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Is LinkedIn the only B2B platform to reach the global business community?

LinkedIn is the number one platform to reach B2B audiences in the global business community. In fact, I spend most of my time in LinkedIn posting content, engaging with the community, and also sourcing candidates for open positions. I am logged in pretty much all day.

I have launched several campaigns throughout the years and constantly help clients break through the clutter of LinkedIn in order to reach their audiences with content marketing and thought leadership programs.

Recently, I put together a mock campaign and built an audience of developers in the US. I included some of the parameters of location, language, company size and also added the following member skills - Python programming language as well as Java. Lastly I included a masters and bachelor’s degree in computer science.

That gave me a business community size of 280K audience members on LinkedIn.

And as I was playing with the numbers, I realized that it could get expensive to buy media on LinkedIn.CPMs can be anywhere between $3 to $15. I have seen instances where CPC were anywhere between $5 to $15 per click which is not ideal.

So it’s expensive. It’s effective. And if you have large budgets, it’s great.

What other platforms can reach the B2B business community?

I want to talk about other alternative B2B platforms to reach audiences. The first one is Facebook and I think that we can all agree that for the most part and historically Facebook has been the place where consumers are having conversations about unfortunately, politics and sports.

And it’s one that I have used for posting photos of my kids, basketball games, sports sand entertainment.

But I would say for the last couple of years, it has shifted and now includes a more broad spectrum of conversations happening within the business community. This usually happen through private Facebook groups or public Facebook pages.

I have been very successful at using Facebook for demand gen and drive traffic to 3rd party web sites to download a white paper or a blog post because of its targeting capabilities. The targeting is more advanced than LinkedIn, it’s less expensive as well. And so again, if you are thinking about building a business community of developers or CEOs or CIOs, Facebook is not that place to do that. They are not going to Facebook to engage with other people.

What they will do if they see something relevant in their feed is they will click on it and then hopefully do what you want them to do after they click.

I put together a basic media plan to show the audience profile and highlight how big the global business community is on Facebook.

The audience parameters were that they were in the U.S., English speaking between 20-65 years old. Their primary interests are engineering and AI, with job titles like programmer, developer, engineer, etc.

So you can see that there is 3.8M developers on Facebook that fit into this criteria.That's not small.

What about Twitter and the business community?

I would argue that Twitter is one of the top two social channels to reach B2B audiences and a global business community. One of the biggest differentiators from the other social media platforms is that Twitter has an open API. This just means that B2B marketers can use social listening to search Twitter bios.

Most people who work in B2B or tech are not shy about telling others who they are, what they do and their job titles. This makes it very easy to find developers, engineers, CIOs and other IT Decision Makers within the larger job function.

I recently used Brandwatch to search BIOS for software engineers. You will see from the screenshot below that there are over 189K software engineers on Twitter. It's important to note here that engineers also refer to themselves as developers, programmers, etc., So this isn't even the entire audience.

This is Brandwatch Audiences screenshot software engineers.

Twitter also allows you to upload custom audiences in the form of unique Twitter handles. So imagine for a second, being able to build an audience of software engineers across different tech stacks, uploading them onto Twitter and then targeting them with a specific campaign.

In a nutshell, I would encourage you to look beyond just the core LinkedIn platform to reach different audiences. In any B2B content strategy, you will have to customize your approach, messaging, and creative execution to different audiences. The CIO will not consume the same content as a software engineer.


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