Most marketers think of LinkedIn as a social media platform, but it’s been my experience that when used correctly it becomes far more than that. It feeds your marketing funnel and, in many ways, is part of a solid growth marketing strategy.
While there’s tons of opportunity to attract your audience and convert them, there are a few grey areas, details that can easily be overlooked when using LinkedIn. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing a collection of insights on how to use each of LinkedIn’s solutions to generate the best results possible.
We’ll look at social posts and how to be more strategic when producing them; I’ll share some perspective on curated content and why you should include it as part of your social strategy; how key employee profiles can become powerful branding tools, and how to get the most out of sponsored content.
Social posts with purpose
You’ve just published a new blog post and it’s time to share it on social media. Before you do, think about what you want to achieve with the social post. At the top of your list, you’d likely want to generate traffic, and hopefully that traffic converts into a lead. But to get that far, you need to be able to engage your audience.
We like to think of social posts as an ongoing conversation. And when it comes to conversations, the best ones are those that are filled with interesting ideas and valuable information.
Here are two tips on how to start interesting conversations:
- Lead with a question. Posing questions gets readers thinking, and when they are thinking they are engaged.
- Think pain and relief. Your new blog post most likely addresses a problem that your audience might face in some way or form. Highlighting that pain will grab their attention, but make sure there’s a payoff in your post and be sure to avoid clichés and copy that looks like clickbait.
Share third-party content
Sharing third-party content may seem a little daunting, as you might feel that you’re offering up someone else’s work and potentially losing an opportunity to generate a lead. To an extent that may be true, but when you think about the number of professionals on LinkedIn, and that they are constantly scrolling to their feeds, coming across valuable information is all they are really interested in.
But there’s another side to sharing third-party content, and here are three reasons to make it a part of your social strategy:
- It’s free. Constantly producing content is expensive and time-consuming, and with a limited budget finding strong and valuable content that your audience will find useful helps.
- It shows your brand is paying attention. Your audience is following you because they think you have something valuable to give them, and third-party content, especially when it’s strong and insightful can be great for your brand. You can’t come up with all of the best ideas, but sharing them along with a well-thought-out conversation starter shows your audience that you’re putting them first – you’re feeding them something that will help them solve a problem.
- Authority by association. By sharing valuable pieces of content, your audience sees that your brand is a true leader focused on solutions and less on pushy sales tactics.
Optimize key personnel profiles
People love following other people, especially those they feel are true thought leaders. And if you look at LinkedIn’s top influences, they all have highly optimized profiles – which is why you should optimize those of your key personnel and start using them to carry your brand message out to the market more strategically.
Here are three valuable tips on how to get started:
- Link job titles with a purpose. These is a trend going around LinkedIn where professionals include long sentences about what they do. In fact, most of these profiles make it hard to understand what their owners really do. Using a job title with a concise, and purpose-driven tagline is more effective. It shows readers your position within your organization and how you add value doing what you do.
- Use a strong narrative. LinkedIn profiles have a summary section which allows professionals to share a bit about themselves. A smart way to capitalize on the space (2000 characters) is by highlighting a unique perspective on how you help customers solve their problems.
- Use focused endorsements. When endorsements were first launched by LinkedIn, they fast became a user favorite. But when you come across a profile of someone with a specific job description and endorsement that is in no way aligned with what they do, it’s hard to believe that they truly are on a mission to add value in a specific way. I recommend trimming down endorsements to show the top three that are aligned with the professional’s profile. This way prospects see the profile and instantly view your personnel as highly focused and credible.
Be smart with sponsored content
LinkedIn offers video, dynamic ads and InMail as sponsored content options. At a glance, these options, while only a few, can feel overwhelming. Where do you start? Do you focus on driving brand awareness or generating leads? And, what’s the best approach for each?
Here are a few tips you may find useful:
- Think growth. If you’re starting out with paid ads for example, LinkedIn recommends that you split your spend, budgeting 70% towards lead generation and 30% on brand awareness. This way you get to test the waters and start generating leads to see ROI as soon as possible.
- Get your funnel ready. Make sure that your funnel is ready to start working for you. If that means a lead nurturing sequence, be sure that you’re ready to start sending content by the time you spend money on driving traffic.
- Ad ‘scent’ matters. Whether you’re using display ads or driving traffic via InMail, make sure that there’s a strong correlation between the sponsored content and the destination you’re sending your audience to. Like Google and Facebook ads, bounce rates still matter and your goal is to decrease them to be able to generate more leads and ROI.
It will take time. Like any marketing experiment, be patient and wait for as large a data set to work with as possible. To do this, you’ll need to run your campaigns for a long enough duration. In some cases, one month should give you sufficient data to start optimizing your approach.
LinkedIn has become a key component for marketers around the world, but to capitalize on all that it has to offer, brands need to view it as less of a social media platform and more of a strong growth marketing solution – one that can feed the funnel and drive brand awareness to a pool of highly targeted prospects.