Many users still think of LinkedIn as the place you go when you’re thinking about a making a career switch, but savvy businesses and marketers realize that it has huge potential. With half a billion users on the site, you’ve got a large audience, and more importantly, an audience in a different mindset than when they’re scrolling through their Facebook or Twitter feeds. It’s social media for professionals, which means users are ready for business.
While you might want to start with a specific marketing tactic right away, it’s important to get your LinkedIn house in order first. Set yourself up for marketing on LinkedIn with these three steps.
Make sure to set up both a personal profile and a company page on LinkedIn. Personal profiles contain more information than company pages, and can take some time to fill out completely. You may want to start with the basics of your profile and then schedule time in each week to complete the rest—the writing samples and portfolio items, awards and recognition, details about your work history, and more. The more information your profile contains about you, the better. As you engage with other LinkedIn users and promote your business, your profile is likely to get a lot of views.
Include all of the essential information in your LinkedIn company profile that current and potential clients or customers should know about you. Be sure to use keywords on your page to take advantage of LinkedIn’s SEO benefits. To increase exposure, link your company page to your personal profile and consider having your team do the same. You can also link to it from your website and promotional materials.
LinkedIn is a multi-purpose platform, offering marketing opportunities through connections, job searches, content, and more to its users. Before diving right into a particular tactic, determine what types of goals you wish to accomplish on LinkedIn. This requires consideration of how your target audience uses LinkedIn, the relevance of LinkedIn to your industry, and your own familiarity with the platform. Start simple but specific, and you can build your LinkedIn marketing strategy from there.
For example, if you’re hoping to raise brand awareness, you might focus on your content strategy on LinkedIn. If you’re trying to generate leads, you might instead reach out to users directly or try advertising.
Now that you’ve set up your profiles and defined your success, it’s time to look at different options for marketing on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn provides a way for users to obtain information according to their professional interests without having to sift through memes, gifs, and other more personal and humorous content you are more likely to find on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This creates an opportunity for you to get more visibility for your content. In terms of marketing your business on LinkedIn, be sure to promote useful content that adds value, engages users, and increases your authority and brand awareness.
You can do this by sharing your highest performing blog posts, or by creating LinkedIn-specific pieces directly through the platform. Just like with any content you produce, you’ll want it to be engaging and shareable, so use rich media and take advantage of different formats like slide decks and videos.
When you know you have a post that speaks to your audience, use sponsored posts to get even more eyes on it. This form of advertising is similar to Facebook ads that appear in the middle of a feed, or Google Adwords search ads that you see at the top of a search result. They look like regular posts or updates, but you pay to get them in front of more users.
One effective strategy is to wait until a post is gaining traction organically through likes and shares. Once you see that it has struck a nerve, you can multiply those effects to get even more followers to your Company Page.
Similar to sponsored posts, LinkedIn’s advertising allows you to expand your reach beyond your followers and initial network. This option is more effective when you’re looking to generate leads directly.
Facebook gets a lot of credit for the granular targeting capabilities of its advertising (and rightly so), but LinkedIn is no slouch when it comes to getting your message in front of the right people. You won’t have the same quantity of psychographic information available on LinkedIn, but you will be able to target by information that really matters.
Imagine you provide technical support to small businesses in California. You can limit your advertising geographically, by company size, and by job title to make sure your message only goes to the IT guys at the type of company you want to reach.
There are a variety of advertising options as well, including the ability to send a message to a potential lead via Inmail.
Since LinkedIn was built as a way to connect professionals, its groups can be an effective way to engage and listen to your audience. There are groups for every field and niche, and they’re typically filled with professionals looking to make themselves and their companies better.
A LinkedIn group is a great way to establish your company as an authority in your space, and to build a solid reputation as a business and business owner genuinely looking to elevate others and grow the community of which you are a part.
Just like with your website, high-quality content, targeted advertising, and engagement with your audience will increase and enhance your presence on LinkedIn. The more followers you have on your Company Page, the more connections you make and the wider you can reach.
Capitalize on that reach by giving your followers the opportunity to join your email list or blog subscription. You can direct them to a landing page specifically designed for your LinkedIn connections or invite them directly through an Inmail message. Rather than relying only on LinkedIn to stay connected with your audience, create other channels outside of the platform to increase your chances of generating leads and customers.
Like most outreach efforts, marketing on LinkedIn can get as complicated as you make it. Take into account the circumstances of your business, your bandwidth, and your target audience to determine how much you can invest in LinkedIn marketing. Whether you can give it all you’ve got or are only able to start small, there are marketing benefits to be had for any business on LinkedIn.