How do you use marketing on LinkedIn to further your sales objectives? Do you use it for direct sales? Perhaps you want to build your brand on the platform? Maybe you want to connect with potential sales professional who can share your message to a wider audience?
Either way, you need a plan to determine the best course of action for marketing on LinkedIn. Every marketing strategy on LinkedIn incorporates a few essential elements.
Below we review how to use these elements for your LinkedIn marketing strategy. Pick and choose the best elements for your business.
What are the 11 essential elements to marketing on LinkedIn?
#1 Your LinkedIn marketing strategy starts with an impressive LinkedIn Profile. Out of all the elements we discuss, this is the one universal element. If you do not have a solid profile, you are wasting time on the social network.
Instead of telling you to fill out your entire profile like every other LinkedIn marketing guide, we want to help you get the most out of your profile. You already know how to fill out your experience.
The three items below make your profile stick out from your competitors.
Your headline must capture the imagination. As Forbes magazine stated, your headline serves the same purpose as a headline for an advertisement. It should encourage you to read more.
Because there is no one right way to do that, here are few sample LinkedIn headlines.
First, let’s start with more of a traditional headline that is still effective. This is from Gordon (Gordy) Curphy. He lists himself as PhD: #1 Leadership Author | Coaching & Consulting Leaders, Teams & Organizations on Improving Efficiency & Effectiveness.
Yes, he does list his occupation, but he also explains how his position matters to potential connections. Instead of just saying leadership executive, he talks abut how that position helps teams.
Second, let’s go completely in the opposite direction. Cindy Gallop’s headline is definitely not conventional. However, her headline attracts attention and stands out from other marketing managers.
Maybe it would help if she was a bit more specific about her role. However, it is great click bait to check out her profile.
Third, I took my headline for this one. It is definitely not your ordinary headline. However, at the same time this headline is benefits based.
It speaks to businesses that get stuck in a box thinking about how they can write content. Part of creating your headline is knowing your audience. This works with small to medium size businesses, which is my target market. Definitely does not work with a Fortune 500 audience.
A photo is worth a 1000 words. How often do we hear that images are important? Well, LinkedIn confirmed this theory. They proved that a profile with a photo is 11 times more likely to be viewed than one without the photo.
Look at TruConversion founder Hammad Akbar’s photo. It is a great black and white photo that shows him relaxed and professional. Without seeing the photo, you would have no clue who you were dealing with on LinkedIn.
That is why photo’s matter.
Endorsements and Testimonials- Testimonials on a random website landing page increase conversions between 35 to 50%. It is conclusive proof that the company is not just making stuff up.
Remember to buy a product, you need to know, like, and trust. LinkedIn makes the trusting even more essential, because all testimonials come from known sources on the site.
How many times did you see a website testimonial like this one?
John S says, “Your product changed my life.”
Great! Who is John S? Is he a real person? How can you ask that person more about their experience?
Compare that to the LinkedIn testimonial and endorsements below. LinkedIn ensures no testimonials are anonymous.
If you believe in someone’s product on LinkedIn, you stake your name and reputation on that endorsement.
#2 LinkedIn Company Pages
Once you finish your profile, you also should finish your LinkedIn company page. For small businesses and individual sales professionals, spend more time on your personal profile.
LinkedIn company pages benefit businesses with multiple employees. They provide the business more prestige, and enhance the profiles of all your employees.
For example, HubPage used their LinkedIn company page to connect 16,500 followers. The page also led to a group with over 82,000 members.
The end result is that HubPages had a 2.7% conversion rate from their page. This is 3x higher than their results on Facebook and Twitter.
However, conversions are not the only reason you would want to use LinkedIn Company Pages
Marketing agency Schawk uses LinkedIn company pages along with LinkedIn Recruiter as a human resources tool.
By using LinkedIn, the company managed to save over $200K in recruiting costs, while saving time in the process.
Your company page is a sort of meeting ground for all people interested in your business brand. That is why it serves larger businesses more than solopreneurs.
#3 Build your network through LinkedIn groups. Once you have your profile and company page set up it is time to start expanding your network.
Just like a business professional goes out to networking events to meet connections, professionals on LinkedIn connect with each on LinkedIn groups.
Some of these groups have blossomed in size over the past few years.
For example, Royal Phillips is an international healthcare innovator with products that help save people’s lives around the world. In 2009, Hans Notenboom, their Global Head of Digital Marketing, created a LinkedIn Group called Innovations in Healthcare.
6 years later, the group connects over 100,000 healthcare professionals around the world to discuss many of the most important topics of the day.
Furthermore, it is great publicity for a healthcare technology firm at the center of providing many of these life-saving technologies. The group is the platform for professionals to meet and connect with each other.
However, businesses do not need to start up a LinkedIn group to benefit. Take automated relationship marketing company Viral Solutions.
They actively tell their sales partners to use LinkedIn groups to bring in more business.
After doing some studies, they discovered 50.7% of top sellers are members of 30 groups or more. This compares to only 11.5% of the bottom 49.3% of sellers.
Once the company realized this, they encourage all their sellers to become more active on the social network. Now, 58% of their revenue originates from LinkedIn Groups. With an average contract size of $7500, this is significant business.
#4 LinkedIn connections are a crucial part of marketing on LinkedIn. The connections you make help you increase your referral and direct sales through LinkedIn.
That is what Jeff Ragovin, VP of Sales and Business Development at Buddy Media, did to make millions in dollars’ worth of sales through the social network.
He used LinkedIn to find the right connections who would be interested in his services. Instead of cold calling, he developed a personal relationship with prospects through LinkedIn first.
Ragovin is not alone. Software Firm Goshido worked with their connections to fund a new product they want to develop.
Frank Hannigan, Goshido’s chief executive, reached out to his first and second degree contacts to retain a €162,500 investment. 30%, or €48,750 of this investment came directly from LinkedIn users.
#5 How do we use LinkedIn Search? We just discussed the importance of LinkedIn connections in the previous section.
However, more important is how do you find these connections. While there is no one single way to do so, one of the best ways is to perform a LinkedIn search for new connections.
When you join different groups, you not only have the opportunity to speak with additional connections. You also have the ability to search for group members on LinkedIn.
It is like finding a group of prospects, and then using LinkedIn search to find the best of these connections as prospects for your business.
Advertising firm PJA invests an hour day searching LinkedIn for specific keywords, zip codes, and company names.
By doing this consistently they landed a number of large accounts, including Guidewire and Chase.
#6 LinkedIn Premium is more of a necessity for an active LinkedIn user. A few years ago, almost every professional social media consultant discounted the paid plans LinkedIn offered.
The costs still seemed to far outweigh the benefit. LinkedIn must have been listening, because over the past year they have increased the number of functions a paid account provides, while limiting free account functionality.
While not every account needs to pay, if you are actively doing searches for prospective clients then you should look at something like LinkedIn Navigator.
#7 Ready to create some LinkedIn Updates. Now that we have started to build up your connections and your groups, you need to start interacting on a regular basis.
That means you need to comment and like other people’s updates to let them know you are paying attention to what they are working on for their business.
You also need to continuously create updates of your own.
In this section, we discuss how you can create text and photo updates. In the next session, we discuss the LinkedIn publishing arm as well.
Here are some ideas to use LinkedIn updates more effectively.
First, know the best day and time to publish your updates. For example, the best time to post on LinkedIn is Tuesday between 10-11 AM.
According to the research, the most shares happen on social networks during this time. However, more clicks happen between 1-2 PM.
By knowing this information, you can spread out your updates to match these times throughout the week.
Furthermore, do not just post once a month and pat yourself on the back. LinkedIn specifically states that when you create 20 updates a month, you have the potential to reach 60% of your audience.
If you are posting less than that, your results are greatly reduced.
Second, create compelling content. More and more content needs to be visual. While LinkedIn is not as advanced on visuals as Facebook and Pinterest, they do encourage you to upload images to your status updates.
By including links to YouTube, you can embed the videos onto your feed as well.
Third, have a great call to action. Postcard Company PostcardMania create a wide range of information updates each month for their network.
At the end of 80% of their posts they include a special report that users can get by signing up for a list on a landing page. The campaign was so successful for PostcardMania in the past year that it brought in over $72,000 in sales from 600 leads.
#8 How to use LinkedIn Publisher. Over the past 24 months, more and more users have begun using the other option for LinkedIn updates: LinkedIn Publisher.
This is a blogging platform where LinkedIn users can create content that goes out to all of their connections.
While a few downsides of using LinkedIn publisher exist. For example, many of the posts are republished from other platforms (duplicate content).
The benefit of sharing your thought leadership with your entire LinkedIn network can produce results.
For example social sharing platform Scoop.it uses the platform to provide additional exposure for some of the best posts on their platform.
By sharing this content on LinkedIn, they increased page views by 80% and reshares by 65% for republished content from Scoop.it.
#9 LinkedIn mobile is now the main way users access the social network. Over the past year, we have seen tremendous strides in mobile usage across the internet. Mobile internet usage overtook traditional internet usage, Google searches receive over half of their searches from mobile devices, and now over 50% of LinkedIn users access the social network through mobile devices.
To help users access LinkedIn through mobile, the company has created a number of mobile applications to make the process smoother for all users.
This also means that you need to focus on how to present information to users in a mobile setting. After all, every day mobile users view 15 million profiles and view 1.45 million jobs on their mobile device.
Adhere to the visual information we discussed in the updates, if you want to get more out of your mobile connections.
#10 LinkedIn Messages bring a personal touch. While creating connections and content for your audience are definitely a good thing, you also need to add a personal touch.
One of the best ways to do this is through LinkedIn messages. Here you can write messages for specific individuals just like you would in your email. The difference is that it pings users on their mobile, email, and desktop notifications to check the message.
This means you can vastly enhance your open rate.
The new sponsored InMail program has the potential to do even more good for businesses.
As Brett Chester, Vice President of Online Marketing at Replicon stated, “From an email perspective, we normally hit a 12% open rate off a cold list which is exceptionally good. With LinkedIn InMail, we hit 48% open rate. We have not seen open rates like this in a long time.”
Even without using sponsored InMail, many clients see advantages.
Take a look at a campaign from FileIT.tax. By crafting a specific script for targeted connections they were able to turn 22% of the company’s targeted leads into clients.
Based on their previous experience with leads, many of these customers work with the company an average of 3-4 years, which could provide a 400% return on investment (ROI).
#11 LinkedIn Ads for lead generation. The final element are LinkedIn ads. These ads can be tremendously helpful in increasing your income from social networking.
LinkedIn now provides you with a few ways to advertise your business. We already discuss sponsored InMail.
You can also use LinkedIn to create traditional banner ads, or sponsored content. These choices are similar to what you have on Facebook.
The opportunities when you create LinkedIn ads are tremendous as well.
For example, in one case study, a SaaS company providing sales support software was able to direct prospects over to their squeeze using LinkedIn ads. The results brought in 439 leads at a conversion rate of 20.47%.
This was all from LinkedIn traffic to a free offer on the landing page shown below.
They are not alone. Dan Obregon, VP of Marketing, Intelliworks used LinkedIn ads to drive referrals for his business.
Using a similar model, they are now able to drive 22% of qualified online leads from LinkedIn. More importantly, the cost per lead on LinkedIn is 40% lower than on search advertising.
If you sell products or services to other businesses or business professionals, you need to have a presence on LinkedIn.
The social network as we mentioned can help businesses market themselves on LinkedIn in a variety of ways.
From inbound marketing with your content to lead generation through ads and groups, you have the opportunity to build your business on the social network.
The biggest question you need to ask yourself is what type of LinkedIn marketing strategy do you want to use?
We provided you with the essential elements for marketing on LinkedIn, let us know in the comments below what you see as being the best approach for your business.