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When a client’s brand requires a higher profile, or is out to get the attention of people and other brands that might represent a beneficial connection, LinkedIn can be a prime source of fruitful contacts. Redeveloped and rejigged, LinkedIn is now a subtle tool for B2B advertising – and if used in the right proportion with the rest of the marketing mix can be an ideal way to attract new talent or broaden the influence of a client’s company.
A word about the idea that LinkedIn must be used as part of a marketing mix.
It’s well known that successful B2B marketing, indeed successful marketing of any kind, requires multiple platforms to work properly. Partly this is a simple matter of conviction. No brand message carries the weight of true conviction if it is only found on one media stream. Targeted people and companies need to see the client company’s brand message in several places for the weight of the campaign to ring true.
One way that LinkedIn can work to bolster a brand message, is by offering dynamic content ads to its users. For instance, LinkedIn now enables users to put up follow company ads; recommendation ads; and join group ads. All have an element of social network use tied into them, and all are capable of gathering social information about the people and users that respond to them.
Essentially these dynamic ads allow you to get the person you advertise to, to click on a link, join a group or follow a company. Whatever the actual call to action, the effect is twofold. First, your ad viewer becomes an active follower of or connection to your company or brand; and second, the social graph of that ad viewer is now open for mining in stage two or three of your campaign.
Simply by clicking on the call to Acton in your dynamic LinkedIn ad, the user has registered interest in the things your client’s brand accomplishes. That means that the whole of his or her social graph is now tagged as one online construction of the kind of person who would be interested in the brand of a client. That, in turn, means that future campaigns may use this user’s social graph information to target and attract other fans, who resemble the original user in terms of what they have on their social graph.
Over time, collecting social graph information in this way allows a good B2B marketer to draw up new demographics for a client company – sometimes even discovering whole new strata of personality and business types to advertise to. For instance, if a number of people with similar professional social graphs all click on a follow link, or a join group link, as a result of a LinkedIn ad campaign – then it becomes reasonable to assume that you are looking at the demographic definition of one type of person your client should be advertising to with more vigour.
LinkedIn enables the B2B advertiser to find and define new groups of personality and market types for client brands to get involved with.