If you still think LinkedIn is just a job board, you’d better get with the program. In recent years, this business-oriented social media platform has become the domain of B2B operators building a strong brand presence and utilising the platform as an effective sales funnel in order to generate, nurture and convert leads. This flows onto the concept of social selling, incorporating analytics and web scraping tools.
So, what exactly are the top ways in which to use LinkedIn as a marketing tool?
1. As an industry voice of authority
Via LinkedIn, you can become an industry voice of authority and really connect with your community, (provided you learn how to use the platform in the correct way). That’s as much about making good connections as it is about avoiding the bad. You need to be very selective about who makes the cut in order to support your legitimacy and to capture an appropriate audience ripe with prospects.
Updating your profile with relevant, useful information (that your connections should actually appreciate), creating a quality portfolio/examples of your business’s key milestones and accomplishments, and using Linkedin Pulse to generate insightful business related content is a great way to foster the feeling that your company is leader of the pack.
2. As a sales funnel
Once you’ve got your foundations down pat, you’ll want to get started on using LinkedIn to generate leads, and wow is it a great tool for doing this! LinkedIn is a bit of a disruptor, it allows you to break through the noise and get smack bang in front of the decision makers in B2B markets (CEOs and BDMs, for example).
It’s all about wrapping your head around the nature of the beast. If you can create content that is seen by the right people with an effective call-to-action (CTA) you can really get started on the process of conversion.
3. To capture data
Undeniably, effective marketing is (at least, in part) about capturing data in order to generate leads. You need to be able to manage and access your data and analytics with ease. Tools such as web scraping and LinkedIn’s own Lead Gen Forms allow you to capture the details of those prospects identified as most valuable to your business.
This work so well in conjunction with LinkedIn. As the primary platform of professionals, it’s much more targeted, especially when you compare it with (let’s just say) Facebook. When it comes to lead generation, it’s about quality over quantity.
4. To reach out
All the targeted data and analytics in the world won’t make a difference if you can’t get onboard with the veritable art form that is ‘reaching out’ on LinkedIn. Sure, make contact directly via inbox, but make sure you take the time and effort to send the right message and don’t overdo it. You want to make meaningful connections, even LinkedIn goes to the effort of pushing this point. If you smash people in the face with reductive, ‘spammy’ inbox offerings, they’ll just get overlooked (or, worse still you’ll lose your connection entirely).
LinkedIn still sends you alerts that allow you to congratulate your contacts on their work anniversaries etc. in order for you to make a segway in engaging their interest. But, it’s all getting a bit old (it’s a bit like an disingenuous compliment given by a hawker at the local mall). The best approach is to think creative and be authentic. After all, you want to spend your time engaging with the right prospects and not spreading your energy too thin on a whole lot of rubbish.
5. To build momentum
LinkedIn really does bring the goods when it comes to community tools. Make use of a company profile. Get involved with LinkedIn Groups (you’ll need to make a request for acceptance). This allows you to ‘mine’ your target demographic. In establishing yourself as a reliable presence and resource within a group, you have the capacity to build momentum for your business.
You can find ways to collaborate and share with other businesses and like-minded professionals, organise events for mutual promotion, mobilise support and awareness for campaigns and generate a buzz that can drive more and more people to your business.
6. To Increase your reach exponentially
One of the overarching reasons why LinkedIn is such a strong, targeted marketing tool relates to the concept of social selling. Over 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespersons that connect with relevant insights and opportunities. By using LinkedIn’s social media buttons, you can push the reach of your message exponentially.
Linking it all together
Sure, LinkedIn is still very much a job board and the preserve of recruiters and job seekers. However, in reality, it’s much, much more than this. It affords you the scope to ‘get right in there’ as a business and become a voice of industry leadership.
It can be used effectively to grease the wheels of social selling. It’s also an ever-changing digital landscape that is only further enhanced by the use of complementary tools such as web scraping and analytics. It allows your business to showcase relevant content that can achieve a viral reach via multiple social media platforms.
LinkedIn is a powerful means to market your brand or business by linking to the right prospects all in the one place.