Trying to choose the right mix of social networks for your brand is a lot like wading through the nondairy milk section at the grocery store. There’s a myriad of choices, and some are downright nutty.
For organizations trying to grow their brands and prove their digital marketing mettle, few channels offer the kind of potential that LinkedIn does. Other platforms may offer more bells and whistles, but the buying power of LinkedIn's audience is unrivaled. Brands that leverage LinkedIn in their marketing mix understand this.
Social media may house today’s viral moments—and you may be tempted to hop on the hype train of TikTok for marketing purposes—but if you’re a business trying to reach decision makers directly? There’s nothing quite like LinkedIn.
Why use LinkedIn for business
Since being unveiled to the world in 2003, LinkedIn’s become the industry standard for professional networking for folks trying to find new inroads into industries and professions—and for businesses trying to have authentic conversations with their audiences.
But brands can get their authentic conversation fill anywhere in today’s convoluted digital world. What makes LinkedIn so great? Well, there are a few big reasons:
- It’s filled with buyers. Four out of five LinkedIn members drive business decisions. That means you’re talking directly to buyers and influencers who ultimately weigh in on whether your organization is worth working with.
- Users spend time there. It’s not just that users of the platform are worth connecting with. They also happen to engage with the site—like really engage. Data shows that LinkedIn gets over 1.3 billion visits per month, and the average site user stays for more than 7 minutes per visit, exploring almost 7 pages before leaving the platform. All that to say: LinkedIn users consume a ton of content.
- Leads, leads, leads. Business success is typically measured by sales figures. One way to get those sales? Generating leads. And in the B2B space, very few channels are as effective as LinkedIn at driving new leads.
- Blog posts get a boost. If you’ve been wondering how to best amplify all the great work you’re doing on your company blog, consider LinkedIn. While Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter drive 90% of B2B social traffic, it’s LinkedIn that drives the largest chunk.
There’s clear value in leveraging LinkedIn for your marketing efforts. Being strategic about it? That’s the real battle.
Make sure your profile looks polished
If your front lawn is unkempt, your neighbors may assume the inside of your house matches. It’s an old adage that reminds homeowners that very few impressions count as much as the first. The lawn’s usually it.
In digital-speak, before your audience invests their time and energy diving into your website, perusing the blog, and filling out your forms, they’ll get their first impression from how your social presence is curated. Keep a few things in mind as you build out your LinkedIn page in particular:
- Customize the URL. By default, LinkedIn’s probably not gonna give you a pretty username for your organization. There may be random strings of numbers and letters strewn around. Go the extra step and lock down a custom URL that matches the brand or project.
- Add a cover image. Everybody sets up a brand logo, but enough brands forget about the supporting cover image that this warrants some attention. The cover image is what shows up full-width on desktop or a mobile device when somebody visits your LinkedIn page. It’s your chance to show off the brand’s voice, tone, and energy.
- Organize the sections of your profile. LinkedIn allows brands to rearrange different sections on their profile page. Want to show some meaty awards right at the top? Maybe you want to showcase the new podcast series your executive suite has put together? It’s your choice. Shift things around so you share what’ll entice your audience to keep clicking for more.
Make sure your profile is discoverable
Optimization is a term we use a lot in digital marketing, but it’s often synonymous with search engine optimization. Social profile optimization is every bit as important—unless you’re among the zero brands that don’t want people to find you online.
Make a habit of continually updating the copy on your LinkedIn page so you learn about the keyword compositions that show up best to your users.
- Use your gut. Think about how your audience would find you. Are they looking for general information about investments? Are they looking to set up their Roth IRAs? Consider the terms your specific audience would type into LinkedIn’s search bar to come up with relevant results. Those are terms you should sprinkle into your LinkedIn page content.
- Use the data. There’s a wealth of information available in search engine keyword research. Look for the questions and themes that pop up and think about how you’d respond to them succinctly in your LinkedIn bio.
Above all, test and learn as you go. Keyword data (for search engines and social platforms) changes regularly. By testing and tweaking elements of your page, you can optimize the things that work … and drop the things that don’t.
Use LinkedIn for content syndication
Your blog is only a piece of the digital puzzle. LinkedIn gives brands the power to create articles on the platform like it’s a mini CMS. To borrow from Dorothy and her Oz friends: headlines, body text, and images … oh my.
Articles don’t just show up in the Activity section of your LinkedIn profile. They’re shared with everybody in your circle—from your own connections and followers to all their connections and followers.
There are two major ways to leverage LinkedIn in your content plan:
- Build authority. Thought leadership content is the antidote to LinkedIn users searching for trustworthy brands. Create content that doubles down on the industry insights you have. And if you really want a boost, have your executives share unique perspectives on topics that would matter to your audience.
- Tease your website content. Maybe you’ve already got a 1,500-word blog post on a particular subject. Instead of reimagining it as a different LinkedIn article, use what you’ve already created. Turn it into a shorter 350-word piece, sharing some of the big points while teasing others, and then drop in an image that links back to your site so users can read more.
As your page gains visibility and nets some LinkedIn engagement, the platform can work its algorithmic magic to push your content out in front of more and more users. It’s a tactic worth latching onto, if only for the potential of what the algorithms can do for your brand.
Boost your street cred
A lot of brands use their LinkedIn pages to talk about the more mundane autobiographical stuff that blows over people’s heads. While it’s important to tell people the company was founded in 1983, the founders were avid fishermen, and David Bowie once penned a verse about you … it’s far more important to give audiences a glimpse of the work you do.
A great way to do that? Share case studies, community work, and unique perspectives. Not only can you rearrange your LinkedIn page to lead with these items, but they’re also the kinds of things people in your organization can share, too. What employee doesn’t want to brag to their network about the incredible successes you’ve had with this organization or that? Who doesn’t want to show off the incredible impact you’re making in the community?
And although content marketing is typically not about patting yourself on the back, you can use LinkedIn to showcase the heartbeat of your company. Audiences want to find brands they can trust. It’s OK to find ways to pat yourself on the back every once in a while.
Where to start
What LinkedIn lacks in coolness factor and songs co-opted for viral videos, it more than makes up for in driving real business results. And for content marketers looking to build targeted audiences and generate quality leads, no channel does this better.
But creating a brand page is the easy part. Like a well-manicured lawn, organize the information on your page so it captures the attention and imagination of your audience. From there, tap into the other tools available to amplify your content marketing efforts.
If you haven’t made LinkedIn a part of your channel distribution strategy yet, now’s as good a time as any. With traffic and engagement increasing quarter-over-quarter, your audience is waiting. Give them something good to read.