An Effective LinkedIn Marketing Strategy: It's Easier than You Think
Tips & Real-World Success Stories to Help You Succeed
October 7, 2014
From the title of this blog post, you're probably expecting to read another ‘marketing tips’ post right now. There are certainly plenty of them out there -- and to be honest, it’s enough to clutter the minds of even the most organized marketers.
So this time, we are wiping the slate clean to help marketers create a sophisticated (yet simple) LinkedIn marketing strategy. It’s easier than you think – you just need to answer some important questions before launching your campaigns.
Learn from the best: this 2-minute videos gives in-person interview answers from top B2B content marketers in 2016 on how they optimize their LinkedIn strategies.
What is your objective?
What exactly are you trying to prove? What do you want your content marketing on LinkedIn to do for your business? This objective should be front and center on your LinkedIn Company Page – and infused throughout.
- If you’re focusing on lead generation, include calls to action in Sponsored Content that direct visitors to conversion opportunities.
- If you want more brand awareness, produce top-of-funnel content that attracts a wide audience.
- If you’re trying to boost your thought leadership credentials, publish your own unique content that tackles major industry issues.
These objectives aren’t mutually exclusive – for example, you can steadily seek new leads as you raise brand awareness. The best companies excel at attaining several objectives at once with their LinkedIn campaigns, but there should still be one overarching objective to guide the entire strategy.
Once you’ve committed to that objective, establish a benchmark that will allow you to track future results. Consider current results and engagement as the baseline that you’ll measure against moving forward.
Real-life example: Lenovo
Lenovo’s objective was to reach quality business professionals in the computer solutions industry and drive brand and product awareness. They took their LinkedIn Marketing campaign to the next level by implementing Sponsored Content to target audience members based on previous interactions, and as a result saw a 17% increase in brand favorability. Lenovo’s initial awareness campaign was so successful that they went on to utilize LinkedIn to launch their long-term B2B social initiatives.
Who is your audience?
There are over 300 million members on LinkedIn. But this isn't a numbers game -- it's about reaching the people that matter most to your business. It's about focusing on the people who have already shown interest in your products and services. Luckily, LinkedIn makes it easy to identify your audience and determine which audience segments are engaging with your various types of content. Take a look at your LinkedIn Company Page’s analytics. What do the numbers tell you about your audience?
Here are factors to look for:
- Engagement trends by type, time, and period
- Detailed demographic data (industry, function, etc.)
- Overall audience growth, compared against similar brands
Use this data to shape your marketing plans and optimize new content on your LinkedIn Company Page.
Real-life example: BI Worldwide
BI Worldwide chose LinkedIn’s marketing solutions because the majority of their audience was already on LinkedIn. Internal data showed that 80% of the company’s key audiences use LinkedIn on a daily or weekly basis, so they built Targeted Display Ads and Sponsored InMails aimed at HR professionals and shared updates on their LinkedIn Company Page. The result was a large-scale increase in followers and leads, showcasing that the right solution can satisfy multiple objectives.
What is your content?
What do you want to talk about on LinkedIn? The list of content topics is near limitless, so you’ll need to focus your content strategy on what the audience is talking about.
Content Marketing Institute divides most marketing content into three key buckets:
- Branded content from the company itself
- Expert content from thought leaders and PR efforts
- User-generated content collected from the audience
CMI argues that effective content plans include a mix of all three buckets. Learn how to use LinkedIn to amplify company news releases from Scott Fedonchik.
Real-life example: Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz saw that their audience was interested in the new E-Class and S-Class models, so they built a Sponsored Content campaign to reach that specific segment. The Sponsored Updates allowed Mercedes-Benz to reach a premium audience, providing one additional step beyond general brand awareness.
How often will you publish?
No one likes spam, and brands that litter social feeds will filler content will lose the trust and engagement of the audience. Because of the professional connections within LinkedIn, content should be created and curated specifically for that audience -- this isn't about just copying messaging from other networks.
We’ve identified general metrics for post frequency that can serve as baselines for a content plan:
- Post 20 times per month, or at least once each business day. The top brands on LinkedIn are publishing up to 112 times per month -- but remember, this is not a numbers game. Focus on quality over quantity.
- Plan when and on what days to post based on your audience’s preferences. We typically see higher engagement at the start of the week on Mondays & Tuesdays, and typically in the morning hours.
Real-life example: Adobe
Adobe wanted to promote its new Showcase Pages, and sought to create a balance of organic and sponsored content for thought leadership and brand awareness. They created a Sponsored Content campaign that targeted U.S. decision-makers and shared content into these specific individuals' LinkedIn feeds. This allowed Adobe to avoid spamming audiences to which the content might not be as relevant, as the content was only displayed to the brand's target audience.
Once you have clearly developed and refined your objective, audience and content, you will have a solid foundation for content creation and social publishing. Keep these three key elements in mind moving forward, and make sure your future strategies align with these parameters.
Learn more about how to drive the most value from your efforts on LinkedIn by downloading our Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn.