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Generating Demand SOCIAL Worldwide

Could your next lead come from LinkedIn?

Just this past week, I was in Singapore facilitating an IBM Digital Marketing Workshop for some very engaged and excited IBM Business Partners. While they were eager to learn more about digital marketing, they came away from the session realizing how much they already knew—especially about how to use LinkedIn.

Think about it. Who isn’t on LinkedIn? It has become one of the standard tools for managing our careers, staying in touch with colleagues and engaging with people with similar professional interests.

These features make LinkedIn an ideal tool for B2B marketing. But as with any contact mechanism used for marketing, it must be used properly or else it will backfire, alienating instead of attracting your target buyer (your persona). The basic principles for using LinkedIn are the same as for all digital marketing:

  • Identify the groups your target audience joins
  • Share content that has value and interests your audience
  • Use the 70-20-10 rule for the content you put on LinkedIn: 70% thought leadership or industry content, 20% semi-promotional material (that is, it can mention your company) and 10% for recommendations to review a marketing offer

 
One of the partners at last week’s workshop had a great example of a blog he had written on best practices for Financial Performance Management based upon his experience locally. First, the company doesn’t really do any marketing. This individual is in business development/sales. He didn’t “pitch” his company or himself, but shared relevant content in an easy and quick-to-read LinkedIn blog to a local group of finance executives. What happened? Numerous comments from the group resulted in one individual who decided to buy a solution from the partner using IBM® Cognos® TM1®. Now, that is a pretty spectacular result and we can’t assume every LinkedIn article will result in a lead, but with time and focus on providing real value, LinkedIn activity can contribute to your digital marketing strategy.

We’ve just made available a Forrester brief, How B2B Marketers Optimize LinkedIn, through December 27, 2016. I would recommend it to all of our IBM Business Partners. Even if you think you don’t know enough about digital marketing, you know enough to get started with LinkedIn. And don’t limit the strategy to marketing—get your experts, consultants and sellers engaging and linking with new buyers! You can also let me know what you think by using the comments feature below.

Debbie Black
Director, Business Partner Co-Marketing and Enablement

P.S. If you haven’t attended an IBM Digital Marketing Workshop and are interested in doing so, ask your IBM rep or click here for the current schedule.

 

Footnote: Neither IBM nor its Business Partners are authorized to distribute the report or use with customers. External citations must be approved by Forrester.

Debbie’s role is to enable #IBMPartners to develop new leads and close business. She is responsible for programs that help business partners increase their marketing results including software co-marketing, digital & social marketing, partnerships with agencies. In her IBM career, Debbie has led teams across a broad spectrum marketing disciplines for IBM from product marketing, market strategy & management to marketing communications. Debbie joined IBM in 1998.

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