Written by Debbie Qaqish
A fast-growing US-based firm sells business services to large enterprise companies. Sales cycles are long, but the rewards are high. Traditional marketing efforts do not produce quality leads or visibility to help sales penetrate multiple business units with diverse requirements and goals. Marketing needs a new way to effectively tap into these large accounts.
Working with the sales team, marketing puts together a multi-prong approach consisting of a nurture series, a webinar series, phone calls and LinkedIn campaign. The team creates a target list with over 700 names in one enterprise account. Many of the names and titles are validated through LinkedIn. LinkedIn also provides geographic locations, so as the rep builds an Account Map, she knows each account’s business unit and location. Marketing develops a custom nurture series (based on problems across this enterprise), a webinar just for the enterprise and all the business units, and an email follow-up with several LinkedIn components.
During the webinar, three poll questions were asked, which were simple to answer and provided a follow-up context for both email and LinkedIn. The day after the webinar, three follow-ups occurred:
o The standard follow-up email with a recording of the webinar was sent out to everyone who registered/attended, etc.
o The speaker (head of marketing, not sales, so easy to respond to) sent out personal invites to connect on LinkedIn and customized each message based on the individual’s poll answers. This was a simple cut and paste exercise, but these invites were very personal in tone and spoke to everyone like they were a friend.
o To prospects who registered, but did not attend, the speaker sent out a follow-up LinkedIn message that included an invitation to connect.
o Once a person accepted the LinkedIn request, a thank you with a link to the recorded webinar was sent. This provided the prospect with another channel/opportunity to engage.
This webinar group was added to a specially named group in the Profile Organizer section in LinkedIn. These group names were also added to a special nurture campaign using HootSuite to send out regular, short, high quality, thought leadership content, every three weeks. This was in addition to the email nurture campaign—both campaigns were integrated and the prospect received them at different times. All messages sent through LinkedIn had a unique link so the client could track from where the lead responded, which proved the value of LinkedIn to this campaign.
Finally, this client wrote a blog post about the poll results and sent a link to the 50 LinkedIn Groups, reaching over one million people. This thought leadership piece was great for brand building and doubled as a powerful lead generation campaign.
Dos for Using LinkedIn for Enterprise Marketing:
1. Use LinkedIn as a secondary channel fully integrated with other communication channels.
2. Embrace a personal voice in your LinkedIn communications.
3. Focus on quality communications, not quantity.
4. Create specific groups in the Profile Organizer and launch them into mini-nurture campaigns.
5. Embed custom links in your LinkedIn messaging so you can track where the action came from and attribute revenue to your LinkedIn channel.
6. Connect to relevant LinkedIn groups (you can do up to 50) and when you have something relevant to say, customize the message for each group – even though you might be presenting the same study, white paper, etc.
7. Assess how the enterprise companies you market to use LinkedIn. Specifically, if you find most of your target group has less than 150 LinkedIn connections, LinkedIn may not be an effective communication channel.
8. Leverage LinkedIn to build prospect lists.
Don’ts for Using LinkedIn for Enterprise Marketing:
1. Don’t forget that one size does not fit all. LinkedIn is about a relationship and it takes time to customize.
2. Don’t have a pushy call to action. No one wants to be “sold” in this social network.
3. Don’t use LinkedIn as a stand-alone channel. It is a great secondary channel.
About the Author: Debbie Qaqish is Principal Partner and Chief Revenue Marketing Officer for The Pedowitz Group (http://www.pedowitzgroup.com/), a thriving demand generation agency. A nationally recognized thought leader in revenue generation, Qaqish has over 30 years of experience helping organizations connect marketing to revenue. She is a pioneer in marketing automation – first as a beneficiary of the technology and now as an advocate and expert. Debbie was just named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management. Her first book, “The Rise of the Revenue Marketer,” will be published in 2012.