So when it comes to LinkedIn, there are three distinct aspects of the platform that are especially important to sales executives, marketing leaders, CEOs, founders, and owners of B2B technology companies.
1) LinkedIn Content Shared in Your Feed
First, there is the content you choose to publish and promote in your feed. These are helpful educational content tips.
It could be text, photos, or video.
But it's all about delivering value to those connected to you.
So the degree to which this will work well will mainly be a function of how well built out your first-degree connections are.
As a secondary piece of that, when your content is good enough that you're able to inspire those to hit the like button and add a comment, and share, those are all positive votes of approval from a LinkedIn standpoint.
And that's what convinces LinkedIn's algorithm to share your content with people beyond your first-degree connections.
So facet number one is content you decide to share on your LinkedIn profile.
2) LinkedIn Ads (Text Ads and Sponsored Posts)
Facet Number two is LinkedIn Ads. That's a second huge piece of the puzzle.
LinkedIn Ads allow you to get your content in front of a much wider audience than those who can see your content organically. And there are a couple of basic advertising units relevant for small companies starting that want to publish and promote their thought leadership content.
There are text ads that look a lot like traditional Google Ads. They have a title, description, and clickable link, and they work great for conversion.
Text ads tend to have lower click-through rates. However, they only work on desktops. So to the extent that people are looking at your LinkedIn profile or seeing your LinkedIn feed and they're on their smartphone or tablet, they will not see the text ads.
The text ads only show up on the desktop for better or for worse.
The better part is when people are on a desktop, they're going to tend to have a lot more tolerance for filling out a form that asks for more information, which your sales team is going to love.
The flip side is that people on phones, probably two out of 50% to 70% of people viewing your content on their phones, won't see a text ad.
Then there are sponsored posts, often referred to as native ads, because they appear natively within the feed.
The most straightforward kind of sponsored post is a single-image ad. And so you have text, a single image that’s roughly the size of a slide, 1200 by 627 pixels, which looks similar to what you'd see on a PowerPoint or a Google Slides image.
And that's usually used to promote a piece of content, like a white paper, an eBook download, or a webinar.
And again, the considerable advantage of LinkedIn Ads is that you can get your message out to a much wider audience, way beyond those that are just your first-degree connections.
So far, we have content that you can share on your feed. And we have the LinkedIn Ads program.
3) LinkedIn Sales Navigator
The third significant facet, the third big pillar that I want you to be thinking about for your LinkedIn strategy, is LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
This is a premium software add-on beyond just free LinkedIn. And the beauty of LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to prospect much more aggressively than you can with the free product. You can build up lists of contacts and specific accounts. You can have much more complex search criteria, save people, and have a certain amount of messages that you can send.
And suppose you're looking to mine LinkedIn's B2B professional database of what's approaching now 700 million people worldwide, approaching 200 million people in the U.S. In that case, this is an enormous asset to access prospect way more aggressively than you can on LinkedIn's free version.
The Bottom Line on LinkedIn Strategies for Growing IT Businesses
So if you're serious about growing your B2B technology company, think about the content you can promote in your feed and potentially on your company page.
Think about the LinkedIn Ads program that you can use to get your content by text ads and sponsored posts, primarily in front of much wider audiences than you can with your first-degree connections.
Third, think about the LinkedIn Sales Navigator that lets you and your sales team kick their prospecting into overdrive.
Are you trying to grow your IT business? How are you using LinkedIn? Let me know in the comments below.
And if you need to grow your IT business more aggressively with a LinkedIn-centric strategy, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.