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LinkedIn strengthens its position as most valuable channel for B2B

With LinkedIn’s “all business all the time” focus, it’s the leading social channel for B2B marketers — 89 percent leverage it over other platforms, according to the 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing report from DemandWave. That preference is tied to results, with 62 percent using LinkedIn for lead generation and 43 percent attributing sales to the channel.

Since Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn in 2016, marketers are seeing stronger opportunities to reach the 40 million decision makers and 61 million senior-level influencers that visit the site regularly to find valued business content and thought leadership. In addition to plenty of free tools for building brand awareness and publishing content, more marketers are investing in LinkedIn sponsored content and InMail (LinkedIn’s direct digital mail and messaging platform), as well as display and text ads. Most important, marketers can use LinkedIn Conversion Tracking to measure results and gain insight to guide targeting and audience understanding, testing, content strategy and more. LinkedIn also announced that in 2018 it will roll out new native video capabilities to all its 400 million users — a publishing feature currently restricted to only LinkedIn influencers.

LinkedIn is a key channel as more companies are encouraging employees to advocate for their brands on social media. In fact, LinkedIn data shows that content shared by employees has two times the engagement rate of content shared by a company. With this in mind, a “people-first” strategy will help drive referral traffic to a company’s content and thought leadership. LinkedIn also helps sales people engage with prospects and build relationships early on — an important factor as Forrester Research indicates that 57 percent of the buyer’s journey happens before a sales rep is involved.

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