LinkedIn Marketing for B2B – Why B2B companies need to build more emotional capital.
This post reflects some recent thoughts that I’ve had that can be applied to LinkedIn Marketing for B2B companies.
I had always assumed that the deepest emotional connections were created by B2C brands with consumers. Think of Christmas advertising campaigns. The competition to connect with our core emotions is fierce. The success of the John Lewis Christmas campaign, for example, is measured by how deeply people are moved and connected to the story.
But it’s not just at Christmas. All-year-round consumer brands compete to trigger our innermost fears, needs and the universal need for belonging. They understand that connecting to our most primal needs will impact buying decisions.
What I didn’t realise is that B2B buyers are significantly more emotionally connected with vendors than consumers are to B2C brands. Emotion doesn’t always have to reveal itself so abruptly. Like a wave of influential memories, intense sadness, joy or happiness. Evoking trust, confidence, concern and suspicion can be just as powerful and influential, but less obvious to a buyer.
B2B decisions often require much longer and more intense consideration than is needed for consumer products. But weighing up these complex decisions doesn’t erase the emotional component – it deepens it, as research into B2B buying has shown.
Google and partners found that on average, B2B brands made an emotional connection with more than 50% of customers, compared with just 10-40% for B2C brands. B2B purchase decisions have a huge impact on businesses. But those individuals care about the personal impact as well as the bottom line.
Trust, confidence and reassurance are the most powerful differentiators for B2B brands. But rarely are customers able to differentiate between brands on these dimensions. The most significant differentiator is the emotional benefit a customer feels from making a particular choice.
Humans first, please
Making an emotional connection with your customers is not just the domain of B2C brands. It’s also an essential driver of success in B2B. And forging an emotional connection with customers is much simpler when you have a human telling the story.
Faceless, corporate brands often struggle to connect. This is a story played out well on LinkedIn. It’s standard practice for companies to have their corporate, company page on the platform. But the real magic takes place away from there, on employees and executives profiles. This is where customers can connect and engage with fellow humans.
Publishing regular, quality content on executives’ LinkedIn pages provides a golden opportunity for B2B organisations to build emotional connections with new and prospective customers. By following a more personal approach to corporate strategy, good LinkedIn content, synced across the business, can help raise social credibility, trust and confidence in your organisation.
Learn more about LinkedIn Marketing for B2B
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