How to Slay the Marketing Game with LinkedIn
Since 2003, when LinkedIn was first launched, it has gone through many changes and updates. The basic functionality of LinkedIn allows users (workers and employers) to create profiles in order to connect businesswise. An employee's profile typically consists of a curriculum vitae describing their work experience, education and training and a photo of them. The site enables you to make "connections" to other users, which usually represents real-time business cooperation. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. Beware of being suspended – if the invitee selects "I don't know" or "Spam", this counts against the you as the inviter.
- find jobs, people and business opportunities
- see who has visited their profile page
- "like" and "congratulate" each other's updates and new employments
- "endorse" each other's skills
- post their own photos and view photos of others to aid in identification
- follow different companies
- save (i.e. bookmark) jobs that they would like to apply for
- list jobs and search for potential candidates
- form and join interest groups
Jeff Weiner, CEO at LinkedIn, said on June 13, 2016:
LinkedIn has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Microsoft. We are joining forces with Microsoft to realize a common mission to empower people and organizations. LinkedIn’s vision – to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce – is not changing and our members still come first.
Advertising on LinkedIn
In 2008, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn DirectAds as a form of sponsored advertising. On July 23, 2013, LinkedIn announced their Sponsored Updates ad service. Individuals and companies can now pay a fee to have LinkedIn sponsor their content and spread it to their user base. Many social media sites generate revenue like this. Many new features have been developed and implemented since then.
This is their offer:
- Sponsored Content ads appear in the homepage feed (on desktop, mobile, and tablet) and in the right rail of the desktop homepage.
- Text Ads are only available on desktop. They may appear under "Ads You May Be Interested In" and as text link advertisements found at the top of the homepage.
- Sponsored InMail ads appear directly in a LinkedIn member's Inbox when he or she is online.
- Display Ads and Dynamic Ads appear on the right rail on desktop only.
On LinkedIn Marketing Solutions page, it is stated that the features offered here can be used for the purpose of building your brand, raising awareness, and generating leads. Reaching ideal customers is every business owner's desire. Drawing traffic to your website and increasing conversion rates is important for every business and LinkedIn claims they can help you expand your influence and expose your offer to a great number of people who are interested in your products/services. Their advantage reflects in the fact they are focused on exposing you to people who, according to their profiles, would be interested in your offer. LinkedIn offers both self-service advertising tools and managed campaigns.
These targeting options are available on all Marketing Solutions products:
- Location (required)
- Company Name (current employer listed on member's profile)
- Company Industry
- Company Size
- Job Title
- Job Function
- Job Seniority
- Member Skills
- Member Schools
- Fields of Study
- Member Groups - up to 100 active groups
- Member Gender
- Member Age
It's not easy to reach your target audience, but people using the same platform for a professional development are surely focused on business success. Taking all these factors into considerations must help in closer and more accurate targeting. A maximum of 100 selections are permitted per targeting option. To expand the reach of your campaign, enable Audience Expansion. You can also run account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns to specific account lists using Account Targeting.
Theory and practice
The Huffington Post claims that LinkedIn is the most powerful marketing tool of the 21st century and cites three main reasons why – media, partnerships and clients. Official statistics say that there are more than 450 million registered members of LinkedIn in over 200 countries and territories. Here are a few examples how LinkedIn was successfully implemented as a marketing tool:
- Using LinkedIn Creel Price, CEO of Accelerate Global and Linkfluencer community member, managed to generate more than 3000 leads in less than 90 days, license his methodology to 17 coaches and generated revenue north of $150K all whilst spending less than $1000 in marketing or advertising.
- James Filbird is the proprietor of JMF International Trade Group Ltd., a company he built to $5 million in revenue largely through his efforts on LinkedIn, the only major social media platform that is not blocked by the Chinese government, says Louise Julig.
- "The big win for us with Sponsored Content is being able to engage those customers and prospects that we really believe are our heartland target audience.", says Amanda Rendle, Global Head of Marketing, Commercial Banking and Global Banking and Markets, HSBC.
- The Holiday Inn Express brand used comedic videos to beat Sponsored Updates engagement rate benchmarks by 45%, it is said on LinkedIn official case-study page.
If you do not want to use official marketing channels, MonetizePros claim to have found 45 ways to make money on LinkedIn. Here are some of them which we found most applicable and general:
- Growing your mailing list by creating groups on LinkedIn or adding a free giveaway
- Offering informative products such as free content, training videos, reports, e-books, webinars, etc. related to your products and services
- Getting involved in discussions within groups whose members are most likely to buy your product
- Encouraging people to write a recommendation for your product by adding the recommend button to your product page
- Finding and connecting with influential members of LinkedIn in your niche to see if they would be willing to write a review or become an affiliate of your info product
- Adding a presentation, commercial, or explainer video as a media element to your LinkedIn profile’s summary section
To sum up
You can try out all or some of techniques provided above. All in all, each business should adapt each strategy to its own niche. Learn who your ideal customers are and direct all our attention to them. Earning money, boosting sales, and getting significant exposure via LinkedIn is something to pay close attention to.
Have something to add? We'd like to hear all about it in the Comments section below.