Better Connected: LinkedIn for Building Materials Brands
What’s Missing from Your Company’s Strategy?
In terms of age, LinkedIn is a fully fledged adult as a social media platform.
Launched in 2003 nine months before Facebook, LinkedIn turned 19 years old in May 2022. The community currently boasts 810 million members. Compare that to Facebook (almost three billion) and Instagram (1.2 billion). The platform’s numbers may be smaller, but its enduring appeal is that LinkedIn is engineered specifically for business interaction, networking, and career development.
Consider some statistics from a report compiled by Hootsuite, a leading social media management system:
- More than 16 percent of LinkedIn users in the United States log in every day.
- Nearly 50 percent of U.S. users log in at least once a month.
- An ad on LinkedIn can reach 14.6% of the world’s adult population.
If your building materials brand seeks to build or improve its social media program, LinkedIn most certainly should be part of the strategy. It places your company before high-value audiences in an environment tailored for brand building and business development. LinkedIn also enables you to share your expertise and insight on key industry topics, thereby increasing your thought leadership quotient and driving greater credibility for your brand.
Are you doing all you should be doing on LinkedIn to maximize return and drive business?
Lay a Foundation: Brand Building
Start by ensuring that your company has officially planted its flag on LinkedIn by establishing a company page. This requires a company email address for verification. Identify an administrator (someone within your organization or perhaps a member of your agency’s team), and then begin building a page. Provide a detailed company description. Upload your company logo. Embed links to both your website and other social media platforms for your brand. Give people a sense of how many employees you have and what kind of business you conduct, where you are located, and other basic pedigree information.
You’ve now established a home for your company on the platform.
According to the Hootsuite study, 30% of a company’s engagement on LinkedIn comes from that organization’s employees. Get your employees involved by inviting them to follow the company page.
Tell Your Brand’s Story: Content Marketing
With the basics in place, it is time to amplify your voice and drive conversations – about your expertise, your business, and your perspectives on the industry. A solid content marketing strategy is critical for your brand, and LinkedIn provides you with a platform to share and merchandise the stories you are telling on behalf of your organization.
Since LinkedIn is all about business, build a social media content calendar for the channel that highlights your thought leadership and helps to tell your brand story. Posts about products and innovations can certainly be part of the mix, but content that speaks to higher-level topics often drives even greater engagement.
Share a link to your most recent blog post that offers insight on a larger industry issue, whether it is sustainability, performance, aesthetics, energy efficiency, or some other hot-button topic. In this way, you are showcasing your brand to an audience primed to want to read more about the industry you serve, and you are driving them to your website for more information.
Consider other forms of content as well. Develop infographics that break down high-interest topics into easily digestible chunks of information. The visual nature of those infographics will more readily drive engagement on LinkedIn. Share a snippet of a video you have produced that highlights a customer testimonial on how you solved a critical problem on a construction project, enabling them to succeed. Include a link in the post to the full video or to a case study on your website. Or, develop and deploy a mini-survey on a high-interest topic within the industry. Drive followers to participate in the survey, and then publish the results. In doing so, you demonstrate you are monitoring the pulse of the building and construction industry.
Recruitment and Paid Advertising on LinkedIn
Nearly 50-million people use LinkedIn to search for jobs every week. Because virtual candidate sourcing is an integral part of the recruitment process (one that became even more prominent during the pandemic), using LinkedIn’s job posting service is a worthwhile consideration when recruiting for certain positions for your organization. This is particularly the case for building products companies who are seeking professionals in operations, sales, business development, marketing, product development, and related disciplines. Even if your HR team chooses not to opt for the fee-based recruitment features, consider posting the job opening on your company’s LinkedIn profile and having your team share the post. This widens the reach and enables you to potentially attract high-quality candidates.
When it comes to paid advertising, LinkedIn provides many options to drive awareness and lead generation for your building materials brand. LinkedIn’s built-in targeting enables you to identify and reach people in specific job functions, by seniority, by company name, by geography, and by industry. You can also target specific personas or use interest-based filtering, which enables you to reach out to people based on the LinkedIn groups they belong to, their field of study, or the skills that they list on their profile.
As far as formatting, LinkedIn ads come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing you to customize your message and creative – from text-based ads to carousel ads that allow the imagery to evolve and ones that feature videos. The ads appear in various places in the LinkedIn feed depending upon the format. Other ad formats focus on driving more followers for your page. You can even choose a “conversation ad” that enables you to deliver a direct message to a prospect or target via their LinkedIn messaging.
According to Hootsuite, brands have seen a 33% increase in purchase intent resulting from ad exposure on LinkedIn. By advertising on the platform, you are connecting with members early in the marketing funnel.
Moreover, LinkedIn’s metrics reporting for paid advertising is broad and detailed, enabling you to measure the performance of your ads, the level of engagement, video completion, and much more.
Built for Business
Four out of five people on LinkedIn drive business decisions. The Hootsuite study identifies this fact as one of the platform’s chief selling points: It can target an audience by their job, not just their demographics.
For these reasons, LinkedIn should appear as part of the consideration set when you are planning your next marketing campaign for your building products brand.
BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.