Nov 21, 2016
LinkedIn Marketing 2.0: When & How to Use (Plus 4 Marketing Power Tips)
LinkedIn was the first ‘social’ network I joined but its time in the spotlight has long faded with the explosion of social networks in the past ten years. Channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Tinder have well and truly stolen the limelight.
But as a digital marketer and a member of the connected global business community, a LinkedIn profile was and is a necessity. However, like most people, I created a basic profile, added new contacts every now and then and occasionally responded to a post.
Recently though I have been taking a bit more interest since Microsoft acquired LinkedIn and my feed started filling with articles as a steady stream of new features has been released.
Inquisitively I started to play around with the platform again and found that LinkedIn users are more open to learning about your products and services than Facebook’s users, who are merely interested in seeing cat videos.
In fact, Octopost analysed 100,000+ posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, and found that LinkedIn is the KING of B2B lead generation among other social media platforms.
Here are the stats of B2B leads generated through each social network:
- LinkedIn: 80.33%
- Twitter: 12.73%
- Facebook: 6.73%
- Google+: 0.21%
LinkedIn has definitely upped its game post acquisition with better advertising options and many user experience enhancements. They are continuously beta-testing new features such as tracking pixels…...
And autofill forms....
And LinkedIn Salary
And a bunch of other handy features in the pipeline including retargeting.
BUT!!! I know what you may be thinking - LinkedIn Ads are that it's too expensive and they don’t work!
In this post I’m going to share with you:
- Who SHOULD and SHOULDN’T advertise on LinkedIn
- 4 absolutely FREE ways you can use LinkedIn to boost your marketing.
When you SHOULD use LinkedIn advertising
1. Use LinkedIn Advertising If You’re in: High-Value B2B Product & Services Industry
Sell products or services to other businesses? If your:
- Average sale is greater than $10,000; or
- The sale has a higher lifetime value like an ongoing services contract or subscription
then LinkedIn’s hyper-targeting can be great for you!
2. Use LinkedIn Advertising If You’re in: Recruitment Industry
Recruitment is a major challenge for every business and recruitment fees can be absorbent. LinkedIn is very accurate in its audience targeting and makes it super easy to target specific professional experiences to help you locate the precise caliber of person you're looking for.
3. Use LinkedIn Advertising If You’re in: Training & Educational Products Industry
Most users of LinkedIn are keenly invested in self-improvement and for businesses looking to sell training or educational products LinkedIn targeting again makes this type of campaign very effective.
You can configure your campaign to display to people that have a degree or to a field of study or even a particular group of universities or training institutions.
When you SHOULD NOT use LinkedIn advertising
There are always exceptions to any rule, but I would recommend that you pass on LinkedIn in favour of other social audiences if you fit into any of the following:
- B2B sales under $10,000 or where there are limited options to make recurring sales to the customer;
- B2C of any type;
- Broad audiences - LinkedIn is just not geared to be successful for broad targeting;
- eCommerce - it’s just not a transactional platform;
- Targeting Marketers, Financial Services, Real Estate or Insurance.
And what about the cost of LinkedIn advertising?
Yep, they are expensive when compared to other social advertising options, but they are also effective particularly when used to sell up the chain for enterprise-sized deals.
To provide a return on your LinkedIn advertising investment you need to lock in on highly granular audience segments that represent the highest possible lead value to justify the increased cost of acquisition.
Tips that won't cost you a cent!
There are a bunch of things you can do to amplify your LinkedIn presence that are absolutely free - so give these a try.
LinkedIn Marketing Tip #1: Stalk and Convert
The goal here is to get people to see your posts/resources. Here’s how to do it:
1. Figure out your target market
Who do you think would find your resources/posts helpful? What industry are they in? For example, IT managers in the retail industry. Creating a buyer persona might help.
2. Use LinkedIn search function to find target market
Go through EVERY profile that you think would find your resources/posts helpful.
4. Wait and send
Now, this is the hardest part; you wait.
People LOVE when someone checks out their profile. I know I do. When they check out your profile too, add them as a connection! And when they accept your request, reach out to them and send your resources - BUT DO NOT SELL TO THEM!
Here’s a template that you can use:
Thanks for the connect!
I couldn’t help but notice that you work in [industry they’re in]. I actually published a resource that I think you will find helpful.
It’s a [short info about the resource/post].
Please let me know if you want to check it out.
LinkedIn Marketing Tip #2: Lead Generating Profile
The goal here is to drive people who are checking out your profile into followers and leads. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Turn your name into Name + Position
Your name is like a headline. It MUST stand out. Here’s an example:
2. Turn your summary into your portfolio
Fill out your summary with your biggest achievements; about 3 - 7 will do. Use bullet points to make it easy to read. Think about your target market, what problems are you trying to solve for them?
3. Include media files
Here’s something that you probably didn’t know; you could add media files (images, documents, videos, etc.) into your summary. Here’s how to do it:
4. Fill out as much of the profile as possible
This should go without saying, but you want your profile to appear “busy”. Fill out the skills, volunteer associations, education, etc. You want to be seen as a legitimate and well-rounded individual.
5. Tell them what to do next
People are reading your summary, they know what you do, and your skills. The last thing you want is people thinking, “What’s next?”.
In your summary, tell them what you want them to do next. Do you want them to check out your blog? Or probably you want them to email you directly? Tell them!
LinkedIn Marketing Tip #3: Enhance your company page
You want to create a continuous experience for all digital properties you have, so the last thing you want your (potential) customers to experience is a disjointed experience.
Here’s how to enhance your company page.
1. Use the same imagery and wording as your website
This applies to other social platforms your business has as well. Make sure the images, colours, and content are consistent across all.
2. Update regularly
I’m sure you’ve had experiences where you go to a company’s social page and they haven’t updated the page in awhile, and you’re thinking to yourself, “are they still in business?”. Don’t let this happen to you! Every time you publish a content, which should be once a month at a minimum, share the content on your LinkedIn profile as well.
You don’t necessarily have to share your own content, industry news is more than suffice.
3. Claim the custom URL
Unless you create a customised LinkedIn profile URL, your LinkedIn page is going to have a gnarly URL - full of numbers and letters.
Note that custom profile URLs are available on a first come, first served basis. So better hurry up, if you haven't already. Here's how to claim your custom URL.
Here's an instruction on how to customise your profile URL.
LinkedIn Marketing Tip #4: Use LinkedIn Group To Boost Your Authority & Amplify Your Content
The goal here is to share (not spam) your content with groups, help out other users, and position yourself as an authority in the industry. Here's how to do it.
1. Find relevant groups to participate in
Type in an industry name or topic, and then select "Groups" from the dropdown menu. Join as many relevant (and active) groups as you can. Keep in mind, there are types of groups: Open groups and Closed groups. Closed groups require the group's admin approval before you'll be admitted into the group.
Pro tip: Save these groups into an excel sheet. You’ll need it later.
2. Share your newly-published post to relevant groups
When someone leaves a comment, always reply.
If your submissions get a lot of engagements (likes and comments), the group admin may share a notification to the WHOLE group, which means you’ll get more exposure.
Pro tip: When sharing, don’t use the same headline and description.
Create something that would encourage discussions. For example, propose a question or their view in the headline and your take or takeaways from the post in the description.
3. Ask and answer questions
Be active and engage with other users.
I really like answering questions that no one else has answered because you’ll get more exposure! If there are tens of comments already, chances are your comment might be buried.
Here’s an example -
Your profile gets more exposure, which means you might get more connections AND people view you as an authority.
LinkedIn groups are also great to gather feedback. Let’s say you have a topic idea in mind, but you’re stuck with the sub-points to discuss. What do you do? You let people contribute to your content.
Here’s an example (note: be on the lookout for our digital marketing trends in 2017 post):
4. Create your own LinkedIn group!
Let’s get one thing straight, this last step will take some time.
If you nail the previous two steps, you’ll have a good foundation. Once you’ve become an authority in the industry, people are more inclined to “follow” you.
When you have your LinkedIn group set up, go to the other groups that you’ve been participating, go to the group’s member page, and invite as many relevant people as you can. When sending the invite, make it personal!
Pro tip: You can control your group so that your competitors can’t join in. Simply make it into a closed group and filter the people who want to get in.
Over to you
If you’re in the B2B niche or simply want to grow your personal brand, LinkedIn is the place to be.
Before you leave, here are the action points for you:
- Create a resource that is industry-specific with an audience (e.g. HR) in mind
- Use LinkedIn search function to view your target market’s profiles
- Connect and reach out to those who viewed your profile
- Turn your name into a headline; name + position
- Turn your summary into your online portfolio