campaign to accurately gauge the impact Influencer is having on sales.

As you may have noticed from my series “What’s New in Social” - staying on top of the developments each social channel can bring to an influencer marketing campaign is something we here at RhythmOne are very passionate about. We would love to work with you on and, if appropriate, develop a LinkedIn component to your next B2B content or product push. Contact us to learn more.