By Ana Gotter on 19-Aug-2019 14:06:41
LinkedIn marketing is a must-have for any and all B2B businesses, because it’s one of the best platforms to reach potential clients on.
On Facebook or Instagram, for example, it’s definitely possible for B2B businesses to get users engaged with them or to click on an ad campaign, but many users aren’t necessarily in a business mindset while they’re scrolling through these feeds. This can make it harder to keep their interest on business-oriented content as a result.LinkedIn, by contrast, is all about the business. People login here and they’re thinking about everything in their professional world, so it makes sense that they may be more receptive to learning about your business, checking out new tools, and even reading industry-related news.
Social media practitioners offering LinkedIn marketing services have enormous potential to get major results for their B2B clients, whether they’re large corporations like Microsoft or individual freelancers trying to build a business. In order to get great results, however, you need to adapt your strategies to be specific to LinkedIn, as opposed to just using generic social strategies.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at 7 distinct strategies that you can use to offer stellar LinkedIn marketing services to your clients.
1. Optimise Both Personal and Company Profiles
It’s important to remind your clients that on LinkedIn, you can’t just focus on the company profile like you would on a Facebook Page; both personal and company profiles both need to be fully optimised if you want to maximise success on the platform.
Facebook Pages, Instagram profiles, Twitter profiles, and all the rest exist as standalone entities; they might list you as managing the Pages, but that’s it. Your personal profile has no bearing on the professional Page.
This isn’t true on LinkedIn, where employee pages are showing up as a part of the company pages and people viewing the profile will absolutely look at who is linked to your page. If all of the employee’s profiles are completely lacking, with one making a crazy face at the camera and another not listing any relevant experience, it won’t necessarily make your company look great.
In order to optimise your clients’ personal profiles (and request that they do the same for their employees), take the following steps:
- List current relevant job title, including a strong description that demonstrates expertise or puts a big emphasis on what their clients are looking for. This can be results, social proof, or customer service terms.
- List all relevant job history. If you see an empty personal profile, you’re not going to be super excited about that individual and doubt that they may really have the experience they claim. If you see, however, that they spent two years working at Google and another four at Universal, that’ll change the game.
- Have strong profile pictures. Opt for professional headshots where you’re smiling at the camera.
- Create a strong description. Each personal profile gets to have a description. Opting for something that suits their current position will help you here, like “Data-driven social media practitioner with ten years of experience working for brands like Shopify and Social Media Examiner, who thrives on likes, shares, and happy clients.
Our own Jessie Leahy’s profile does all of these things exceptionally well and can be used as an example of what personal profiles should look like if they’ll be connected to any page.
Once the clients’ employee profiles are optimised, you can optimise the company page by doing the following:
- Go all in on your overview. Unlike Instagram, you get more than a few quick characters here to explain what your business offers and what makes it great; take advantage of that. Talk about what the business can do for their clients and what sets them apart. You can even go into the brand’s history, like Social Media College does. As a pro tip, end the overview with a CTA encouraging readers to get in touch or take action (you can see this in the example from the next section).
- Fill out all of the brand information you can. Immediately under the brand’s overview, you can see the option to add in website links, founding dates, and more. The more information users have, the more they’re likely to trust your clients’ page, so fill it all out.
- Create a distinctive tagline.Before people get to your overview, they’ll see your tagline, which appears at the very top front of your company page. Opt for something short and sweet here to quickly summarize what your brand does in a unique way.
2. Always Remember Your Keywords
There are a number of different ways that users can discover new brands and individuals on LinkedIn. Sometimes it will be through an interaction on a mutual connection’s profile, or by having the brand’s content shared or seeing them in the suggestions for pages or people to follow.
In many cases, however, users who are looking for particular products or services are going to take to search.
You need to always treat LinkedIn like a potential search engine, because it definitely has that capability. This means optimising both your personal and company pages for keywords that your audience might be looking for, adding keywords into descriptions, job titles, and taglines.
If you aren’t sure exactly what those terms would be, LinkedIn is a great place to do some research. If you go to the clients’ personal notifications and check their recent search report, they’ll show you what keywords are triggering search placements.
You can also look around at other brands and profiles to see what terms you’re using. You may find that some people use niche terms like “real estate social media marketer” or “B2B graphic designer.” These can work well, because if a user simply types in “social media marketer,” they can still trigger a placement, but they’ll also rank in those specialized searches, too. Remember that your employee's personal profiles can be used to actually drive traffic to your Company Page, so do some research on personal profiles to see what may be triggering placements.
3. Create Professional Content That Followers Will Engage With
There’s a good chance that the content that you’re sharing on other platforms won’t necessarily have the same results here.
On Facebook, for example, the focus will be on community building. On Pinterest, it’s product promotion.
Here, you’re going to want to share professional, industry- or growth-related content that your audience will be excited to interact with. This can include original status updates, news from other outlets, and great resources that you found helpful or interesting.
Whatever you share, create a status that opens up the opportunity for a conversation. You can even ask questions directly that users might love answering, like Air New Zealand does here:
You can also opt for brand-building content that has that feel-good appeal that people love. This can be especially effective if you tag other brands, too, increasing the likelihood of engagement and shares.
4. Add In Video to Your Strategy
LinkedIn video has taken off since it was widely released in the past two years, and users are happily watching native video clips on the platform. Be strategic about what you share; videos that get the most engagement are typically going to be those that are sharing interesting information and breaking industry news. Value and originality will win out here.
As an important note, any content containing videos should be video only, with only a little text in the status to explain what it is. Videos accompanying articles is not a strategy that works well; a study from OkDork found that article links got fewer clicks if video was attached with it, and the clicks decreased the longer the videos were.
Image source: OkDork
5. Keep the Content Coming Regularly
Ideally, a company’s profile needs to be posting regularly. This will increase its visibility and its chance at connecting with the right users, but it will also help your profile to look more complete. If someone comes to your clients’ company page, you don’t want them to see only a single update from 2017 and assume they’ve gone out of business.
For best results, you should try to add images to as many posts as possible. This will significantly increase the post’s visibility and can trigger a stop in the constant thumb-scrolling. If you can catch a user’s attention, they’re more likely to read the full post and take action on it.
Because creating regular content can be a little overwhelming, it’s often a good call to use scheduling software. You can create most of your clients’ content in advance and even submit it for them to review before it can be published if they want a more hands-on approach. It will be published at the scheduled time of your choosing, preventing any gaps in the schedule. Tools like Agorapulse (pictured below) and Hootsuite offer publishing features for LinkedIn profiles.
6. Get Involved with Other Brands
Getting involved with other businesses is almost always a good strategy on social media, and it holds up on LinkedIn, too. And-- even better-- it can take plenty of different forms.
You can, for example, share statuses and news from industry influencers that you’d like to connect with and tag them in it. This will help the most show up in more users’ feeds, even if you haven’t connected with them before. You can see this in the example below, where a post from a second connection appeared in my feed because a first connection was tagged. This is an outstanding way to connect with new people who will be interested in your client and what they’re doing.
You can also establish more formal partnerships with another brand or influencer for your client, working with them to create content that your brands may find valuable. This can include participating on a podcast or an educational tutorial, or even joining in on a fundraiser together. There are a ton of different options, but whatever you do, when you post about it on LinkedIn, always tag the brand and any key individuals. They’ll see this as a sign of goodwill, but it helps you, too.
7. Supplement Organic Content with PPC Campaigns
LinkedIn is perhaps the most useful platform for B2B businesses to be on. Organic reach hasn’t been destroyed by complex algorithms like Facebook, and, as we discussed at the beginning of the post, people are not only willing to engage with B2B brands, but excited.
Sometimes, though, organic content on LinkedIn may not be enough to get your client the results they want. If they want drastic growth in followers, a lot of direct sales, or plenty of job applicants to choose from, it can be a good choice to supplement your organic campaigns with pay-per-click ads.
LinkedIn’s ad platform is phenomenal. They have a lot of the same benefits as other, more commonly-used platforms like Facebook Ads, but the targeting is more business-specific.
You can target based on extremely specific job titles or industries, and there’s slightly less competition on this platform than on plenty of others out there. If you don’t want to target cold audiences, you can use retargeting options, too, to follow up with warm leads or even existing clients.
There are several options for LinkedIn Ads, too. You can opt for newsfeed ads, side column ads, or sponsored message ads that let you send a “personal” message right to users’ inboxes.
In many cases, the newsfeed ads will be the way to go if you want to establish brand awareness with cold audiences, while the sponsored inbox messages will be a good choice when you have a hyper-niched audience and are opting for a direct-response campaign.
LinkedIn marketing has so much potential for all businesses, but it's a goldmine for B2B businesses who may be struggling on other platforms. Social media agencies and practitioners should take this into consideration and think about offering marketing services specific to LinkedIn. If you do, you can use these 7 specific strategies to increase the effectiveness of the work you're doing for your clients, keeping everyone happy in the process.
When you first get started on the platform, keep a close eye on those analytics. Watch what content from the company profile gets the most traction, and carefully evaluate the audience's response. This will help you assess what people want to see quickly, and adapt your strategies as needed.
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