03 Mar How to Market Your B2C Brand on LinkedIn

(And, know if it's working)

Sometimes B2C  brands ask: "Should we market on LinkedIn?" LinkedIn can be an effective marketing platform for companies, especially those that are content-driven (and we should all be content-driven now).

There is a common misconception that LinkedIn is only for B2B companies. While it is a natural fit for and B2B company, there are many opportunities for B2C organizations, as well. You can gain wider exposure with your current target audience, test out a B2B strategy affordably, and gain a wider share of wallet with your already-loyal customers.

Tips on B2C LinkedIn Marketing

1. LinkedIn really is a professional platform, so think about the professional needs that your product meets. For instance, if you are a food brand, should companies stock their kitchens with your product as a healthy afternoon snack for employees? If you are makeup brand, do you have lines that make a professional look for those who wear makeup easy on hectic mornings?

Look at how your product fits into consumers' workday. Ask yourself:

a. Who is the buyer? Are they still B2C, or does our product make sense being sold directly to companies? Or is it possibly both? Fashion, for instance, is a B2C purchase. Foods can be B2C or B2B.

b. What does that buyer want in a professional context? Let's go back to the food example. You will have two buyer needs there. The B2C buyer, the consumer, wants an afternoon or morning snack that powers them through the workday. The B2B buyer, who may be an office or facilities manager, wants to stock their office kitchen with snacks that keep team members happy. Think about these specific needs when writing copy, designing visuals, and creating your targeting.

c. How can you adapt your brand to send the right message in a professional context? You want to stay on brand, yet use visuals and text that highlight a professional image.

2. Sometimes, it's just a matter of positioning. Other times, though, you may need to create a B2B offer. For instance, are you a fitness brand? Can you you offer corporate discounts? Can your trainers come on-site to offer classes on wellness for workers who sit at their desks all day? Think about ways you can adjust your product to a B2B consumers' needs.

3. Target and measure. Experiment with different targeting: If you can address both the B2C and B2B buyers, create messaging for both, with unique offers. Target each one separately, and measure the results. Look at CTRs, of course. Dig deeper, though: what is the expected customer lifetime value (CLTV) of each lead gained from LinkedIn? And what is the net Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of each campaign? You may find that B2B buyers have high CLTV, yet you have far more B2C customers at the end of the quarter, leading to identical ROAS for your B2C and B2B campaigns. When you venture into a new channel, the temptation is there to make a quick decision whether it's "worth it." Be careful--whether it's LinkedIn or any other channel. Early data doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, it can tell a misleading one. In the first weeks of a campaign, all you can see are the topline metrics: clickthrough rates, impressions, and other vanity metrics.

What you really want to see is if your new effort drives sales. Most importantly, you want to see if it builds your business with the right customers. That takes sales data, which takes time. This is especially the case when you're not just testing a new marketing channel: you're testing, in effect, a new distribution channel either outright B2B or finding B2C customers in a traditionally B2B context. That's a major business shift. You need to be open to lots of experimentation to see if it works for you.

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