Let LinkedIn lead you to sales and marketing success
2nd February 2021
How LinkedIn’s consistent hypergrowth could help your business achieve the same.
LinkedIn has gained 15-20 million users every quarter since 2009. It is used by execs from every Fortune 500 company, four out of five LinkedIn users have decision making responsibilities, and thanks to this social media giant keeping the success of its members at the forefront of product evolution, 80% of all B2B leads are said to come from LinkedIn.
So, how can us mere mortals ensure our own brands bask in the rays of LinkedIn’s glory?
Let’s start with the numbers:
- As of 2021 LinkedIn has 722m users (up from 37m in 2009) across 200 countries and operates in 24 different languages
- 100m job applications are made on LinkedIn every month, 40m job searches take place weekly, and three people are hired via LinkedIn every minute
- LinkedIn is the most trusted social network in the US. 73% of social media users at least somewhat agree that LinkedIn protects their privacy and data. Only 53% say the same about Facebook
LinkedIn’s sheer size, mammoth growth, and constant adaption offer a multitude of benefits for business growth. Its omnichannel approach allows content to be shared in a variety of trackable formats and the scale of LinkedIn’s member base, along with its data collection ability, means its audience targeting criteria can offer hundreds of specific demographic options. You can choose from basic attributes like gender, age, job title, and location - right through to much more niche categories like skill set, seniority level, and even company growth rate.
Basically, in this one online location you can learn who your audience is, what content they are likely to engage with, and the best way to share content with them. Here’s how:
With so much content and general noise being pushed out across social media channels (LinkedIn has 15 times more content impressions than job postings) it is getting harder and harder for brands to be seen. Creating relevant, entertaining, and shareable content and getting it in front of the right people is the only way to secure online success – but it is impossible to create relevant content if you don’t know who your target audience is.
Take time to research buyer personas and establish what they have in common. Start with an obvious piece of criteria, such as the most common job title to buy your product or service, and use LinkedIn to learn everything you can about the people who do that role – it is surprising (and a bit scary) how many similarities there are between people who do the same job.
Once you know your target audience’s age group, seniority level, skill set, interests and the box set they last binged on Netflix – creating relevant content becomes a breeze! Sharing it however is an ongoing feat that benefits from a scheduling tool, constant measurement, and regular adjustments. Keep an eye on the results you are seeing and adjust variables like posting times and content formats accordingly.
For more advice on understanding and identifying your target audience, check out this blog.
Community and network building is the lifeblood of LinkedIn – and a fantastic way to get your target audience talking about your product. LinkedIn members tend to have two times the buying power of others, so the more you can engage with this group the better. There are a few quick wins to get your community up and running:
- Get your colleagues on board LinkedIn members are 14 times more likely to share content from their employer and colleagues than from any other source. Encouraging your entire company to connect with each other and your LinkedIn company page instantly gives more exposure. There is no shame in sending an internal message asking people to ‘like and share’ or better yet, using a tool such as ContentCal to post directly to employee’s personal feeds from one central location – with their permission of course!
- Join groups and follow pages you aspire to be like And remember to interact when you’re there. A quick look in the comments section of any successful LinkedIn post will show numerous ongoing conversations between members. This is the ideal place to share your personal thoughts and the stance of your business – but make sure to keep conversations personal and never salesy. Reading comments sections will also help you specifically understand why people are engaging with certain posts, then you can replicate their success.
- Don’t be shy! Use all the great persona research you have (or will have) to find people you want to connect with and send them an invitation. This works for building out personal networks, which in turn benefit company pages, and growing brand awareness. Attaching a personal message that has been well thought through and provides a mutual benefit as to why you are asking to connect makes this approach all the more successful.
Millennials aged 25-34 are the most prominent demographic on LinkedIn. This is important for two main reasons. Firstly, with LinkedIn remaining a huge recruitment hub (see the numbers above) young professionals entering the world of work are joining in the 100,000s every day. This group is looking to learn about tools, software, and services that can help them do their jobs better. They are the decision-makers of the future and not to be overlooked.
Secondly, the fact LinkedIn is attracting and keeping younger professionals highlights its ongoing technical iteration. In 2020 LinkedIn added a stories feature (following the launch of Instagram stories in 2016 and Facebook stories in 2017) where users can add 10 –20 second video clips that stay live for just 24 hours. In 2019 it launched LinkedIn live as a way for members to deliver live broadcasts to their network, reported to have a 437% y-o-y increase in October 2020.
Utilizing all the available streaming options on LinkedIn and experimenting with the content formats you use (users are 20 times more likely to share a video post and posts with images get two times higher engagement)helps cater to more varied audiences and increases learnings around engagement preferences.
A common LinkedIn concern is about oversharing and giving too much away to competitors. On the flip side, it’s the perfect place to see what competitors are up to. It is, of course, sensible to remain aware of competitor activity, but staying true to your own brand and not replicating content styles or campaigns just because someone else is doing it, is much more important.
Be inspired by other businesses that impress you and that are doing a great job, but keep your own audience and brand values at the center of every content decision you make. LinkedIn is its own example of proving this works. Having never diversified from being a social media platform for professionals and staying well in its own lane, LinkedIn has still seen substantial growth by learning from similar players like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Even the very best persona research and audience targeting will be in vain if the content you share isn’t up to scratch. Don’t waste the opportunity that LinkedIn provides by churning out mediocre content or constantly repeating the same ads. It’s much easier to lose the interest of an audience than it is to build it.
If you find yourself stuck for content ideas this blog might help: 6 effective methods for content brainstorming.
Decide how frequently you can commit to delivering amazing content (users and businesses that post at least weekly get two times more engagement than those who don’t) and use a content calendar to stay on track. It doesn’t just have to be original content that you are sharing; reposting relevant articles and information with a fresh spin and your own analysis is a simple way to maintain momentum.
Follow ContentCal on LinkedIn to learn more about making the most of your social strategy.