Your Instagram feed may be flooded with well-lit, expertly edited millenials and Gen Zers hashtagging and hawking ultra-high rise leggings, home goods, and weight-loss teas--but they're not the only ones driving revenue on social.

B2B influencers--well-respected thought leaders associated with specific brands--are also leveraging social platforms to generate leads and sales for companies. But rather than relying exclusively on Instagram or Facebook, 94 percent of B2B influencers are using LinkedIn to share ideas and compel others to take action.

LinkedIn is extremely popular with B2B influencers because it's where highly educated professionals in upper management (directors, vice presidents, and C-suite officers) spend a lot of their time--and execs are using the platform to help them gather information before making buying decisions.

Research shows that these audiences want to read a lot of content (10 pieces on average) before they'll finalize any purchase for their company. 

Because Linked in makes it simple to create and disseminate content among a professional network, B2B influencers and the brands behind them are leaning into the platform. At my content marketing company, Masthead Media, we are too! We strongly recommend that both our B2B and our B2C clients utilize many of LinkedIn's features, and we're active on it ourselves.

Need a little more convincing to create a LinkedIn influencer marketing strategy? Here are four reasons why it's a great investment of your time and resources.

A Platform Supporting Community

LinkedIn is built with features that allow people who don't already know each other (or only in a limited capacity) to form genuine connections. The platform recommends connecting with certain individuals not only based on the number of mutual connections but also related companies, schools, or professional backgrounds. 

If your company's thought leaders become proactive about sending connection requests, posting content and updates, and participating in LinkedIn groups, they can grow their networks fairly quickly--widening the audience that will see their articles and posts.

LinkedIn's paid messaging feature inMail allows participants (including your B2B influencers) to send longer messages to another member that they're not already connected to. Since InMail has a 300 percent higher response rate than email, sending targeted InMail could be a powerful addition to your marketing.

Decision Makers are on LinkedIn

A huge number of professionals are tapping LinkedIn to learn about breaking industry news and using it to form relationships with other professionals. Of the platform's 303 million active monthly users, 40 percent use it daily.

Many of LinkedIn's 90 million senior-level influencers are using the platform to endorse their own companies, share perspectives, and promote accomplishments. Take advantage of their presence by proactively engaging with their posts, establishing a rapport based on shared ideas and feedback. These connections can easily turn into IRL meetings and opportunities at industry events and conferences. And that can turn into business for your brand.

"Pay to Play" is Not a Problem

Most social media platforms are increasingly relying on advertising to generate revenue, but that's far from the case with LinkedIn.

For now, the LinkedIn algorithm is focused on promoting organic and native posts, which strongly benefits influencers. It means that you don't need a big budget, thousands of followers, or tons of updates to get noticed--and draw attention to your messaging--on LinkedIn.

Possibly the greatest advantage that influencers have in the LinkedIn B2B marketing space is that engagement is truly the ruling factor. While influencer marketing is getting crowded and is less effective for other audiences on other social platforms, B2B marketers can still score a huge return on investment by sharing their messaging on LinkedIn.

It Gets Personal

Recent statistics show that consumers desire authenticity from marketing, so seeing any real-life business leader promoting a brand or company on LinkedIn plays into that mindset.

At Masthead Media, we know that a lot of our followers are professionals, so I make sure to promote my articles and insights on my personal LinkedIn account, rather than just our company page. I've seen a tremendous impact from doing this--both potential and current clients have interacted or messaged me after seeing updates, and that's led to a lot of new business.

My recommendation to B2B influencers: Be present and accessible on LinkedIn, and interact even when you don't have something specific to promote. A little giving back to the community goes a long way.

Have questions about making this platform a bigger part of your marketing strategy? Please send me a note on (where else?) LinkedIn.

 

 

 

Published on: Nov 19, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.