How to use LinkedIn for business marketing

LinkedIn in the largest business networking site in the world. Although it is a social media site, users view it differently than Twitter or Instagram. When they log onto LinkedIn, they portray themselves in a much more professional way.

The average income of LinkedIn users hovering around $109,000 and more than 50 percent of LinkedIn users have decision-making authority for their company. This makes it an ideal place to display your business to potential customers or employees.

There are several steps you’ll want to take in order to carry out your LinkedIn marketing strategy.

1. Complete your profile

Make sure that your company page is up to date and interesting to read for potential customers. Increasingly, people are starting to turn to LinkedIn to learn more about a business. You want all of your colors and imagery to match that of your website so that brand awareness stays strong.

Make sure that you are updating it regularly with company information that is new and compelling. Create a call to action that draws people to your website or makes them follow you on LinkedIn.

2. Claim your custom URL

Businesses and those on the executive level of the business should make sure that they have a custom URL on LinkedIn. This means that your URL will be easy to remember and it will be one of the first options when it is searched on Google.

You custom URL would look something like this: http://linkedin.com/company/yourbusinessname.

3. Get employees involved

Ask your employees to create profiles for LinkedIn and to fully complete their profiles, linking back to their current employer, your business. Their profiles should include updated and appropriate photos and a description of what they do at your company. Some businesses even put together photo days where they take professional photos of their employees specifically for their LinkedIn profiles.

4. Create highly targeted ads

One of the great things about using LinkedIn for business is that you can create ads that specifically target your exact audience. You can drill down to the industries that they work in and even what their job titles are.

If you sell your product to businesses of a certain size, you can choose to have your advertisements seen only by people who are in companies in that size range.

For example, you could find people who work at companies with fewer than 100 people, work in New York City in the tech industry, and are at C-level.

5. Connect with users

LinkedIn is a social networking site, so you need to get social in order to reap the benefits. Connect with colleagues, company employees, current customers and vendors, other local businesses and their employees, and other people in your industry.

Don’t stop there. Endorse them for skills that you know they have, comment on or like their content, and share things that they may benefit from. These very contacts may be the people who introduce you to customers in the future.

6. Create groups

In addition to trying to get users to follow your company, you can also create groups based around your companies niche. This is a great place to test ideas, share industry information, and gauge how others in the industry are feeling about certain things.

Creating different groups can also help raise brand awareness to other people in the industry who might not otherwise have heard of your company before.

Invite current employees, past colleagues, and customers to join the group. Promote the group across your other social media platforms and in your email newsletters. It’s a great way to get people in one place to exchange ideas.

7. Join other groups

Joining groups on LinkedIn is a good way to network with people in the industry, whether they are potential customers or not. Think about joining groups that your target demographic would be in, even if it is not specific to your niche. It will allow you to listen in on what your target audience is thinking about other topics and how you may be able to fill a gap in the future.

Be active in these groups. When it is applicable, answer people’s questions or make reference to your business in a non-selling way. This will help others in your industry to see you as a leader and expert on this topic, therefore coming to you and your business for help.

You can also go through the members of these groups and invite them to the groups that you have created.

8. Use it to grow your email list

LinkedIn is a great platform to use to grow your company’s email list. LinkedIn allows you to send generic messages to people in bulk (up to 50 people at a time). You can use this feature to thank people for connecting with you and to sign up for your newsletter. Giving an incentive like a discount or free resource is a great way to get even more sign-ups.

9. Post high-quality content

Once you have made connections on LinkedIn and your current and potential clients are following along with what you post, be sure to stay consistent. Post at least once a day, post content from other websites in the industry, post information that is helpful to your connections, and share company updates when applicable.

10. Pay for sponsored updates

In addition to LinkedIn ads, you can also pay for sponsored updates that will show up directly in the feed of your target audience, rather than on the sidebar. This is helpful if you have company updates or important information that you want more people to see than just those that are connected to your page.

Similar to LinkedIn ads, sponsored updates allow you to drill down to the exact industry, company size, and job title that fits with your target audience. Be sure to add a call to action in the update to entice people to read on.

11. Don’t use it solely to sell

LinkedIn is a place where professionals come to learn and grow in their specific field and to network with other like-minded people. While it is important to grow your brand awareness and to add LinkedIn to your sales funnel in some way, be sure not to hard sell with every single piece of content that you post.

12. Answer questions

Have your employees answer questions in the “Answers” section of LinkedIn. This will further your company’s reputation as leaders in your industry as well as help potential customers discover who you are.

13. Upgrade to a premium membership

Once you have used LinkedIn for a few months and begin to understand it better, you may find that upgrading your account to “Career,” “Business,” Sales,” or “Hiring,” will help with your Linkedin marketing even more. These paid plans give you a lot more options when it comes to contacting people. They offer free trials so you can see which plan is best for your business.

LinkedIn for business

One of the most valuable networking tools for your business is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a feature that allows users to not only connect with one another but to follow specific companies as well.

1. ‘Warm call’ sales prospects

LinkedIn is a great way to get in touch with potential clients that you might otherwise have to cold-call. With LinkedIn you can connect with them and begin messaging one another. Take advantage of the LinkedIn introduction tool and have your current connections introduce you to their connections.

2. Find experienced employees

In addition to growing your potential client list, LinkedIn is also an excellent place to find your next best employee. LinkedIn allows you to search for people with specific job titles and message them directly, to post job openings on your company website, and to post targeted job ads to the exact people who you want them to reach.

3. Generate leads

LinkedIn is a great place to generate sales leads. Once you have created groups, engaged in the LinkedIn community, and shown people that you and your company are experts in your industry, generating leads should be easy.

4. Keep customers and potential customers involved and engaged

When a LinkedIn user follows a company’s profile page, it allows them to see any updates that you post on that profile. This is a great feature that allows you to keep your followers engaging with your content and, potentially, your products and services. You should consider posting between six and eight times a day, but mix up the content and make sure it’s not all sales related. This is a great place to ask questions of your followers and really engage them in conversation.

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