LinkedIn serves as a powerful tool for professionals, connecting users with colleagues, past employers, and hiring managers. But, this online channel is more than just a place for professionals to network and boast about their skills. With more than 467 million professionals on one platform, it’s a gold mine for market research, advertising, and content marketing.
LinkedIn reports 50 percent of its members are more likely to buy from a company they engage with on the platform. And a 2015 social media marketing industry report found LinkedIn has surpassed Facebook as the single most important social platform for B2B marketers.
So, how do you tap into this invaluable platform as a Modern Marketer?
Start With the Freebies
Before jumping head first into the nitty gritty of LinkedIn marketing, you have to start with the basics. In this case that means your company page, which acts as your business’ homepage where you can provide updates on your products and services. For major product launches, events, or campaigns, you can build out a dedicated showcase page to highlight key messages related to these strategies. But before you get into all that, you’ll want to make sure your company overview is complete and provides a succinct description of what you do, how you do it, and why it matters to your audience.
Much like other social media platforms, LinkedIn is not solely about one-way communication. By creating company-managed groups, you can provide a channel for two-way communication with your key audiences to drive collaboration, ideation, and brand recognition. For universities, an alumni group can keep former students engaged with your brand. For food companies, brand-specific groups can reinforce brand loyalty.
By pushing regular posts out through your company page, you maintain an open communication channel between your brand and your audience. While this is an ideal place for major company announcements, you should make it a point to bring value with every post. This means sharing industry news, trends, and best practices with unique insights. Additionally, your teams should make sure to engage users who are commenting on these posts.
Company Thought Leaders
Your LinkedIn tactics shouldn’t be limited to your company page. Thought leaders within your company should also be participating other groups on LinkedIn, share posts from your company page and comment on posts from others in the industry. This will allow your brand to expand your reach even further (LinkedIn prohibits company page participation in groups outside of those you manage) and validate the team behind your brand.
Advance to the Paid Opportunities
Once you’ve established your brand on LinkedIn, it’s time to graduate to the built-in paid opportunities. LinkedIn sees the endless possibilities within their arsenal of users and data, so they offer multiple options for reaching and connecting with the audiences most important to your organization.
Sponsored content or native advertising gives you the edge when promoting your brand within the channel. Like any platform, messages can quickly become lost within the vast amount of digital content, but, with sponsored content, you can prioritize your content to get your organization’s updates in front of more people. This allows you to connect with the right users to drive leads. With this feature, you can set your budget, while choosing between cost-per-click or cost-per-impression options. Better yet, you can track your leads through LinkedIn’s conversion tracking feature.
The private message feature within LinkedIn serves as a key tool for communicating with specific users about special pricing, ebook downloads, free consultations, and more. With sponsored InMail, you can deliver content (a message paired with an image) directly into a user’s LinkedIn inbox. It’s targeted marketing at its finest. You can personalize the message for the user and reach them when they’re most engaged. Make sure you include an offer and a way to convert.
Last and certainly not least, LinkedIn offers multiple advertising options based on your goals and budget, including:
- Display ads: Capture the attention of audiences with display ads that appear on the right rail for targeted users. These highly visible ad placements help you engage the right users, and programmatic and managed buying options give you flexibility based on your goals and budget.
- Text ads: This budget-friendly option can help you drive audiences to your website or landing pages by serving up content to clearly defined user profiles. Depending on your budget, you can opt for pay-per-click or cost-per-impression pricing.
- Dynamic ads: You can take advertising to the next level with this personalized option, which serves up custom ad copy, calls to action, and images to users based on their activity.
Your Next Steps
So as a Modern Marketer on LinkedIn, where do you begin? Start by establishing a solid company presence through a well-planned company overview page and creating groups based on your key audiences. Review the paid LinkedIn marketing opportunities to identify the tools that align with your goals and budget. Essentially, just dive in, but be prepared to pivot. As with any marketing strategy, be open to new approaches as you work to find the right mix of LinkedIn marketing tactics that will make an impact and drive you toward your goals.