How to Blend Organic and Paid Media Strategies to Drive More Conversions
August 26, 2021
As the Head of Social Media Marketing for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, I’ve always argued that building a strong community online can drive real business impact. And while proving this impact isn’t always easy, we now have research to help you get there.
Our team has uncovered that when LinkedIn Page Followers are exposed to both organic and paid content, they become 61% more likely to convert compared to those who only received paid content.
That’s a pretty impressive lift.
What this stat also tells us is that organic audiences are primed for conversion. By joining your community on LinkedIn, audiences have shown interest in your brand; and by engaging them with authentic organic content, you’re constantly adding value, helping them in some way, and deepening that interest.
So, it’s no surprise that they’d be more likely to convert when the time is right.
In our new guidebook “The Perfect Blend: Organic & Paid,” we detail how you can develop an integrated organic and paid media strategy for your brand on LinkedIn. And for those of you who may be less familiar with the organic side of social, I’d recommend kick-starting your organic social media strategy with these three steps.
1. Know Your Community and Community Goals
Professional communities are core to an integrated media strategy.ut before you start investing in building a community, it pays to be crystal clear about the who and why:
- Who is your ideal community member? While anyone interested in your brand, including past, present and future employees and customers, can be part of your community, it makes sense to have an ideal profile in mind. You can then use LinkedIn’s Page Demographics and Visitor Analytics features to understand if you’re attracting and engaging the right audiences and how they’re interacting with your Page. This is especially important if, down the line, you intend to retarget your organic audience in paid campaigns for that 61% lift in conversion rate.
- What are you trying to achieve? There’s no doubt that your organic social efforts should be grounded in a commitment to building relationships and providing value to your community. But why are you doing this? Is it to grow your reach and follower base? To engage and influence brand sentiment? Or to nurture brand fans who will eventually start advocating for you? Know your goals and the tactical parts will fall into place.
2. Bite Off What You Can Chew
I’ve never met a marketing team with resources to spare, so be realistic about your organic strategy. It’s ok to start small!
It’s tempting to go all in with the host of free organic opportunities on LinkedIn — Pages, Showcase Pages, Product Pages, Articles for Pages, LinkedIn Events, LinkedIn Live… the list goes on. But if you had to prioritise, I’d recommend focusing on your LinkedIn Page, which is your brand’s (and community’s) home on the platform. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you build your LinkedIn Page.
Find your posting rhythm. We share content daily on our LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Page, but if daily posting sounds like too much for your bandwidth, I’d recommend posting at least once per week at minimum.
Serve content to relevant audiences. Many marketers don’t realize that, on LinkedIn, you can serve your organic posts to specific segments of your community, much like paid campaign targeting. Use this to ensure relevance and keep engagement high.
Test and learn. Similar to A/B testing for paid campaigns, you’d want to test out different types of content and formats to learn what resonates best with your community. On the backend, monitor your Individual Update Metrics and Cumulative Metrics dashboard for a view of what’s working and what’s not.
As you do this, you’ll discover that some posts are outperforming others. When that happens, you can boost the post in question. Putting paid behind a high-performing organic post is a great and easy way to amplify your reach beyond your followers.
3. Give Your Community the Content They Want
Often the most intimidating part of organic social marketing is having to constantly produce content. Here are some ways to lighten your load:
- Take stock of your existing content inventory. There’s bound to be some content hiding in the nooks and crannies of your organization. Existing content, such as media releases, thought leadership articles, reports, guides and playbooks, could be quickly repurposed for social.
- Use hashtags and Content Suggestions. Invite yourself into ongoing conversations by using relevant hashtags. Another great LinkedIn Page feature you can leverage is Content Suggestions, which are based on what’s already trending with your community.
- Mix it up. Not every post has to be net-new or accompanied by a creative asset. Consider resharing your brand’s best @mentions, for example, or a third-party article that’s relevant to your industry. You can also post a question or run a poll to start a conversation with your community — text-only posts can do wonders when done well!
If you want more content inspiration, you can download a copy of “The Perfect Blend: Organic & Paid” guidebook. It’s packed with actionable insights ranging from content to measurement, and includes research that shares which content topics earn the most engagement in Australia, India and Singapore on LinkedIn. We’ve even gotten best-selling author Aashish Chopra to share his tried-and-tested tips on generating share-worthy content.
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