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5 Top B2B Brands Maximizing LinkedIn Engagement

Group of businesspeople image.

Group of businesspeople image. With more than 645 million users in over 200 countries, LinkedIn* has increasingly grown as a platform for both B2B and direct-to-consumer brands looking to creatively and effectively showcase products and services. LinkedIn has released scores of new features over the past several years that have helped it remain the foremost social media platform for professional business users. It’s also increasingly become a destination for all manner and size of brands, and users looking for an experience markedly different from that offered by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Since LinkedIn has rolled out so many new tools for brands to maximize their engagement on the Microsoft-owned platform, let’s take a look at how five large primarily B2B companies are connecting with audiences through the myriad of page, group, and showcase page options LinkedIn now provides.

#1 — SAP

SAP LinkedIn LinkedIn profile: SAP
1,655,343 followers
LinkedIn tagline: “Our purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. #TheBestRun” Listed as number 26 on the LinkedIn Top Companies to Work For list in 2019, SAP* has successfully utilized LinkedIn to engage with its audience of fans, using a wide variety of message post types, including many that incorporate innovative use of video. From a recent New York Fashion Week post about the firm’s “Runway by SAP” live-audience feedback app using the Internet of Things (Iot), machine learning algorithms, and beacon technology, to news of its partnership with Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, SAP keeps its LinkedIn messaging both entertaining and relevant to the more than 1.6 million people following its page. SAP Example Whether it’s a post featuring company chief executive Bill McDermott interviewing Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at an industry conference, or a “Hastag Holiday” message that combines honoring #WorkingParentsDay with promoting careers at the firm, SAP creatively and enthusiastically wields its LinkedIn page. SAP has also featured LinkedIn messaging surrounding a variety of company goals, including its efforts to have at least 28 percent women in leadership roles by 2020, and 30 percent by 2022 — goals that far exceed the present 11 percent of women who are technology executives.

#2 — Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes LinkedIn LinkedIn profile: Pitney Bowes
83,424 followers
LinkedIn tagline: “We are the craftsmen of commerce.” Pitney Bowes uses a variety of engaging techniques to connect with its sizable LinkedIn audience. From using visually engaging posts highlighting positive company initiatives such as its “Global Early in Career Development Program (EiC)” leadership program, which targets high-potential millennial talent, to informative messaging spotlighting free webinars featuring company experts, and video posts exploring customer experience and relationship-building in business, Pitney Bowes offer a strong and compelling LinkedIn presence. Pitney Bowes Example

#3 — Xerox

Xerox LinkedIn Image LinkedIn profile: Xerox
784,030 followers
LinkedIn tagline: “Think of all the possibilities. We do. #MadeToThink” Xerox uses video, images, documents and other digital assets to enhance its LinkedIn customer and fan experience. During the most recent U.S. Open tennis tournament Xerox used its LinkedIn account to feature an event-specific video post examining how tennis balls became the color they are now known for, part of a sizable campaign that occupied many of the company’s LinkedIn posts during the event. Xerox Example Xerox also regularly uses its LinkedIn profile to offer helpful online guides, links to in-depth research on data protection and security, and messages with informational product overviews.

#4 — Dropbox

Dropbox LinkedIn Image LinkedIn profile: Dropbox
239,978 followers
LinkedIn tagline: “Keep teams flowing with Dropbox.” Spotlighting teams and offering behind-the-scenes glimpses into life at a company is a time-tested tactic for engaging with customers, and Dropbox has used this approach effectively on its active LinkedIn page, recently sharing fun image-heavy messages detailing how its “Dropboxers” from around the world participated in various events such as scavenger hunts and Secret Garden parties. Other Dropbox messages from its LinkedIn profile feature more in-depth pieces about Dropboxers. Dropbox Example Dropbox also utilized LinkedIn to spread news about new corporate executives, such as its recent announcement post about the appointment of Asha Thurthi as vice president of Dropbox Paper, the firm’s collaborative document-editing service. More brands are also now using some of the newer LinkedIn features, such as the ability to tag people in photos, post video in private messages, and easier use of PowerPoint and PDF files on the platform.

#5 — Siemens

Siemens LinkedIn Image LinkedIn profile: Siemens
2,997,732 followers
LinkedIn tagline: NA Siemens has used its LinkedIn profile to highlight live video broadcasting efforts such as a message detailing one it recently conducted at the 24th World Energy Congress, featuring the firm’s CEO of Power Generation Karim Amin. Siemens Example Siemens also recognizes relevant hashtag holidays to engage with its LinkedIn audiences of more than three million followers, such as a lighthearted recent image post celebrating Programmers Day with a visual look at the Python programming language. Helpful community engagement from those managing Siemens’ LinkedIn presence serves to enforce the firms’ dedication to making social messaging a two-way street, by answering customer questions in a timely manner. With a global presence, Siemens also takes advantage of LinkedIn’s built-in translation features to publish messages in multiple languages when appropriate.

Building a Solid & Sustainable LinkedIn Strategy

It’s clear from the varied examples we’ve looked at here deftly implemented by SAP, Siemens, Pitney Bowes, Dropbox, and Xerox that there are many successful methods for building a solid and sustainable LinkedIn brand strategy. LinkedIn itself has had an ongoing effort to help brands with content creation on the platform, including it’s helpful Getting Started with Content Creation on LinkedIn guide. It’s also expanded its Campaign Manager features for brands, implemented new features for small-to-medium-size businesses, launched greater audience insight initiatives, and published a checklist for B2B technology marketers. With enough time, staff, and dedication most brands can build their own successful ongoing LinkedIn strategy, while others may find it more efficient and practical to partner with a professional marketing agency highly skilled in LinkedIn-specific efforts. TopRank Marketing recently had the honor of being named by Forrester as the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in its latest “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.” Finally, here are five recent articles we’ve written that relate specifically to either LinkedIn or to the process of creating engaging B2B content marketing:

* LinkedIn and SAP are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post 5 Top B2B Brands Maximizing LinkedIn Engagement appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild

Hey, friend, have you heard the good news about podcasts? 

Given the most recent stats, it’s highly likely you have. Over half of all Americans over 12 years of age have listened to at least one. Podcasts have well and truly hit the mainstream. In other words, the gold rush is on for brands looking to connect with a highly-engaged, long-attention-span audience.

However, getting a podcast up and running isn’t as simple as publishing a blog. We recently published an entire B2B podcasting webinar to walk you through the entire process, from conception to publication. This post will zero in on the choices you need to make and the steps you need to take to release your podcast into the wild.

B2B Podcasting Launch Checklist: 10 Steps

Sure, you could just upload your audio to your web server, add an RSS feed, and call it good. But if you want people to actually find and listen to your podcast, there are a few extra steps you should take. This checklist will help your podcast find an audience and start building a subscriber base.

via GIPHY

#1: Choose Your Hosting Platform

A podcast syndication platform makes it easy to publish your podcast and get listed in directories. Think of it like WordPress is for your blog — it hosts the files, makes them look pretty, and makes it so people can find them.

Most platforms will also give you embed codes for embedding episodes in blog posts or on a landing page. You’ll also get stats on how many people are downloading episodes, and on what program they’re listening.

We prefer Libsyn as our hosting platform. Podbean, buzzsprout, and Blubrry are also solid options. They all have a free tier of hosting, but you’ll want to pay a few bucks a month for bandwidth and analytics.

#2: Upload Your First Three Episodes

Podcasting is all about establishing a regular cadence (more on that later). But for launch, you’ll want to have at least three episodes ready to go. There are a few reasons for publishing multiple episodes for your debut:

  1. One episode may not be enough to convince people to subscribe. 
  2. Multiple episodes show you’re committed to keeping the content coming.
  3. Most importantly, Apple podcasts requires at least three episodes to qualify for their “New and Noteworthy” section. 

So before you publish, have at least three episodes completed, and be ready to follow up with more at your promised publishing cadence.

#3:  Register with Podcast Directories

Podcasts are peculiar in terms of content delivery. Your hosting platform makes the files available, but most people will listen to your podcast on their chosen podcast app. Each app maintains its own directory — think of it as a search engine for podcasts. 

Your podcast needs to be listed in their directory, or people won’t be able to find you. I recommend registering with at least these six:

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Google Podcasts
  3. Stitcher
  4. Podbean
  5. Spotify
  6. TuneIn

Each of these sites will ask for the RSS feed of your podcast, which your hosting platform will generate for you.

I created a podcast tracker to keep track of all these directories — sign up for the webinar and you can download it for free.

B2B Podcast Tracker

#4: Promote Internally

Gaining visibility on a podcast directory is tricky business. Apple and Google are where the majority of your listeners will be, and each employs an algorithm to promote podcasts in search results and feature pages.

How do you get an algorithm’s attention? Engagement! Start by promoting your podcast to all of your employees. Encourage them to subscribe on Apple or Google, give a rating, and write a brief (and honest) review. What’s more, draft some social messages and encourage everyone to promote the podcast to their networks, too.

That base level of initial engagement will help your podcast start finding its audience.

#5: Activate Your Influencers

Most podcasts are Q&A-style interviews with influential guests. If your podcast includes influencers in your industry, make sure they know as soon as their episode goes live. Give them the tools to promote the podcast easily:

  • Sample social messages
  • Social media images in the correct sizes
  • Embed codes

If your podcast doesn’t feature influencers, it’s worth re-evaluating your strategy for your next season. Influencer content not only is more valuable to your audience, it’s an indispensable channel for promotion.

#6: Publish Blog Posts

The one downside of audio content: It’s not super crawlable for SEO purposes. Granted, Google has started to auto-transcribe episodes and add them to search results, but the technology is still in the early stages.

To truly get some SEO juice from your podcast, we recommend embedding each podcast in a blog post. This example from the Tech Unknown Podcast by SAP* shows how simple it can be. All you need is an introduction, a few pull quotes, some key takeaways, and a transcript.

#7: Add Paid Promotion

As with any content, you want to use every tactic available to make sure it gets seen by your target audience. That’s especially true with podcasts, since podcast search engines are incredibly competitive.

Targeted, paid social promotion can help establish your subscriber base and get your new podcast some much-needed visibility.

It’s also worth considering cross-promotion on other podcasts. Consider both paid advertising and trading guest spots with a podcast that shares your target audience. 

#8: Solicit Listener Feedback

Ratings and reviews are essential to your podcast’s success. They’ll help provide social proof for new listeners and boost your search visibility in podcast directories. 

The best way to get ratings and reviews? Ask for them. Make it part of each episode’s sign-off. You can even encourage thoughtful reviews by reading the best ones on future episodes. You will engage your listeners and solicit more reviews at the same time.

#9: Keep Up Your Cadence

As with blog content, there’s no single “right” frequency to publish a podcast. Some of my favorite podcasts publish weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. The best cadence for your podcast is “However frequently you can reliably, regularly publish quality content.”

Choose your cadence with an eye to long-term sustainability, and tell your listeners explicitly how frequently you’ll publish. Whether it’s “See you next week,” or “PodcastTitle is a monthly podcast that…” listeners will find it easier to make your podcast a habit if you stick to a schedule.

#10: Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

In my last post on the content marketing benefits of B2B podcasting, I mentioned that podcasts are a content machine, and I’ll say it again. It’s easy to finish an episode, publish it, then forget it and move on to the next thing. But don’t do that! 

Pull snippets of audio content for social media. Turn them into short videos, too: Add a still image or a simple looping GIF for visual interest.

Use your transcriptions as fodder for future blog posts, quotes for influencer marketing, or even a stand-alone asset. 

Any way you can reuse that content can help bring more listeners to your podcast. What’s more, putting the content in a different medium can reach an audience who might not be into podcasts (yet). 

Check, Check, One Two

Launching a podcast is a little trickier than launching a new blog, especially if you’re new to the format. But if you follow this checklist, you can make sure your podcast is available on all the right channels and is ready to start attracting an audience.

Need more podcasting help? Check out our B2B Podcasting Webinar. In addition to learning the Four P’s of podcasting success, you’ll see me make this face:

B2B Podcasting Face

*Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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