Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn Marketing
In this guide, I share with you how to leverage LinkedIn and maximise the returns on your LinkedIn Marketing efforts.
They say your network is your net worth. This couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to LinkedIn.
Why is LinkedIn Marketing Important
According to latest figures from LinkedIn, the platform has 756 million members in more than 200 countries. LinkedIn has been consistently growing in userbase and features over the last decade. It’s become the world’s top platform for professionals and businesses.
LinkedIn is on a mission to connect the world’s professionals and allow them to be more productive and successful. And since it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016, it’s become more valuable and important than ever.
Historically, people used LinkedIn to find candidates and seek employment. However, over the last 5 years, LinkedIn has become a social media platform for professionals that encompasses a vast range of solutions for almost every profession and business need.
Recruiters use it to advertise job opportunities and find the right candidates. Salespeople use it to prospect and find leads. Companies use it for various branding goals. Advertisers use it to promote their products and services. And the list goes on.
According to my LinkedIn Sales Navigator, there are over 11 million people in Australia on LinkedIn. With an approximately 13 Million employed people in the country, around 85% of the Australian workforce is on LinkedIn. And that number is most likely even higher when you look at the C-suite folks and key decision makers.
If you’re not active on LinkedIn and fully utilising LinkedIn Marketing as a part of your digital marketing strategy, you’re missing out on massive opportunities for your business and personal brand.
LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategy
When creating your LinkedIn content marketing strategy, you should start by defining your goals. Are you looking to improve your personal brand and increase awareness? Are you perhaps looking to generate qualified leads, and how a month? Are you focusing on establishing credibility and authority in your industry? Being crystal clear on your main goals will shape your content strategy.
In saying that, Content on LinkedIn doesn’t always have to be about your business. In fact, for content to be engaging, it should address what people care about.
For example, here is a post by Facebook on LinkedIn. It’s simple, smart, and engaging.
Here’s one way to think about your content on LinkedIn
- 25% of content focused on your business
- 25% of content addressing related topics
- 25% of content acknowledging others
- 25% of content is personal or fun and light-hearted
With that said, the following sections will give you insights and tips on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn Marketing.
According to LinkedIn, LinkedIn Live gets 7X more reactions and 24X more comments.
LinkedIn Live is the holy grail of LinkedIn content. And it’s not for everyone. In fact, to be able to use LinkedIn Live, you have to apply and get approved by LinkedIn. On top of that, you’ll need to stream your Live events through one of the LinkedIn streaming partners. Compared to other platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, it’s less accessible. But that makes it worth your while because not everyone can do it.
When you go live, LinkedIn notifies your network which brings more eyeballs to your live event.
LinkedIn live events can be personal, sales focused or educational.
A lot of LinkedIn experts use it to bring other panel experts to discuss topics related to their products or services. However, there are people who use LinkedIn live to do personal talks.
A good place to start is by inviting other people to join the live event and have a conversation with them. It makes it a lot easier to start. When you get more comfortable with it, you can start doing solo LinkedIn Live streams.
Another important thing to do in LinkedIn Live is to prepare a call to action and a specific goal you have from the session. You should mention the call-to-action once or twice throughout the live stream. For example, you can tell them to head over to a website page to download your latest case study or to sign up to your free training program, etc.
Video content is quite important but perhaps not for everyone. It requires commitment and consistency. It can certainly help you establish credibility and get higher engagement and following. And the best part is, you don’t need to create high-production-value videos to connect with people. Using your iPhone or Samsung will do the job. If you want to invest a bit in your video, consider buying an led light and finding a cool spot to record your videos. You can also use Canva or a video editing tool to edit your video and add intros/outros.
As we speak, there are 8 main post types. And the best part is, LinkedIn keeps introducing new types of posts. For starters, you have image and video posts which most people use. You can also write an article that gives you the “Author” label and is a good way to increase your credibility. But then you have other types of posts that not many people use or are familiar with.
1. Create a poll
I personally love polls and find them to be highly engaging. The reason polls are highly engaging is that:
- People are naturally curious and want to know the result of your poll
- People like to give their opinions on different topics
- It’s easy to participate in a poll – just pick an option
A poll might not necessarily give you a ton of credibility because you’re essentially asking people for their opinions. However, it drives high engagement and more importantly, it can give you great insights on what your prospective buyers are looking for. Let’s say you are a management consultancy business; you can create a poll asking your network and business owners what their main business challenges this year are. Based on their answers, you might shift focus to specific solutions tailored to the information you gathered.
Here’s an example of a Poll done by a boutique management consulting company, The Culture Equation. The poll asked people what they find to be the most important factor in workplace culture.
Document posts are really good for sharing with your network technical and educational content. Documents are basically slides that you can share in the form of a pdf as well as other doc types (PPT, PPTS, DOC, DOCX, and PDF). For example, let’s say you create a new case study on a project that you’ve just finished, you can share it using a document post. Or maybe, you’ve just conducted new market research.
But documents don’t have to be all serious. You can tell a story through LinkedIn documents. The more creative you get the better. Here’s an example of a document posted by Gary Vee giving advice on hiring.
3. Share that you’re hiring
A “You’re Hiring Post” will demonstrate that your business is growing and these types of posts tend to get high visibility. LinkedIn wants to help you utilise its features and so, they give a post like that a good level of visibility.
4. Celebrate an occasion
A “Celebrate an occasion” post is another way to get high visibility and engagement. If you have a new person joining the team, you share that. But you can also give Kudos to someone, share new project updates, celebrate a work anniversary, or a new position.
5. Offer Help
An “Offer Help” post is a great way to show your community that you give back. When you create a post like that, LinkedIn tags the post with a “help” tag which distinguishes it from other posts. Here’s an example.
If you’re changing careers or offering clients a free consultation, you can create an “Offer Help” post. Here’s what it can look like.
6. Find an expert
And finally, a “Find an Expert” post is a great way to find people who you can collaborate with and utilise their expertise.
It pays off to have a good prospecting strategy on LinkedIn. The first step in prospecting is to have clarity on who your ideal clients are and who your buyer personas are. Your buyer personas are the key decision-makers you should reach out to.
LinkedIn makes it easy to find the right people and companies. The Sales Navigator tool is worth every penny you pay for. But most people don’t make the best use of this tool. Here’s how you can utilise it to its fullest potential.
Search for Accounts
Firstly, you’ll need to identify the target businesses that make a good match for your product or service. You can zoom in on accounts by location, revenue, company headcount, department headcount, industry/sector, and a few other criteria. Next, you should save these accounts in a list. If you have different target buyer groups, you can create multiple lists.
Search for Leads
Once you’ve identified the right accounts, start searching for the key decision makers. For small businesses, these can be the business owner or founder. For medium and large enterprises, you’ll need to identify the department heads. For example, if you sell leadership and coaching training, you can search for HR directors, People & Culture Directors, etc. Again, you should these decision-makers into various lists.
Next, you should start connecting with these individuals. Note that connecting with people who you haven’t met is something LinkedIn is not a big fan of. And if you over do it and you get flagged, it can compromise your LinkedIn account. My advice is to connect with 2nd degree connections, and don’t over do it. Tell people when you connect with them how your connection can add value to them. Most people are open to new connections. However, if you sound spammy or salesly, it can backfire.
So, make sure you demonstrate the value of the connection first before making any pitch. A good way to know how effective your connection strategy is, is by measuring the connection acceptance rate. If it’s under 30% then you need to take a step and figure out whether your message is not right, your profile doesn’t demonstrate value or you’re not connecting with the right people.
After you connect with people, thank them and give them value. There are so many ways to do that, here are a few:
- like and comment on their content
- introduce them to one or more of your contacts
- recommend a piece of content to them
- share their content with your network
Engage & convert
After you’ve built a level of rapport, you’re ready to ask for their time and attention. At this point your goal is to ascertain if there’s interest for your product or service, and convert them to a qualified lead. To do that, you can craft a personalised LinkedIn message that covers the following:
- what you do
- how you can help them
- how you’ve helped others
- you’re interested in speaking to them
At that point, one of 4 scenarios will happen.
- They will show interest and agree to meet
- They will indicate that they might be interested in the future
- They will not respond
- They will tell you there is no interest
If they don’t respond, don’t keep messaging and spamming them. Pull back and approach them in a few months with a different message or proposition. Often when people see your content week in week out, they build more rapport and trust in you. So, next time when you reach out, they’ll be more likely to respond.
If they’re not interested, thank them and wish them the best, and leave it at that.
If they show interest, proceed to lock in a time to speak.
It’s that simple.
I’ve personally generated hundreds of leads for myself and my clients using this prospecting approach.
LinkedIn Groups are a great way to connect with people, build your network and market your business. They are essentially virtual meetings or forums where professionals who similar interests interact, exchange knowledge and experience and share content.
Participating in LinkedIn Groups can help demonstrate your expertise and build credibility. However, it can also help you find your target buyers. For example, if you coach leaders, joining leadership groups can help you connect with people looking for resources on leadership.
At the same time, these groups will most likely have other professionals who provide similar products or services which can help you understand your competition and where you stand against other providers, some of which you can form partnerships with.
Fortunately, LinkedIn makes it super easy to find groups. All you have to do is by searching in the main search bar and filtering by “Groups”. Start by joining a few groups and look to add value first before trying to pitch anything to anyone.
Your LinkedIn profile is your greatest asset when it comes to LinkedIn Marketing. People judge a book by its cover whether we like it or not. Whichever way people find you and connect with you, the first thing they do is look at your profile. Here are important areas to consider improving.
Your profile doesn’t have to be all serious. It should show your personality and be YOU. Here’s one of my favourite LinkedIn profile for Grazina Fechner, a communication and leadership expert who I had the pleasure of interviewing on my podcast, The Rani Arsanios Show.
If you check her LinkedIn profile, it’s super engaging and most importantly, it’s fun.
Your profile photo makes a major difference. I recommend investing in a professionally taken photo. However, an iPhone image will suffice if it’s taken well.
The profile background image is also quite important. It’s digital real estate. You can use it to communicate your business value, or you can portray your credibility. For example, you use a photo of a speaking event your participated in.
Make your title count. One of the first people see on your LinkedIn profile is your title. It should be concise and reflect how you add value to your network and clients. It also helps prospective buyers find you when they search for someone with similar expertise.
Switch the “creator mode” on. When you do that, LinkedIn will show the number of your followers. It also adds A “Follow” button to your profile when people come across your profile.
Going back Grazina’s profile. Here’s the first part of her About section.
Grazina Marita Fechner– say that six times, I dare you. Now, while we’re on the topic of ‘dares’, how’s this for one: I dare you to read my entire bio! Let’s face it, our attention span has decreased due to technology *self-included*. My attention span has reduced so much, that I can’t wait for my two-minute noodles anymore. And let me tell you, one-minute noodles are just as bad as my tongue-twister of a name.
It makes you want to continue reading. It’s not boring. It tells you about who she is as an individual. It’s impactful.
People check tens of LinkedIn profiles every day. Spend time thinking about how to make your About us section stand out.
Getting recommendations is another way to boost your credibility. The more credible the person giving you the recommendation the more credible the recommendation is. Of course, the more recommendations you get the better but the quality and relevance of the recommendation is the most important factor.
1. Create & Share Content
Sharing content via your LinkedIn page helps your business get more reach and engagement. However, to boost reach, you can do couple of things:
- Re-share the post via your personal LinkedIn Profile
- Sponsor the post via LinkedIn Advertising
- Encourage your team and employees to re-share your content
2. Invite Connections
To get more visibility for your company page, LinkedIn gives you a new monthly credit of 100 people to invite to follow your LinkedIn page. If the people you invited accept the invitation, you get that credit back within the month. So, let’s say you invited a 100 people and only 40 people accepted, you don’t have to wait till next month to invite another 100 people, you get 40 credits back to invite more people. And so, it’s important to invite people you know are most likely to follow your page and are interested in what you do.
In addition, ask your team and employees to invite their network to get more followers.
3. Consider using Showcase/Affiliated Pages
If you’re a large business and have multiple business units, you should create Showcase pages. A Showcase page is essentially an extension of your LinkedIn Page. Its purpose is to put a spotlight on individual brands, business units, and initiatives your company has. After you create a showcase page, it will be listed under ‘Affiliated Pages’ on your main LinkedIn Page.
The benefit of creating affiliated pages is to allow your business units to create tailored content and news relevant to that division of the business. You can also control access for the different affiliated pages.