The ultimate guide to LinkedIn marketing
Social Media Marketing already makes up a huge part of Digital Marketing, and it’s only predicted to grow in the future. If you want to leverage all of its benefits, you shouldn’t limit your business to a single platform.
In this situation, the motto is ‘the more the merrier.’
One of the merriest additions you can make to your Social Media Marketing strategy is LinkedIn Marketing.
97% of B2B marketers already use LinkedIn for their Content Marketing efforts. If you’re a B2B company, you shouldn’t even question joining. But even if you’re running a B2C business, there are still a lot of lucrative opportunities this platform can offer.
In this article, we get to the very essence of LinkedIn Marketing by answering the questions of what it is, why businesses need it, and how to get started with it.
What is LinkedIn Marketing?
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform. Its original purpose was to enable online business networking and give B2B companies an opportunity to market their products directly to their target audience, cutting down the number of extra touchpoints.
In the past, salespeople would simply use the platform to connect with their potential clients and educate them about the products and services they offer. Over time, the process has evolved. Today, LinkedIn Marketing is an art of its own, with a set of tips and tricks, proven techniques, and methods.
LinkedIn Marketing belongs to the realm of Social Media Marketing. This term describes a set of strategies that use LinkedIn to market a business and its products.
LinkedIn Marketing comprises a number of processes that use professional social media to establish connections, generate leads, improve brand awareness, nurture business relationships and partnerships, share content, and drive traffic to a website.
There are two types of LinkedIn Marketing:
(Spoiler alert! For your LinkedIn marketing to work as intended and bring you the best results possible, you need to make sure you combine both.)
- Organic LinkedIn Marketing is executed through content marketing, page SEO optimization, social listening, etc.
- Paid LinkedIn Marketing that involves paid advertising.
The benefits of LinkedIn Marketing: Why you should add LinkedIn to your business Social Media Marketing strategy
There’s a good reason for the platform’s popularity. The list of benefits associated with using LinkedIn for social media marketing is a lengthy one. And, of course, it’s also backed by stats from trusted sources. Drumroll, please!
- LinkedIn Marketing is scalable. The platform currently has over 660 million registered users, with 303 million of them being active on a monthly basis. This number continues to grow on a daily basis, making the site exquisite for reaching out to large audiences.
- LinkedIn is useful for lead generation. LinkedIn is the most effective source for B2B lead generation. Compared to Facebook, this professional social media site generates leads 277% more effectively, making it responsible for 80% of B2B leads. Besides, the quality of the leads generated on LinkedIn is significantly higher, too. Thanks to the fact that 4 out of 5 members on the platform are in charge of making business decisions, LinkedIn users have 2X buying power compared to the average web audience.
- LinkedIn generates a lot of sales. The platform’s lead conversion rates are 3 times higher than other major ad platforms, including Google Ads. LinkedIn has helped 45% of marketers with customer acquisition.
- LinkedIn is great for raising brand awareness. The platform’s native algorithms make it easy to disseminate your content to a wider audience — whenever a user interacts with your post, it gets introduced to their network. Therefore, there’s a good chance that your publications can go viral.
- LinkedIn Marketing is capable of driving traffic to your other platforms. It also accounts for nearly 50% of the total social traffic coming to B2B sites.
Besides, LinkedIn also offers a wide range of features for its users. There are extensive native functionalities and a huge number of LinkedIn integrations that allow you to share dozens of content formats with your audience. Thanks to this, you can finetune your strategy and stand out from the crowd — you already have all the required tools.
Indeed, LinkedIn Marketing has a lot of benefits. But here’s the catch: you won’t be able to leverage them without a thought-through LinkedIn Marketing strategy.
VistaCreate always has your back, so we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to LinkedIn Marketing that includes LinkedIn best practices, actionable tips and tricks, and more. Enjoy!
LinkedIn Marketing strategy one step at a time
Just like any other marketing strategy, LinkedIn Marketing can be broken down into three key areas — planning, execution, and analysis. In turn, each of them contains several crucial steps. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Step 1: Outline your goals
First and foremost, you need to understand the whats and whys of your LinkedIn Marketing. To do that, answer the following questions:
- What are my business’s current positions? (Be honest — you need to see the real picture, hashtag no filter, hashtag no makeup.)
- Why do I want to use LinkedIn for digital marketing? (Here, outline all the opportunities you deem appealing when thinking about this social media platform.)
- What do I expect to get from LinkedIn Marketing? (In detail, describe what outcomes you want to achieve from marketing on LinkedIn — where your business is after all the efforts, how long it takes you to get there, who your company attracts, and how much money it generates, etc.)
You need to be as specific as possible when answering these questions: they’ll let you adequately assess the situation and set SMART, a.k.a. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals for the future.
Here are just a few examples (fairly generic ones — you’ll have to adjust them to your specific business) of LinkedIn Marketing goals:
- Build brand awareness
- Generate qualified leads
- Bring high-quality traffic to your website
- Strengthen brand reputation
- Engage with the target audience
- Sell your product or service
Remember that you can mix and match when outlining your strategic goals. Although we don’t recommend spreading yourself too thin — two or three is more than enough for every set period of time.
Having your goals jotted down in front of you is essential, as it helps direct all your subsequent efforts towards achieving them.
Step 2: Identify your target audience and develop the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Imagine the following scenario…
|Your PR department has worked really hard to get you a publication in online media that can potentially generate loads of traffic to your website. But you forget to check out the media, and the only information you have comes down to centering your article around the keyword ‘pool.’ |
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? You sit down, come up with a beautiful blog post title, “Everything you need to know about choosing the perfect pool table,” research the topic, outline the article, write it up, and proofread it. It’s perfect!
But once the article goes live, it barely gets noticed by the audience of the platform. Why? They were never interested in “pool” the game, just the “swimming pools.”
The reason why “Everything you need to know about choosing the perfect pool table” flopped was that it didn’t appeal to the interests of the target audience. It was well-written, just not written for them.
This example shows how mistargeting can destroy a single guest post. Now, translate it onto a whole marketing strategy. Ouch!
You’re not marketing just for the sake of doing it: you’re marketing to achieve certain results you’ve outlined in Step 1. That is only possible if you direct your efforts towards the right people. So, once you know all the why of your LinkedIn strategy, it’s time to figure out the who.
To do that, create an ideal customer avatar that would in detail answer the question of “Who are we marketing to?” Figure out the job title, responsibilities, goals, needs, wishes, values, sources of information, pain points, and more.
You can use a template or a worksheet to help you with it:
Step 3: Create and optimize your LinkedIn company page
As soon as you know why you’re marketing on LinkedIn and who you’re marketing to, you can move to the next step — the execution stage: create a page.
First things first, you need to know that there’s a difference between LinkedIn profiles and LinkedIn Pages. It’s quite easy to differentiate between the two. The former is for individuals, and the latter is for businesses.
Unless you’re building a personal brand, you should opt for the LinkedIn Page to represent your business. (Even if you’re looking only to promote yourself, create a Page for your persona — you can only run ads through a Page).
Here’s how you’d go about setting up your LinkedIn Page:
- Click the Work icon in the top right corner of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click Create a Company Page.
- Select the Page type you’d like to create from the given options.
- Enter your Page identity, Company or Institution details, and Profile details information.
- Click Create page.
Once the page is created, you can start building and optimizing it. While the platform doesn’t force you to do so, this guide does: pages with complete information get 30% more weekly views.
Make sure you customize the following elements of your page:
- Organizational information
- CTA button
Check out VistaCreate’s library of LinkedIn cover templates you can customize:
For better optimization, don’t forget to use keywords and hashtags when completing your profile. Doing so will increase your page’s visibility and, therefore, make it easier to connect with your target audience.
On top of that, you should also optimize your page for search engines such as Google and Bing. The easiest way to build your page’s inbound linking profile is to include links to your page on other pages you have access to. This could be your website, blog, newsletters, social media profiles, etc.
To give your inbound link profile a boost — and, subsequently, your LinkedIn Marketing strategy — encourage your employees to complete their personal LinkedIn profiles and include you as their employer.
Step 4: Analyze your competitors’ LinkedIn pages
Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”
We’re not trying to get canceled so, please, no stealing. To borrowing, on the other hand, we give you the green light. Before you call it a day when setting up your LinkedIn Page, check how you fare up against your competitors.
Luckily, we live in the era of automation, so you don’t have to jump down the rabbit hole of your competitors’ pages (unless you want to, of course. A little bit of competition-motivated stalking has never hurt anyone). You can just make use of the LinkedIn native “Companies to track” feature.
This time-saver of a feature provides you with a list of companies similar to yours, along with access to a few critical metrics such as the total number of followers, follower growth, and social media engagement.
Source: Social Pilot
Identify the most and the least successful competitors and check out their pages. See what they do right (along with what you can borrow to implement in your LinkedIn strategy) and which of their efforts flop (so you know not to do that).
Step 5: Grow your LinkedIn following
To successfully scale your LinkedIn Marketing activities, you must focus on building your brand credibility and authority on the platform. The secret of LinkedIn fame lies in the number of followers your Page has.
Now, there are several ways in which you can grow your LinkedIn following quickly:
Get your employees involved
LinkedIn is all about making connections and, subsequently, making good use of them. The most loyal brand advocates your business has are your employees. They can play a critical role in broadening your company’s reach on LinkedIn by giving you access to their networks.
Besides, people trust people. No matter how ‘humanized’ your company page is, it will never live up to the credibility a personal page can have.
Make sure you encourage your employees to share posts that mention your company, like and repost your content, and leave comments.
Make use of other channels
If you already have an impressive base of followers elsewhere, prompt them to follow you on LinkedIn, too.
It doesn’t matter whether you promote your LinkedIn Page on Instagram, Facebook, or via email — if you know that your audience will support you, do it! Just make sure to promise them something for such a grand gesture.
The very least you can do is offer them unique content that they won’t receive via other channels where they’re already subscribed to you.
Run ads to reach a wider audience
The world would be a magical, beautiful, and bright place if businesses could grow using only organic growth tactics. Unfortunately, our reality is way duller and more corrupted — we depend on money to help us make progress.
It’s okay, though. Whatever works, right? Paid ads work just fine for LinkedIn Marketing. Especially if you know a couple of tricks.
To target the most relevant users with your ads, make use of the native Matched Audiences tool. This feature allows you to retarget people who have visited your website, your email contacts, and people on your existing account. Since these people are already familiar with your brand, there’s a higher chance of them interacting with the brand and converting down the sales funnel.
Leverage LinkedIn groups
Establish your authority in LinkedIn groups. There are thousands of communities on the platform you can choose from to join and start communicating with potential customers. Alternatively, you can start a group of your own.
Step 6: Figure out your content strategy for LinkedIn
LinkedIn Marketing is impossible without a solid content strategy in place.
You need to stick to publishing unique, valuable, and relevant content regularly to keep your followers engaged. Luckily, LinkedIn offers a vast range of choices when it comes to content formats.
Just to name a few:
- LinkedIn articles
- LinkedIn Stories
- LinkedIn Status updates
- Native videos
- Carousel posts
- Single-image and multi-image posts
- Links to external sources
- Document posts
Each of these formats is suited for different types of content. We advise not limiting yourself to just one, but experimenting with various options to find what works best for your business.
However, regardless of the publication type you choose to stick to (unless it’s a text-only post, but we heavily advise against it), there’s something all these formats have in common. They perform better when spiced up with reach media.
A couple of custom images can double the number of comments your post receives, bumping up your engagement rate and your overall reach. Similarly, the video format is capable of driving up your engagement rate by five times, and live videos help you gain a 25X engagement rate.
VistaCreate Tip: The optimal number of images to include in a single post is 3 to 4. Such collages tend to perform best for organizations.
Besides, you don’t have to be a graphic design prodigy or even a graphic designer at all. With VistaCreate, you can easily create all the intricate LinkedIn posts you want. Check out our templates!
It’s not only about the quality of the content, but also about its quantity and regularity. If you want your LinkedIn marketing efforts to be successful, you need to post frequently and regularly. For that to be possible, you should develop a content calendar and stick to it: plan and create posts ahead, then publish them at a set, optimal time.
Step 7: Analyze your LinkedIn Marketing performance
Speaking of optimal times… While there’s a fair share of information regarding the best time to post and the best types of content to post on LinkedIn, you can’t just blindly follow those tips.
For your strategy to be a success, it must be tailored to your specific business. The only way you can do that is by having data to back up your choices.
The last step on the road to successful LinkedIn Marketing is a consistent and thorough analysis of your performance.
You need to track all the key metrics to see how effective your marketing efforts are, and adjust the strategy accordingly.
Make sure you don’t miss out on an opportunity to put these tips into practice and start your LinkedIn marketing journey ASAP. Good luck!