LinkedIn is the obvious choice when it comes to B2B marketing. Not only is it a great place to target senior stakeholders and C-suite executives, it also serves as a hub for brand awareness, credibility and community building. But how do you do this on a global level?
LinkedIn requires commitment. Keeping on top of your content creation, community engagement and status updates can feel overwhelming. But if you’re not taking advantage of the global opportunities for your brand, you’re missing out on a compelling marketing platform.
LinkedIn is front of mind when thinking about B2B marketing. However, globally, different platforms carry the same weight as LinkedIn – meaning there are other options to explore when looking at B2B marketing. Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your global marketing strategy.
In Japan, Facebook is the go-to choice for B2B marketing while Zyapaar is India’s first business networking platform. However, with over 65 million business decision-makers on Linkedin in over 200 territories and 26 languages, it makes sense to start here.
So, how do you appeal to a global audience on LinkedIn? Here are four tactics that will help.
1. YOUR PROFILE: REGIONAL OR GLOBAL?
When looking at your LinkedIn business account, you’ll need to make a strategic decision depending on your goals. Will you go for a single global account to appeal to all of your markets or a dedicated regional account for each one?
ONE GLOBAL PROFILE
Hilton Hotels uses various Instagram profiles that appeal to each region. Which makes sense as they’re selling the local environment, touristic activities as well as a place to stay while you soak in a new country.
However, they only have one profile on LinkedIn, featuring globally relevant content that appeals to a broader audience. Their posts also tap into regional markets, which secures brand awareness in pockets across the world.
Hilton is primarily focused on B2C marketing, therefore one global account may make more sense, rather than investing effort into several regional profiles.
LinkedIn is a chance to keep potential customers up-to-date and engaged with your worldwide progress – and that’s why you may choose a single profile approach if you’re a B2C brand.
SEVERAL REGIONAL PROFILES
When should you opt for a regional profile strategy? When you want to take your B2B relationships and marketing up a notch.
Scandit, a leader in smart data capture and barcode scanning from Zurich, has two LinkedIn profiles. One aimed at English speakers in Europe and the USA and one in Spanish for Latin America (LATAM). LATAM is a large market for them so it makes sense to prioritize a profile to appeal directly to decision-makers in these regions.
Arriva is another company championing regional LinkedIn profiles. They’re a leading passenger transport company and operational in 12 countries. With over 10 profiles in various regions, they’re targeting their desired audience in each market with locally relevant content.
When considering LinkedIn as a B2C marketplace and for brand awareness, one profile could be the way to go. However, if you’re aiming to generate B2B leads – regional or office-based profiles could be the way forward.
With either, your LinkedIn marketing and content strategy should be front of mind. Much like traditional search engine research, industry professionals and key decision-makers use LinkedIn’s search function to find who or what they’re looking for. Therefore, local-language keyword research and optimization for LinkedIn is as important as SEO.
Make sure your profile description is up to date with keywords that reflect your niche and that your content is optimized to pop up in the search results.
2. YOUR CONTENT
Once you’ve decided on your profile strategy, content comes next. Your approach will depend on your overall global marketing strategy and goals.
ONE GLOBAL PROFILE
If you decide to go for the single profile approach, how can you make sure your content and profile appeal to decision-makers in other languages and cultures?
To maintain a global tone, your images, videos and posts should reflect a worldwide audience. Images should represent a variety of people who could be from different regions – while still sticking with your target demographics. Your statuses and articles shouldn’t contain region-specific slang or idioms that can’t be easily understood.
Beyond this, your video content should appeal to an international audience. The global average consumption of videos is 100 minutes a day. And more B2B companies are turning to video marketing for product demos and service offerings.
Consider including subtitling to make it easier for people to follow along. Sometimes, your video may need transcreation or a complete script rewrite to appeal to an international audience.
SEVERAL REGIONAL PROFILES
If you decide to go for regional profiles, how can you make sure your content is localized and in your primary audiences’ native language? Once again, a marketing localization partner is the way to go.
Your communication with senior stakeholders and key decision-makers within your target region will be smoother if you’re drawing them in with engaging content. Extensive market research, audience profiling and insights are surefire ways to create content that addresses local pain points and resonates with these audiences.
It’s important to note that LinkedIn doesn’t currently have a built-in translation tool. Additionally, automated translations often lose nuance and personality. And, when pushing out video and image content to specific locales, it’s important to factor in cultural differences and language barriers.
Some considerations are text expansion, cultural sensitivities and local trends. When adapting your content, use in-country resources who, informed by in-market insights, focus on localizing design elements based on the original source.
When looking at images and video, it’s essential to factor in the same things as a global approach. Videos may need dubbing or subtitling in a local language as well as transcreation to appeal to a smaller audience.
Once your content has been localized and reaches your target audience in a way that they understand and appreciate, the next step is to continue the conversation via community engagement and management.
3. YOUR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Community is a key pillar for social media authenticity and brand awareness. And when you think of community, you think of communication. 4 out of 5 people on LinkedIn are business decision-makers – and if you’re missing out on conversations with them, you’re missing an opportunity.
With LinkedIn’s native InMail feature, you can directly communicate with your target audience, including senior stakeholders, without needing a prior connection. Plus, InMail has a three times higher response rate than traditional cold emailing.
Engaging with their content (e.g. liking and commenting on their posts) is another great way to get your foot in the door. If they reply to you, you’re already one step ahead. Monzo is trailblazing community management on LinkedIn with witty responses, leaving no comment or tag unanswered.
Community engagement can be a full-time job in itself. Fitting a community manager into your LinkedIn marketing strategy and budget is key to standing out above the rest in 2023. And finding on-ground support that offers in-language, in-market community management can take those conversations across borders.
4. YOUR PAID ADS
LinkedIn ads have the power to reach 14.6% of the world’s population. And their parameters are hyper-specific, so you can choose who sees your ad, raise brand awareness and drive lead generation around the world. You can target your ads based on region, age, company demographics (e.g. industry and revenue), job titles, functions and more.
As with your content, localizing adverts will better engage the people you’re targeting. Choose content like images and video that appeal directly to your target audience and use language that speaks to them, too.
When marketing in other regions, cultures or languages, technical terminology can easily be misunderstood. Localizing your ads and using glossaries and translation memory tools can make sure your B2B ads are consistent, relevant and effective.
Market research is an important step in gathering key data about your target audience. What formats do specific markets prefer? What messaging are they more likely to respond to?
Depending on the answers, you may need to create ads from scratch rather than localize existing content. With insight into who you’re targeting, you can ensure your use of budget is targeted for maximum results and ROI.
LinkedIn marketing, when done right, can skyrocket lead generation and brand awareness all over the world. As a B2B marketing platform, it provides a lot of tools to connect with new international leads or ‘the one who got away’. And, it should form part of your global social media strategy.
If you’re looking to dive into LinkedIn as part of your global marketing strategy, or would like to find out which platform is best suited for your B2B international goals, get in touch here.
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