LinkedIn is a B2B gold mine…
It’s where most Fortune 500 decision-makers and executives like to spend their spare time.
The best part?
More often than not, they’re actually scrolling through actively looking for valuable content to read. There isn’t the same barrier you need to break down like on other social platforms like Facebook. They’re not there to find Buzzfeed quizzes, wedding photos, or memes. They’re looking for content that can change the way they do business, which is most definitely music to the ears of a B2B marketer.
Still, if you haven’t dug into LinkedIn yet, the time you need to commit could be frightening. Not to mention you need to know how to cut through the noise if you want to make it all worth it.
To help you out, we’ve highlighted the 45 most important stats every B2B marketer needs to know about LinkedIn, all compiled from the best research available on the web. We’ll show you the key findings from studies conducted by HubSpot, Business Insider, Content Marketing Institute, Buzzsumo, OkDork.com, and more…
Everything from how many B2B leads come from LinkedIn to how to write the perfect LinkedIn article title that’ll maximize your reach. You’ll be able to use this post as a go-to resource for all things LinkedIn. Make sure you bookmark it to reference later.
So what are these findings?
We’ve broken down the stats into a few sections:
There’s also a recap at the end if you’re in a rush, but you’ll definitely get a lot more from it if you go through each section. Even if you just skim through and dig into the stats that catch your eye, there’s plenty of value to be taken here.
BONUS: We all know that LinkedIn is taking off. We know that it’s becoming a great channel for marketers, new grads and professionals of all industries. Here’s a great video that covers some of the most common LinkedIn mistakes that people are still making in 2018:
Let’s get to it:
According to Business Insider Intelligence, TechCrunch & Fortune, LinkedIn has officially crossed the half-billion user mark in 2017. Since they were founded in 2002, they’ve continued to grow their user base year after year.
LinkedIn’s monthly active user base reached 260 million in March 2017. That’s almost 2.5x the 106 million monthly active users last reported in 2016. This number comes from research conducted by web usage company Apptopia and has not been confirmed by LinkedIn.
Of those using the platform monthly, up to 40% are accessing it on a daily basis. If that is the case, that’s over 100 million professionals you could be targeting every single day. To make that even more excited, LinkedIn users typically use the platform to find relevant content, meaning they’ll be much more willing to check out what you’re sharing. We’ll dig into that one soon though…
If you think 500 million is enough for LinkedIn to sit back and celebrate, you couldn’t be more wrong. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has said he wants LinkedIn to be the home of all working professional across the world, and be the central hub for every job posting across the estimated 70 million companies worldwide. As of right now, that number works out to around 3 billion people. They’re not done hustling.
This comes straight from LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Blog. From a B2B perspective, the decision-makers you’re trying to reach are using LinkedIn. If you double down on your LinkedIn efforts, you’ll be able to target the right people in the place they like to spend their scrolling time.
Another B2B statistic from LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Blog that should definitely peak your interest.. This just serves as further proof that LinkedIn is the place to go to reach your ideal customers and clients.
Last June, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn with a hefty price tag north of $25 billion. LinkedIn had been trending down before the acquisition, but have since righted the ship. If Microsoft saw $26.2 billion worth of potential in the platform, you shouldn’t turn the blind eye.
According to LinkedIn and Adweek, Millennials make up a significant chunk of LinkedIn’s total user base. Like it or not, Millennials are the decision-makers of the future (and present in many cases). As a B2B marketer, this should be seen as a great opportunity to get in front of them now.
You simply cannot ignore Millennials, and you don’t necessarily have to crack the Snapchat marketing code to reach them. There are 11 million Millennial decision makers on LinkedIn. That makes it entirely possible to get to the Millennials holding buying power without touching Snapchat or Instagram.
Mobile is booming and LinkedIn’s mobile user numbers reflect that. Their mobile user count is climbing every month, which only makes it easier to reach the people you’re trying to reach. Mobile makes it easier for a user to just open the app and scroll through, giving you more opportunities to reach them.
MindSea Founder & CEO Bill Wilson just published a great post on their blog highlighting Six Mobile Trends The Best CMOs Are Paying Attention To that’s definitely worth checking out for even more info on what’s trending in the mobile world.
According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn’s slidedeck sharing platform SlideShare is up to at least 70 million users monthly. SlideShare expert and Foundation Marketing President Ross Simmonds has long been an advocate of the platform and its marketing potential. Check out his most-viewed SlideShare deck on Instagram Marketing with over 345,000 views:
This serves as both proof of its credibility and an opportunity to make a name for yourself on the platform. While 18 million pieces of content is a lot, it’s certainly not as high as you may expect with 70 million users. A forward-thinking B2B marketer like you should definitely see this as a major opportunity and start sharing valuable content, even if you’re just repurposing past blog posts. Start with this SlideShare deck from Ross Simmonds on how to create presentation slides that drive sales:
According to LinkedIn’s Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn, 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel, compared to Twitter at 89%, Facebook and YouTube both at 77%, and Google+ 61%. If you have content to distribute (which you definitely should), LinkedIn should be your first stop. It’s where most B2B marketers go first.
Every single week, content in the LinkedIn feed is seen 9 billion times. That’s about 36 billion impressions per month and 468 billion per year. The opportunity to be seen most definitely exists if you share content consistently.
Your eyes should have just lit up… Of the 500 million total LinkedIn users and 250 million monthly active users, only 3 million share content on a weekly basis – just a touch over 1% of monthly users. That means 3 million users are getting 9 billion impressions each week. We don’t even have to tell you why you should start sharing content on LinkedIn each and every week.
Yes, more than half of all social traffic to B2B sites comes from LinkedIn. Collectively, LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter drive 90% of social traffic to B2B sites & blogs, with more than half of that traffic comes straight from LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter may have more monthly active users, but LinkedIn clearly separates itself as the go-to for B2B content distribution.
When marketing executives were asked where the top places to find relevant, high-quality content was, the results weren’t even close. A massive 91% said LinkedIn, while only 29% said Twitter and 27% said Facebook. LinkedIn is the place decision-makers go to find valuable content. As a B2B marketer creating content, LinkedIn is the place to be.
If you’re looking to follow what expert B2B marketers are doing, start with LinkedIn. In terms of what channels are included in their content marketing mix, 92% of B2B marketers listed LinkedIn. Twitter was next at 87%, then Facebook at 76%, YouTube at 67%, and Instagram at just 15%. The best B2B marketers have bought into LinkedIn’s potential.
500 million LinkedIn users and only 0.2% have published an article using LinkedIn’s publisher platform. Something as simple as republishing your content on LinkedIn can put you in a unique group of contributors boosting each piece of content you create. As far as the LinkedIn algorithm goes, native posts published through this platform seem to get more love than external links, making this an even greater opportunity.
If you’re looking for an even deeper dive into the LinkedIn algorithm: How Does The LinkedIn Algorithm Determine What Goes Viral?
What makes LinkedIn articles even better for B2B marketers is the fact that most readers are high-level decision makers. Not only can you get your content boosted by using their publisher platform, you can get it boosted and read by the people you want reading it.
In 2014, only 1000 articles were published monthly. In 2015, that number jumped up to 80,000 per month, then jumped again in 2016 to 130,000 articles being published each month. That means the 1,000,000 LinkedIn publishers are sharing 130,000 articles each month. That shows that the people who publish LinkedIn articles are seeing enough value in them and good enough results to keep going back to the well and publishing more. Further proof LinkedIn articles are a tool you need to factor into your content distribution checklist.
Noah Kagan of OkDork.com dug into viral LinkedIn posts to hunt for trends on what type content performs the best. His findings are game-changing. As for the sweet spot when it comes to content length, you should be aiming for long-form but not too long-form. His results showed 1900 word articles got the most shares, so aiming for between 1700 & 2100 words should give your content a boost.
OkDork also found that how-to posts get almost 2x as many views as question posts. When you’re creating content with LinkedIn views in mind, you should focus on how-to posts and list style posts and steer clear of question posts.
There’s a longstanding belief that content consumers subconsciously prefer odd numbers. OkDork’s findings pretty clearly support that belief. Whether you’re creating a list-style post or not, keep it to 5, 7, or 9 headings.
People on LinkedIn really like lists, and they like their lists short and easy to digest. Content Marketing Institute found that 30 of the 500 most shared posts on LinkedIn were lists of 5-10 items. We’re breaking the rules with this post, but sometimes you just have too much valuable info to deliver. Whenever you can, aim for those quick lists and try to go with an odd number.
Obviously, LinkedIn influencers like Richard Branson, Guy Kawasaki, and Gary Vaynerchuk have a much better shot at going viral than the rest of us. They’ve built up massive followings that greatly increase their organic reach. That said, of the top 30 LinkedIn articles shared in 2015 and 2016, only 12 and 13 respectively were written by influencers. Some of the viral authors had only published a single post on the platform. It’s not easy, but you don’t have to be Neil Patel or Jason Lemkin to go viral on LinkedIn.
Further proof that you don’t need to be labelled as an influencer with a massive following to go viral on LinkedIn. Only 669 of the top 10,000 posts since 2012 were written by LinkedIn Influencers. If you can use these article creation best practices, you’ve got a good chance of seeing success. Factor in how few people are currently publishing articles and your chances are that much greater.
While the difference here isn’t as significant as some of his other findings, OkDork’s research shows that titles in the 30-50 character range are ideal, with 40 being the best and the target you should aim for.
When you’re creating a post for LinkedIn, use exactly 8 images. Any more or less and your potential post views will drop significantly. The reasoning is a toss-up here. Perhaps the LinkedIn algorithm favours posts with exactly 8 images the most, or maybe readers are just subconsciously more likely to share if they see 8 images. Either way, these results are pretty clear-cut.
Video is trending big time pretty much across the board right now. That said, LinkedIn articles are not one of the spots to include them. OkDork found that articles with 0 videos performed the best, with a steady decline as you increase the amount of video included.
If you’re not familiar with Moz’s domain authority, it’s the score a website gets out of 100 to reflect how a search engine ranks them. LinkedIn has a perfect 100, which pretty much means Google loves them. The benefit for you as a B2B marketer and content creator is that every article you publish on LinkedIn is indexed and will show up in Google searches, with that domain authority giving you the best over other native content ranking for the same keywords.
This one stat alone should be enough to convince you to start investing your time in LinkedIn as a B2B marketer. Of all B2B leads coming from social media, LinkedIn is responsible for 80%. That’s 4 out of every 5 leads coming from LinkedIn. All other platforms combined make up less than 20%, including Facebook and Twitter. Fewer users definitely does not mean less B2B leads.
Given that 80% of all B2B leads come from LinkedIn, this number probably seems quite low. Still, the majority of B2B marketers look at LinkedIn as a great place to generate quality leads for their business. You should too.
Of a group of B2B marketers surveyed, 59% were able to confidently say LinkedIn is generating leads for them. That number would quite likely be even higher if not for the 33% who were unsure on where their leads were coming from. Regardless, LinkedIn is still twice as effective than Facebook and Twitter both.
More than 1 in 3 B2B marketers say LinkedIn generates revenue for their business. That’s 3x more than Twitter, 4x more than Facebook & 19x more than Instagram. Although the majority aren’t able to identify where revenue is coming from, LinkedIn is the clear leader amongst those who could.
This ties back to the number of decision-makers using LinkedIn. When targeting B2B customers and clients, LinkedIn is the preferred destination over all other social platforms, including Facebook. While Facebook has a larger user base, the fact that LinkedIn users are more willing to do business on the platform than they would be on Facebook drives this number up.
SaaS company Replicon used sponsored InMail to reach specific decision-makers. This is not to say email is dying. It most definitely is not. What this shows is that targeting decision-makers directly in LinkedIn can be effective. Fortune 500 executives most likely have an email inbox crowded with emails they’ll never even see, let alone read. LinkedIn’s sponsored InMail (their messaging platform) offers a unique channel of getting your message in front of the big-time executives.
LinkedIn is the leader in driving traffic back to your business’ website and blog. If you’re using content to drive traffic, conversions, and sales, you need to be sharing it on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn lead gen forms are an advertising option provided by the platform. While it’s by no means a requirement for generating leads and driving traffic and sales, advertising on LinkedIn has proven to be profitable for the majority of B2B marketers allocating a portion of their ad spend there. Again, this is driven by the number of decision makers using the platform on daily basis.
In a HubSpot study, LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3x higher than Twitter at 0.69% and Facebook at 0.77%. Not only do more potential leads land on your website through LinkedIn, they’re also more qualified and willing to buy.
With LinkedIn users more likely to do business with someone they encounter on the platform, the fact that 65% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn should not come as a surprise. It’s the place to go for B2B marketers looking to generate more leads and build up their customer or client list.
Company pages on LinkedIn aren’t being given as much love as they deserve. While it’s true a personal connection is typically better to have in business, the company page can be key to generating leads. Of all posts from B2B marketers, only 0.59% come from company pages, even though over 10% of all leads are coming from those posts. We wouldn’t recommend abandoning all B2B lead generation efforts from your personal account, but this statistic definitely says you should be putting more eggs in the company page’s basket.
Want to increase conversions? When posting to any B2B group on LinkedIn, create your subject line as a question as often as possible. Business 2 Community found that of all posts that converted, roughly 33% included a question mark.
You don’t need to go overboard on the word count when posting to LinkedIn for lead generation purposes. According to Oktopost.com, the ideal character count is 248. That’s about 40 words. Short and sweet can get the job done if you provide enough value in those 40 words.
From 2015 to 2016, the use of company pages more than doubled. B2B marketers are quickly realizing the potential a company page brings to the lead generation side of things. If you’re looking to reach new customers or clients on LinkedIn, having a company page with an updated description is a major difference-maker.
You should also be sharing content from the page as consistently as possible, even if it’s just high-quality curated content in your industry. The more content you share, the more opportunities your company has to be seen.
In a rush and couldn’t read them all?
No worries, here are the top 7 LinkedIn stats every B2B marketer needs to know:
LinkedIn is without a doubt the place to be for B2B marketers.
Start maximizing your content marketing efforts on LinkedIn with the Stand Out Content Marketing Guide and be sure to drop a comment with your thoughts.
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