When you think of social media marketing, what platforms first come to mind? Most likely it’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. While you wouldn’t be wrong to prioritize these platforms, LinkedIn is another useful social media tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.
With more than 900 million members in 200 countries across the globe, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and one of the most-utilized social platforms. Just like creating a website, using LinkedIn is an effective platform for building your online marketing strategy.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the benefits of LinkedIn marketing and how to use it to grow your business.
What is LinkedIn marketing?
As the name suggests, LinkedIn marketing is the process of using LinkedIn as part of your business’s social media marketing strategy. By posting carefully crafted content, businesses and individuals can use LinkedIn to build relationships, showcase their expertise and boost brand awareness. Additionally, LinkedIn’s native features, such as job postings and sponsored content, can be used to get companies in front of specific audiences.
Why use LinkedIn marketing?
Whether you’re a business owner, marketing professional or self-creator, you’ll find that there are several advantages to promoting your business on LinkedIn. For starters, when someone visits LinkedIn, they’re likely already in a business mindset. Unlike other social media platforms that attract users who are looking to be entertained, LinkedIn users are there to specifically advance their careers and network within their industry.
B2B companies in particular will find a high concentration of their target market on LinkedIn. For this reason, the platform plays a vital role in capturing leads for many B2B businesses. In fact, a recent study from HubSpot shows that LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than other social media platforms, generating a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74% compared with Twitter (0.69%) and Facebook (0.77%).
Even small businesses and brands have a good chance of being noticed by their target audience on LinkedIn, since the content isn’t diluted by the usual clutter of personal posts and political discussions. Customers visit LinkedIn for marketing and business-related content, and generally have high intent when they browse.
Another advantage of LinkedIn is that it’s highly versatile. Whether you’re there to network, advertise, recruit or build brand awareness—the platform provides many tools that allow businesses to hone in on a specific marketing goal. It also works as a part of local marketing and more global efforts.
How to use LinkedIn marketing to grow your business
Because of the many uses and advantages of LinkedIn, it’s worth dedicating time and effort into building a robust LinkedIn marketing strategy. In the following section, you’ll learn how to get started:
01. Set up a LinkedIn page for your business
Most customers who discover or look up your business on LinkedIn will come across your business page. That means it’s essential to make sure that your page is on-brand and optimized for engagement. The main distinction between a LinkedIn business page (a.k.a. company page) and a personal LinkedIn profile is that Linkedin Pages are public and can be viewed by anyone. By contrast, individuals who want to connect with another individual’s profile must request to do so and await approval.
A LinkedIn Company Page gives you one central place to post content about your business. At the top of your page, you can grab viewers’ attention by including your logo and mission statement. You also have the option to fill in an About section that gives an overview of your company. Or, you could include a Product section that directs people to your offerings.
Be sure to keep your company page up-to-date, and maintain a brand style and tone that’s consistent with your other social media accounts.
02. Create a content strategy
As you build your network, make sure the posts you create are optimized to capture leads, drive engagement and get website traffic. It will take time to perfect your strategy, but from the beginning, you should put thought into what types of content will help you reach your KPIs.
If you’re aiming for engagement, compelling videos, polls and questionnaires are a great way to not only share about your brand, but also encourage followers to comment and participate.
Gated content like guides, eBooks and templates are a strategic way to gain leads. These resources can be offered for download in exchange for a user’s email address.
For building brand awareness, informative posts from your company blog can help to drive traffic to your site, while PR content or articles from external experts can help to establish your brand as a thought leader.
Of course, just like any other social media platform, LinkedIn uses an algorithm to choose which posts to display most prominently. To optimize your posts:
Include engaging visuals, like images, videos and infographics
Commit to a consistent posting schedule
Use a clear call-to-action
Keep your copy short and concise
Create LinkedIn polls to drive engagement
Lead with questions
Quickly respond to comments
Tag relevant people and pages
Include hashtags (see tip number 5 below)
03. Post organic and paid content
Once your business page is set up, it’s time to start posting. LinkedIn focuses heavily on building relationships through meaningful content, and there are many effective types and ways to do this—from videos and blog posts, to sponsored ads and catchy polls.
Organic tactics like engaging with relevant discussions, curating posts on topics that matter to your audience and crafting thought-leading articles or videos are all ways to build a dedicated following. In terms of paid posting, the platform offers different types of ads, including:
Sponsored content: Native ads that appear in the LinkedIn feed.
Sponsored messaging: Direct messages that appear in people’s inboxes.
Dynamic ads: Ads that are automatically personalized to your target market.
Text ads: PPC (pay-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-thousand) desktop and mobile ads.
The benefit of using paid ads is that they help you reach new audiences immediately.
LinkedIn lets you target ads by company size, job title, skills and more. You can additionally run LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences, which lets you retarget known contacts and website visitors. Because these contacts have already shown interest in your brand, matched audiences have a higher potential to convert.
04. Get insights with LinkedIn analytics
As with any marketing strategy, in order to grow and make the most of your time, effort and money, it's important to keep track of how your activity performs. To do this, you can use LinkedIn’s built-in analytics tools like the Campaign Manager, which gives you real-time insights on your LinkedIn campaign performance, as well as demographic insights that you can use to improve your targeting strategy.
Tracking conversions on LinkedIn is another great way to understand which ads are driving leads, purchases and sign ups. Likewise, you can compare metrics like clicks, impressions and social actions to optimize past posts and inform your LinkedIn marketing strategy going forward.
05. Publish articles on LinkedIn Publishing Platform
Did you know that you can publish articles through LinkedIn? This feature is available to all members and admins of a LinkedIn page. Publishing an article on LinkedIn is similar to doing so on a platform like Medium—except that you don’t need to open a separate blogging account. These articles are displayed in the Activity section of your profile, plus shared on your followers’ news feeds.
One of the benefits of publishing on LinkedIn is establishing your authority through the platform. Your business can benefit from having a byline on LinkedIn that, over time, reflects your level of expertise. LinkedIn articles are also indexed in Google, meaning they can improve your company’s online visibility.
06. Keep your page’s content fresh and relevant
LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score and Trending Content resources give you insights into the performance of your organic and paid posts. Your Content Marketing Score measures how audiences engage with your content and how your results compare to your competitors’. It also gives you a breakdown of how different types of content perform. Whether you’re posting company updates, sponsored content or group posts, you’ll be able to gauge which strategies are working best for your business.
Trending Content is another useful resource to inform your content efforts. It highlights trending topics for specific audiences, giving you a window into what you should be writing about. From there, you can also check out which content gets the most shares from different audience groups, helping you hone in on the topics that resonate with your target market most.
07. Send messages through InMail
InMail is a paid feature on LinkedIn that allows you to contact anyone, even if they aren’t your connection. It’s an invaluable tool for reaching prospective clients, connecting with potential partners or influencers and sourcing new talent. The message goes directly into recipients’ email inboxes too, meaning that you can essentially email people, even if you don’t have their email address.
According to LinkedIn, InMail response rate is three times higher than regular email. The tool also has built-in analytics to show what type of messages drive responses.
08. Use targeted status updates
Publishing daily status updates is an effective way to keep your followers engaged and informed. But you can take this step even further by posting targeted status updates tailored to specific audience groups.
For instance, LinkedIn’s marketing tools allow you to filter updates based on company size, industry, seniority, job function, geography and language. The benefit of this is that you can adapt the content of your status updates according to different customer personas. These targeted updates will appear on your page, as well as on the users’ LinkedIn feeds.
09. Attract new followers to your page
Creating content that is interesting, informative and relevant to your target audience will naturally lead more valuable LinkedIn followers to your page. On top of that, there are multiple strategies, tools and tactics that you can use to reach a dedicated following effectively over time.
First, you can leverage the networking power of the platform to your advantage. Ask influencers to promote your page, publish guest posts by leaders with a large following or sponsor content that will lead new visitors to your brand.
Secondly, you can utilize native features, such as job postings and surveys, to draw attention to your page and drive engagement.
Lastly, you can link your LinkedIn page directly to your website and other marketing assets (social media pages, marketing emails and more so it’s easy for visitors to find.
LinkedIn marketing best practices
Ready to reap the full benefits of the platform? Here are some best practices to help optimize your LinkedIn marketing strategy:
Don’t be hesitant to network
LinkedIn is, first and foremost, a networking platform. This makes it a powerful tool for finding new clients, collaborators, sponsors and employees. If you’re looking to generate leads, for instance, you can search on LinkedIn for people who fit the criteria of your target audience.
Once you’ve made these connections, there are many ways to communicate with your network. Using your LinkedIn Business page, you can reach out to them directly by sending a message to introduce yourself yourself, your product or service (this is a common practice). Another effective practice is to share daily status updates and weekly blog posts. This will ensure your followers have the chance to engage with your brand on a regular basis.
Get your team involved
No matter the size of your business, encourage your employees to proactively engage with your business and promote your content on LinkedIn. Aside from following your page and sharing company posts, your employees should feel empowered to celebrate company wins and share their proudest moments through their own profiles.
To maximize your reach even further, tag individual in posts using @name. By doing this, your brand’s content will not only be viewable to the followers of your business page, but also to your employees’ followers or the followers of anyone else who is tagged.
Another effective way to strengthen your LinkedIn marketing strategy is to use hashtags in your posts. To choose hashtags strategically, use the LinkedIn search bar to see how many people follow a specific thread. Also, check the industry that the hashtag attracts and how the hashtag is being used before incorporating it into your own content.
Each time you post, aim to include about three to five hashtags. Use a mix of broad hashtags, like #ecommerce or #digitalmarketing, and specific hashtags that are more finely tailored to your target market. Don’t worry about the more specific hashtags having a lower number of followers; these can actually help you narrow your reach to an audience with higher intent.
Build your email marketing list
Think of your LinkedIn connections as prospective subscribers to your email list. You can message each of your connections with a personalized thank you note and inviting them to stay connected via your email list. As part of the email, include a direct link to the email signup page.
For this to be successful, it’s important that you offer value in exchange. Tell your acquaintances what they’ll receive by signing up—you could even throw in a freebie, like a coupon, at signup—and offer your services as a fellow industry professional.
Join and create LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups are online hubs where professionals with similar interests can gather, network and exchange ideas. Joining LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your target market is a clever way to do some user research—i.e., putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and listening to their priorities and pain points. It’s also an opportunity to interact with new audiences and establish a relationship with prospective clients while strengthening your authority.
You can alternatively create a new group of your own and invite certain people to join it. As you grow your group, you’ll foster a platform where your prospects are gathered together in one place. Here, you can share valuable company content, establish your expertise and build a community of like-minded professionals who not only lean on your brand, but also each other for advice. Just make sure to avoid using these groups to push sales; instead, focus on providing genuine value and building quality relationships.