How Professional Services Marketers can create positive impact

Professional Services marketing is a fast-moving discipline, adapting and evolving to keep pace with the digital revolution

June 2, 2021

How Professional Services Marketers can create positive impact

Professional Services (ProServ) marketing has always been a fast-moving discipline, adapting and evolving to keep pace with the digital revolution we’ve all experienced in the last few years. 2020 was truly a year like no other, creating unexpected challenges and opportunities for marketers around the world.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, marketing was one of the fastest business functions to pivot at the height of the pandemic, responding to a seismic shift in approach and engagement. Marketers quickly realised that this new world required brands to show leadership and influence in different ways, and one of those ways was being more active on LinkedIn.

When we look more closely, however, this was accelerating a trend that we were already seeing. Professionals were already adopting LinkedIn as a place to do business online. As of January 2021, content sharing on the platform is up 39% year on year, indicating a shift in perception away from LinkedIn as primarily a jobs board.

LinkedIn has been acknowledged as the most trusted social platform globally in Business Insider's Digital Trust report for four consecutive years. Trust coupled with the platform’s natural ‘professional’ ethos – where you behave on LinkedIn as you would at work – creates a recipe for success and growth. 

The C-suite is arguably the most important audience for professional services marketers. Our data shows that over 50% of CEOs globally are on LinkedIn, rising to over 60% of CTOs, CHROs, and CMOs. Their primary purpose on LinkedIn? To stay up to date, network, and position themselves as thought-leaders, again demonstrating the shift from jobs board to business platform.

Amid all these shifts, we believe there’s never been a more interesting time to be a digital marketer in the ProServ industry. But the question I get asked most often is: how can I best leverage LinkedIn to amplify my marketing strategy? 

That’s where LinkedIn for Professional Services – or LinkedIn ProServ – comes in. We’ve developed a suite of solutions for professional services marketers to help you engage purposefully in this new digital world. Here are some practical tips to help you create positive impact.

Step 1. Invest in your organic presence to engage your community

Your brands LinkedIn Page is your shop window to the world. In fact, it’s the second most important digital platform after your website. 

It’s where professionals will go to learn more about your company - who you are, what you stand for, and why they should consider doing business with you. It’s also important to share information about your employee culture, your brand, and your company’s purpose.

Best Practice: How to build and engage your audience

  • Join conversations that matter: Post and respond to your community, share files, react and comment on hashtag feeds associated with your page
  • Frequency matters: Post regularly to create a dialogue
  • Know and grow your audience: Discover content that’s trending with your audience and monitor activity with visual analytics
  • Engage your people: Re-share employee content, notify them of important page posts, recognise them or give shout-outs
  • Showcase your people too: Use employee voices to give your brand a personal tone 
  • Measure and evaluate: Review analytics to understand content performance and follower demographics, and adjust your strategy if necessary

Best Practice: Take your conversations online with LinkedIn Live

LinkedIn Live is a live streaming product that enables you to bring your professional community together virtually via a public and discoverable event. While the trend for live streaming on LinkedIn was emerging before the pandemic, it has really accelerated in the past year. The average engagement is powerful: it’s driving seven times more reactions and 24 times more comments than native video. And don’t forget: it’s free.

How to leverage LinkedIn Live: best practice tips

The most effective ways to connect with your customers using LinkedIn Live are:

  • Keynotes: Live stream major company announcements and presentations
  • Fireside chats: Drive a dialogue with company leaders, subject-matter experts  
    and followers 
  • Breaking news: Share quick updates, press releases and of-the-moment news
  • Product spotlight: Highlight innovations, product updates and new partnerships
  • Drive even greater reach and brand awareness by live-streaming video content from LinkedIn to your page followers through third-party broadcaster tools

Case Study: Deloitte 

  • In 2020 Deloitte published its annual Readiness Report to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos
  • Deloitte wanted new ways to break through the noise so used LinkedIn Live to create an inclusive experience, connecting their thought leaders with a global audience of professionals, igniting a two-way conversation in real-time
  • High-quality engagement in the live stream was supported by repurposed video footage post-event to engage new audiences
  • Success metrics: 80% completion rate + engagement rates 69% higher than benchmarks

Step 3. Bring your professional community together with events

LinkedIn Events is one of our newest products. It enables you to strengthen relationships with your audience and meet your customers wherever they are. You can connect with audiences via a closed and invitation-driven event that will allow you to drive engagement and excitement before, during, and even after your event, all for free. 

Even though this platform was just released in Spring 2020, we’ve already held over seven million events! 

Best Practice: How to use LinkedIn Events

Some great formats for this platform are:

  • Community and brand-building events: Engagement-focused events such as panels, Q&As or other discussion sessions work very well
  • Targeted audience events: Account-based marketing (ABM) events, verticalised events and product demos, targeted at a specific subset of your audience 
  • Converted conference content: In-person events that would have usually required registration but are now freely accessible given Covid-19​ 
  • Talent branding initiatives: Career conversations, recruiting events, employee experiences, and campus tours 
  • Don’t forget to drive social engagement during the event, and then extend the conversation post-event using the attendee list

Greater reach, greater impact

You've laid the foundations with your organic marketing strategy. Next, leverage it's performance to inform paid marketing strategies on LinkedIn. This will allow you to amplify what you're doing organically through a strategic advertising plan that dovetails with your organisation's overall business goals, whether around awareness or lead generation. Or better still, a combination of both. 

Here are some best practice tips about how to use insights and analytics to transition from organic to paid strategies on LinkedIn:

  • Post: Find what resonates with your audience by using organic content to test posts and topics
  • Analyse: Review your organic performance regularly to identify which posts to sponsor
  • Amplify: Promote top-performing organic posts via Sponsored Content and gain effective reach via LinkedIn Audience Network

For more tips and information, head to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions website.