In many cases, small businesses can’t afford the large array of digital marketing practices available nowadays. Thus, it makes sense to focus on a handful of channels that suit your business the most.
As you build your online presence, you don’t have to show up on every social media, but you should definitely consider LinkedIn. In fact, if your digital marketing strategy doesn’t include LinkedIn, you’re probably missing out.
Contrary to what some business owners think, LinkedIn is not limited to industry heavyweights. Any company, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), can use LinkedIn to seize opportunities and grow its customer base.
As the go-to professional network, LinkedIn is ripe with opportunities. Being present there allows you to connect with all sorts of professionals, from suppliers and investors to clients, staff and more. This is especially true if you run a small B2B business.
That said, LinkedIn is different from other social media in that it’s less about openly promoting yourself and more about connecting with other people, a percentage of which can translate into customers or work with you to reach your business goals.
In this piece, we’ll take a look at 4 LinkedIn marketing tactics you can implement for small businesses.
Before we dive into the ins and out of LinkedIn marketing, chances are you have one question in your mind right now.
Is LinkedIn right for me?
The short answer is “probably,” but let’s elaborate on it. If you sell something like baby blankets to young moms, then you might find better success on Pinterest. Likewise, if you’re a personal coach or the owner of a fashion company, then focusing on Instagram makes more sense.
But while LinkedIn may not be the best choice for every industry, it’s still a powerful networking tool for many. If you run a law firm or an app development company, the answer to the previous question is a resounding yes.
Another reason LinkedIn is most likely a good fit for your small business is that you don’t need a big budget to make the most of it. If leveraging in the latest technologies or partnering with influencers are not viable options, you can still rely on the oldest known method to market yourself: human connections. And LinkedIn is terrific at that.
Define Your LinkedIn Marketing Goals
First of all, you need to figure out what you want to achieve by being active on LinkedIn. Here are the most common goals of marketers who use LinkedIn:
- Reach potential clients
- Bring traffic to your website
- Develop brand awareness
- Establish your business as an authority in your industry
While it’s true that eventually, you can achieve all of these goals, it’s best to focus on one or two at a time to avoid spreading your efforts thin.
You see, random and sporadic actions won’t make a company known on LinkedIn. A solid LinkedIn marketing strategy starts with a specific goal that you can turn into an action plan and measurable KPIs (more on these later).
After you have settled on your main goal(s) for using LinkedIn, it’s time to cook up a solid action plan with these 5 proven tactics.
1. Set Up and Polish Your Company’s Page
Apart from your LinkedIn profile, your company needs its own page.
Do you know why people judge books by their covers? It’s because they don’t have the time to read them all. And so it falls to you to show in as few words as possible why your target audience should stop browsing LinkedIn and pay attention to your business. That’s what the company page is for.
First, use your company’s logo as a profile picture and a professional-looking banner to go with it. It goes without saying that image resolution should be neat.
Next, display your value proposition through your description: what you offer, why your audience should care, and how it’s different – and even unique – from what they can find elsewhere. Hook the reader with a strong headline, then tell your brand story. Be sure to include a link to your website as well.
You’ll be surprised at how many companies don’t bother presenting themselves in an engaging way, so by doing that you’ll make a strong impression on whoever lands on your company page.
2. Build Up Your Connections and Engage with Them
The connections you make on LinkedIn are mostly potential clients, business partners, influencers, or potential hires.
No need to accumulate hundreds of connections here; focus on the quality of relationships rather than quantity.
Keep in mind to not send a blatant sales pitch. Instead, introduce yourself and explain why you want to connect. Maybe you know someone in common, or you want to ask a question.
Approach people with a clear business goal in mind. Furthermore, try to move the conversation away from online messaging to a phone call or a meeting if you and your connection are in the same area. In-person interactions will make you stand out and stay fresh in the other person’s mind, instead of being just another connection among many. Plus, by talking to each other, you’ll get a better feel for whether you’re a right fit for each other.
3. Engage with Groups in Your Industry
Joining groups and contributing to discussions is one of the essential actions you can take on LinkedIn.
Finding relevant groups is very easy. You just go to the search bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage and type keywords related to your industry. Click on the “More” drop-down menu right below the search bar and select “Groups.” The search results will display several groups; select some of them and see how they are once your request is accepted.
Again, quality trumps quantity. You don’t have to stay in all groups you’re accepted in; select those with a good amount of active members and interesting, regular discussions.
Once you are part of a group, don’t pitch your services – group rules often explicitly forbid promotion. Instead, take your time and interact with people. Add meaningful comments, thoughtful answers, and even fun thoughts.
If you’re not sure what you’re supposed to say, don’t worry! Focus on these three elements:
- Offer solutions to problems
- Share interesting information (news, study, statistics, etc.)
- Tell a concise but engaging personal story with a takeaway
Contribute to the conversations and gauge the response of other members. When people see that you are adding value, some of them might reach out to you. Similarly, if you try connecting with other group members, you’re more likely to get a warm response since they already know you through your posts and comments.
If you have a business that is active on social media, participating in LinkedIn groups should be a daily practice. People will check your profile as well as your company page and land on your website where you can convert them through good, optimized copy.
4. Create and Share Content
Content marketing is the name of the game when it comes to building online visibility.
See the blog section on your website? That’s content waiting to be shared. Leverage the blog posts you already created to get the attention of the LinkedIn audience.
Also, post status updates where you talk about recent news about your company: product launches, mentions in media, etc. Use images and videos to grab attention and encourage shares.
Additionally, try to use hashtags to get your content found by more users. Do this by weaving them into your content, instead of stacking a pile of hashtags at the end of a post like in Instagram. Make hashtags a seamless part of your text and your exposure will increase.
And to keep your followers engaged, reply to all their comments, ask them questions and address their issues and interests.
Moreover, social media channels are built around sharing, and LinkedIn is no different. In addition to original content, you can curate and share content made by others that you find relevant and useful. It could be a value-packed post from an influencer you like or a story from one of your connections.
LinkedIn Marketing Tactics: Final Thoughts
While LinkedIn doesn’t boast gargantuan user statistics, this also means there’s less noise there. As the owner of an SME, it can be a cost-effective component of your marketing strategy, if you commit to it.
Just like any strategy, you need KPIs to measure how well you are doing this. What KPIs you choose depends on what goal you set:
- Engagement metrics: how much your audience responds to your content (likes, comments, shares)
- Conversions: how many LinkedIn users did what you want them to do (schedule a phone call, sign up for a newsletter, etc.)
- Website traffic: the number of visitors incoming from LinkedIn
But here’s the thing: just like other social media (and digital marketing in general), consistency is the key to achieving results. Set a calendar for your LinkedIn strategy as well as a posting schedule, follow it and optimize according to your audience’s response.
If you feel like you could use a hand with LinkedIn marketing, we at Digita Comms can help you. Just reach out and we’ll help you leverage that platform to grow your business.