LinkedIn Sales Navigator isn't for marketing teams. It's in the name, right? Wrong: Sales Nav offers up a big opportunity for marketers to up their content and outbound games.
Marketers, just as much as sales reps, can use the powerful search functions of Sales Nav to identify, reach, and engage with their audiences.
No, it won't be as far reaching as high-volume SEO keywords or ad retargeting. But for certain types of marketing—including content-heavy and influencer efforts—Sales Nav is a valuable addition to your marketing toolkit.
As a marketer, you can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to...
- Find niche thought leaders for influencer marketing
- Build better backlink campaigns
- Amplify the reach of your most compelling content
The TL;DR version of this article: advanced search and saved lead lists can work as the foundation for bigger and better outbound email and content marketing. LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help as you search for new ways to engage with your audience.
That's the long-story-short; but if you're looking for a bit more tactical advice than that, read on.
Sales Navigator isn't just for Sales
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is typically used by sales teams for prospecting and account-based sales efforts.
The three most attractive features of Sales Nav are...
- Advanced filters: Narrow in on a specific audience with the ability to filter by company, interest, position, and more.
- Saved lead lists: Keep track of specific people of interest by saving up to 1,500 leads at once.
- Additional InMail messages: Receive 30 InMail messages each month to send to high-value contacts (though, with that limitation, you'll also want a way to email contacts).
So how can you use Sales Nav (a tool your sales team is likely already using) for content marketing?
All three of those features are just as attractive for marketing teams as for sales teams. As LinkedIn points out, "Sales Navigator features a powerful set of search capabilities, improved visibility into extended networks, and personalized algorithms to help you reach the right decision maker."
So, just like Sales, you as a marketer can use Sales Nav to connect to the right people by using LinkedIn's extensive data and powerful search.
Here are three ways to do that.
1. Find niche thought leaders for influencer marketing
The most common approach that marketers take to find influencers for B2B marketing is fairly straightforward: Use platforms like BuzzSumo to Ahrefs to identify shared content, then reach out to the authors of those articles and posts.
But that approach can be limiting. Social shares don't always equate with industry leadership, and tracking down authors can be difficult.
Why not start with the influencers themselves?
On LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can use advanced filters to find leaders in your niche, or for your specific topic, quickly. Among the advanced filters that will work particularly well for influencer marketing are these:
- Group membership
- Leads mentioned in the news
- Leads with recent LinkedIn activity
- Posted content keyword
- Years of experience
Once you have a list of interesting leaders saved, take time to go through their LinkedIn activity. Bookmark their most relevant article to use in your next post as a quote. Then, as you use the quotes in a piece, export their email or connect directly on LinkedIn with InMail to let them know and to ask if they'd be interested in continued collaboration.
2. Build better backlink campaigns
One of the most time-consuming parts of content marketing is building backlinks: You have to find relevant domains and blogs, figure out the best point of contact, make a compelling pitch, go back and forth, etc.
Again, BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, and Moz all work great for kickstarting the backlink-building process.
But instead of starting on one end—finding "guest post opportunity" pages first—why not start from the other?
With Sales Nav, you can filter down to the people who will make decisions regarding the editorial calendar and guest posts. For filters, use these:
- Title: Look for digital marketing managers, online editors, and in some cases directors of marketing.
- Posted content keyword: Try narrowing down your search by those who have mentioned a "guest post" or "contribution" in their shared content on LinkedIn.
With the resulting list, you can extract their emails to make a direct pitch. My recommendation when pitching: take your time; reference their recent content and add them on LinkedIn so you're already on their radar.
3. Amplify the reach of your most compelling content
Content marketing isn't only about inbound; you can also use content to create more compelling outbound emails to promote your content.
Yes, it means sending out cold emails, but outbound marketing can go a long way if you're sending valuable content to a target audience.
- Step 1: Make separate lead lists. Organize your lists around interest, title, location, industry.
- Step 2: Map your content to your lead lists. You can also create content to match your niche lists.
- Step 3: Send out your outbound emails. Use an email marketing platform to send out personalized emails at scale.
Outbound won't beat inbound traffic, but it should prove to be a valuable addition to your marketing efforts.
Keep it organic (vs. industrial)
Going this route for content marketing doesn't mean you can start sending cold emails out willy-nilly on a mass scale. You'll need to take steps to keep things organic--natural, human--to get the most out of LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Here are a few final tips as you move forward:
- Send Connection requests to promising leads.
- Narrow your lists as much as possible.
- Tailor your messages to the people you're contacting.
For marketers, Sales Nav extends what you're able to do with what you already have. How do you plan to use this sales-oriented tool for marketing?
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