LinkedIn Groups Serve as Valuable B2B Marketing Tool
We have discussed the benefits and tools LinkedIn can offer to business-to-business marketers here numerous times in the past, particularly in light of the platform’s recent emphasis on the B2B sector. But one very useful LinkedIn tool that is often overlooked by marketers is LinkedIn Groups.
Participating in LinkedIn groups is a great way to increase visibility and interact with colleagues in your field, as well as potential customers. But don’t stop at just contributing to groups as a member. Take it one step further and create a new group of your own. Any LinkedIn member can create a LinkedIn group, so this is a quick and easy step that can really pay off.
A LinkedIn group can serve a number of critical marketing goals. It can help build brand engagement and awareness, and establish your business and its leaders as authorities and experts in the industry. Many people underestimate the value of a LinkedIn group as a lead generation tool, but that is actually one of its most important benefits.
There are many, many LinkedIn groups already out there. Don’t let that discourage you from adding to that list and creating a new one of your own. The key is to choose your focus wisely. The field is already saturated with plenty of general, broad-interest groups. You don’t want to get lost among the masses. Your strategy should be to create a group with a specific, narrowly focused topic. Look for a unique way to zero in on something that is important to your prospects, customers and colleagues in the industry.
Think of your group in terms of quality over quantity. You aren’t necessarily trying to get millions of members. Instead, you want to attract people who are most valuable to you. This would include high-value leads, loyal customers and influencers in your industry.
When you start a group, your profile as the group owner is front and center. Your name and information is prominently displayed on the group page. This means you will get attention from everyone who visits that page or joins the group. Obviously, you want to put your website in that group profile section.
Start building a connection with group members from the minute they join your group by sending them a welcome message that provides information about the group while of course also including a link and description of your business. LinkedIn makes it easy to send an automated welcome message to everyone who joins your group.
Then you can continue to strengthen that relationship by sending out messages to the group on a regular basis. This is an effective way to communicate directly with your group members. Naturally, you want to include your company url and other brief info in each of these messages.
A critical thing to remember about LinkedIn groups, as with most types of content marketing, is that this shouldn’t be a one-sided relationship. You don’t want to just constantly be posting blatant ads, or hitting members up for sales. In fact, that’s a surefire way to alienate members and drive them to leave your group in droves. This is definitely a situation that calls for a subtle, soft sell approach. Your goal should be to educate and inform members and provide useful information. Use your group to share everything from job leads to interesting news stories you have spotted. You also want to support discussion among group members, and encourage people to contribute their own insights and ideas.
KEO Marketing can guide you as to the best way to use all of LinkedIn’s tools and features as part of your content marketing and social media strategy.