No matter how huge 500 million+ professional profiles sounds to a marketing strategist, it is not enough to just deliver your message out there. It still needs a cohesive, consistent and detailed strategy in order to target the right audience and gain results in terms of leads and conversion.
If not, LinkedIn profile handlers would still choose to scroll down through their timeline and ignore everything you just shared. From the data in LinkedIn State of Sales Report, 90% of top performing salespeople use social media to strategize. We can conclude that while social media has a steady if not growing audience, disseminating marketing collaterals out there shall still be well-thought-out and strategic.
LinkedIn Marketing Strategy may start with connecting and growing a following, but that shall not stop there. Here’s what you should do next.
1. Create a Detailed Plan
Any effective strategy starts with a detailed plan. How many target connections? What are your objectives? Are you a B2B or B2C? Who is your target audience? What tone shall be used? What content shall be disseminated? Is it appropriate? Is it relevant, timely and important? What are their concerns, problems and interests? How can you capture those?
Specify everything because there shall be no space for general objectives/ideas.
2. Choose to Connect to the Right Professionals
It is expected in your detailed plan that your target audience is defined. You shall know who are the people you should be connecting to. Are these business executives/CEOs? Freelancers? Creatives? Accounting professionals?
This will always depend on the product or service you are selling and your niche.
These people will see and be the crucial variables in your strategy. So make sure you are very specific of the people you are connecting to.
3. Engage and Build Relationships
You may succeed in growing your connections. Always remember the rule of quality over quantity. Sending a personal message (50-100 words) to a new connection would do.
A common mistake of LinkedIn account handlers will already pitch sales with a lengthy message once they connected. That is not a good idea. After all, professionals engage to those people that they can trust (or from a credible recommendation) and to those they have engaged before. Treating it like you’re making friends would definitely be a good move. Sharing relevant content would be a great first step. Rushing it won’t feel genuine.
4. Be Included in Communities and Groups
LinkedIn is also a platform for specific people with the same denominator to form groups and communities. Your target audience surely has the same qualities that you can find in these, and it is no-brainer to join this group and make meaningful interactions to make yourself included in the conversation.
5. Produce and Share Relevant and Useful Content
Defining the audience also means that you already determined their problem, concerns and interests. And these should make the list of your topics of your content. Blogs, video graphics, presentations, infographics are the usual content you can produce and share. You want to build an image of authority, someone your audience can go to in terms of their concerns and such. Always make it subtle. Hard sell will make you look desperate for attention.
6. Use LinkedIn Ads
If you’re just starting, it is understandable to have a hard time establishing your brand on this platform and growing an audience. LinkedIn ads will be your best friend if you want to take a slightly shorter route.
LinkedIn profile accounts include information like professional interests, associations, and skills. These data will be used by the ads to target your audience.
This is proven and tested as the Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business used LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads as part of their campaign to attract candidates to its MBA program. Through LinkedIn Ads utilizing the information provided to them and accurate targeting capabilities, the institution achieved a 27.5 percent open rate on its Sponsored InMail messages and a 71 percent conversion rate for requests for information.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may be considered as the Big Three in the social media platform and a must if you want to have an online presence, but LinkedIn still separates itself as the most professional platform. Thus, bringing your brand to a specific and white-collar audience.