If you gathered 100 marketers in one room, they’d probably disagree on almost everything. However, one of the few things just about everyone can agree on is LinkedIn.
Surprisingly, 94 percent of B2B marketers rely on LinkedIn as part of their content marketing strategy. That said, LinkedIn is definitely the most-used social network among B2B advertisers.
“We’ve seen a big shift in the number of brands looking to LinkedIn as a trustworthy, always-on content marketing channel that they can leverage to build meaningful relationships with influential audiences,” said Jason Miller, LinkedIn’s group manager of content marketing. Currently, the network’s membership is more than 380 million users strong.
LinkedIn has built up its own content marketing efforts in the last few years, in part by investing in branded videos profiling successful LinkedIn members. Still, have B2B marketers used the most of those tools? With the vast majority of businesses integrating LinkedIn into their marketing plans, it’s time to ask: Are they taking full advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer? In today’s post, we are going to present top four super useful tips for getting LinkedIn game under your total control.
1. Incorporate long-form content
When LinkedIn launched its Influencers program in 2012, the hype was unbelievable. Business leaders like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, and Arianna Huffington have all used the publishing platform to share longform blog posts with their LinkedIn followers. In the beginning, only several “influencers” could post, but LinkedIn has since made the feature available to all users.
Whether you’re already using LinkedIn longform posts or preparing to in the future, it’s important to understand why they’re valuable. The blogging tool is best served for demonstrating thought leadership and establishing credibility in the minds of potential customers and partners. Longform posts on LinkedIn become part of your profile and are automatically shared with your connections and followers, improving your discoverability on the site. Currently, 45 percent of readers are high-level executives like managers, VPs, and CEOs. The tech, financial services, and higher-education industries demand the most content.
In the body text, brands should consider focusing on industry trends, specific challenges your company has faced, and opportunities that turned into successes. An honest voice is key, as is the inclusion of visual assets like images, video, and infographics.
2. Beautify your company page
Nearly nine out of 10 LinkedIn members believe a company should maintain an up-to-date Company Page. That said, it’s not enough to just fill out who your company is. You need to be active as well.
Your Company Page is your brand’s “content hub,” and as such, LinkedIn encourages businesses to post at least one update per day. This is the most effective way to launch a conversation with other members, generate word of mouth, and engage with your target audience on the site.
What should brands post? Company news, industry articles, and invitations to “weigh in on hot topics” are all good bets. In 2014, LinkedIn asked its members to nominate the 10 best Company Pages they’d seen, and as it turned out, the winners had something in common. All of the brands regularly encouraged their followers to ask questions, and all tried to help solve their customers’ problems by posting utility content.
When creating a post for a Company Page, marketers should include keywords that strengthen SEO. In terms of length, text blurbs should be relatively short; for example, social media software company Buffer puts the optimal length at 25 words. Also, including quality photos in social media posts can generate 87 percent more shares than other content types.
3. Increase reach with Sponsored Updates
Where lead generation is concerned, LinkedIn’s paid distribution picks up where Company Pages leave off. In its initial year and a half on the market, Sponsored Updates became the fastest-growing product in LinkedIn’s history. The updates are a form of native advertising, so they adopt the look and feel of an organic post. Companies primarily use them to promote their long-form posts, drive traffic to branded content, and increase awareness for upcoming events.
4. Utilise Sponsored InMail
Direct, personalised, and private, LinkedIn Sponsored InMail is an increasingly popular marketing tool on the platform. LinkedIn relaunched it earlier this year with a notable change: Messages can now only be sent to LinkedIn members when they’re actively using the site. The company hopes this adjustment will boost interaction. Targeted Sponsored InMail messages, which are created with the help of LinkedIn Marketing’s account team, are seeing an average open rate of 40 percent and a 9 percent click-through rate.
Most businesses are using InMail to promote events and webinars, and deliver personalised invitations to business prospects. InMail is most useful for growing a community of like-minded, highly engaged professionals, and said the product works best when the message has obvious value for the member. It should be concise, engaging, and easy to read. The body copy should speak to the target audience with a clear message and strong call to action.
Most marketers know there’s value in being active on LinkedIn, but we hope these tips help you have more insight into what works best.