WSI recently hosted a webinar on how to strengthen your network and brand with digital marketing on LinkedIn. Gunnar Hood, a WSI consultant in Oklahoma City and author of the chapter in our eBook about LinkedIn, shared his experience as an expert with B2B and professional service companies. You can watch the recording here.
The Business Case for Using LinkedIn and the New Normal
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic not only forced most people to work remotely, but also pushed them from out of their comfort zones. Although it might have felt uncomfortable, it was also the best way to force people to grow.
Because so many in-person meetings, networking events, and trade shows were put on hold in 2020, LinkedIn became a highly attractive option for the following reasons:
- Members include 63 million decision makers and 30 million company pages
- LinkedIn ccounts for 80% of B2B leads from social media (LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog)
- Voted as one of the the most trusted social networks (Business Insider Intelligence Sep 2019)
- Provides more than 3X times the visitor to lead conversion compared to other channels (LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog)
Unfortunately, the vast majority of LinkedIn users (98%) do not use LinkedIn effectively. This means that the 2% who do leverage the platform correctly are able to significantly out-perform their competitors.
Virtual networking is a scalable relationship building tool approach that is time efficient, informed, broadly visible, free, and available 24/7. Given those characteristics it's not surprising that 75% of decision-makers actually prefer to engage in remote interactions and self-service options. Even to the point of making hefty purchases using those types of interactions alone.
Personal Brand Visibility
Having an "all-star" LinkedIn profile is very important and can increase your reach by 50+%. However, building an outstanding profile can be hard if you don’t like writing about yourself. If that is the case, it might make sense to get help from a LinkedIn specialist.
The main key to an effective and engaging profile is to ensure it is buyer-centric. Focus less on what you do and more on how you help others solve their problems and the value you provide. Make sure you take advantage of the new "Featured" section to share rich content such as slides, PDFs, videos, etc.
Also use the Social Selling Index tool to keep score. You should aim for score of >60. When combined with an all-star profile, this will boost you up into the elite category.
Work on Building Good Connections
While getting over 500 initial connections is a milestone to work towards, the quality of connections trumps quantity. This is because LinkedIn “watches” who you’re connecting with and will suggest connections that are similar to connections you already have.
Specific search results in different categories returns not only people, but also articles, content, and jobs related to your search. This provides greater exposure to relevant connections so you can narrow down and research people for common backgrounds, experience or interests who you many want to follow.
When you want to connect with an ideal candidate, use the Connect button on the profile view and personalize your message. Craft a message to be about them, and not about you. Be sure not to use automation – it isn’t personal, it is also against LinkedIn policy.
Attract Through Thought Leadership
If there is someone you would like to connect with, but you don’t have any common ground, use thought leadership to build a connection. About 97% of B2B companies use LinkedIn for content distribution, making it one of the biggest content publishers. Because of this fact, there is a very good chance that any content you publish that could be potentially interesting to your target LinkedIn audience will help you “hook” that desired audience and create a connection with them.
Another thing to be aware of is only about 0.4% of users share content on a weekly basis. You can differentiate yourself by publishing content weekly to get a competitive edge. Check out the LinkedIn Pages Playbook for inspiration on what kind of content to publish. Be engaging (especially when you have a post that is attracting a lot of interaction), and space out your personal posts by at least four hours.
Encourage likes and comments on your posts, and then respond within 24 hours. Only tag people who are likely to comment to keep the LinkedIn algorithms happy.
About 58% of B2B marketers indicate that LinkedIn ads deliver the best value, and 42% plan to increase their LinkedIn ad budget. This is because of how precisely targeted the audience can be, and the various ad formats available. These include:
- Single image or video
- Sponsored messaging:
- Messaging ads (these currently get a 52% open rate)
- Conversation ads
For more information on improving your LinkedIn performance and other digital marketing strategies, contact us at Smart Web Marketing. You can also watch the full length recording here:
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