How to use LinkedIn – for marketing.
You may have used LinkedIn to get your job, or to recruit the team around you – but how can you use it to boost your company’s marketing activity?
Founded in 2002, LinkedIn has evolved a lot over the past 14 years. It’s received multiple face lifts and with new features being added every couple of months, it can be difficult to keep up, or to know where to begin.
However, by scheduling as little as one hour a week to focus on your company’s LinkedIn presence, you can boost your company’s marketing activity.
If your company already has a page and you’re wondering where to go next, here’s how you can use it to boost your marketing:
Be found by optimising your LinkedIn pages.
LinkedIn profiles are highly indexable, meaning that the content of your individual and company LinkedIn profiles can help your business rank better on search engine results pages and give you a competitive advantage.
Therefore it makes sense to optimise your personal and company profiles for targeted keywords to increase your chances of being found by potential customers when they enter search for you online. Think of this as profit-generating housekeeping!
Optimising in 5:
- Decide on a set of keywords for your company, using tools such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Learn more here.
- Included these keywords on your company page in: the first three lines of your company description, after your company name in the customisable URL of your company’s page (one keyword only).
- Encourage your colleagues to use include these keywords in: name fields, professional headlines, summaries, the experience section, skills description.
- Ensure that your company’s location is aligned with Google Maps.
- Link your company’s website and LinkedIn page, and encourage your colleagues to add your company’s LinkedIn page to their current work experience.
Know your industry inside-out by joining Groups.
You’ll no doubt keep up with the latest news from your industry on sector specific sites and in publications, but wouldn’t it be easier to access this all in one place?
LinkedIn Groups are the answer.
There are two types:
- Can be found using the search bar.
- You request to join and are accepted by an administrator.
- You won’t find these by searching!
- Invite only – you are asked to join by administrators.
Both bring like-minded people together and therefore generate industry-driven conversation. LinkedIn Groups can be used to:
See industry highlights in one place with Standard Groups
LinkedIn Groups are a great way to keep up to date with the buzz in your industry. What’s the latest innovation to cause a stir? Is there new sector news that you should be aware of?
Request to join Standard Groups that are related to your industry and once you’re accepted, use the Highlights page on your profile to see the most engaging posts in your groups in one place and use your findings to inspire relevant blog posts and content.
Creating a testing ground for new ideas with Unlisted Groups
If you’re looking for feedback on your latest set of marketing ideas, look no further than LinkedIn. Create a new, unlisted group and use these to beta test new brands, campaigns and concepts.
Invite your colleagues and any trusted, knowledgeable connections to your unlisted group and then start sharing drafts and work-in-progress content, and ask for feedback! Responses will be kept in one, easy to access location – so much better than endless email chains, no?
Speak to your audience in Updates and Long-Form posts
Write, write, write! Whether it’s a great piece of news to share from inside your company in the form of an Update, or a thought-out reaction to an industry development in the form of a long-form post, be vocal on LinkedIn.
It’s not yet possible to write long-form posts on Company Pages, so get creative in your own profile, and encourage colleagues to do the same, publish your post and then share via your company page.
Even better, why not publish your thoughts as a blog post on your site and then share from your own profile, that of your company and those of your colleagues. Populate your company’s site and join the LinkedIn conversation – two birds, one stone.
And don’t forget to add pictures – updates with images receive 98% more comments.
Showcase your business using LinkedIn advertising.
Use LinkedIn Ads to put your opinions, updates and job opportunities in front of the the right audience.
LinkedIn is the best choice for targeting specific audiences with this content. The current minimum audience size is 300-500 people and you can deep dive into the career history of these targets, selecting by location, qualifications and endorsed skills.
Sponsored Updates are similar to boosted Facebook posts and appear in the newsfeed of your targeted audience. Apart from being marked as ‘Sponsored’, these updates look identical to every other update and therefore encourage your target audience to engage with the content and share it with their connections, therefore generating an additional audience. These social shares and click are free and so extend the reach of this content beyond your advertising budget.
Sidebar Ads are a good choice for job openings. These typically appear to the right of the news feed and are box shaped that usually include a small image. Due to their location, these ads are often ignored by LinkedIn users and so may not be the best choice for boosting the audience of updates and content. However, by loitering on the edge of the feed, there is the chance that your message will make its way into the subconsciousness of the reader, who may not even realise that they are looking for a new role or service until they see your ad.
How to use LinkedIn Advertising?
LinkedIn Ad campaigns are run via LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager, a platform available to any company with a LinkedIn profile.
We find that a test and learn approach yields the most successful results and have years of experience in managing LinkedIn ad campaigns in this way.
The benefits of a managed campaign include the combined experience of a wider team, who extensive knowledge of this platform, its settings and nuances: ticking, or unticking, the right boxes can enable you to make the most of your budget.
Whatever the size of your budget, you want to make sure that it is going as far as possible and this can be achieved by using an informed and tested approach from the start.
Our LinkedIn campaign managers constantly evaluate performance throughout the campaign period using split testing, using analytics to dictate the best choice of image or opening sentence.
Great content is key! To get the most out of Sponsored Updates, you need to be sponsoring strong content that is hosted on your website and created with conversions in mind. For example, your might sponsor an update that links to a guide on your website. You can then ask visitors to your website to enter their email address to download the full guide: LinkedIn Ads can be a powerful lead gen tool.
You can measure the success of your LinkedIn Ad strategy using the in-platform analytics or by pulling this data into an established Google Analytics account, where you measure the rest of your marketing activity.
We recommend the second option for simplicity and reliability of results: while LinkedIn analytics measures by ‘Clicks’, Google Analytics tracks visits to your site, allowing you to see how many people have visited your website as a result of your LinkedIn Ad strategy.
By UTM tagging the blog posts and landing pages boosted by Sponsored Updates, you can pull this data into an established Google Analytics platform.
Plan ahead using LinkedIn extras
There’s only one thing worse than no social media, and that’s silent social media!
Just as relationships fail if the conversation ends, LinkedIn can only benefit your marketing efforts if it’s kept up to date and active.
Luckily, unlike relationships, you can schedule your LinkedIn conversation weeks in advance using tools, such as Elevate. Available as both a desktop and a mobile app, LinkedIn’s answer to Hootsuite lets your schedule your updates for any time of the day or night.
What’s more, Elevate uses powerful analytics to suggest the best time for you to share your latest update to ensure that you reach the right people at a time when they’re receptive to your message.
Amplify your message by working as a team!
Your employees are likely to have ten times more connections than your company has followers, so encourage your whole team to share company updates to reach 10, 20, 30 x more potential readers, who could turn into customers, partners or employees!
The PRCA sums it up perfectly:
When a LinkedIn member shares six pieces of content, they receive an average of six profile views and make two new connections. Therefore, the company they work for receives six job views, three Company Page views, and one Company Page follower.
Encourage your colleagues and employees to regularly participate in LinkedIn conversations by writing and sharing content and watch your company’s follower number add up.
Track your progress with Analytics
So, has that hour a week been worth it? Yes! The numbers should say it all.
LinkedIn has its own analytics platform, which can be found in the Analytics tab on your company’s page and can tell you how many people have read your update, interacted with it and followed your company as a result; the demographics of your visitors and followers; how these stats compare to yours and much more.
However, to see how many people have visited your website as a result of your LinkedIn activity, we recommend using UTM Tagging and Google Analytics to see exactly how your latest update has helped your marketing activity.