This article breaks down the importance of a LinkedIn marketing strategy in 2021, especially for those working within the B2B sector.
One of the more considerable advantages of LinkedIn is that it is built around many senior-level decision-makers, and in more recent years, a platform for industry thought leaders.
Unlike other social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn offers a goldmine of B2B marketing and sales team opportunities.
So, if you are looking to network with top-level decision-makers, gain visibility and have a reliable lead generation source for 2021, you absolutely need a defined LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Over 30 million companies use LinkedIn for business, and its probably best known for recruiting and hiring top talent. However, it is now much more than that. More than 740 million members and more and more brands now use a LinkedIn marketing strategy to network, connect, and sell.
LinkedIn marketing tools are available for every business size and type, from small to large and B2B to B2C. We will cover these in this article and help you define a LinkedIn marketing strategy to help you grow and develop new business opportunities.
Defining your LinkedIn marketing strategy and SMART goals
As with any form of social media marketing, it is best to begin each campaign by defining and setting goals.
Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve?
Your LinkedIn goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).
Some common threads to develop into SMARTer goals include:
- Increase brand awareness
- Develop leads
- Engage with your ideal customer avatar (ICA)
Know your ideal customer
One of the critical elements of an effective social marketing strategy is fully understanding your target audience.
There is little point in spending valuable funds and time marketing to people who will never be interested in your product.
Knowing your ideal customer avatar means you understand the people’s essential characteristics likely to buy your product.
You may sell B2B products or services, but it isn’t the business that makes the purchase; it is a decision-maker within that company who makes the purchase. Your ideal customer avatar should be based on this person.
Perfect Your Company Page
LinkedIn has two main ways to experience its platform:
Personal profile – Think online CV where you build and engage with your professional network as well as access knowledge, insights and opportunities.
Company pages: LinkedIn company pages allow a business to promote its products and services, recruit new talent, and share meaningful, interesting and useful updates.
Once someone adds your business as a workplace, LinkedIn will create a company page for you. However, your page will look uncared, unclaimed and more than likely inaccurate.
A visual, informative company page is essential for any business on LinkedIn. Think of your company page as your virtual shop window. It is always open, 24/7.
For this reason, your LinkedIn company page is the perfect place to publish positive stories about your business, awards, service offerings, customer testimonials, case studies and most importantly, the personality behind the company.
Ultimately, LinkedIn is a social network about people and culture, so you should use your LinkedIn company page to emphasise your companies public faces.
Anybody who wants to learn about your business on LinkedIn will probably make a point of searching for it.
It is one of the most common ways people research a company. What you do, what you make (yes, they even have salary data), where your offices are, who the senior management and the executive team are and their tenure.
Your LinkedIn company page should reflect your companies branding you use elsewhere on your website and other social media channels.
Think about your ideal customer avatar and their questions. Pre-empt them by including the answers on your company page and the content that will make up part of your strategy.
As with any online content, you need to consider the copy you use on your LinkedIn page, including relevant keywords in your text.
If you want to maximise your LinkedIn marketing efforts, you need to regularly publish relevant, informative, and exciting content.
Create and share insightful and engaging content
As with any social media network, to see results, you must be social on LinkedIn.
Posting regular content as part of your LinkedIn marketing strategy is a crucial component. People will only follow your account if they receive something in return.
If your content is inconsistent and posted sporadically, they will gradually forget about you. Content creation on LinkedIn increased by 60% in 2020, which means you need to show up regularly with valuable content to be seen and heard.
Although you can share links to posts, you have uploaded to your existing blog, studies highlight that the algorithm favours material published directly on the platform rather than taking its users away from LinkedIn.
You can create articles directly within the platform, which is a great way to create longer-form content more suited to thought leadership and allowing you to demonstrate your expertise.
You don’t just have to create original content for all your LinkedIn posts. Sharing other articles that you come across that you feel will be of value to your target audience is a great way to spark a conversation and improve engagement for your company page.
LinkedIn makes this easy for you to source using the content tab on the desktop version. Here you can refine and source content suggestions based on your ideal customer avatar.
Remember, your LinkedIn marketing strategy’s overall goal is to be of use to your target market, and collating other people’s relevant content can achieve this as well as your original pieces.
Top 10 best practices for LinkedIn company page posts
- Share timely and relevant content.
- Be visual and grab attention with an image or video.
- Highlight facts, figures and key quotes.
- Name the audience you’re trying to reach (i.e. “calling all accountants”).
- Tag the people and companies you mentioned.
- Lead with a question to prompt a response.
- Create a poll for feedback and follow up with those who answer.
- Include up to three relevant hashtags in the content of your post.
- Create a strong headline for your articles.
- Respond to comments within a short timeframe (when possible) to encourage further engagement.
- Keep the copy on point. If you like to write longer posts, use paragraph breaks to make them more readable.
Promote your company page
It is best practice to promote your page whenever you get the chance.
Start by simply adding a link to your website and as well as an email signature.
Once somebody has followed your company page or connected with you directly via your LinkedIn profile, they will see your posts and updates in their feed. They are keeping you fresh in their mind and visible when they scroll.
Another great way to promote your linked company page is by asking your employees to follow your company page; this will help give you an initial boost and ensure your employees also see and interact with your content.
Remember, your marketing team or social media agency will invest real time and resources into crafting content and managing your LinkedIn company page. So add insightful comments or share alongside a caption that adds value to the page.
Comments like “Great work“, “Well done team“, and “Great article, thanks” don’t add anything to your companies investment into their LinkedIn marketing strategy and content. Help promote the page and content by adding real insight and value to the comments. Something that extends its value further.
Another great way to promote your page is to invite them to follow, using LinkedIns own functionality, directly from the page.
Use Images and Other Media in Your Content
LinkedIn is not visual-first like Instagram. However, it is still important to include media in your post where possible.
An excellent visual that compliments the text aspect will lead to a better engagement rate.
The visual aspect can be a great way to capture attention within the feed and help you stand out from the crowd. We utilise bright, bold imagery with a snippet of text from the post in ours.
Another trendy and very engaging addition is native video. Native video is uploaded directly to LinkedIn, rather than sharing a link to a YouTube or Vimeo video. Native video will see greater visibility and engagement within the feed than video links taking you away from LinkedIn.
If you are creating articles as part of your LinkedIn marketing strategy, you can add media anywhere within the article, including images, videos, audio snippets, slides, tweets, and more.
Join and contribute to LinkedIn groups
Although less active than Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups can be a source of great new connections. Join in and participate in discussions on LinkedIn groups, as well as start your own.
Our advice is to avoid promoting your product or service; as tempting as it may be, this will rarely see engagement in groups. Instead, add value by providing thought leadership style content, answer questions and share knowledge.
LinkedIn groups can still be an excellent way to network with other business professionals and grow your network. If you are selective about the groups you join, you can focus on communicating with your ideal customer avatar.
Include LinkedIn Ads in your marketing strategy
All social media networks have built-in advertising platforms. These are ready-made marketing databases built on demographic data on the users.
LinkedIn advertising is not the cheapest for developing brand awareness, but it is incredibly targeted. LinkedIn has extensive targeting capabilities, so if you know your ideal customer avatar, and you should, you can target your ads and budget directly at them.
The type of advertising you can buy is vast, and the best solution depends on your LinkedIn marketing strategy and goals.
The types of LinkedIn advertising you can deliver:
- Sponsored content
- Text ads
- Sponsored InMail
- Programmatic display ads
- Dynamic ads
The most common being Sponsored content ads. If you are looking for inspiration, you can look at your competitor’s pages to see what ads they are running, even if you are not directly targeted.
Make LinkedIn page analytics your best friend.
At the start of this article, we mentioned that you should select goals for your LinkedIn marketing strategy that are SMART.
One of the requirements is that your goals are Measurable.
LinkedIn page analytics is the best way to measure and track the success of your marketing strategy.
This will give you invaluable progress about your page’s visitors and how they have engaged with your content.