How to Utilize LinkedIn for Marketing

Posted on Mar 7, 2016 by Kerry O'Malley

Frustrated business woman sitting with head in hands in front of computer at office desk

Suppose you met a promising prospect at a conference or trade show and began a conversation. Then the prospect showed a real interest in following up with you and your company to learn more about what you do. You may give them your business card, a brochure, etc., but would you hold back your other info such as your phone number, email, or website address? Yet this is what many of us do on our LinkedIn profile, even though it is the leading social media site for business networking.

And worse yet, some of us are only using it as a “placeholder” of social media containing only our basic information – if that – instead of utilizing it for marketing purposes. Below, we will share a few easy ways to utilize LinkedIn to market, make contacts, and actually sell.

The basics

Before you implement any marketing strategies, it is essential that all aspects of your profile page are the best they can be including:

  • Contact – There is no point to creating an awesome LinkedIn page if there is no way to contact you. It may seem surprising, but many people forget to add their information via the small section named “Contact Info” near the top of all LinkedIn profile pages.
  • Header – This image is what will first be seen by any visitor to your page. Leaving it blank or uploading an image that has little to do with your company, skills, or target customers can be disastrous and make you seem like an amateur.
  • Summary – This little section is first on your page and the most read item on any LinkedIn page, so be sure it is short, effective, and free of errors. Don’t forget to include a CTA at the end to entice your viewer to take action.
  • Showcase – A great feature of LinkedIn is the option to create a showcase page featuring all the highlights of your business. It works a bit like a Facebook page in which you can posts links, videos, slideshows, etc.
  • Research – Need some inspiration? Check out these amazing examples of LinkedIn Company profile pages.

Post updates

In addition to just posting the basics and your contact information, LinkedIn also allows users to post updates in the form of text, links, and even attachments. Using smart marketing techniques like writing eye-catching headlines, sharing interesting data, and asking questions can increase your chances of engagement. The LinkedIn platform even allows you to share YouTube videos right from your post stream which can achieve a 75% increase in share rates when compared to YouTube alone.

Consider LinkedIn Premium

As with many social media sites, there is a premium feature available to LinkedIn members with features that can be worth the price. Unlike other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that simply sell ad space, LinkedIn Premium offers options beyond the standard ad space.

  1. Information – One of the best features is an advanced analytics system that gives you exclusive insights about how you are being found, as well as these trends over time. You’ll also get access to the top search keywords and locations and industries of those who view your page.
  2. Advanced contacts – Know someone who would make a great client, but they didn’t list their contact information on their profile? Premium allows you to access this information and make contact with the previously elusive. You can also use the advanced search feature to find them.
  3. Better than cold – Premium members get up to 25 InMail credits in order to send direct messages to their potential business contacts, whether they are connected or not. This technique via InMail has been shown to earn more responses than emails or cold calls.

The verdict? Could be a good call if you have a great page, know how to use LinkedIn fairly well, and could take advantage of these features.

Join LinkedIn groups

Do you manufacture sealing components, or have some other niche? I guarantee there’s a LinkedIn group for you, probably several. We recommend joining these groups if they are active (discussions occurring regularly), and you plan to participate in them on a regular basis. This may not be your primary source of leads, but given how little time and no money is involved, it can be worth it. You don’t even have to check in with the group for updates. LinkedIn gives you the option of getting daily or weekly updates delivered straight to your email Inbox.

Ask for (or give) recommendations

Whether asking for a recommendation or giving one, this five-minute task can pay off big. For example, the person or client you recommend may reciprocate the recommendation, which is great. There is also nothing wrong with asking a satisfied client or customer for a recommendation. Remember that many people rely heavily on reviews, recommendations, and testimonials before making a decision to either reach out to a prospective vendor, or respond when YOU reach out to them. Yes, there are also people who think it is only your “friends” who write recommendations; but statistically, those who rely on recommendations are in the larger group.

Start blogging

Did you know that you can write a blog directly onto the LinkedIn platform? The LinkedIn Publishing Dashboard is similar to a WordPress or Microsoft Word platform and lets you type, format, link, and more without having to build and share a blog of your own. You can also upload media and share videos via embedding on the LinkedIn platform.

However, not everyone may have access to this feature just yet. LinkedIn has contacted members via email to notify them of access to the platform. Those who didn’t get an email or don’t remember getting one should look for a pencil icon to the side or below the icon that looks like a paper clip in the post status update box to see if it is active.

Try ads

You can buy a variety of ad space on LinkedIn to promote your company even further. These ads can link to your company’s website, but we recommend having it go to its own landing page for better analytics and data gathering on what works and what doesn’t. A definite must is to test to see which LinkedIn ads are the most effective for your company as ad campaigns are developed.

There are also tools such as Sales Navigator, lead accelerator, and more. For those who want to use their personal profile to truly market, LinkedIn can be expertly configured to be a powerful tool. You’ll have the greatest success if all team members are on board with this strategy and that there is a regular and known plan in place with clear set goals in mind. If you need help setting up or carrying out a LinkedIn or other social media marketing strategy, give us a call at 281-360-1850 or email omalley@marketectsinc.com.

Author: Kerry O'Malley

omalley@marketectsinc.com

Marketects was founded in 1999 by Kerry O’Malley, a proven marketing communications professional in international, manufacturing companies. Working on the “other side of the desk,” she hired ad agencies to manage her employers’ advertising and P/R programs. Frustrated over the lack of attention and level of enthusiasm she was looking for in the marketing agencies she worked with, Kerry realized that there was a definite need for a full-service marketing firm that specialized in working with industrial companies. She resolved that her clients would always receive the highest level of service possible and never feel like the last kid chosen for the team.

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