Generally speaking, LinkedIn is a social media platform where you can connect with people all around the world, just like Facebook and Twitter. But unlike these other platforms, LinkedIn specializes in one group of people–professionals. As a result, you can certainly generate leads and sales when you use LinkedIn for marketing. Even among all social media platforms, LinkedIn takes the lead, creating more than 80% of B2B online leads.
To reap the fruits of this platform, you have to position yourself and your brand correctly. This isn’t’ so difficult to do as many of LinkedIn’s marketing rules have real-life alternatives. For example, you need to present your business and brand in a way that is attractive to your target market, as you would if you owned a brick and mortar establishment. This guide contains five powerful strategies you can apply to your marketing on LinkedIn.
Create Both Corporate and Personal Profiles
Since your goal is to market your brand on LinkedIn, you need a LinkedIn profile for your company. But it’s also a good idea to get profiles for every member of the company, starting with yourself (if you don’t have one already). Operating with a company profile alone is not enough, because people do business with people and you only buy from a business when you can relate to its people. On the other hand, operating from a personal account without a company profile is only going to do your credibility a disservice. It’s believed that the best results will come if you have both profile types.
When setting up your profiles, be sure to complete the setup and aim for 100% completion, because blank spaces won’t appeal to your followers and potential clients. After completing your profiles, you need to consistently update them, adding achievements and skills, as well as examples of your work.
Optimize Your Profiles
Next, you need to optimize your company profile so it will be visible on searches done by your target audience. If done correctly, it will enable you to gain traction, even when the searches are done off LinkedIn, like on a search engine for example. There are three different approaches you can use to optimize your company’s page. You should maximize each of them, as they can help boost your marketing efforts.
1. Use Keywords
Keywords are crucial to any marketing campaign as they position you so your potential customers can more easily find you in searches. This still hold true when you are using LinkedIn for marketing. One way to get the right keywords is to put yourself in the mind of your audience and imagine what words they might use when looking for your services.
2. Create Incoming Links to Your Company’s Page
Here’s a free method of advertising your LinkedIn profile. If you have active social media accounts on other platforms, creating links that lead to your LinkedIn page is a great way to draw your followers to connect with you on LinkedIn, if they aren’t already doing so. You can also create links to your company profile on your website, blog and other employee LinkedIn profiles. When employees include your company as their place of employment, a link is automatically created to your page.
3. Frequently Share Useful Content
A fully optimized company profile includes regular posts from your company. Generally, the more frequent your posts, the more your followers will see them. That then increases your brand awareness and potential for reach with future posts. However, you have to be careful not to spam your followers with unnecessary updates as you will lose them altogether. Refer to the next section for tips on how to create great content for your LinkedIn page.
Publish Great Content
You can substitute the word “great” for engaging or actionable, but they all mean the same thing. Since LinkedIn is composed mainly of professionals, most of your followers or potential followers are already up to date with useful and actionable information relevant to their industry. This means you may have your work cut out for you.
LinkedIn lets you share three different post types: Article, Image, and video. An effective content strategy includes taking advantage of all three options. In writing an article, you need to create a headline and content. Use keyword focused headlines, and if possible, try to make them catchy as well, so the reader will stop and see what’s underneath.
A good idea is to share brief snippets of content and direct the reader to your blog to read the full article. This will move the reader one step closer to buying from you. Just make sure to place further calls to action on the website page or blog post they are directed to.
You should consider investing in some basic graphic design when posting pictures on your LinkedIn page as they can help you brand your space and make it look more professional. You can also use software like Canva to create awesome but straightforward infographics that help illustrate your points.
There are several ways you can advertise when using LinkedIn for marketing. The popular types of advertising include:
- Sponsored content
- Sponsored InMail
- Text Ads
- Dynamic Ads
Except for sponsored content and sponsored InMail, the other Ad types are only visible to users when they login to LinkedIn on desktop devices. You should put this into consideration when choosing a format for your Ad campaign.
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You’ll know you have winning content when it has high engagement from your audience and delivers a good amount of traffic to your website. You should seriously consider using LinkedIn’s sponsored content feature to deliver these winning posts directly to the feeds of your target professionals. This can help you attract more followers by showing them the value you share in your posts, as well as enable you to actively track the number of leads you are getting through your ads.
You also have the option of delivering personal messages directly to users’ inboxes. Sponsored InMails are particularly useful means of generating leads because you can personalize your messages and attach links and call to actions in them. Furthermore, the message will only deliver when the users are online, meaning they are sure to receive it. Of course, you have to ensure the information is relevant to the recipient or else it will be an effort in futility.
Text Ads are particularly useful in situations where you want to create multiple versions of the same ad and see which has the best response rates. They are also quick and easy to set up and don’t require a lot of effort. You should consider using these to create awareness for your brand as they cost much less than other LinkedIn Ads.
Dynamic ads help you personalize the message for every individual you reach, based on their profiles. These personalization options help you capture your target audience’s attention through the following features:
- You can enable your target’s profile picture to appear in the ad.
- Select templates that allow the name of each member company to be displayed in the ad.
- Include a clear call to action in the ad.
All of these add up to make dynamic ads incredible forms of advertisement on LinkedIn. You can use them for everything from getting new followers to advertising job vacancies.
Advertising on LinkedIn is just like running any other ad campaign. And since there are a variety of ways to go about it, best practices often involve running advertisements that align with your goals. While Dynamic ads and sponsored InMails may give you precision in your marketing, text ads are much better for creating awareness for your profile.
Be Intentional in Your Search
All the previous tips have been about using LinkedIn’s features to spread your net and reach out to your target audience. However, this tip shows you how to be a little more deliberate with your search. Instead of creating ads for your general target audience, try searching for and making connections with individuals. With LinkedIn’s search feature, you can locate individuals who meet your criteria with remarkable accuracy.
All you need to do is select people from the drop-down on the search bar and narrow down your results using several filters. These filters include location, the current company of employment and even mutual connections. With the advanced filter option, you can select more streamlined qualities like previous experience and languages. You can then use the InMail feature to introduce yourself. This is an excellent way to improve your reach.
You can also reach out to groups in your niche within LinkedIn. Groups are places where individuals in the same industry go to share ideas and create conversations about the recent happenings in their fields. You can join these groups and build relationships with several professionals.
It really is a great strategy to use LinkedIn for marketing. It is full of leads and business opportunities, both for individuals and companies. And even without paid advertisements, you can still gain a lot of traction with your profile and posts. It all begins with a complete profile and extends to the kinds of posts you publish. Ensure they are useful enough to deserve attention as you will be broadcasting them to informed professionals. Also, include links and calls to action within them, to further increase your chances of making a sale.
You can also use paid ads to reach more people. With InMail and dynamic ads, you can curate your messages, tailoring them to each individual and increasing the chances to see great results. With more generic ads, like sponsored content and text ads, you can raise your brand awareness while giving your profile some exposure. If done correctly, you can certainly generate quality leads and sales when you use LinkedIn for marketing.