How to Use Linkedin for Small Business Marketing
LinkedIn is the most professional of all the social networks. It’s designed to encourage career development, industry discussions, professional connections, and other such activities that pertain to business.
Although LinkedIn boasts of over 600 million users, it is not intended for the use of professionals and job seekers alone. Businesses can also leverage the platform to connect with potential customers, increase brand awareness, forge meaningful partnerships, and generate leads, all of which can contribute to overall business growth.
Whether you are a business that sells directly to consumers or other businesses, LinkedIn marketing can help you gain much-needed exposure and achieve your goals a lot faster.
According to reports, 51% of companies acquired a B2C customer through LinkedIn, 50% of members on the platform are more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn, and 93% of B2B marketers find LinkedIn to be the most effective channel for lead generation.
If you are not already taking advantage of the world’s largest professional network to drive business results and expand your audience, it’s time to change that. Here’s how you can forge new connections, find leads, boost conversions, and inspire business growth using LinkedIn for marketing.
- Set up a successful LinkedIn profile: People want to know with whom they are doing business. Your LinkedIn profile is one of the very first things people who search your name or business will discover, so you should prime it to make a good first impression.
- Create and optimize your LinkedIn company page: A company page is like a profile, but for your business. It’s a way for prospective customers to discover your brand, learn more about what you do, and engage with your company.
- Consistently share engaging content on your page: Write about stuff you’re working on, your clients’ journey, and post other relevant updates that would capture the interest of your target audience and spark interaction.
- Promote your status updates: Whenever you publish content on LinkedIn that gets a lot of traction, consider sponsoring it. This is to ensure it can reach more of the right people, increase traffic to your website, and ultimately generate qualified leads that you can convert into sales.
- Become an active member of LinkedIn groups: Join LinkedIn communities that are relevant to your business. Participate in discussions and answer questions to position yourself as an expert in your field. Connect with other members that can help you achieve your marketing goals by sending personalized messages.
- Take advantage of LinkedIn ad campaigns: To get your business noticed by prospective customers or clients quickly, investing in LinkedIn advertising is the way to go. The platform has excellent targeting capabilities, allowing you to promote your product or service directly to your target audience.
Incorporating LinkedIn into your overall marketing strategy can be tremendously beneficial to your business. It provides ample opportunities to grow your network, find and attract new customers, establish a strong professional reputation, and accelerate growth.
1. Set up a successful LinkedIn profile
The reputation of your business begins with you and your employees. Your LinkedIn profile can paint a picture that positively enhances your brand or tarnishes it.
To get started with LinkedIn marketing, you need to build your profile to showcase what you want people to know about your business, work history, academic qualifications, as well as your interests outside of work.
LinkedIn’s interactive design allows you the creative freedom to tweak your profile so that it can be easily discovered and offer a clear understanding of your skills and expertise. Don’t hesitate to show off all your important accomplishments.
Highlight and describe successful projects that you have been involved in, companies and professionals you have worked with, and include recommendations you have received from other LinkedIn members about your work ethic to boost your profile.
If there are articles you’ve written or publications you’ve appeared in, link to them as well. This can help shape how people perceive you and lead to more exposure to the platform. Keep on updating and optimizing your LinkedIn profile as you go to enhance your image and authority.
Don’t limit your connections to just the people you know and trust. Connect with as many people as possible and accept invitations from others. The extent of your network is influenced by the number of connections you have—the more you have, the more opportunities that will come your way.
2. Create and optimize your LinkedIn company page
LinkedIn allows members who are looking for a product or service you offer to find your page and browse through it before making purchasing decisions. To avoid missing out on a vast number of potential customers, you should have a LinkedIn company page that’s up and running.
You can use your page to share insights about your company, products, and services, and the people who work to make it all happen.
To set up your page, you will need to enter your official company name and select a URL that people will use to find your brand. Once that is done, add an eye-catching cover image that captures the identity of your brand, and use your logo as your profile picture. Companies with logos on their LinkedIn page generate six times more traffic than those without one.
LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters to describe your company and why you’re worth doing business with. Make sure your first copy is enticing because Google will display the first 156 characters as a preview for your page.
You can also add up to 20 specialties, which will serve as keywords or tags to help LinkedIn users find your company. Use it to display your key competencies, products, and services. Strive to achieve 100% completeness on your page because it can bring in twice as many visitors as an incomplete page.
Some of the essential company details that your page should have include website URL, industry, company type, company size, location, and the year the business was founded. Once completed, it lends an air of professionalism and credibility to your brand, which will make people more likely to engage with it.
3. Consistently share engaging content on your page
One of the most effective ways to market your brand and improve your rankings on LinkedIn and widen your audience reach is to share relevant content regularly. Any content you share on your Company page will appear on your public page and be indexed by Google, which, when coupled with audience engagements, will improve how high your page appears in search results.
Your focus should be on publishing content that will be of value to your target audience. Help them perform their jobs better or improve some aspect of their lives, provide answers to questions they (might) have, and help solve pain points.
Keep in mind that apparent hard selling and sales content do not go over well on LinkedIn, so try to keep it to a minimum. Balance out your promotional content with a good dose of informational and engaging content your audience will love.
Compelling status updates and content can help establish your company as an expert and thought leader in your industry, helping your Linkedin audience grow by leaps and bounds and leading to more business for your company.
To gain followers faster and rack up page views, aim to post at least once a week. The content or updates you publish do not have to originate from your brand. If you come across a news article or blog post that would be of interest to your followers, feel free to share it.
Try to infuse videos, images, Slideshare presentations, and other visual media into the content you share to maximize engagement and generate a 75% higher share rate.
4. Promote your status updates
If you’re publishing the right kind of content, you’ll likely have a bunch of them that perform exceedingly well. You don’t have to stop there. You can take that top-performing content even farther by sponsoring it, so it appears directly in the feeds of your target audience.
You can filter and select the demographics you want your sponsored update to reach according to their location, age, gender, job title, skills, company type, groups, and educational background.
Promoting your content and updates can be a great way to reach a larger audience and drive them to your website or any page of your choosing with a strong call to action. When you give people something of value for free, it will have a more potent effect on them than traditional advertising.
With sponsored content, you can:
- Use LinkedIn’s exceptional targeting features to reach the right audience.
- Get your company page in front of more people, thereby attracting new followers.
- Ensure your message gets seen on all kinds of devices―mobile, tablet, and desktop.
- Keep track of the number of leads your update is generating.
- Test variations of your content to see which performs better.
You can either use the “pay-per-1000” impression or “pay-per-click” option to sponsor your posts. Either way, it promises to yield positive returns on investment.
5. Become an active member of LinkedIn groups
Aside from your profile and company page, LinkedIn offers a variety of community features that members can use to collaborate and communicate with other users.
LinkedIn groups keep you informed of the current happenings in a particular industry while availing you the opportunity to connect to people with similar interests. You can create your groups or join other existing groups that reflect your professional experience or interests.
Don’t just stay dormant in groups. Draw attention to your business and expand your circle of influence by participating in group discussions. Interact with other members, offer advice and solutions, and just share useful knowledge with them.
The great thing about LinkedIn groups is that it allows you to directly message other members, even if you aren’t connected. Groups give your business front row access to your ideal prospects. You can then demonstrate your value to them and encourage them to try out your product or service without shoving overt sales pitches in their faces.
Think of LinkedIn groups as self-sustained social networks where you can form valuable connections and build relationships with other professionals, spread your brand message to prospective customers, and compel all-round business growth.
6. Take advantage of LinkedIn ad campaigns
In addition to sponsored content, LinkedIn offers two additional ways to advertise your business―self-service ads and managed campaigns. Both allow you to amplify your content and campaigns to reach a more extensive section of your target audience for a fee, although the former is the cheaper of the two options.
Before creating your LinkedIn ad, you need to define what the end goal for your campaign is. Are you hoping to produce leads, build relationships, or expand your network by raising awareness for your business?
Once you know what you’re trying to accomplish, you can then target your ad campaign at the specific people you want it to reach, set your ad budget, and optimize future campaigns with the use of analytics to achieve better results.
Tracking and measuring the performance of your LinkedIn campaigns and shared content can help you make data-driven decisions to inspire consistent business growth over time.
LinkedIn marketing is a simple, systematic, and inexpensive way to generate leads and increase awareness for your brand. If you aren’t already, take advantage of the platform to open doors of opportunities and unlock tremendous benefits for your business.