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| Sep 27
Masooma Memon on October 27, 2020 (last modified on November 2, 2020) • 23 minute read
Have you been thinking about how to use LinkedIn for marketing? Cracking LinkedIn for promoting your business is not rocket science, but it can be challenging if you don’t know how or where to start.
As in the case of using any other social channel for business, the key steps to success on LinkedIn boil down to consistency, sharing insightful content, and engaging with your target audience.
But first: make sure your LinkedIn company page is up to date. Too much to digest at once? Let’s break down LinkedIn marketing in this post for you.
Let’s dig in.
If you’ve been consistently posting on LinkedIn and actively building relationships with your target audience on LinkedIn, congratulations! You’ve been partly doing LinkedIn marketing. Now, condense these activities into an action plan and you’ll have a LinkedIn marketing plan too.
Hence, in short, LinkedIn marketing is marketing or spreading the word about your business on LinkedIn.
To get the most of it, you need to have a marketing plan in place including your goals (brand awareness, driving traffic to your site, lead generation, etc.), the strategy you’ll adopt to achieve those goals, the content you’ll share, and so on.
To begin with, create a LinkedIn company page:
Once your page is ready, start posting content regularly. Don’t forget to dedicate time to engaging with your target audience.
Want a pro tip to market your business on LinkedIn? Create content and ask your employees to share it. Doing so will increase your content’s reach as it’ll show in your employees’ already established network.
Not sure if this will work? We asked our expert respondents and the majority thought that asking your employees to share your content on LinkedIn is way more effective than posting on your company page:
When it comes to how to use LinkedIn for marketing, it’s always essential you stick by the best practices. These help to achieve the most of all the efforts you pour into marketing your business on the suit-and-tie business platform.
So, keep the following LinkedIn marketing best practices in mind:
This is really important. You don’t want an interested lead visiting your page, only to find crickets instead of information.
So, here’s your three-step homework:
✔ Fill in all the required details including a description of your business, company URL, and contact information. If you’re already a step ahead here, consider updating your profile, making sure all info is on point.
✔ Optimize your page so your target audience can find you. To this end, add keywords to your page. For instance, in the specialties section and the rest of the page content.
✔ Spruce up your page headline and banner image. You have 120 characters here, so be creative – use keywords while also talking to humans. As for your page’s background image: make sure it reflects your company – what you do or what you stand for. It could also include a team picture or company logo.
See how Toggl Track’s LinkedIn page is complete with all the required details and a creative banner image:
One, consistently show up by posting regularly and engaging with your target audience. Two, be consistent in using your brand voice. Do you have a light-hearted, humorous brand voice? Make sure all of your posts follow that brand voice.
If you plan to surf your target audience on LinkedIn and send them messages offering your services, think again. Such a cold approach is more spammy than trustworthy. And, the right way to do business these days when your prospects have so many other options to choose from is by gaining their trust first.
In this regard, start working on offering value. How? By posting content that interests your audience and offering freebies such as eBooks, templates, and checklists.
As for building relationships with your audience, consider commenting on your prospects’ content, keeping in touch with them, and, again, offering free value.
If I were to pick one answer for how to use LinkedIn for marketing, it would be to engage. Engaging with your prospects by commenting on their content and replying to their comments on your content is a surefire way to stay on top of their minds.
Besides, engaging gets you more eyeballs. How? By showing your comments to other people on your list.
In short, “treat LinkedIn as if it were Facebook,” advises FreeDrumlineBeats’ TJ Kelly. “Be social. Be consistent. Live in the comments— all the same tactics that have worked for years on Facebook. No secrets. Just new opportunity on a solid platform.”
Editor’s note: Don’t forget to keep an eye on your LinkedIn metrics to shape your marketing strategy for the platform. Use this free LinkedIn Company Page Engagement Dashboard Template to track your follower count, comments, clicks, impressions, and much more.
Ready to learn how to use LinkedIn for marketing? Here are 19 pro tips straight from the experts:
1. Be consistent in your efforts
2. Focus on building relationships
3. Don’t head straight for direct messaging
4. Engage in the comments section
5. Leverage LinkedIn groups
6. Create your own LinkedIn group
7. Tell powerful stories
8. Encourage employees to amplify your message
9. Publish high-quality content on LinkedIn
10. Repurpose content
11. Induce FOMO with teaser content
12. Use the polls feature to engage your audience
13. Make the most of the targeting feature in LinkedIn ads
14. Host Q&A sessions regularly
15. Build your personal brand
16. Use LinkedIn sales navigator
17. Share case studies on LinkedIn
18. Create video content
19. Use other visual content formats
To begin with, you need to be consistent with using LinkedIn so that you stay on top of your audience’s mind.
Portent’s Rosalina Felipe suggests, “Marketers should consistently post on their company’s LinkedIn page, including how your company is evolving, their successes, employee engagement, and more. By doing this, you’re creating a more compelling LinkedIn Page, making your company’s page discoverable, creating connections with new followers, and users will see your brand’s true value.”
In other words, refrain from being salesy. Instead, work on nurturing your relationships on LinkedIn.
Amanda Moore of Loggerhead Marinelife Center suggests you focus on this relationship-building approach: “LinkedIn offers a great platform to share your new accomplishments, partnerships, and innovations with your already established network. When sharing these items, it can often lead to cultivating new partnerships or acquiring clients. It’s a perfect outlet to showcase your company’s work and publish sample material.”
But how do you go about getting in others’ good books?
Mudassir Ahmed from Blogging Explained shares, “Engaging in others’ posts with an intention of adding value and building relationships is going to be one of the best ways to take your word out.”
By doing so, “you will have a great chance to get discovered when you engage with your network and even with your 2nd connections, it is like boosting your organic reach on LinkedIn,” continues Ahmed.
Keeping this in mind, add the following steps to your LinkedIn marketing checklist:
There’s nothing more annoying than a cold direct message that talks business. In fact, a cold direct message, business-based outreach is the surefire recipe to fail at LinkedIn marketing.
No wonder, Veritas Homebuyers’ Richard Latimer suggests, “My recommendation is to stay away from sending private messages, this approach appears to be pushy [and salesy too!]. Look at LinkedIn as a long haul strategy by actively participating in the community, sharing information, joining in on conversations, and be responsive when someone reaches out!”
Whether it’s comments under your post or comments on others’ post make sure you take the time to interact with people in the comment box. Foundation’s Ross Simmonds says, “One of the most effective ways to use LinkedIn as a marketing channel is to engage in the comments of other people’s content.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you should always be pushing and promoting your own content but there’s tons of value to be had by going deeper on a topic in the comments on a popular post rather than just trying to create your own.”
In fact, “it’s in the comment section where you often time can build stronger relationships with individuals and share your assets without coming off as spammy,” adds Simmonds.
For example, Christine Gritmon from Christine Gritmon Inc. shares, “The most useful thing I’ve ever done on LinkedIn is to start taking commenting seriously. I include a conversation starter question in every post now and respond to every comment I receive, hoping to keep the conversation going.
I also comment on as many posts in my newsfeed as I have time for – and if the poster comments back, I comment back to them again. Comments have led to being found by WAY more people, whether they just saw the comment or whether it’s from the algorithmic boost the increased activity gave to my profile in general.”
This is another place to build relationships on this platform. PatchMD’s Bradley Keys insists, “Joining LinkedIn groups is one effective way to use this social media channel as a marketing tool. It’s often forgotten that LinkedIn is still a social platform, and joining groups helps you in a bunch of ways.
It’s where you can connect with people in your field, establish yourself as an expert, share valuable content, and boost brand awareness. You never really know what may come from the interactions you make in groups, so joining in discussions and commenting useful info can open doors for you.”
What’s more, Melanie Musson of FindNewCarInsurance.com adds, “It’s a lot easier for people to trust you when they have seen you in discussions in the past. Building trust is key to building influence.”
In the same vein, Printex Graphics’ Hamna Amjad shares, “You can use these groups to build connections, engage with potential customers, and network with other professionals, consequently leading to sales, expanding your customer reach, and enhance the ROI of your company. The right LinkedIn Groups can also give you an insight into your target audience which can help you in developing your marketing strategy.
People join these groups to exchange information and ideas about other like-minded people. Therefore, join a few groups in your niche and focus on having meaningful conversations with others.
Communicate with group members and help them out by providing solutions to their problems. Engage in insightful conversations with group members before posting links to your content. Be honest in your interactions and try to help out others sincerely.”
INK’s Alexander De Ridder makes another noteworthy point: “The key here is to get a recommendation from an admin. A recommendation from a LinkedIn group admin automatically sends a notification to most members of the group. This is particularly useful when you’re promoting events like webinars.”
In addition to joining and actively participating in LinkedIn groups, Amjad suggests, “Later, you can create your own LinkedIn group for your business interests to further enhance your credibility, as well as open doors for new opportunities to market yourself and your business.
Your content should follow an 80/20 rule. 20% business stuff, 80% everything else. Spammers are easy to spot, and you’ll likely be called out for it if you don’t provide real value to the groups. Don’t try to push your business content into the newsfeed of people who you are looking for something meaningful. This would just make you look unprofessional and desperate.”
“Creating your own group on LinkedIn is a great way to access your target audience in a more hands-off and less sales-oriented way,” adds Clarify Capital’s Kimberly Smith. The benefits are multifaceted. By creating a space for a narrow subset of a broader LinkedIn audience to post and engage with one another, you’re gaining first-hand insight into the needs, interests, and any problems the niche audience is facing. This provides valuable insight that can be used to inform larger marketing efforts and product development within your brand.
Starting a special-interest group is also a great way to gain credibility within your niche and establish yourself as a leader in the field. Along with gradually building increased consumer trust in your brand, the platform itself presents an endless opportunity for exposure and increased visibility.”
Editor’s note: Keep a pulse on your audience demographics on one screen using this free LinkedIn (Demographics overview) template. It tells you about your followers by geography, seniority, industry, company size as well as month over month improvement in your follower count.
There’s no better to get people’s attention than by sharing stories. After all, our brains are hardwired to love stories. This is why Khoros’ Dakota Lowe suggests you to “leverage LinkedIn to tell powerful stories. More and more these are popping up on LinkedIn and they’re taking over the news feed.
Share something compelling, make it matter to your target audience, and utilize an employee advocacy program to help amplify these. It doesn’t matter if your creative is 5-star if the story doesn’t have legs.”
“The most important thing to know is that business posts will not appear in users’ feeds if they do not follow that business, so the best way to get your posts to new eyes is having your employees share it,” notes Meara McNitt from Online Optimism.
This will help your business “get in front of more people when [employees] share it for their connections to see, and as their connections engage with it, it will continue to be seen by more people,” explains McNitt.
For example, Superfast IT’s Katherine Garratt shares, “To generate more clicks/visits to our website (often to a blog article), a company update (paragraph of text and visual image) that is shared and liked by the majority of employees was most successful – avg. 5x as many page views as a post that was not shared by colleagues.”
Adam Rizzieri from Agency Partner Interactive shares a similar point of view: “In our experience, it is much more effective to post on a company page and then have employees share those messages with their personal following. That way, you get more engagement to your company page while also leveraging your employees’ network that they may have built over several years. If you are able to use that to build your page’s following, that will increase credibility and exposure to your brand.”
Put simply, getting employees to share your post helps to “not only amplify the message that the company communicates, but it also serves to increase the number of people following the company, as every individual employee’s network is now exposed to your company messaging,” sums up AutoVerify’s Samantha Kohn.
Another good way to build relationships is by offering value by sharing helpful content. Growth Hackers’ Jonathan Aufray opines, “what you want to do is sharing insightful content with your community. Content that resonates with your audience, that is helpful for them.”
“Same as on other social networks, smart content marketing has found a home on LinkedIn as well,” adds RankLetter Peter Thaleikis. “If the business-savvy people on LinkedIn are your target group, it pays to ensure your LinkedIn articles are very actionable. This ensures the reader gets plenty of value from your post. The icing on the cake is to finish your already valuable article with another great insight or hint. This helps readers to click ‘Share’ and push your article further.”
And what is exactly helpful content? This is content that “gives away your best secrets and practices,” suggest Tyler Burch of Samaritan. You can also share roundups with your LinkedIn followers.
Alicja Olko from ReferralCandy, for example, shares, “We regularly do expert roundups and I find LinkedIn the most powerful tool to promote them. I post the roundup on my personal profile and tag experts who contributed. That gets people engaged, makes it easy to re-share the roundup, and broadened its reach.?
Another good way to find out what content your audience appreciate is by “asking them questions,” suggests Aufray. Ask them “what they struggle with and what problems do they face. Once you know their problems, then and only then, you can offer them a solution.”
So, in general, educational content is good content to share.
Remember to “showcase the depth of your expertise by posting educational content on a regular basis,” Conversmart’s David Hoos outlines. This is “a great way to build a network of like-minded folks and reach potential clients,” in Hoos’ words.
The above doesn’t mean you spend day after day creating fresh, new content. Instead, you can repurpose content. Refyne Thomas Astrup recommends: “Make a hero piece of content. It can be a recorded webinar, a 10-minute video of you elaborating on a topic or similar. After this is posted, start repurposing into smaller single statement video posts or text posts.”
For instance, Astrup, highlights, “With time being a scarce resource, there is no need to create 10 unique pieces of content to make 10 posts. You can make 1 unique piece of content and repurpose it into 30 meaningful and useful posts. This way, you achieve a much greater reach with less effort.”
And while we’re discussing sharing content on LinkedIn, it’s important you understand that the way you present your content always plays a role in marketing on LinkedIn.
For instance, how you write your captions matters a lot. Similarly teasing your followers with what’s to come or what you’re working on also plays a helpful role in LinkedIn marketing.
For example, The Predictive Index’s Erin Balsa explains, “ahead of a product launch, we post ‘teaser’ content on LinkedIn to get people curious about what’s to come. The content might be an animated GIF, a sizzle reel, or super short ‘person on the street’ style interviews.
We post these from our company page, but we also invite employees to post from their own accounts too.”
“Using the new Polls feature is a free and easy way to conduct market research,” opines Andrea Moxham from Horseshoe + co. “Ask questions that will help you identify opportunities and learn more about your ideal customers. Tag colleagues, clients, employees, and vendors in the comments to get more engagement!”
“LinkedIn’s ability to create a target audience by job title is one of the best ways to run ad campaigns in the B2B space,” comments Kristin Ides Hope from Prismatic. “It eliminates the messaging guesswork that comes from relying on generic attributes. Instead, you’re able to reach people that will immediately see the value of your product.”
For example, Lionbridge’s Stephanie Carone shares. “At Lionbridge, we’ve found that the robust targeting available within LinkedIn ads helps us pinpoint our messaging to the right audience at the right time. This has supported our ABM activities as well as our paid strategy.
We create dynamic content (including videos) that is personalized and speaks to our target directly and leverage the robust filtering to reach the exact right contacts. This has helped us use our paid budget smartly and effectively, as well as reach more people with a greater variety of content.”
This is another way to boost your engagement on LinkedIn. AdChina.io’s Brad Matthews outlines, “One effective way we’ve found recently has been sharing a weekly Q&A with our CEO. In August and September, these received quite a lot of views and have been mentioned by several leads we’ve had. We get lots of questions, and it helps to get answers out on LinkedIn to pre-educate and warm-up our audience.
It’s quite easy to do, only takes 5 to 10 minutes to grab questions and record the session. It’s all about making it a recurring habit and committing to do it every week.”
You can also plan interviews. For example, Alistair Dodds from Ever Increasing Circles writes, “We produce regular one-minute interview video updates by the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
These are hugely important for keeping investors, company employees, and the media at large informed on key issues and developments. This has been particularly important and effective during the Covid-19 pandemic as the company continues to work on vaccine clinical trials.”
“You don’t necessarily have to engage in active outreach on LinkedIn to make it work for you,” opines CMO Consultant, Illia Termeno. “In any services industry, before a client would start working with a supplier, they would often check their contractor’s LinkedIn profile. The clients are looking for reassurance of expertise.
Demonstrate some thought leadership: post a few featured articles, keep your profile updated, and don’t forget to request recommendations upon successful project completion.”
“Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to build lists of target buyers,” Mark Lennon of Espresso B2B Marketing suggests. “Then, launch a campaign to connect with those targets. Once connected, they will see your posts in their feed (for free!) and you can start a conversation with them via LinkedIn messaging (again, for free). Don’t sell. Be genuine. Be helpful. Offer relevant content.”
Awesome Outsourcing, LLC’s Michelle Thompson agrees, “We utilize LinkedIn Sales Navigator to search for our client’s perfect client. We then send about 1,000 connection requests per month. We start the discussion with them and then hand them off to our client to continue to build a relationship with them.
LinkedIn is all about relationships and we want to position our clients in front of their perfect client. This allows our clients to focus on serving and takes the manual labor out of the equation for them.”
“Regularly post case studies of how your company is helping its customer,” advises Mahjong Challenge’s Neal Taparia. “We had built some custom branded games for companies like BET, and our employees posted about those collaborations on LinkedIn. Others saw how we were helping companies with their engagement goals, and with one post, we generated 4 more leads. It was a great return on investment!”
“LinkedIn has been a perfect channel for sharing short, entertaining video content to help promote our webinars, virtual events, awards program, and other campaigns,” notes Tyler Lessard from Vidyard.
“People are tired of the same old stale, static promotions – but share a quick video featuring David Hasselhoff talking about your next event, or one of your executives riding a longboard drinking Ocean Spray cranberry cocktail jamming out to Fleetwood Mac while promoting your next awards program – that kind of content stands out and makes people stop, laugh, engage and share!”
Besides video, you can also drive engagement to your LinkedIn page with the help of other visual content such as animations, GIFs, and images to name a few.
Aaron McWilliams of 1Dental suggests, “One of the most effective ways to use LinkedIn as a marketing channel is to post content with images or short clips. When posting content to LinkedIn with images, a collage of three to four images in one post will perform the best. Posts with images get six times the amount of engagement than posts with text only. This helps you reach a larger audience and more potential customers.
“When posting content with videos,” adds McWilliams, take the following measures:
So, when you sit to work on your LinkedIn content calendar, it’s helpful to have a healthy mix of posts in different formats – text only, text with video, and text with images with a bit more emphasis on video-based content as our experts share they work best on LinkedIn.
You can also “go visual using LinkedIn’s ‘Share a document’ feature,” advises Voices.com’s Julia Letts. “This posting format allows you to upload documents natively on LinkedIn so users can consume the content right in their feed — and there’s no limit to what you can create.”
Here some ways you can use this feature:
Just remember to save it as a PPT, DOC, or PPT, and keep your marketing goals in mind,” reminds Letts.
“Because this content is on-platform, LinkedIn users are more inclined to swipe or click through the post since there’s no waiting for a page to load and no extra commitment involved.
Even if the user hasn’t hit the ‘like’ button, their action is a positive signal to the algorithm, meaning more reach and more eyeballs on your brand. Try posting a link to your blog and then follow it up with a slideshow a few weeks later. The results will speak for themselves.”
Here’s hoping you have a complete (and actionable answer) to how to use LinkedIn for marketing after having read this post. Remember to be regular in posting updates and engaging with people – all while offering your best value to your audience and you’ll reap sweet fruit in no time.
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