I’ll admit, there was once a time that I thought LinkedIn was a dull, stuffy version of Facebook. Who wants to sit talking about work and looking at office-related memes all day?
I didn’t get it. Why bother with LinkedIn business marketing?
Luckily, my experience and knowledge of social media marketing grew, so it made my love and respect for LinkedIn.
If you’re in the market for compelling business-to-business marketing, you NEED a LinkedIn marketing strategy. Whether you’re an employee of a company, freelance expert or entrepreneur running your empire, it’s your best friend for reaching the right people and making great business connections.
Its estimated 80% of B2B leads come via LinkedIn, with 43% of marketers saying they have sourced at least one customer from LinkedIn.
Chances are you sit in one of four camps right now.
1) You’ve avoided LinkedIn for years and don’t even know where to start
2) You have a profile set up but never use it and have forgotten your login.
3) You occasionally log in and then forget about it for another year. You’re not sure how to use it, so your LinkedIn is left dormant
4) You are an active user and utilise most, if not all, features
Whatever your LinkedIn experience, this guide will explain how to leverage your LinkedIn marketing strategy to fully optimise the accessible features of this fantastic social media platform.
Read on to learn everything from setting up your profile correctly, posting purposefully and handling hashtags to effective employee advocacy and nailing the dreaded cold pitch.
LinkedIn Business Marketing Strategy
Let’s start with the basics: how do you market on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn was launched in 2003 as primarily a business networking and job-seeking site. It took online job searches to the next level by allowing you to create an active CV with your profile, engage with industry peers and follow businesses or industries you were interested in.
With a LinkedIn company page, you have access to approximately 830 million users and can upgrade to the market and hire the best of the best.
Headhunting is standard, as is business-to-business marketing and client acquisition. It’s estimated that 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find the right person for their company.
When you create a profile, you can populate it with the following:
· Profile and header image
· Contact information
· Summary of Expertise
· Entire education history and qualifications
· Full job history, including portfolio links of work
You can also request testimonials from anyone you have worked with in the past and follow companies and influencers who interest you.
Like any social media platform, the game aims to add connections, keep in touch with people, and share your latest news with them.
As an employee of a company, you become a direct advocate – and, if relevant, admin and content creator – for your LinkedIn company page. You can share, like and comment on this content, helping raise your employer’s brand awareness.
But just like any excellent marketing platform, you can do so much more with LinkedIn. Keep reading to learn how to optimise your LinkedIn for full effect.
5 Step Guide to LinkedIn Marketing
1. Complete your profile
Consider your profile on your professional website or shop front. It might seem obvious but having a complete profile makes a huge difference to your LinkedIn Marketing. An average user spends only 17 minutes on LinkedIn each month, meaning browsing your profile might be seconds before they move on to the latest news.
Make your profile stand out! A few things to consider are:
Use a professional but natural image. Get your cheesiest smile out and utilise any professional imagery taken by employers. DON’T simply reuse an Instagram post of you on a beach with a cocktail.
LinkedIn banner images are sized quite long and thin so think carefully about something welcoming and engaging but relevant to your audience that fits that space. Some employees might opt for a branded banner that nods to their company’s colour palette, subtle but effective to create a unified look.
This is essential to your profile, so don’t miss it. Your LinkedIn headline is almost like your email subject line; it hooks people in to learn more. Depending on your objective for using LinkedIn, you could simply add your job role and company here, a summary of how amazing you are or even highlight that you are looking for work.
This summary section is that snappy first few paragraphs that not everyone will get around to reading but sums you up for all your education, experience and accomplishments. It’s one of the few free spaces on your profile to write about pretty much anything, so don’t be afraid to bring in some exciting storytelling elements here.
As they fall far down on your profile, your skills section may get forgotten. What began as a simple keyword generator of skills that your network could ‘endorse’ you having is now a pretty cool feature for getting noticed by employers.
Not only can you add skills you believe you have, you can demonstrate this by writing more about your direct experience (Your response will be included with relevant job applications), but you can also take short 15-minute skills tests to prove it.
This helps employers filter out the wannabes who say they can code like a wizard but have watched a 10-minute YouTube video on using a Wix website.
You can include on your profile your entire education history, including sections for volunteering, courses, awards, and projects worked on. All these allow you to tag people and profiles involved, thus showing your connections.
This is important because when LinkedIn algorithms are showing you who you might want to network with, it uses all this information to determine secondary relationships across multiple industries.
Who doesn’t love hearing someone say how amazing you are? But in all seriousness, we all know that reviews are one of the golden tickets for marketing that elevate any person or product. With LinkedIn recommendations, you can not only give but also request an endorsement from your peers, just like a real-time reference to highlight your skills and experience.
2. Genuine connections
So, your profile is now complete and looking fabulous. What next? Let’s start connecting!
LinkedIn, like any social media, is made for interactions. Sure, you can create a striking-looking profile and let the jobs roll in, but your LinkedIn marketing works best when engaging, consistent and interactive.
Once you have set up your profile correcting, take time to search and add meaningful connections. People include past and present colleagues, clients, business associates, suppliers, customers, peers in your industry, and prospective employers/employees.
LinkedIn is set up amazingly for employee advocacy if you are employed or freelancing for organisations. As a personal profile, you can also manage, link to and help to promote the work of a LinkedIn company page. Your participation is a must to help the brand grow on LinkedIn.
Make sure you like, follow and engage with company posts, tag them regularly and keep an eye on relevant contacts you can connect with.
You can also invite up to 100 connections at a time to like your company page. Every person who accepts your invitation to like a company page, an allocation from the 100 gets renewed. As a rule, start with the people most likely to accept and then pitch to older or most minor relevant contacts.
Meeting new people
Unlike Facebook, it’s not uncommon for LinkedIn connection requests to come from people you haven’t met before. That’s OK if it’s accompanied by a short note explaining the request to connect. That way, you aren’t bombarded with disingenuous marketers.
I highly recommend you consider LinkedIn outreach in your digital marketing strategy. You could create a template message to start you off but ALWAYS edit and take the time to research your recipient before you hit send. This is an excellent way of being proactive with your LinkedIn marketing rather than waiting for the right job or client to come to you.
Always start with the why them, including everything you know about them and their company, any relevant connections and exactly why you want to talk to them. You can also share a link to your page, projects or website for more information.
3. Great content
Just as with any social media marketing plan, content is critical. Again, whether you are creating content for your profile or your business page, a little foresight and planning ensure it’s relevant, engaging and has clear objectives.
It’s loosely known that a rule of 5:2 works well: 5 informal, informative or fun posts and two directly promotional posts. Don’t mistake filling your feed with boring sale pitches or even more boring selfies of you at your desk with a coffee.
LinkedIn has a cool feature of including relevant articles. Not only can you search hashtags and news articles, but you can also find industry-specific content via your company page.
In addition to using tools like Google Alerts and Twitter notifications, sharing news as it hits your inbox shows you’re on the ball with industry innovations. It keeps you part of the live conversation.
Be sure to include tags for anyone mentioned in external articles and cross-share posts between your business page and personal profile to extend your reach.
Behind the scenes
Admit it; you’re a little nosy. We all love a look behind the scenes, and LinkedIn is not different. Whether you’re researching a company to work for or checking out a potential client, information posts about office life, internal politics, and employee satisfaction are great for building a company picture.
Consider sharing interviews, job profiles, birthdays, office tours and accomplishments of yourself and your colleagues in your LinkedIn marketing.
Show off expertise
LinkedIn is among the few social media platforms that do best when you shout about yourself and your work. Like, you can write whole essays on your success. Long-form content performs best on LinkedIn, with posts up to 2 000 words long and up to 8 images getting the best traction.
LinkedIn users also love a good list. How-to posts and bullet points of tips are received particularly well, so start sharing your best advice for making the perfect cuppa!
Though LinkedIn is primarily used by university graduates, keep it simple. The speed at which readers scan content means a reading age of 11 is suggested to get the point across effectively.
Hashtags prevail! More than just a keyword search across the site, hashtags in comments are indexed by LinkedIn for a deeper dive into hashtags search and analysis. Not only can hashtags be used to help your content be seen, but you can also include them in your personal and business profile to include things like #Hiring or #OpenToWork to boost recruitment efforts.
We get it; life happens. We are the first to put our hands up and say that we can get so knee-deep in client work we aren’t always as active as I would like with our LinkedIn marketing. But consistency is key.
I talk about this a LOT in my post about social media frequency, so bookmark that one for a later coffee break.
Your business page can use tools like Hootsuite to schedule content in advance. But the best social media marketing comes from real dedicated time to be present online, even if it’s just 10 minutes of checking in every day.
Regular time, even if brief, of mindful time posting, comments and connecting with others is better than hours of mindless scrolling.
- LinkedIn Resources
Over the years, LinkedIn has added resources to elevate your resume, upskill in many areas of your work and connect with some of the best training professionals in their field. For investment, you can access premium features that get you seen and heard by the right people.
This is a great way to show continued development as an individual and for your company. Investment in your skills or employees encourages trust in your area of expertise and can be shared amongst your network.
There are hours of quality courses available, including everything from Excel and marketing training to guides on improving your memory and productivity.
You can search by industry and share your new skills with your network for more kudos amongst your peers.
Upgrade to LinkedIn Premium, and you get access to the whole learning suite, as well as receiving InMail credits, see who viewed your profile and unlock more business search features. Those with LinkedIn Premium have a golden badge on their profile, highlighting them as professionals dedicated to being top of their LinkedIn Marketing game.
5. LinkedIn Ads
We could fill a blog section on advertising on LinkedIn.
Our advice? Use an expert for this one. Our PPC and general round guru, Ben knows the ins and out of digital ads. His best advice is to consider a whole digital marketing plan and know your budget before you jump into LinkedIn adverts, as they can be expensive with varying results.
In fact, when it comes to recruitment, it might seem like the best platform for advertising but might not be the most cost-effective. Though it can offer great targeting options, sometimes a good old-fashioned post on your business’s LinkedIn and listing are enough.
There really is so much you do with your LinkedIn marketing if you have the time, patience and strategy to utilise its many features. Of course, you may find that you need that extra nudge or support with creating an awesome content plan or even help to get your page created and running smoothly.
Our social media marketing services get you off the ground whether your LinkedIn profile is a minute or a decade old