Social media marketing
LinkedIn Marketing Strategies for small businesses
Learn how to effectively use LinkedIn for business and build credibility, build meaningful connections, and glean insights from established experts in your industry.
Today LinkedIn is more than just a recruiting and job seeking platform that it once was when it was launched back in 2003. Sure, most people still use LinkedIn as an online version of their resume. But, LinkedIn has evolved way beyond that.
These days, people and businesses are using LinkedIn for business purposes like building relationships with other professionals, staying up-to-date with industry trends and generating new leads who could become customers.
If you aren’t using LinkedIn to market your small business and grow your brand in 2021, you’re missing out.
To help you navigate LinkedIn as a marketing platform you can use to grow your business, we assembled 9 LinkedIn marketing strategies you can use to grow your audience, find new customers, partners and ultimately grow your business.
But before get started, let’s talk about the importance of LinkedIn marketing for a small business, how to set up and optimize your company page.
What is LinkedIn marketing?
LinkedIn marketing is the process of using LinkedIn to improve brand visibility, generate leads, make connections, build partnerships, share content and drive website traffic. LinkedIn exposes you and your business to millions of connections that you can use to build relationships with individuals and other companies to boost your brand.
When you use LinkedIn to market your business, you gain access to useful features related to analytics, connections, and brand-building, just to name a few.
The professional nature of LinkedIn makes one of kind social media networks. Unlike most social media platforms, LinkedIn is all about professional connections, and industry discussions. It’s basically the most ideal place to find partners, employees, and customers.
Importance of a LinkedIn marketing strategy
You might be asking yourself, “Why should I market my small business on LinkedIn in the first place?” This thought is understandable since most people are unfamiliar with LinkedIn and how to effectively use it. After all, you want to make sure your efforts don’t go unnoticed and want them to actually deliver real results.
So here are a few benefits LinkedIn has to offer:
- LinkedIn has nearly 740 million members in 200 countries (7.6 million LinkedIn users in South Africa).
- When compared to Facebook, LinkedIn generates leads 277% more effectively.
- There are 61 million “senior-level influencers” on LinkedIn.
- 55 million companies are on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn has helped 45% of marketers generate leads.
- 33% of B2B decision makers use LinkedIn to research purchases.
- LinkedIn accounts for 80% of B2B leads.
- LinkedIn is the top choice for professionally relevant content, with 91% of executives choosing the platform.
These are just some of the many reasons why LinkedIn should be part of your business’s digital marketing strategy. Used accordingly, LinkedIn is an effective social media platform that can take your business to the next level.
LinkedIn marketing tips for small businesses
Here are 10 of the best LinkedIn marketing strategies that you can implement to help scale your company’s online presence and generate leads.
1. Optimize your company profile
Take your LinkedIn Page to next level by adding more details. This provides your followers and visitors with information about your business and improves your ranking in LinkedIn search results. LinkedIn complete pages get 30% more views.
Company description: Give people a description of your products and services, tell them about your vision, mission, and values. This section shouldn’t long, make it about three short paragraphs. Do not list your products or services but rather give a clear explanation of why your company exists. Make sure the copy is natural with an easy flow and voice that compliments your brand.
Location: Where is your business located? Most people will want to know this before they even contact you to ask for more information about your business. So, add your store or office location. You can add multiple addresses by selecting +Add Location.
Hashtags: LinkedIn allows admins to add pp to three hashtags to make a profile more searchable. Pick hashtags that are commonly used in your industry and that best suit your business.
Cover photo: Polish your profile with a great background photo. Choose an image that showcases your brand. Avoid images that are too busy or cluttered. Here is an example of a great cover photo from Microsoft.
Custom button: Add a custom button to your profile. A custom button can be anything from visit website, contact us, learn more, register, and sign up. Don’t forget to add the corresponding URL so people who click the button are directed to the correct destination.
Manage language: If you have a global brand or multilingual audience, you can add your name, tagline, and description in over 20 different languages.
- Fill Out All Key Fields
- Update Your Images and Banner Regularly
2. Post high-quality content, often
Content marketing is important to any platform and LinkedIn is no exception. Once you’re done setting up the company profile and you’re up and running, it’s time to start sharing valuable content with your audience.
Firstly, set a reasonable goal for how often you’ll post content on LinkedIn. This is completely up to you and your marketing team. Second, you need to create a content marketing strategy that will guide you and help you decide which content to put out and when.
You can upload all kinds of content formats on LinkedIn, this is one of the best things about the platform. But posts with photos and videos typically perform better on LinkedIn. Other content formats you can post include PDFs, PowerPoints, SlideShare presentations, and you can also publish your very own article on the platform.
According to this LinkedIn guide, posts with images receive 98% more comments than those without. Another finding by LinkedIn showed that custom collages with 3-4 images in one post perform well for pages.
Video content receives 5X more engagement on LinkedIn than any other content type. One advantage of LinkedIn video content is that it auto-plays when someone scrolls through their feed and catches their attention.
Content on LinkedIn doesn’t have to look the same every time and it doesn’t have to be always original content. Here are some ideas to get you started with sharing content.
- Share articles that really made you think
- Share a checklist from a blogger in your industry
- Share your own blogs
- Write an article
- Offer advise and quick tips
And most importantly, include a call to action so your audience knows exactly what is it that you would like them to do next (comment, message, like, or share).
3. Join groups – and stay active.
LinkedIn Groups can be very powerful marketing tools if used correctly. LinkedIn Groups are an online forum for your industry community. We cannot urge you enough to join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your business and your target demographic.
As a brand, you can be part of the conversation, not just the subject of it, and make meaningful connections with clients and industry experts.
Joining groups provides you with an opportunity to “listen in” on what your audience is talking about, interact with others, and offer advice, getting your brand out there. In addition, you can message other members of the group you are in using LinkedIn InMail, even if you are not connected.
There are different pages on LinkedIn, others are useful for page admins, and others are better suited for business owners.
Join a LinkedIn group that makes sense for your business and audience to stay on top of trends, spot influencers, and connect with like-minded individuals. While you’re on those groups don’t forget to contribute, share advice, share useful links, and leave insightful comments.
4. Establish your authority on your topic
To earn trust from your network, you need to demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about. You need to become an authority in your field. This is done by sharing useful content and resources that will bring a ton of value to your audience, especially to your ideal client.
You need to endure that the content you put out looks professional and offers a solution to a problem or challenge your ideal clients deal with. Don’t just end with sharing the content. Remember, your ideal clients can find this content elsewhere. Take a step further and provide your own perspective on the material.
The goal of marketing is to get your business out there, your audience needs to know your brand, be it a personal brand or corporate brand. Whenever possible, create and share your own original branded content.
You can post content as status updates or long-form articles via LinkedIn Publisher. The content you put out should be 100% focused on your target audience.
To successfully curate content specifically for your audience and target clients, you have to identify their problems and challenges. If you can understand where they’re coming from, what their motivations are, and you speak their language, you’ll be able to effectively connect with them and earn their trust.
To become an authority and build trust, you must share your knowledge with your target audience. You might be reluctant to share complete guides to solving their problems in fear that they will want to handle it themselves and not hire you. What you need to understand is that the problems you’re helping them solve with the content you publish, solve micro-problems. Your target clients will still have problems they’ll be willing to pay you for.
Furthermore, they do not have time to handle it themselves. If your content is very good and they trust you to know exactly what you are talking about. They will definitely patronize your business. So, share your very best tips and strategies. This will position you as an expert, and create more demand for your business.
5. Optimize posts for reach and impact
You want to make sure that your content reaches as many people as possible who will engage with it. You can achieve this by making use of some simple practices that LinkedIn offers to company pages.
Here’s the deal. LinkedIn’s algorithm ranks posts based on the following: connections, interests relevance, and engagement probability. In other words, the aim is to show users content that will interest and engage them, from accounts they connect with.
Here are some of the best practices that will jumpstart engagement on your company posts and boost visibility.
- Share relevant content
- Post with videos and custom images to grab attention
- Have a short copy of your post. If it’s a long post, make it short paragraphs.
- Give key stats that your audience find useful
- Include a call to action in your post
- Tag people and pages mentioned in a post, they will most likely engage with the post and share it with their connections
- Use LinkedIn polls to get feedback from your audience and drive engagement
- Use no more than 3 relevant hashtags in your post
- Encourage more engagement by replying to comments and even sharing user-generated content.
6. Market Your Company Page Off-Platform
This is an obvious one, if you want people to notice and visit your LinkedIn company page, you’ll need to mention it as much as possible – both on and off LinkedIn. There are hundreds of LinkedIn users who will check or view your profile even though you aren’t connected. Take advantage of that opportunity by adding a link to your LinkedIn profile to: your company page, business cards, website, and wherever else you interact with your clients.
Additionally, most major social media platforms will allow you to add a link to your LinkedIn profile. Say, for example, you’re active and have a large following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, try adding a link back to your LinkedIn profile. This is useful in increasing traffic to your page from other platforms.
7. Use LinkedIn Analytics
it’s worth monitoring the performance of your LinkedIn company page regularly so that you can improve your LinkedIn marketing strategy, assess how well it’s meeting your needs and track post metrics to see what people engage with the most, what drives the most action, and what can be improved.
You can access your LinkedIn page analytics in Admin view by clicking the ‘Analytics’ tab along the top. From here, you can monitor your visitor metrics like page views and demographics. This tab will also tell you the top job functions of people who’ve visited your page, which informs you whether you’re reaching your target audience.
Under the ‘updates’ tab, you have access to information about how much people are engaging with what you’re posting. This gives you an opportunity to curate content your audience is most interested in.
While the ‘Followers’ tab tells you how many followers you have, and basic demographics like where they’re located.
Additionally, under the ‘Followers’ tab, when you scroll down, you can see ‘Companies to track’. This section lets you compare where your page ranks when it comes to total followers and new followers. You can also see how many updates each page posts over a selected period and the overall engagement rate.
8. Target the right audience
One of LinkedIn marketing tools’ best features is its organic audience targeting option. Page admin can target posts based on follower profile data, including company size, industry, job title, seniority, location, and language preference. To post a targeted update, you must target a minimum of 300 Page followers.
Targeted updates only display in corresponding members’ feeds. All updates, targeted and non-targeted, will appear on the Page’s feed.
To begin targeting your audience.
- Draft your update on the All Pages or Home tab of your admin view.
- Click the Public option from the dropdown at the top of the update box.
- Select ‘Targeted Audience’ from the dropdown.
- On the ‘Target audience’ settings page, add your desired targeting criteria.
- Click Apply at the bottom of the page.
- Click Save and post.
The Estimated target follower audience is the number of potential people who will see the update on both their LinkedIn feed and on your Page. If your settings create a narrow audience, try removing some targeting criteria to broaden your scope. You can’t notify employees when posting a targeted update.
9. Use sponsored updates.
You can also step up your LinkedIn marketing strategy and build real connections with professionals on LinkedIn through Sponsored Updates if the budget allows. Available in a range of formats, LinkedIn advertising allows brands to target and reach members outside their established following. Personalization options even let you address LinkedIn members by name, which makes a difference. LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail messages, which are only available to premium users, have a 52% open rate on average.
Key take away
Above all, remember that social media is all about making real connections with real people. Don’t just sign up for LinkedIn because everyone is doing it. Signup for LinkedIn to build credibility, create a meaningful network, and glean insider expertise from established experts in your industry. Add these valuable LinkedIn for business strategies to your social media marketing arsenal as start to establish your credibility, build relationships and generate sales leads.