The Beginner’s Guide to LinkedIn Marketing
As the leading social platform for professional networking, LinkedIn is an excellent place to generate leads and grow your business – especially if your business is B2B (business-to-business).
However, despite its potential for massive returns, businesses often underutilize LinkedIn. Today, we want to take some time to give you all the information you need to get started using LinkedIn to market your business.
Profiles and Pages: Getting Set Up to Market on LinkedIn
Much like Facebook, LinkedIn has profiles and pages, and they each serve a unique purpose. A LinkedIn page is a place to post everything related to your business. People can follow the page and start getting your content immediately – no connection approval required.
Profiles can be public or private, and they’re meant for individual professionals. They’re terrific for establishing yourself as a thought leader and having one-to-one conversations with people.
To effectively market on LinkedIn, you’ll need both. You’ll want a page for your company and profiles for you and all your employees. Having both enables you to make the most of all LinkedIn has to offer.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Marketing on LinkedIn
Once you’ve set up your page and profile, you’re ready to start marketing on LinkedIn.
Step One: Make Sure Your Profile Is in Top Shape
Be sure your profile is 100% complete – including a profile picture and header image. Make sure your photos and text are professional and approachable. And be sure to set up a custom URL (so your URL isn’t just random numbers and letters).
Play around with the LinkedIn profile sections and remote, rearrange, and add to best highlight your skills. Be sure to add links to your website and mark yourself as working at your company. By listing your company on your profile, people can easily find your company page from your profile and your profile from your company page.
Step Two: Ask for Endorsements and Recommendations
Before sending out cold messages and posting updates, reach out to former colleagues, clients, and friends to get endorsements and recommendations on your profile. These signals will show people who visit your profile that you’re trustworthy and good at what you do.
If you’re nervous about asking for endorsements and recommendations, offer to trade. Similar to a like-for-like on Instagram, you can do an endorsement-for-endorsement or a recommendation-for-recommendation. That way, everyone wins!
Step Three: Join Groups
You may not have many connections when you first join LinkedIn, which will limit your ability to message and interact with people. And without a premium profile (aka paid profile), you can’t cold message people. However, you can message fellow group members.
Groups are also a terrific place to network and get to know people in your industry and community. You can even start groups to get conversations going and interact with like-minded professionals.
Step Three: Publish Updates Consistently
LinkedIn gives you lots of ways to share your thoughts and gain traction, including:
- Posting on the newsfeed (posts, videos, pictures, etc.)
- Sharing external links (to your company blog or other industry news)
- LinkedIn newsletters
- Group posts
- Direct messages
Focus on posting content your target audience actually wants to hear. While you might want to sell the benefit of your company, you’ll get the most traction if you share industry news and things that matter most to your target audience and connections.
Step Four: Reach Out (Thoughtfully)
People use LinkedIn to keep up with their industry, find or post jobs, or build their personal network. In other words, they aren’t there to be hounded by eager salespeople. So, be thoughtful about cold messaging prospects.
Instead of reaching out with a pitch, try starting conversations with your connections first. Work to build relationships and meaningful connections before trying to turn them into customers. And remember that attraction marketing (aka making people come to you) always works better than reaching out directly.
Step Five: Utilize LinkedIn’s Marketing Tools
LinkedIn has loads of marketing tools that can quickly power up your LinkedIn marketing efforts. For example, on LinkedIn, you can:
- Promote your content via sponsored content options
- Use lead generation forms
- Create ad campaigns
- Pay for premium messages to talk to people you aren’t personally connected to
- Access detailed analytics
- And more
Make the most of your marketing efforts by diving in and taking advantage of all of LinkedIn’s marketing tools. (Premium members get even more amazing features, but you don’t have to have a paid profile to get value out of LinkedIn. Try the free version first, and pay for what you need when you need it.)
9 Tips to Get Even More Out of LinkedIn
Try out these nine best practices to get even more out of your LinkedIn marketing efforts.
1. Try Different Post Lengths
Short, punchy posts can make an impact, and long-form stories capture and engage readers. That’s why you should be sure and use both post types in your content plan. Varying your post lengths will keep your content engaging and ensure you reach as many people as possible.
2. Have a Consistent Publishing Schedule
Unlike other social platforms, you aren’t expected to post all the time on LinkedIn. In other words, LinkedIn won’t deprioritize your content if you aren’t posting every day (we’re looking at you, TikTok and Instagram). However, your audience will expect you to be consistent. Consistency is how you build trust with your connections and followers on LinkedIn. So, pick a posting schedule and stick to it!
3. Share External Blogs and Articles
Unlike other social media networks, LinkedIn’s algorithm likes external links to websites and blogs. Whether you’re sharing someone else’s article or posting your company blog, LinkedIn likes it when you share content – and so do LinkedIn users!
4. SEO Your Profile and Posts
SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t just for blogs. You can also use it to make your profile and pages more discoverable and get more traction for your posts. Think about the keywords your target audience will search for and include them when you can.
5. Export Your Connections
One of the most powerful ways to turn your LinkedIn connections into prospects is by exporting your connections and marketing to them directly – outside the platform. Click “advanced settings,” and you should be able to export your connections from there. Then, you can import them into your CRM or email platform and start networking with them.
6. Use @mentions to Communicate with Non-Connections
If you’re trying to connect with a huge company or industry leader, but you can’t message them directly, use @mention in your posts to try and gain their attention. Sort of like Twitter; you can reach out and connect with more prominent brands and customers with a simple @mention.
7. Focus on Follower Growth with Follow Buttons
Add follow buttons to your company blog or website and share your LinkedIn profile across all your social media platforms. You can also share your link in newsletters, at events, and more. You can also invite your personal LinkedIn connections to follow your business page.
8. Use Media to Get More Engagement
Include images, videos, live videos, documents, PDFs, PowerPoints, and more to increase your post engagement for your page and profile.
9. Incorporate Hashtags into Your Posts
Like other social networks, LinkedIn uses hashtags to help categorize content. As a result, you should be sure to use 2-5 hashtags in each post. Use the search bar to find hashtags for your industry and test out several to see which ones bring you the best results.
Start Using LinkedIn to Reach Professionals and Businesses
If your business sells to other businesses, you need to use LinkedIn. While it may seem intimidating at first, once you know what you’re doing, LinkedIn has tons of marketing features and opportunities to make new connections, generate leads, and boost your revenue.
So, start using LinkedIn to level up your business. If you use the steps and best practices above, you’ll be on your way to getting amazing results from the world’s biggest professional network.
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