LinkedIn is a tool used by over 90% of marketers for content distribution, which makes it the #1 platform for B2B marketing. 84% of salespeople, on the other hand, are active on LinkedIn too, using tools such as Sales Navigator to identify and reach out to key decision-makers.
With all the capabilities LinkedIn has to offer, it has certain downsides. Let’s see how you can optimize and scale the standard LinkedIn workflow with account-based techniques and tools like N.Rich.
LinkedIn Ads: the advantages
Account and persona-based targeting. LinkedIn has an unbeatable reach of over 800 mln users sharing their job title and company data.
Instant conversion into form fills. LinkedIn provides various tools to capture contact data to be used in marketing communications and sales outreach.
Effective SMB lead generation. Small and medium businesses can launch advertising campaigns quickly and generate their first leads within hours after launch.
LinkedIn Ads: the limitations
No intent data. LinkedIn’s persona-based targeting doesn’t allow you to understand the level of buying intent your audience actually has. This results in spending significant efforts to reach people that are not ready to buy.
High CPC and limited scalability. Getting results at scale is especially complicated for B2B companies with long sales cycle, but even for other businesses LinkedIn advertising is usually costly. Here’s a good guide “Why Is LinkedIn Advertising So Expensive?” that explains how LinkedIn advertising works and whether or not it is worth the extra buck.
Not effective for targeting the entire buying committee. In B2B, it’s usually a group of 6 to 10 people to
make purchasing decisions, and the participants can have different job titles. For example, you are going to target marketing executives and the VP of growth in a certain company, but you don’t know that the real gatekeeper in the company is the CFO. This is what you’ll never know with LinkedIn, but ABM platforms like N.Rich will capture the intent of this “hidden” buying committee member and deliver the right content to them.
How ABM adds the missing piece to a puzzle
Account-based marketing (ABM) is an approach to B2B marketing and sales in which both teams work together to target best-fit accounts (“accounts” = companies that fit their Ideal Customer Profile) and turn them into opportunities and sales. The accounts are scored based on their intent level: in order to measure intent, various signals are taken into account, such as clicks, video views, article reads, and many more (read more on how the intent data works here).
The greatest advantage of ABM is that it allows focusing on the right accounts from the very beginning, ditching spray-and-pray as much as possible. This is quite different compared to inbound marketing which isn’t focused on exact companies but on the exact persons who demonstrated interest in the company’s content assets and left their contact data, which are then handed over to sales.
Scaling LinkedIn with ABM
Here’s how to boost the LinkedIn results with account-based techniques throughout the entire marketing & sales workflow:
1. Build a list of companies to target combining LinkedIn profile data with intent data. In account-based strategies, accounts are scored based on their intent level. Different tools calculate it differently, considering only first-party intent (when people from target accounts interact with the company’s own website or advertising creatives), only third-party intent (when people from target accounts interact with a relevant third-party resource), or both (the latter is the best option as it gives a more complete picture). N.Rich provides a composite score that measures interest towards your brand analyzing both the 1st party and the 3rd party intent.
Combining company and profile data from LinkedIn with firmographic and intent data from N.Rich gives you an understanding of how many companies and accounts you have to target and how hard it will be to engage them.
2. Generate more intent with more formats and publishers. Account-based tools like N.Rich multiply the effect of your lead gen campaign. With its huge reach of over 800 mln users, LinkedIn is still just one of the platforms. If your target accounts don’t visit their LinkedIn profiles often, there’s basically no way to engage them – unless you use a tool like N.Rich. Your content will be shown across over 5000 websites, and it’s not only banners or videos: you can also leverage content syndication at scale, publishing full-format articles (up to 2500 characters) on 3rd party resources.
As a result, you’ll have a bigger chance to reach more members of the buying committee, even those who are not active on LinkedIn.
3. [Bonus] Boost the efficiency of sales outreach. Besides the marketing part, account-based approach can provide a lot of insights for sales.
In many cases, the advertising campaign and the following sales outreach are not perfectly aligned. It happens often that marketing has done its part in “warming up” target accounts, and then the sales team steps in with their proven outreach templates. But there’s more you can do to increase conversion at this stage – you can use the data from N.Rich campaigns to approach prospects on LinkedIn in a more effective way.
Soon after you launch an advertising campaign with N.Rich, you’ll be able to identify the scope of accounts with the best intent score dynamics. In Intent Reports, these are marked as “Surging”:
Explore in more detail how these accounts interacted with your ads: location, type of content,
type of engagement:
Then use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to identify who is the best person to reach out to,
taking into account the location and the possible job title (based on the topics that triggered
the most engagement).
As a result, you’ll have a list of people to reach out to and some insights you’ll be able to use to break the ice:
LinkedIn + N.Rich = the dynamic ABM duo
There’s no tool to manage the entire workflow for building high-value pipeline, but using the strongest points of various tools can help boost efficiency at every stage of the process. N.Rich (or any other ABM tool) shouldn’t be used as a replacement for LinkedIn ads. Both platforms have their unique advantages: by combining those you’ll be able to develop an unbeatable marketing and sales strategy.