No More B2C Marketing Envy

  |  June 14, 2013   |  Comments

Why LinkedIn's "homestead" is a wide open field for savvy B2B content marketers.

B2C campaigns on Facebook and other consumer social sites get more sophisticated and more entertaining every day. As brand marketers, we hear about delightful consumer campaigns involving basketball heroes, the most "interesting" men in the world, and shipping pants from here to there. And yet, while LinkedIn campaigns may lack some of the "fun factor" of those generated on Facebook, LinkedIn has quietly become just as valuable to brands marketing to professionals as Facebook is in marketing to consumers.

LinkedIn's strategy is focused on being an essential daily resource for professionals, and it has heavily invested in the product infrastructure needed to build a serious content distribution platform, including its recent acquisitions of SlideShare and Pulse. Engaging business audiences through original content, by distributing repositories of compelling professional content from white papers to presentations to videos, is a huge opportunity for LinkedIn and B2B marketers alike. On Facebook, the content creators are primarily the social members. However, on LinkedIn, it is the forward-leading businesses and professionals creating the most interesting content.

"Old School" Websites Should Embrace "New School" Social

For years, B2B digital marketing has taken place primarily on corporate websites, microsites, and portals. But it is a continuing challenge to build networked communities on these platforms. LinkedIn marketers, conversely, have the opportunity to create content and community "homesteads." Remember in the "old days" when American Express Open Forum became one of the most successful early B2B homesteads? Its success was due, in large part, to the enormous amount of invaluable content it produced (and continues to produce) for business professionals.

Content Cultivates Community

Similarly on LinkedIn, we are increasingly finding practical business advice from thought leaders, such as Joel Peterson, CEO of JetBlue. He has more than 8,000 LinkedIn members who read his informative (and often entertaining) career-advice posts, ranging from "How to Run Your Business Like an 11-Year-Old" to "Is Your New Hire a Star or a Diva? 3 Ways to Tell." Joel's posts help keep JetBlue's name in front of potential customers, partners, employees, and prospects, and they serve as an excellent membership-retention tool for LinkedIn. This engagement strategy has contributed to a page view growth of 63 percent in Q1 2013, and year-over-year unique visitor growth of 29 percent.

Tapping Into LinkedIn's B2B Zeitgeist

LinkedIn has another clear, yet often overlooked advantage over Facebook. People stay on LinkedIn as they move from job to job - it's simply a "must-have" platform as a business person. It also has what one might call network staying power. If a business professional doesn't keep her presence on LinkedIn up to date, and keep her network of connections current, her professional networking reach will degrade. And ultimately, there will be an impact - an economic one.

What does this mean for brands? It doesn't mean moving campaigns from Facebook. Facebook still serves as the easiest online mechanism for reaching and influencing consumers en masse. But it does mean looking at what LinkedIn has to offer for reaching business consumers. There is little doubt that LinkedIn has carved out a very large and important niche for brands that want to engage with professionals of all stripes. And that's an opportunity that's growing.

Image on home page via Shutterstock.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!


Roger Katz

Roger Katz is the CEO and founder of Friend2Friend, a social media technology and solutions company that works with global brands and media agencies. Launched in 2007, Friend2Friend works with over 100 global brands through its offices in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Barcelona, Spain. During Roger's 20 years working in marketing, strategy, and social media, his career has included management and consulting roles at companies such as Photobucket, Agilent, Brocade, Quantum, Bell Labs, and Pacific Community Ventures, as well as a number of startups. Behind his marketing mind lies deep engineering expertise. He has engineering degrees from Michigan State and UC Berkeley and an MBA from Wharton. He's a cycling fanatic, aspiring guitarist, and (slow) swimmer.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.



    • Web Writer
      Web Writer (Money Map Press) - BaltimoreDo you have a passion for the markets and investing, and writing? Do you want to spend your days providing...
    • Web Production Specialist
      Web Production Specialist (Money Map Press) - BaltimoreMoney Map Press is looking for a self-starter to perform and oversee the production of daily...
    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Downers GroveWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager...