The first step is always the hardest. This phrase perfectly describes the process of social media strategy development. Not so long ago, LinkedIn has made a huge step from being a small professional networking website to an extremely powerful international force. It is known that social media plays a decisive role in the overall business promotion, and for sure it is hard to work with social platform like LinkedIn that is focused on business communication and partnership. Yes, the demands are pretty high. But don’t be afraid to lose your face: in this post, I will give you all necessary information about creating an effective LinkedIn strategy.
The way to success on LinkedIn seems to be not that hard, as there is a huge number of businessmen that might want to become your clients. However, this impression is deceptive. LinkedIn is a fairly unique platform with extremely specific audience that is seriously different from all the other users of social networks. The conventional definition lacks some explanation. Three main steps LinkedIn proposes are:
And that is all you’ve got? For sure, it’s fairly impossible to elaborate a professional content strategy without fully understanding this social network. The main goal of using LinkedIn for your business is to generate leads (and therefore sales). The reliability of such a strategy is supported by 80% of B2B leads generated from social media that come directly from LinkedIn. Although LinkedIn can have less traffic, its users are more active and target-oriented: they are ready to consume new information about products and services you can propose them.
Six components of comprehensive B2B platforms
Here, we get to the basic level of LinkedIn strategy formation. In order to make LinkedIn work for you, you first have to work for your business development. We have looked through the most successful LinkedIn pages of B2B companies and analyzed their strategies to make a list of components that formed their success:
1. Target—your main target is getting a real perspective opportunity. So work to find new prospects and connect the existing ones.
2. Nurture—seek for the perfect time, place and content to engage your prospects.
Nurturing—showing a prospect a relevant sequence of advertising or sponsored content in order to move them through the purchase funnel.
3. Capture—it is important to receive lead information from interested prospects without making any additional efforts.
4. Prioritize—prioritizing is everything. You have to pay special attention to enlarging the outreach of your account (lead scoring).
5. Connect—it is important to find new connections at target accounts to gain relevant information and unique insights
6. Measure—make decisions and analyse the overall performance of your business based on tracking and quantifying the produced impact. A comprehensive B2B platform delivers enhanced performance through:
- Advanced targeting, both on and off LinkedIn.
- Implementation of multiple tools used to reach and communicate with target audience.
- Ability to educate and develop anonymous website visitors.
- Ability to cultivate active sales opportunities with sponsored content & display.
LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategy
When compared to other social networks, LinkedIn has a much smaller audience, but still—300 million users is a huge base of potential clients. It is known that businesses are 50% more likely to consume a particular product or service if they have already engaged on LinkedIn. As you can see, the main focus here is on businesses, and now we get to another important notion: LinkedIn is a perfect platform for B2B businesses development. That is pretty obvious as LinkedIn users seek for professional development and career improvement, not for products they use in personal life. All the unique features of this social network can be beneficial for you. Try to use them when developing your marketing strategy and don’t be afraid to seek for worthy business partners in a sea of job seekers and sales managers.
The following tips will help you to develop a strong and thoughtful LinkedIn strategy that will help you to get more leads and increase your sales rates:
- Pay attention to the content you are providing your clients with: it has to drive engagement from your target audience. Remember that content is the keynote of your online business strategy.
- Post more organic content: it brings 6 times more engagement than any other type of LinkedIn activity.
- Never forget about needs and wants of your audience. When creating your content, use members-first approach and adapt it to the people you want to engage.
- Make the context of your campaigns more social to tie in with social efforts you make.
- Try to use LinkedIn the same way you use Facebook and Twitter when targeting the specific audiences through your personal and business accounts.
- Explore new channels of content distribution. Use your company’s profile to share your content together with your personal profile.
- Relevancy is a core of your LinkedIn strategy. Make sure that content is always relevant to your target audience. Relevancy defines whether the audience will engage with you on an ongoing basis. If necessary, change frequency of your posts: while there is no perfect posts number that suits everyone, the average frequency of posting on LinkedIn is 5 posts per week (organic content). However, always remember that it’s not quantity of your content that defines your success, but their quality and relevance. LinkedIn’s algorithm doesn’t rank content in the same was as Facebook, and your group members, connections and followers will see it, but whether it will gain engagement depends on content’s quality.
Best basic practices
To implement all the aforementioned advices into practice, try to start with simple and easy steps. Your profile needs regular updates with unique and relevant content that will be interesting to your target audience. However, while making accent on the content itself, many content marketers forget about choosing the right post type that will support the general mood and idea of the presented content. To succeed with your posts, look through all the information we give here to know what types will work for your particular content. These five basic steps will help you not to miss anything when starting to produce your top quality content:
- Schedule 1 post per weekday.
- Make posts that are approximately 25 words long.
- Post time: morning—midday, Monday—Friday.
- Write updates that contain industry insights.
- Share listicles or “Top” content.
The best type of content for LinkedIn
The distribution of high-quality content is a key to success on LinkedIn. However, it is also important to choose the right content type to present your information in a favorable light. You can post articles, news, short insights, videos or imagery. Here, you will find three content types that are the most popular within the current social network: 1. 60% - Industry Insights—THE MOST POPULAR type of content on LinkedIn: 6 out of 10 LinkedIn users are interested in it.
Industry insights—brief blocks of information, containing insights into the potential influence of recent statements and events connected to particular industries, focusing on the main practical implications to be considered.
2. 53%—Company news 3. 43%—New products and services
While content is still about WHAT you do, the second most important question is HOW you do it. Try to implement “Top” content and lists posts—relevant posts that guide followers toward “Top” lists (“Top 10 social media tactics in B2B marketing”) get 40% more amplification. One of the recent studies conducted by LinkedIn itself found that the updates including the word “top” or the numbers 3, 5, 10, 25, 30, 50 or 100 got almost 40% more amplification than the ones without.
Link posts get higher engagement
In the same report, LinkedIn shared information that updates containing links get up to 45% higher follower engagement than those with without.
Images and questions get more comments
When making a new post for your LinkedIn profile, do not forget to enrich your text with imagery and questions. These elements help you to attract and hold reader’s attention. On average, status updates that contain questions receive 50% more comments and images lead to 98% higher comment rate.
Videos double amplification
Video content takes leading positions within the field and this tendency isn’t going to stop. More research from LinkedIn pointed that videos are a great source of engagement getting in some cases twice as many amplification actions (likes, sgares and comments) and 75% higher share rate.
The best posting frequency, length and time
The content is king. But don’t forget about the crown: support your post with perfect frequency, length and time. How often do we need posts? How long should our updates be? When should we schedule them? Ask yourself such questions each time you want to share your new post with the audience. Frequency: once per day, at least 20 times per month According to LinkedIn report, with 20 posts per month you can reach 60% of your unique audience.
Length: write 25 words updates. LinkedIn 2012 research has shown that for B2B companies groups, a perfect update length is 16-25 words. These updates got the most clickthrough compared to the other updates.
Time: During the workday. Avoid posting in the evenings, late afternoons and weekends. LinkedIn has found its busiest times are mornings and middays, from Monday through Friday. Business hours have the largest maximum reach, therefore it is great experiment with different times during the workday. It is necessary to test different variants to choose what will be the best for the group.
Although content quality, post types and implementation of imagery and video materials will be your strong basis, you have to think outside the box. Go ahead, make your account a little but more than just social media business platform and never stop exploring. Try to use LinkedIn in our own manner, implement non-standard techniques and approaches, pay attention to the details and make your profile unique, well-organized, informative and unforgettable.
1. Use Anchor Texts in Links. Every LinkedIn profile can include 3 links. Customize the anchor texts in the URLs - select the “Other” option and make more keyword-rich title (Ex: “My Inbound Marketing Blog.”)
3. Create a clear and compelling pitch in your company description ( and all similar texts) - this doesn’t have to be the dry explanation about how much the company grew and how many offices we have opened as this doesn’t generate leads. Instead, speak directly to your target audience + invite them to convert. The most important—two-ish lines! An excellent example is StrideApps’ description:
- “Lovingly made for small businesses and agencies.” BAM! Target audience identified.
- “Refreshingly simple and efficient.” Value proposition submitted.
- Sales tracking application…CRM.” Service provided.
4. Post updates that are directly aimed at your target audience. Post blog updates, links to your infographics, and any other information that can increase clicks from information-seekers. Below are 3 quick tips you can use to create great LinkedIn status updates:
- Tag people and companies in personal posts using “@”;
- Upload files to your posts (JPEGs, PDFs, Word documents);
- Customize the image in your link attachment preview.
5. Join the topical groups and seek for the target audience + see what the competitors do in their groups and try their successful 5. experience. Choose groups that are highly active, directly related to your company and medium-sized. Remember that you can only join 50 groups and if you plan to be active, choose only 3-5- groups to comment and communicate in.
6. Use the Advanced Search to seek for your target audience and professionals that are good potential leads + you can save searches. Once you save your search, LinkedIn will periodically send you the emails with the list of people that fit your chosen qualifications.
7. A single status update reaches 20% of your followers. On the other social media the percentage is much lower. Use this LinkedIn advantage to build a close relationship with your target audience.
8. Only 57% of companies have a LinkedIn page—relatively small concurrence gives space for development.
9. Try to write posts using LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform. Any post will be shared with your connections and followers, will be searchable on and off LinkedIn and it can possibly be published as content in Pulse. What Makes a great LinkedIn publishing post?
- Catchy title (optimal length: up to 50 characters)
- Attractive visuals (especially the top featured image)
- Sub-headers throughout the content for easy reading
- Intelligent use of keywords to make the content “searchable”
- Providing valuable insights – not a promotional pitch
- Including a call-to-action at the end of the post
10. Make your personal analysis with Data Export Tool. Under your profile photo in the top right corner, click on “Manage” button (on the right from Privacy & Settings). Then, click on the Account tab, and under the Helpful Links category, click on “Request an archive of your data.” The data includes everything from ad interactions, endorsements, and previous successful search queries. Review the information, and start thinking of new strategies for reaching your B2B marketing prospects more successfully!
11. Ask for recommendations: leverage your brand’s most-loyal promoters to lend credibility to your page with recommendations of your products and services. This broad-spectrum strategy was formed to help Internet marketers and online business owners of all types with different experience to find a perfect combination of marketing techniques, content types and posting frequency that will improve your traffic and engagement rates. Such a strategy leaves lots of room to elaborate and implement more specific strategies that will demonstrate your individual business image and philosophy.
LinkedIn is a social network that provides you with plenty of opportunities for business development and is a perfect match for B2B marketing sphere. However, without proper knowledge and relevant information, Linkedin becomes an ordinary time-wasting social media network that brings nothing but destruction. So take all you can from this post and don’t stop on that. The next time you enter LinkedIn, spend at least half an hour to conducts some advanced research and see whether you come up with at least several points above.