LinkedIn is the perfect place for B2B marketing. Certainly, it’s an excellent place to network and connect with prospects. But LinkedIn also offers a number of other benefits for marketers, including lead generation, keyword research, and social ads.
With this in mind, it’s important to find marketing automation software that will help you maximize your customer engagement and conversion rates. But how do you know if the marketing automation software you’re interested in is good enough? And what features should you look out for?
Here we discuss what makes a great marketing automation software for the LinkedIn platform.
Why LinkedIn is a great place for B2B marketing
LinkedIn is the number one professional networking platform in the world, with over 750 million users. You’ll find users from many industries in many job positions, and as a B2B marketing tool, it’s a match made in heaven.
It’s like the old adage that flying first-class connects you with other business travellers who are both willing and able to help. There are a lot of business travellers on LinkedIn, and they’re looking to connect with like-minded professionals. This is great news for marketers on LinkedIn.
Of course, prospecting on LinkedIn isn’t exactly easy, though you have a lot of tools to search for people based on professional criteria. But even with convenient search parameters, you’ll still spend a lot of time building your lead list.
That’s where outreach automation comes in. For instance, you can use the Salesflow cloud-based automation tool, but it won’t take your work away entirely. However, it will reduce considerably the time it takes to find the people you want in the long run and funnel leads farther towards conversion before you need to work with them on the phone or in person.
However, not all marketing outreach software is made the same. And, because LinkedIn is a real-time communication platform, you’ll need a tool that can scale effectively and appropriately.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of features you’ll want in automated marketing software, with a focus on LinkedIn-specific benefits.
What features should a marketing automation software for LinkedIn have?
Automated Prospecting and Outreach
Automated prospecting and outreach is an easy win for B2B marketers because you’ll find the results are worth the effort in terms of engagement. You want the software to be able to sort profiles based on your criteria, and automatically build your lead list.
So for a B2B marketer, you would ideally be targeting prospects based on their industry and position, because you only want leads who are 1) in an industry that can be serviced by your B2B, and 2) are business owners so they can actually make the decision to work with you.
Once you have a lead list, automated outreach allows you to send contact requests and messages, or, in the most ideal case, emails. We’ll talk more about automated chat responses later on, but the software’s automated outreach should be capable of answering questions posed by prospects in an intelligent manner, not simply a menu of canned responses that don’t keep the conversation going.
Let’s say you’ve launched an email campaign with an automated outreach feature, and you’ve lost some of the data to a hacker. How do you know whether the system was hacked? What if they are able to hack the whole system and send emails without your knowledge?
Cloud-based security in your B2B marketing software is among the most important features a business user should consider because you want your data to be available when it is needed and secure. The software should offer security features like password encryption, 2FA (two-factor authentication), and alerts for suspicious logins and activities, as well as storing your data in encrypted cloud servers.
Intelligent AI responses
As we mentioned above, you don’t want your automated messages to simply be a canned-response chatbot, you need the software to engage the prospect and make the conversation more conversational.
We’re not talking about a disembodied voice coming out of the software, though that’s possible as well. But, if you want your automated email marketing software to respond with relevant and unique questions that inspire action, you’ll need an intelligent response mechanism.
For example, the chatbot should be able to expand on information from the prospect’s input, so if they ask a question like “How will this improve my business?”, the chatbot should be able to respond with a real-world example.
Because most leads may not be well-versed in your industry, a conversational tone will prove more effective than standard responses, so your automated email marketing should be able to adapt to that as well.
But it should also make attempts to funnel the prospect towards conversion, using call-to-action terminology that the prospect is likely to recognize, like “read our white paper to learn more.”
An easy-to-read analytics dashboard
The automation software needs to allow you to see how your marketing efforts are affecting your sales and engagement. If you’re using a marketing automation system, a default setup will present you with a fairly easy-to-understand dashboard that includes key metrics like how many leads have been generated, how many messages have been sent, and how many prospects have clicked your website or scheduled a call.
However, there’s more to the dashboard than just giving you such basic metrics. You should be able to drill down into specific stats and view trends in your campaigns. For example, if the system showed you that prospects for your B2B had a 12% response rate on your emails, then you should be able to drill down and see why your response rate is that low.
This is why your dashboard should also be able to support A/B testing, and allow you to track and analyze the results of different messages. For example, if you find a group of prospects is responding better to a call-to-action website link compared to a telephone call link, you would use that valuable information to optimize your next campaign.
Each and every B2B marketing software is different, and they all have different requirements and different features. However, all are capable of automating repetitive tasks and promoting engagement. What matters here is that the automation software you choose has LinkedIn-friendly features, and is able to stay under the radar of LinkedIn’s policy on spam and bot usage.