LinkedIn As A Social Marketing Platform: From Sponsored InMail To Sponsored Posts

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LinkedIn is a powerful marketing and sales platform, if you know how to use it. The social network for professionals has attracted 225 million people from more than 200 countries, and its users are increasingly engaged

LinkedIn users viewed 63% more pages on the mobile and desktop versions of the site in the first quarter of 2013 than during the same quarter in 2012. As a hub for professionals to network, LinkedIn presents tremendous potential for business-to-business (B2B) sales and B2B marketing professionals.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we analyse how Linkedin could aid in sales efforts and expand your list of leads, telling you what you need to know about InMail, looking at Sponsored InMail and a case study of its performance, and examine how you can use Linkedin as a marketing platform, breaking down the various ad products on the platform and the other techniques you can use as well. 

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Here’s a brief overview of Linkedin’s most useful sales and marketing products:

  • InMail: InMail can be an extremely effective tool for salespeople, but it does require a paid subscription to one of LinkedIn’s premium memberships for sales professionals. InMails are response-guaranteed. In other words, you only pay for those that you receive replies to. By limiting the number of InMails one can send in a given month, LinkedIn is in effect forcing salespeople to pitch to only their top targets. Thus they’re mitigating the amount of irrelevant sales pitches that users receive, and keeping the user experience uncluttered and positive.
  • Sponsored InMail: Sponsored InMail is a direct-message ad which you can use to target a far greater number of people on LinkedIn than you could with the InMails. Sponsored InMails show up as messages in recipients’ message queue, but they are different from run-of-the-mill InMails in that they weren’t targeted to individual users but to larger groups according to specific audience-targeting criteria. You can specify recipients by geography, job role, group membership, gender, company size, and other traits. Meagan Eisenberg, a vice president at DocuSign, an e-signature transaction management company, outlined for BI Intelligence the success of a Sponsored InMail campaign she ran, with the goal of bringing new leads into the top of the funnel, and then once those leads were generated, build a pipeline to push them along toward the final conversion.
  • Ad products: The presence of ads on LinkedIn is less noticeable than comparable social networks, such as Facebook. Ads are more targeted, and appear to be a more natural part of the user experience. Even display ads tend to meld in more seamlessly with LinkedIn content since they are so often for professional services and white papers. LinkedIn’s self-service ad platform is where you can place an order for a campaign. There are a number of different ad types to choose from, including cost-per-click ads, sponsored page follow story ads, sponsored job listings, promoted company pages, and display ads. All of these ad products have targeting capabilities, pin-pointing LinkedIn members by job title, industry, company size, interests, and seniority.  

In full, the report:

  • analyse how Linkedin could aid in sales efforts and expand your list of leads
  • Tells you what you need to know about InMail
  • Looks at Sponsored InMail and a case study of its performance
  • Examines how you can use Linkedin as a marketing platform
  • Breaks down the various ad products on the platform and the other marketing techniques you can use

For full access to the report on Linkedin sign up for a free trial subscription today.


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