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How To Make LinkedIn Your Top B2B Social Media Platform



Eight in 10 B2B marketers use LinkedIn to market their brand. Of that group, 40% say it is their No. 1 platform.

In the next year, 54% of marketers say they plan to up their organic activity on LinkedIn according to the 2022 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner (gated). Forty-three percent use LinkedIn as a lead generator, while over one-third buy LinkedIn ads.

8 in 10 #B2B marketers use @LinkedIn to market their brand. 40% say it’s their No. 1 platform according to @SMExaminer via Aleksandra Iakovleva of @VistaCreate @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

That’s a lot of activity happening on LinkedIn. Of course, that doesn’t mean all that activity delivers what you want to achieve. It takes more than an on-site presence to use LinkedIn successfully. It’s about optimizing your brand’s presence and developing quality paid and organic content.

These tips can help you do just that – and I’ve added some inspiration from four companies already making the most of their LinkedIn presence.

Optimizing isn’t just for traditional search

Your company has a presence on LinkedIn, but is it making the most of that existence? These five tips can ensure that you do.

1. Do SEO

Including keywords related to your business can help your targeted audience using LinkedIn’s search feature to discover your page.

Incorporate the most relevant in your page’s headline, tagline, and summary. Add more keywords to your posts. Make sure not to overdo it — repeating keywords over and over isn’t a good practice for traditional search, and it isn’t smart for LinkedIn search either. Instead, use keywords sparingly so that they fit seamlessly into your content.

2. Customize your URL

You don’t have to keep the random numbers and letters that LinkedIn used to generate your page URL. You can alter your URL to align with your business.

This URL – – was altered to make it look like this:

One is nonsense; one perfectly represents our brand name.

To change your URL, go to the business page:

  • In the left sidebar, select Edit Page, then click on page info.
  • Under the header LinkedIn public URL, you can change the suffix of your URL in the text box.
  • Click save at the top of the box.

Now, you can help visitors clearly see the brand in the URL, as well as improve brand awareness when promoting the page link.

Don’t let your brand’s @LinkedIn URL stay a jumble of letters and numbers. Change it to incorporate your brand name, says Aleksandra Iakovleva of @VistaCreate via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

3. Add external links

Whether your goal with LinkedIn is to generate leads, make sales, or increase your brand awareness, you want to drive traffic to your external pages. The best way to do that is to include external links to your business’ portfolio and a direct link to your website in your profile.

4. Implement a coherent design

A brand design is vital when it comes to recognition. In fact, even having a signature color can result in an increase in brand recognition. Your brand should have an instantly recognizable logo, color scheme, and text type. Your LinkedIn page should be no different.

On LinkedIn, you have both a profile picture and a banner image. Make sure you fit your brand’s visual identity and communicate immediately what your audience can expect as they are the first things they see when they click on your page. Don’t shy away from tapping into current design trends to make your LinkedIn page and posts look more modern. When a post is visually appealing, it inevitably gets more attention and engagement.

5. Listen to the data

Luckily, LinkedIn has the next best thing to reading people’s minds with its incredible analytics system.

You can track a number of important metrics – total page views, clicks from unique visitors, and frequency of clicks on external links.

It also allows you to compare your results with your competitors to see how you measure up, in addition to giving a full breakdown of your lead generation analytics.

By studying the data, you can figure out which features of your page are and aren’t working. You can then tailor each aspect of your page as appropriate.

Investing in paid content on LinkedIn

LinkedIn paid content opportunities are varied and useful. They include sponsored content, sponsored messages, text ads, and dynamic ads. Let’s walk through each one.

1. Sponsored content

Pay to promote a piece of your posted content to expand your reach. It will show up as “promoted” content on the home page of LinkedIn users targeted by your brand. Sponsored content can be text only, incorporate an image, video, or carousel, or be an event.

2. Sponsored messages

While sponsored content appears in the news feed, sponsored messages are delivered directly to the LinkedIn user’s inbox. This feature lets you target individual consumers with a personalized message.

This seems like a slam dunk of an opportunity, right? But interestingly, according to LinkedIn, while 89% of consumers say they would like to use messaging with businesses, only 48% of businesses use this tactic to engage with their audience.

Most consumers say they would like businesses to use messaging, but less than half of brands do it, says Aleksandra Iakovleva of @VistaCreate via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

3. Text ads

If you go onto your LinkedIn home page, you can see in the top right corner a little box titled “Promoted” with three small ads. Each one has a headline above less than two lines of text.

These LinkedIn text ads are short and snappy. You can target an audience using broad factors such as location all the way down to detailed criteria such as job titles.

For a bit more info on text ads, check out this resource from LinkedIn.

4. Dynamic ads

Dynamic ads are an amazing resource. Essentially, each ad is tailored to the viewer based on their LinkedIn profile data – profile photos, company names, job titles, etc.

Dynamic ads perfectly blend wide outreach with tailored individual ads. That is a win-win in my book.

Finding inspiration

Let’s look at how some brands use LinkedIn in strategic and effective ways.

1. Post content that resonates

You’ve got to make sure your posted content is packed full of value. Tell stories, demonstrate how your business can help, express your opinion on an industry topic, and explain statistics you’ve noted. In short, create content that your audience wants to read.

This post from dairy-free milk provider Oatly focuses on its European audience, explaining how cow-based milk affects school children in part because of their emission of carbon dioxide. It outlines the European Commission’s willingness to hear about plant-based alternatives. The call to action includes a link to a petition, a link to learn more, and a link to the sources cited in the post.

This post also incorporates both text and video and clearly outlines the brand’s position.

2. Use an authentic voice

People buy from companies they trust. Make sure your posts are created with that trust-building in mind.

Giving your business an authentic voice means that your business will come across as a real living and breathing organization that has a sense of humanity rather than a cold, hard, and bland corporation.

Innocent Drinks, a UK-based smoothie maker, lets its personality shine through in this LinkedIn post about its Beacon Project. Here’s the opening paragraph:

Last week was World Bee Day. We couldn’t bee-lieve it either. Sorry. We know we probably should have posted about it last week on the actual day, but we’ve just been such busy bees. Not sorry for that one, it’s a corker. With that in mind, we wanted to share some exciting news about the Beacon Project. It’s our three-year campaign to test how different ways of farming can promote wild pollinators and make the fruit trees even more fruitful and resilient to climate change.

That’s a lot of bee-related puns, which indicates the voice of Innocent Drinks is filled with humor and is bold and expressive.

3. Use hashtags properly

Hashtags are still a powerful tool on LinkedIn. They can be used to add a bit of emphasis to your posts, but they’re also a key tool for branching out to new audiences and improving your discoverability.

But hashtags should be used sparingly and specifically. It’s best to keep hashtags to fewer than five in the body or bottom of the post.

In this post from L’Oréal about living wages, the personal care company incorporates two relevant hashtags into the text – #LivingWage and #HumanRights. Anyone who enters the hashtag will most likely find L’Oréal’s post. That can increase their brand awareness and show them as a company that cares about sensitive issues.

4. Make it multimedia

When creating a post, you could just write text. But why waste the opportunity to mix the media? You can add photos and videos, share an event, or even engage with your audience through polls.

Using media in your LinkedIn posts helps get eyes on your content. In fact, according to LinkedIn, posts that contain an image can result in up to 98% more comments. So you could be cutting engagement simply by not incorporating a visual element in your post.

Take this post from UK-based plant-based food company THIS. The crisp cold beer next to the deep red of the burger instantly catches your eye (and your stomach). Paired with the hand sticking out of the beer to make the “I” in “THIS” you’ve got yourself an absolute winner of an image with little explanatory text needed.


One more LinkedIn success ingredient

You’ve optimized your page and followed best practices in creating the content. But there’s one important factor to address – how frequently should you publish that quality, relevant, and optimized content.

LinkedIn has one of the longest content lifespans of all the social media platforms, with each post expected to stay on a person’s page for around 24 hours — that’s 18 hours longer than Facebook.

So instead of concentrating on constantly posting content, concentrate on posting content consistently. Pick a schedule that works for you and stick to it.

It allows your audience to reliably trust that your content will come through without constantly being bombarded. And as you know, that trust from your audience is the best and most far-reaching outcome of your LinkedIn content.


 Register to attend Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio. Use the code BLOG100 to save $100. 

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists



Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.


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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots



A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)



Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.



To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.

Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

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