The proliferation of social media networks means there’s no shortage of channels to get your marketing message
If your business operates in the B2B space, however, there’s just one social platform that specifically targets professionals and that’s LinkedIn.
With some 930 million members across more than 200 countries and territories globally, LinkedIn should be an important part of your social media marketing strategy. Businesses need to put proper, co-ordinated plans in place to showcase their page, create employee advocacy and run LinkedIn advertising campaigns.
Need help with Paid social media Advertising?
Get in touch with Axonn.
What is a LinkedIn marketing strategy?
A LinkedIn marketing strategy is your business’ long-term and wide-reaching roadmap to finding success on the platform. It’s the difference between posting randomly and keeping your fingers crossed for results, and ensuring all of your posts, hashtags, calls-to-action (CTAs), tone of voice and messaging are working cohesively towards your goals.
Why use LinkedIn for your business?
Being a B2B company makes LinkedIn the perfect social platform to reach out to your target audience. The professionals using the channel regularly expect to see the type of LinkedIn content marketing you’re promoting and are therefore likely to be receptive to your messaging.
There are lots of different ways to take advantage of LinkedIn depending on a variety of factors and many of them can be combined to great effect. Organic LinkedIn marketing can work well alongside strategic sponsored content and LinkedIn advertising to get a good return on your investment.
At the heart of your LinkedIn marketing strategy should be your goals and objectives. All of your activity on the platform should be working towards achieving these aims, giving you the chance to build brand awareness, increase customer engagement and drive leads.
Some four out of five LinkedIn users have a decision-making position within their organisations, so marketing your business to them means going straight to your target audience. Just like with real-world business connections, you should work to build your relationships on LinkedIn over time and in a meaningful way that’ll make them last.
Why is LinkedIn important for your marketing strategy?
In the context of your wider marketing strategy, which may include multiple social media platforms and other forms of engaging content, LinkedIn may seem relatively small. No matter how little of your marketing budget you can dedicate to it, LinkedIn mustn’t be overlooked for B2B companies, as it’s where your business-focused audience can be found.
Among the many benefits of using LinkedIn, there’s the chance to:
- Help build your organisation’s brand
- Showcase your company page
- Drive traffic to your website
- Establish your employees as thought leaders
- Obtain invitations to events
- Capture consumers at the top of the sales funnel
- Move deals through the pipeline
- Create employee advocacy
When it comes to LinkedIn advertising, the social platform offers a unique opportunity for targeting. The information provided in users’ profiles is far more relevant for B2B marketers than on the likes of Twitter or Facebook.
This allows you to ensure your advertising fees are putting your engaging content in front of the right people. Among the targeting options you can select for your ad campaign are company size, position, seniority, geography and industry, all of which up your chances of converting.
Can you be successful on LinkedIn without a strategy?
It would be easy to say that you can’t be successful on LinkedIn without a strategy, but that would only be partly true. With a bit of luck and regular posting, you’re likely to see some gains, but if you want to achieve results that are greater than the sum of their parts, a LinkedIn marketing strategy is required.
That’s mainly because your efforts on the social platform should be built up over time and it’s very easy to forget what you did yesterday, let alone six months ago. Every shared piece of content, text ad and video should be working towards your goals and this will be much more efficient if you have a comprehensive plan in place.
What success looks like on LinkedIn should be baked into your strategy from the beginning, otherwise you’ll have no way of deducing the progress you’ve made. Decide on the metrics you want to track, how they’ll be measured and the outcomes you’re hoping and expecting to achieve.
Don’t just check in on these at the beginning and the end of ad campaigns either. Be sure to monitor your progress and make tweaks to your strategy as and when they’re required. That way you’ll get the most out of your ad spend, as well as the time and resources you’re dedicating to your LinkedIn marketing.
How to craft your LinkedIn strategy
Hopefully, you’re now convinced that a LinkedIn content strategy is necessary, but the next step is to think about creating one. This can seem like a daunting task, especially as the most useful strategies are comprehensive and based on well-researched information.
A useful thing to remember is that your strategy should be dynamic, evolving as you learn more about your audience and collect data on the types of LinkedIn content that seem to be working. That should take the pressure off nailing every aspect from the beginning.
It’s still a good idea to get direction from the experts, who can help you develop your strategy in the most effective way. A LinkedIn marketing agency will ensure your methodology is sound and that you’re not missing anything vital to ensure your success on the social media platform.
What does your LinkedIn marketing strategy look like?
When thinking about what your LinkedIn marketing strategy looks like it’s important to ensure it’ll be user-friendly. This document needs to hold a lot of information without being confusing, so everyone knows what their responsibilities are.
There should be fields for fields for content types, keywords, due dates and URLs, as well as the names of employees assigned to tasks and linking opportunities. Some parts of your LinkedIn content strategy may only be referenced occasionally, while others are likely to be used on a daily basis, so this should be reflected in the layout.
What are the steps to creating a LinkedIn strategy?
Approach creating your LinkedIn strategy in a logical manner and only move on to the next stage once the previous one has been completed. Otherwise, you risk bringing chaos to an area that requires organised and clear planning.
Defining your goals is the most important part of creating your LinkedIn marketing strategy as they will influence every aspect of your campaigns. It’s therefore fitting that setting them out is the first stage of developing your strategy.
Use the SMART goals framework to get the most out of this exercise:
Thinking you know who your LinkedIn content should be targeting and having the data to demonstrate this are two totally different things. Don’t just think about the businesses that may require your products but the specific manager who will make the decision so you can appeal to them.
For those who’ve already set up a company page and shared a LinkedIn post or two, the platform’s analytics tool is a sensible place to start. Look for patterns in content that’s been popular in the past to inform your strategy going forward.
You may not realise it, but as soon as an employee lists your business as their place of work, LinkedIn will automatically create a company page for it. This is not the same as having a presence on the social media platform, as without input from your side, it will look uninspiring.
Keep your company page updated and relevant, as all of your activity on the channel will link back to it. There’ll be clickthroughs from employee profiles or a LinkedIn Pulse article you publish, searches for prospective staff and enquiries from potential customers, so make it shine.
Having put the effort into making your company page informative and in line with your brand messaging and tone of voice, encourage people to follow it. Start off with employee advocacy, asking your staff to hit the follow button to demonstrate some legitimacy.
Then promote your company page with the LinkedIn icon on your website, at the bottom of email signatures and anywhere else it might attract attention. This will ensure your LinkedIn content gets seen when you start posting.
After putting all the relevant foundations in place, you’re ready to use LinkedIn for effective content marketing. Create articles to share on the platform that will be of interest to your target audience and address their pain points. Thought leadership-style pieces work particularly well and will set you apart from the competition by showcasing your high level of expertise in your field.
You can add links to your own blog, but publishing through LinkedIn Pulse is a good way to get into favour with the social network’s algorithm and garner attention. Get the tone right for LinkedIn, which is a professional network. No LinkedIn post should be simply shared and then forgotten about. Accompany it with comments on related posts and even by sharing relevant content published by others.
It’s easy to think about rich media being more at home on other social media channels like YouTube and Instagram, but it has a place on LinkedIn too. Attention-grabbing visuals like video, animation and images can prevent all your content from looking the same, as well as explaining complex issues in an easily digestible manner.
Another way to attract users is to host LinkedIn Live sessions to discuss certain topics and encourage interaction. Don’t be afraid to mix it up, after all, experimenting with different types of content will help you to determine what works.
While content marketing is a great way to improve your presence on any platform organically over time, the strategic use of a LinkedIn ad from time to time is an effective way to supercharge your results. Not only will you get quick wins and attention on the content you sponsor, but it can also lead to increased interest in your other LinkedIn posts.
The platform has fantastic targeting options, making your ad spend go further than most, so you can put posts in front of the most relevant audience. There are myriad types of LinkedIn ad to choose from, so considering this should be part of your strategy.
An important part of your LinkedIn content strategy is to regularly check how well it’s going. This can be achieved through LinkedIn Analytics and should be tracked against earlier benchmarks.
Any results that don’t seem quite right or appear to be underperforming should be investigated. Sometimes there are small tweaks that can be made to the way LinkedIn content is promoted that result in much better results, so don’t be afraid to make changes along the way.
How to involve your team in the process
There are many ways your employees can help improve the reach of your marketing on LinkedIn. From following your company page, as well as liking and sharing your posts, to regularly sending out a connection request or two to decision-makers within your industry.
Well-conceived employee LinkedIn profiles that are associated with your company page can be a huge asset. They help to grow your business’ network and draw attention to your LinkedIn content, as well as your organisation as a whole.
What type of content should your LinkedIn content marketing strategy consist of?
When it comes to deciding the types of posts to create for LinkedIn, there are many options, including thought leadership articles, in-depth how-to guides and recordings of webinars. These types of industry-focused content will appeal on the professional network.
Once you’ve started to post, you’ll be in a better position to assess the results and see which pieces your target audience has engaged with. From this position of strength, you can design your LinkedIn content strategy going forward.
Tips to create a successful LinkedIn marketing strategy
Your LinkedIn marketing efforts are most likely to be a success with a clearly defined strategy. There are a number of ways to go about creating that strategy, so it’s important to be well-informed on the methods at your disposal. Digital marketing experts will be able to help outline these for you and decide which ones are most likely to work for your business, industry and target audience.
How to make the most of LinkedIn marketing strategies
Optimising LinkedIn marketing strategies means ensuring they are integrated and all working together. Posting guidelines for all employees is a good place to start and will ensure a consistent tone of voice across everything from posts to a LinkedIn group to targeted InMail campaigns.
It may seem like there are too many approaches to apply to your LinkedIn page to achieve success, so don’t be afraid not to use them all. Start off on a small scale and add additional features as and when you’re ready.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and an organic social media presence will build over time with regular posting. For the quick wins, you’ll need to turn to LinkedIn ads, but this should just be one element of your marketing on the platform.
Social media marketing has always been a case of trial and error. This is partly due to the secrecy around algorithms and updates that can be imperceivable to the naked eye. That makes LinkedIn Analytics your friend. Run it. Study it. Implement the changes.
What LinkedIn post type and formats should you be creating?
There are many different types of LinkedIn posts and while there’s no wrong or right option to choose, the best advice for your LinkedIn marketing strategy is to mix it up a little. If you don’t, all of your posts will look the same and increase the chances of your target audience scrolling right past them.
Some of the options include:
- Text-only posts – While your post should speak for itself, avoid using large blocks of text.
- Single-image posts – The image should be attention-grabbing, but can be accompanied by a small amount of text.
- Multi-image posts – These can be particularly effective in a ‘before’ and ‘after’ scenario.
- Native videos – Autoplay gives these videos an advantage over embedded alternatives hosted on other platforms.
- Articles – Publishing articles directly to LinkedIn makes them easier to share and comment on.
- Newsletters – The platform’s newsletter feature means everyone who follows your company page will be notified when you publish.
- Documents – Assets you’ve already created, like PowerPoint presentations and PDFs, can be uploaded to LinkedIn.
- Polls – Engage your target audience by asking them a question with up to four answers of 30 characters each.
Should I use images in the content that I share on LinkedIn?
An effective LinkedIn marketing strategy should have a strong focus on text-based articles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use other social media marketing techniques in your posts. For example, LinkedIn hashtags will make your content more discoverable and the prudent use of images will help it stand out from your competitors.
The ideal size for LinkedIn post images is 1200 x 627 pixels and pictures should be chosen to draw attention to your content. LinkedIn posts with images get twice as much engagement as those without, as visuals help to draw an audience in, even on a social media platform that’s more professional and aimed at managers.
How can you get more followers on your LinkedIn company page?
Your LinkedIn marketing strategy should include lots of techniques that help to build your following on the platform. By combining a number of these, you should see the number of users clicking to keep up-to-date with your company’s activity going over time.
Among the strategies to implement are:
All marketing should be tailored to the platform and it’s worth noting that LinkedIn is not X, formerly Twitter, with its 140-character limit. Try to ensure LinkedIn posts are a minimum of three paragraphs long to provide value to your audience.
The LinkedIn algorithm favours posts that don’t send users outside of the platform. That means avoiding links to external locations and publishing within LinkedIn whenever possible. If you do need to post a link, you can add it to the comments and signpost this in the actual post.
Images featuring yourself and colleagues outperform branded visuals every time. This is an element of the social network model LinkedIn has retained, but it needs to be done in a professional manner. Your followers will want to see the people behind your company, so make sure they’re included in your strategy.
In addition to the above, using your personal profile to post from is a great way to boost follower numbers on your company page. After all, a LinkedIn user would like to see what people have to say and not just brands, so you’re likely to get more interest this way. Of course, your well-optimised LinkedIn approach means it’s all connected anyway.
LinkedIn hashtags are useful for being found, but you should only ever post three or four on a post and always at the end. While this may not seem like very many, if you’ve researched your hashtags properly, it should be enough. Never break up the copy in your posts with hashtags on LinkedIn as it can lead users to bound right off your page.
A common digital marketing misstep is to create content based on what you want to write about or what you assume your audience will be interested in. Take away the guesswork and include proper research into the pain points, trending topics and interests of the decision-makers you want to read your articles and posts.
LinkedIn Analytics and Google Analytics are your friend here too, as they offer a truly informative picture of the content that’s performed well. Use them to design posts going forward that have a similar theme or format. Building up a bank of articles around one topic that can be cross-referenced is an effective way to position your business as an authority on specific areas of your industry.