As always – depends on who you ask. If you’re LinkedIn, any number of specialist consultants or a whole host of digital marketers, then you might think it’s the only possible solution for your business!
Now if you’ve read any of our blogs before, you won’t be surprised if we don’t necessarily agree. Is LinkedIn a great way to connect directly with a b2b audience?
Yes indeed, if it’s used right. Is it good for b2c? Not so much (yet!). Is it the only thing you need? Certainly not. The real value of LinkedIn comes when it’s used a part of an overall marketing strategy, often with a number of different channels operating in unison.
So, let’s start at the beginning…
Is LinkedIn the right social channel for me?
In reality, the only question you need to ask yourself about LinkedIn, is this…
Is it where my target market are hanging out?
Not sure? Here’s a quick overview….
Well for starters, it’s the world’s biggest professional networking platform with 830 million members in over 200 countries. Over 65 million are decision makers, and four out of every five help to drive business decisions (Statista).
In Australia there are 12.7 million members – almost fifty percent of the entire population – and on average they spent 11 minutes a day on the platform, in July 2021 (Statista). Business Insider reports that LinkedIn is the most trusted social media platform of all, which makes it more likely for users to engage with ads, or sponsored content they see during those 11 minutes a day.
Hubspot claims LinkedIn is 270% better at generating leads than Facebook or Twitter. No, I have no idea how they got to that number, but you get my general drift! (More stats here if you want them).
Decision makers are most certainly on LinkedIn, millions of them in fact. They’re visiting reasonably frequently, and they have a high level of trust in the platform.
Sound good? So how can you use all those eyeballs to your advantage? Let’s take a look …
What can a SME use LinkedIn for?
LinkedIn is a versatile channel to say the least. You can advertise on it, use it for direct email outreach and of course use it as a social channel.
The potential is broad:
- Create a network of like-minded individuals
- Find, research and directly connect with target prospects on a one-to-one basis, then share and communicate with them individually
- Increase your personal AND business profile
- Spread your brand message
- Share opinions and start conversations
- Join other people’s conversations
- Join special interest groups and follow people of interest to you
- Offer incentives and specials
So there’s a bit to know if you want to get the most out of it but if you want a starting point, we’ve shared some basic tips below.
And please, before you even think about jumping in there, be clear about what your messaging is going to be. We’re not getting into detail on that in this post, but you might want to read a couple of others if you need help:
OK, so it’s time we looked at an example of what it can do, as part of an overall marketing strategy….
A LinkedIn marketing success story
Stanton Dahl Architects had been running successfully for decades. Eventually the time came to try and accelerate the growth of the business, and they asked for our help.
The first part was to crystalise what they had to offer, distinct from their competitors. After a thorough discovery phase we settled on a new positioning for the business – ‘Architecture in the Service of People’ – which captured the essence and injected some memorability and personality into it too.
After a rebranding process, and update of the website, we developed a series of email campaigns and implemented an ongoing LinkedIn strategy for them comprising profiling, outreach, connection messaging, posting, network building and more.
Each of the marketing elements worked together and as a result of the new positioning, and accompanying messaging, these campaigns resulted in a significant increase in the quality and quantity of new business – including opening up opportunities in new states.
To put some figures around this…
- LinkedIn click-through rate hit 17.4%, and engagement rate hit 19.8%,
with the industry averages sitting in the single digits.
- Emailed opening rate was increased to 35%, double the industry average.
- Total number of leads increased by a factor of ten.
Now would they have gotten the same results just posting in LinkedIn now and again?
No. Would they have gotten the same results, leaving out the email campaign part of the process? No, they would not.
Hopefully by now you can see the potential of LinkedIn marketing to help your B to B business?
In case you’re a total newbie, here’s a few tips on how to get started. If you’re a bit further down the track, its probably best we have a chat about how to build on what you’ve already done.
How to get started with LinkedIn Marketing
1. Set up a company page
This is actually pretty easy. Just fill out all of the sections that LinkedIn asks you to. The more the better. If people are on LinkedIn, and want to find out about your business – this is their first port of call. From here, if they’re sufficiently engaged in what you have to offer, they’ll go straight to your website. So you need to make this as persuasive as you possibly can.
Oh, and if you’re website is optimised for a series of keywords, use them here too. LinkedIn says a complete company profile will increase your weekly views by 30%, so don’t hang back.
2. Align employee profiles
Although your employees LinkedIn profiles are not owned by you, it’s best to align them with your company’s vision and messaging anyway. If everyone’s saying the same thing about the benefits of using your service, it’s more believable, memorable and persuasive. Make sure they’re all following the company page, and interact with your content as much as possible.
3. Develop a strategy
We’re presuming here that you already have a business, or marketing strategy. A thorough assessment of your target market, along with a plan to reach them with razor sharp messaging previously honed. OK, now – develop the LinkedIn part of that strategy.
Determine a range of subject matters that your happy to be involved in, and build them into a calendar of engagement. In addition to sharing content that you’ve developed yourself – articles, guides, and anything else that demonstrates your expertise – also work on sharing other people’s content, commenting on others posts, and really building a personality online for your business.
4. Test and learn
LinkedIn also lets you know what regularly posted content is best received, so you can double down in that area, and perhaps look at sponsored posts, or specifically targeted ads.
Targeted campaigns allow you to talk directly to HR Directors, in Sydney based companies with more than 500, but less than 750 employees, for example.
And with everything you do, test, learn and improve. LinkedIn offers a range of analytics that help you do all of this, of course, however if you don’t have time, or you simply need some help – then feel free to drop us a line.
So, is LinkedIn Marketing right for YOUR SME?
Well, if you’re still reading, then you could be onto something. Are you ready to get stuck in? Need to refine your strategy a little bit first? Wonder what other channels might support your efforts?
Give us a call, let’s see if we can work it out, from the inside out, together… and create sustainable LinkedIn success for you!
By the way, here’s a great place to start your LinkedIn journey… Let’s connect! Just click here to find me!