Beyond the regular favor banking, head hunting and keep-in-touch role that LinkedIn plays, today LinkedIn is also a cauldron of ideas where networked intelligence is brewed.

No 9 Gag memes or Aunt Ingrid’s baking photos here, just business networking and a mountain load of that.

LinkedIn has a swarm of roles to play in digital marketing for every business. From generating visibility for you and your brand, to engaging with target audience or clients, LinkedIn for business allows you to find meaningful connections and business partnerships through the web of its 450 million users.

The approach for LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy is undoubtedly different from mainstream social media. Hard sell doesn’t work here. Sharing some pointers which my colleagues and I felt integral to the marketing strategy using LinkedIn for business :

1. LinkedIn Influencers:

LinkedIn provides a platform to gain from the knowledge of the far more experienced than you. Amongst millions of people on LinkedIn, there are a few hundred who really have value to share, authentic ideas to discuss and often unique vantage points. Sharing what you find insightful or of benefit to others will propel your personal and professional brand. (Everybody is curious where the great minds work! )

e.g. I hadn’t heard of the below mentioned gentleman ever but saw many people in my 1st degree network regularly commenting and liking his posts. Since he was regularly popping up in my newsfeed I read a few of his posts which were insightful. Boom. Now I know him and of him. (and now you do too)

LinkedIn-influencers

And guess what, LinkedIn highlights such influencers as “Power Profiles”- people with thousands of relevant followers who are read and heard with undivided attention. That’s real swell in the marketing world and a sustainable long term marketing strategy as well.

LinkedIn-influencers

Screenshot of a LinkedIn influencer’s profile

So, if you have the intellect (or the money to buy the services of a ghost author), do it and aim to become a LinkedIn influencer. (Just don’t over do with silly copied posts. Limit the frequency of posting to one post per week or two )

Hard selling is not LinkedIn’s forte. You’ve got to be well-reasoned, specific and relatable. Posts should ideally communicate leadership, innovation and professional insight. This subliminally communicates what you as a company stand for.

2. LinkedIn engagement via videos.

Nothing grabs attention faster than moving images. And yes, Videos will rule 2018 and LinkedIn allows them too. Use them to your advantage to personalize your brand. Doesn’t have to be something elaborate or fancy. E.g. Dave Gerhardt from Drift does casual one-minute videos from work. This makes work at Drift relatable and you tend to familiarize yourself with the company, its people and its culture.

Dave-Gerhardt

Screen grab from Dave’s video

In a similar vein, you can talk about company values, product features, benefits, pitfalls etc. to engage, you can share company updates, content and achievements to humanize your brand.

3. LinkedIn for Brand awareness:

Utilize the power of network to share news and updates of your company, awards etc. to keep the buzz about your brand alive and in people’s newsfeed. Your vibe shall attract your tribe and you will only benefit from that exposure.

LinkedIn-brand-awareness4. LinkedIn advertising:

This obviously has to be present. But here’s the deal, one has got to remain specific about who you target and not implement a spray and pray strategy. Eg. an 60 year old male getting sponsored ads for tampons wouldn’t be a sell right?

LinkedIn has a lot of features that allow you to zero down on exactly who you want the message of your marketing strategy to reach. You can look for a specific job title, certain expertise/skills, company size, the industry that they belong too etc.

Linkedin-ad

A LinkedIn ad on LinkedIn, Image credit: LinkedIn

LinkedIn advertising has quite a variety in its advertising options- campaign manager, sponsored content, conversion tracker etc. Sponsored content would usually work well if you already have a well-made LinkedIn page with a good following. Sponsored content allows you to directly target your required audience through posts or through their InMail. You also need to choose the right content to sponsor- blogpost guides, call to action posts- depending on the aim of your ad.

5. LinkedIn Company Page

The LinkedIn company page should be a comprehensive culmination of all things that the user may want to know about your business. Provide useful links for them to discover more about your company and ensure that your employees add your company page to their profiles. Now you know you’re doing your best to convince your users who do visit your profile- but what about driving users to your profile? Ensure you use keywords in your company profile and posting consistently will optimize search results.

LinkedIn-company-pages

6. Employee profiles (They’re as important as company profiles)

Complete/filled up profiles on LinekdIn draw higher attention. Get your employees to have professionally shot profile images preferably with company logo in background. This is social real estate. Get them to write about themselves and update their recommendations section. This gives a third person a feeling of subconscious trust. One tends to see an employee who is valued by his colleagues and bosses, less likely to let you down.

It also makes for great background check. When zeroing in on a business deal, we often like to do a background check and if the employee profiles are professional looking and full, it gives a sense of defined structure and professionalism.

I don’t think I am the only one who has browsed through employee profiles umpteen times to get to know the company profile better. Ultimately, LinkedIn is also a kind of social networking where people to people interaction is valued. People would like to know what it feels like to work in a place or if they are in some ways similar to the people who work in the company.

7. LinkedIn Pulse:

So if you have your content program in place you know the importance of blogs and their distribution being of paramount importance. LinkedIn Pulse gives you just that option. It’s a blogging platform where you can write blogs or go in for blog syndication. Some added eyeballs wont hurt no one.

How-to-use-LinkedIn-pulse8. Get into the nitty-gritty with analytics

If you’re not using LinkedIn analytics to understand your reach and engagement, then you’re just wasting time. Check out which campaigns and public posts work for you with LinkedIn analytics. LinkedIn provides advanced analytics options- for campaigns and for your page in general. Make sound data driven decisions daily with page analytics.

LinkedIn provides great analytics, Image credit: LinkedIn

9. The LinkedIn Hiring page

As such being on the ABH (Always Be Hiring) mode is an industry best practice but on LinkedIn it serves you additional purpose. A company that’s constantly hiring shows a sign of growth and promise and we all love to bet on winning horses. It silently creates brownie points in the minds of others and marketers must aim to achieve those too eventually. Try to go in for the LinkedIn hiring solutions if your budget allows you.

10. email finders:

Well if people are in your 1st degree networks, you  can check their contact details on their pages or even better export their email IDs into a CSV. But what if they’re not ? email finders are debatable entities and would actually fall under the category of growth hacking. ( I’m sure LinkedIn wouldn’t be too excited about this point) However email finders are pure elixir for marketers (and salespeople) when it comes to using LinkedIn for business. Some come real easy where you just install a chrome plugin, go to the LinkedIn profile of a person, click on the widget and Boom- You have your prospects email ID in hand. There are many solution providers eg Aeroleads, FindThatemail, GoPinleads etc

Okay without sounding boastful we have our own email finder that helps us out so might as well credit the developers for their amazing work and giving us this in-house capability with Alore CRM

Best-crm-for-small-businesses

There. These ten points were what we felt was buzzing for LinkedIn. I’d like to conclude by saying that at any point your aim of being on LinkedIn should always and always be leads and revenue. That’s the real North.  Any thoughts ?