7 Advanced Ways to Use LinkedIN to Market Your Business
If you have been ignoring LinkedIn as a way to market your business, you may have been making a huge mistake.
The statistics show us that LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook and, as a business owner, that’s exactly where you want your prospects to go.
LinkedIn is not all about recruitment any more. It is now a very powerful platform for connecting businesses with their customers, so if you aren’t taking advantage of it at the moment, get on over there and start boosting your marketing efforts.
These 7 advanced tactics will give you the edge on this powerful platform.
1. Apply for Long Posts & Use Native Marketing
LinkedIn does not want to become a site which is nothing but ads for various businesses and services. So, instead of plastering ads all over your page, consider using native marketing instead.
According to IPG Media Lab, consumers looked at native ads 53% more frequently than banner ads, and 25% more looked at in-feed native ad placements. Those are impressive statistics.
Native advertising doesn’t look like an ad and that’s why it works. It looks like content –information that you want to look at. Native advertising comes in the form of sponsored links and recommended content which is related to what you’ve just read, just to name a couple of formats. The important thing to understand is that it is part of the content experience for your readers, so it becomes part of your brand and engagement building process.
On LinkedIn you can use native advertising in your posts. LinkedIn is opening its publishing platform to everyone so now you too can create longer posts. You can apply for access to the publishing platform here and, when accepted, you will have the opportunity to share your material with a very pro-active audience.
Why bother? The platform allows you to expand your reach and evaluate the performance of your content through metrics. It will also notify you when someone has posted an article up on their profile so you can monitor other people’s content.
Now although LinkedIn discourages articles that advertise directly, this does not mean that you can’t introduce your LinkedIn readers to a link to your blog, or indeed other content on your website that ‘does’ sell.
Use ‘pop-ups’ on your website to capture these new leads, and before you dismiss ‘pop-ups’ because you get annoyed by them, understand that they work. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger experimented and you may be surprised at his results. Econsultancy reports that “a site with an overlay garners up to 400% more email opt-ins than a site that relies on an in-line form.” An overlay is a form of pop-up, too.
Don’t dismiss the idea. Instead, take some time to choose the kind of pop-up you most prefer, and test it on your site. You’ll need something to help capture the leads that LinkedIn sends you.
2. Build Your LinkedIn Brand Through Your Status Updates
Define the look and style you plan to use on your page. This is key to closing sales in both the short and long term. Your brand message needs to show in what you say, how you say it and how you present your information.
For example, take a look at Instagram. It actively encourages businesses to use their photo filter to achieve that distinct ‘Instagram’ look and feel. Not only do the filters make photos look better, they add the Instagram touch, so it benefits both parties.
When you define the look and style of your branding, create a style guide of what you will and won’t post so it’s clear to you and anyone you outsource it too. Your style guide could include details of:
- Logo sizes
- Brand colours in hex numbers
- Fonts and font sized
- The style and size of images
Your style guide could simply be a private Pinterest Board that contains ‘pins’ of the types of graphics, images and articles that reflect your values and branding.
3. Sharing ‘High Visibility’ Content
One of the best ways to be noticed is to share “high visibility” content, which is content that you know has had a lot of reaction elsewhere. For example, it may be content that’s been shared around Facebook and has high percentage ratio of likes to Facebook fans.
Take a look at this post on Mashable. It has had 3.9K shares from the blog page, and over on Facebook, it has 3083 likes, 1443 shares and 275 comments (probably more by the time you read this.) You know from the statistics that this post has hit a nerve so, if it’s relevant to your audience, it is likely to bring you a great response on LinkedIn.
Stay up to date with what’s hot by setting trend alerts using Google. Google Trends shows you what people are searching for right now – what’s important to them. You can set an alert for a particular topic or keyword and Google will email you with the latest updates on that topic.
You can also use LinkedIn Pulse, the app that keeps you on top of the latest news, and share news as it happens.
Sharing high visibility content increases the likelihood of getting your updates seen and read so stay on top of what’s newsworthy and share it straight away. Don’t wait or you’ll miss the boat.
4. Drive Traffic “OFF” LinkedIn
It is vital to drive traffic back to your ‘hub’ which is your website from which the sales are made. This goes for any digital channel you’re marketing on. We already know that LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook, but there are steps you can take to make sure it happens.
The best of these is to use www.bit.ly when you posts your links.
Why use Bit.ly? Research has shown it’s more likely to get clicked on than a ‘branded’ URL. For any quotes that you personally create, post a link back to your site within the status update. Bit.ly allows you to track the performance of the link that you post so you can tell immediately which works best for you and that allows you to source and supply the right content for your market. Now you’re in the driver’s seat.
5. Define Your Outreach Campaign
Now that you have created your important content, you need to design an outreach campaign to make sure it’s seen by the right people. A two-step outreach campaign works well to engage people before you sell to them.
Your first step is to identify the people you want to connect to. Not everyone will be right for your purposes. Look for the movers and shakers in your industry, and for the industry leaders.
The next step is to reach out to those contacts you’d like to connect with via email. Personalise a piece of communication and invite them to download a free guide that may be of relevance to them back on your website.
The goal is to get the opt-in, start a dialogue and establish your credibility with them. Get on their radar so they notice you and pay attention to your business.
Reach out via LinkedIn Groups in your area of speciality (check the directory) by joining and sharing content with the group. Be respectful; contact the administrator to see if they’d be happy to post your content to their group or you may find yourself banned. Remember that whatever you share must be interesting and relevant.
Identify what you can offer the individuals in each of your target groups. What you offer now is the seed that will sprout into sales for the future.
6. Curation of Content That’s Non-Competing
Sharing content is great, as long as that content doesn’t dilute your own marketing message, or include links to articles that feature your competitors. The best thing about sharing other people’s content is that it doesn’t leave all the work of content creation to you.
How can you curate content?
- Oktopost has a Content Recommendation engine which will choose content based on how well previous content converted.
- Set up Flipboard on your mobile device which pulls together all the topics you are interested in from the social networks that you select.
- Facebook’s Paper app allows you to monitor stories within a variety of themes so you can see who is talking about which topics.
- Don’t forget about Feedly, too, where you can access stories from across a range of platforms.
By having all the information collected for you in your favourite app or source, it’s easy to spot the important stories and share them. Remember, don’t just share the links. Add your own input to make the post yours and reflect your branding.
7. Seven Day Posting Strategy
The key to building a solid and clear brand on LinkedIn is to be consistent with your posts. You can’t afford to rely purely on whatever you decide to post each day. You need to be strategic with your choices and your comments, and that means you need to put some thought into it. Posting on the run is unlikely to bring you the results you want.
I use a 7 day schedule to plan out my posts and set them for publication at the best time for my readers. You can download a free 7 Day Social Media Schedule template from Flee 9 to 5 which will help you to plan a variety of post types, from conversational to educational, and choose the posts to best support an offer that you might include.
Pre-scheduling your posts is a time saver but be aware that if you are using Hootsuite, the post totally loses its format and makes the link less likely to be clicked on. Upload an image with it direct into the status update itself for a more enticing post.
How to Guarantee Your Return on Investment
LinkedIn is a powerful social network that is still being overlooked by many businesses. Positioning yourself there now will give you an advantage over those who come later. Choosing the right content at the right time will boost your visibility and build your brand.
As with any other social network, the return on investment is up to you. You will get out of it only what you put in so read this article again and make sure you understand the strategies that we’ve covered because they work.
If you would like to add more of these strategies to your marketing plan, click here now to take a look at my 30 Day Business Turnaround Program. Over 30 days I will show you solid marketing strategies that don’t date and that can be used across every platform. These are perfect for building a solid brand which attracts your ideal client and turns onlookers into loyal customers for life.
Before you head off to LinkedIn to look at your brand with fresh eyes, take the opportunity to ask me your questions. Just leave them in the comments below and I will answer them.