This may take you by surprise, but LinkedIn was never built to be a relentless advertising campaign platform. Martand Kulkarni LinkedIn Assistant Vice President- Digital Acquisition & Product Management explains in more detail why LinkedIn advertising doesn’t work for everyone.
Launched on May 5, 2003, the platform is primarily used for professional networking and career development, and allows job seekers to post their CVs and employers to post jobs. From 2015 most of the company’s revenue came from selling access to information about its members to recruiters and sales professionals.
In terms of professional products and services, the availability of information available on its 830 million users is its greatest strength. Although users spend less time on LinkedIn than other social networking giants like Facebook and Twitter, the value lies in its accessibility to specific industry segments, job roles, and the information on those members.
Does advertising on LinkedIn work?
Advertising on LinkedIn has value, for sure. But that value stops at incoming leads. For solution service providers guaranteeing that lead will be closeable 6 months down the line is another story. The major question here is: If I invest in advertising on LinkedIn, how much should I invest, who is going to do the work, and will it deliver results?
You simply don’t know. Experience has taught me that the quality of leads generated are usually low and therefore lacking an acceptable ROI.
Connections are more important than just advertising on the platform. It is what it was designed for in the first place, so it makes sense to use it that way. In this sense, LinkedIn serves as an excellent B2B networking connection point for solutions and services that have lengthy sales cycles and require multiple sales meetings before a close.
Martand at LinkedIn also points out that what matters on LinkedIn most are three things:
- Valuable content
Can advertising alone cover these aspects?
Obviously not, and that is why new service providers now exist who leverage the power of LinkedIn for the benefit of businesses who do not have the available resources or don’t want to take that risk.
They help with credibility, content and prospecting by taking care of those things for their clients. Essentially becoming an outsourced pre-sales department, with adequate skill and resources to drive lead generation and prospecting while demonstrating notable ROI. Meaning that the guesswork of advertising and the patience asked for are removed.
Advertising is a tricky thing and difficult to manage, especially for companies without adequate time, expertise and resources.
Leveraging LinkedIn is best done through professional connections, and those connections can be found using LinkedIn’s paid service: Sales Navigator. Unfortunately solution salespeople often do not have the time to do this as well, or the time to manage those connections over long periods. See more information about lead nurturing and follow-up-strategy.
The sales process has evolved over the years with new technologies like LinkedIn, other social media and internet communication. It has become nearly impossible to understand the nuances of all of these avenues. Sales reps need as much help as they can to succeed at what they do best.
Companies can use these technologies to the best of their ability, or make sure experts are using them as efficiently as possible for them. If those providers can demonstrate an acceptable ROI in parts of your sales process, the question is, why wouldn’t you use them?
Pipeline Factory has been using LinkedIn, as well as telemarketing, email and follow-up strategies as part of a proven process for 8 years to take Tech and SaaS companies further; expanding their market reach and ultimately becoming a significant part in growing the client base.