Polls offer a unique two-for-one value for B2B marketers, providing quality feedback on what customers want while also offering brands a powerful interactive social media content marketing element.
As we first reported in our B2B marketing news, our client LinkedIn recently launched the return of its highly-anticipated poll feature, offering marketers a new platform besides Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for gathering community sentiment using polls — one that may be the best fit for many B2B brands.
With this and other recent changes to social media polls, we’ll take a look at the latest news about online polls, and see how B2B marketers and brands are using polls in innovative ways, including 6 B2B brands winning with LinkedIn polls.
Why Should B2B Marketers Use Polls?
A while back our senior content strategist Nick Nelson explored the social media poll landscape and shared five helpful tips, in “The Power of Social Media Polls: The Drill-Down on 3 Platforms + 5 General Best Practices,” and more recently we also reported that Facebook has brought polls back to Facebook Messenger group chats after a year-long absence.
Online polls have long been an attractive interactive element among all demographics of social media users, however digital media consumption habits vary by generation.
Members of the Gen Z demographic more often seek out multifaceted content comprised of interactive elements such as polls and quizzes, according to recent content consumption preference data showing that 33 percent of Gen Z respondents expressed a preference for articles that contain interactive features.
Our CEO Lee Odden suggests conducting online polls as one of the “25 B2B Influencer Marketing Campaign & Engagement Ideas for 2020,” urging marketers to consider polls as a helpful part of a well-rounded content marketing strategy.
Nick Nelson pointed out the additional power of polls when used as a form of episodic content marketing, in “Hungry for More: What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Episodic Content,” placing polls in the same effective category as weekly hashtag posts and employee spotlights.
Nick has also observed that polls can be a good way to prove or disprove preconceived notions about a variety of marketing topics, urging marketers to “Vet your assumptions against data-driven research and interactions with audience members (e.g. surveys, polls, conversations).”
What Can Marketers Do With All That Poll Data?
Polls can also be a fine testing ground for new ideas, as we examined in “How B2B Brands Can Break Into Interactive Content.”
I also took a detailed dive into what B2B marketers can learn from all that poll data you’ve been collecting, in “17 Revealing B2B Marketing Insights From Poll Data.”
The revelations people provide when they respond to online marketing polls include a wealth of industry information. Poll data shows what marketers are thinking about when it comes to a variety of important subjects, ranging from everyday tasks to far-reaching future trends.
For over a year now we’ve utilized our TopRank Marketing Twitter channel to publish a weekly poll, asking a range of questions to B2B marketers, and have also begun asking our poll questions on the TopRank Marketing LinkedIn page.
It can be ideal to ask poll questions on the digital channel that best suits your particular audience. Some organizations choose to conduct polls on several platforms and to then compare the results, or even compile them together to get a larger sample answer size.
“Poll data shows what marketers are thinking about when it comes to a variety of important subjects, ranging from everyday tasks to far-reaching future trends.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
Make Poll Insights a Part of Your B2B Marketing Plans
Take the time to listen to what customers are saying through their answers to poll questions and you’ll gain an inside glimpse into where your marketing efforts may be put to the most effective use.
Polls also help increase brand awareness. “Polls are hot stuff, according to Facebook, which claims that poll ads increased brand awareness compared with video ads in 5 out of 9 brand lift studies,” Kyle Wiggers has noted for VentureBeat.
Some formats of paid ads allow polls to be included, and Facebook brought augmented reality (AR) ads to its news-feed last fall — two interactive elements to consider.
I also looked at how to ask directly for customer insight using polls, surveys, focus groups and questionnaires, in “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers.”
In an additional benefit from the use of polls, “A recent study found that video posts drive more interaction on the platform than other types, and a product called Facebook Premiere launched late last year, enabling interactive video polls, pre-recorded live broadcasts, and more,” Nick Nelson has noted.
“Take the time to listen to what customers are saying through their answers to poll questions and you’ll gain an inside glimpse into where your marketing efforts may be put to the most effective use.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
LinkedIn Embraces Professional B2B Polls
With LinkedIn’s poll rollout complete, more B2B brands are testing and even embracing polls on the Microsoft-owned platform with 690 million users, and the process of creating a poll is straightforward.
Users simply choose “Create a poll” in a post’s composer window, ask a question, choose up to four poll response options and how long to run the poll — from one day up to two weeks.
LinkedIn has made its polls easy to share and to conduct them in LinkedIn Groups, on personal profiles, showcase and company pages, as well as within event pages.
“By targeting specific Groups with your poll, you can get even more relevant insights,” LinkedIn product manager Howie Fung noted in “Tapping into the Power of Your Professional Network with Polls.”
You can see your poll results as they come in, and the person who conducted the poll can also see who’s voted and how they voted. Poll owners also have the ability to directly message anyone who’s answered their poll.
LinkedIn polls may hold particularly relevant information for B2B marketers looking to learn more about their audience. Brands can also gather poll data offering feedback on products and services, learn customer pain points, test interest in new product offerings, and gauge reactions to new industry trends.
Learn From Recent LinkedIn Poll Examples
1 — Dell
Our client Dell has been using LinkedIn’s polling feature in a variety of ways. One recent poll asked customers, “Over the last few months, you’ve made huge shifts in your way of life and work. If you could choose, what would your ideal work location be?”
This Dell LinkedIn poll has already received over 12,000 responses.
2 — RateLinx
Our client RateLinx, a supply chain and logistics visibility and analytics desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) platform, has also taken to using LinkedIn’s new poll feature, with a recent poll looking into the importance of various qualities within organizations.
3 — Microsoft
Microsoft used data from one of its LinkedIn polls both in its “2020 Vision” report and an article that examined “Trends in marketing skills identified as important for the 2020s,” based on its LinkedIn poll with some 600 global senior marketer participants.
By focusing on senior level marketers working internationally, Microsoft was able to gain specific information from its LinkedIn poll and re-purpose the data into two derivative pieces of content, a fine example of the kind of content re-purposing we’ve explored.
4 — Olive Communications
U.K. managed cloud communications provider Olive Communications has used a LinkedIn poll to gather timely information about customer experience changes and expectations during the pandemic.
Olive Communications’ poll demonstrates how online surveys can be used to keep track of rapidly-changing consumer sentiment.
5 — Redis Labs
In-memory database firm Redis Labs took to LinkedIn to contact a poll asking customers to choose their favorite app from one of its virtual events.
With the vast majority of events now taking place virtually, businesses are looking for new ways to replace the sort of in-person communication physical events have traditionally offered, and online polls offer a welcome solution in many situations.
6 — LinkedIn News
LinkedIn News used a LinkedIn poll to solicit feedback on a recent Harris Poll that looked at the role of positive societal contributions among companies.
The poll garnered over 6,700 votes in less than a week, and serves as a good example of drawing people in beyond just voting, by using the fourth poll choice to encourage responses in comments on the poll’s LinkedIn post.
Combined Poll Data May Offer More Than You Think
Whether you use LinkedIn’s new polling feature or those offered by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms, B2B brands risk losing out on valuable information about their customers and what’s on their minds if polls aren’t in your marketing mix.
Crafting the right poll involves asking the right question and carefully wording each possible response — a process that can take considerable time and effort, which is why many choose to work with a professional agency such as TopRank Marketing — contact us today for more information.