3 Influence-Building Methods for Marketing Your Business on LinkedIn
What’s the most important currency in business? Influence. It’s hard to get, easy to lose, and nearly impossible to regain.
To obtain this fickle currency, most modern businesses craft and execute complex social media marketing campaigns. The goal of these campaigns is manifold. Publications should demonstrate the company’s domain space knowledge, arm its target audience with useful information, and cultivate trust within its readership.
The Dangers of Social Media Marketing: Exposure Without Credibility
Social media marketing, while largely effective in expanding a business’ brand awareness through global exposure, does present a unique risk.
The demographic nature of social media networks fundamentally does not allow for business’ credibility to be measured and vetted. You get to publish what you want when you want and your reach grows if that post is popular with readers. At times, the consequence of this format is large-scale, global influence without expertise.
That being said, how can you grow your business’ influence and bolster its credibility? Focus on marketing your expertise through LinkedIn. Here are three tried-and-tested methods to get you started.
1. Create and Optimize an Engaging Company Page.
On the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, click the Create a Company Page button. Get a URL that’s as close as possible to your company name, add your official company name, and then hit Create Page. Add a 1536 x 768-pixel cover photo that accurately represents your business and upload a 300 x 300-pixel logo.
Now, you’ll write a description of your company. Like Google, LinkedIn uses algorithms to scan your company page for keywords and ranks your page according to those keywords.
Include pertinent primary and long-tail keywords in the 2,000-word description, particularly focusing the first 156 characters which will appear in Google search results. Keep the sentences short and don’t keyword-stuff. Skip the fluffy adjectives and buzzwords. Explain what your company does and why your audience should care about it.
Add your company’s specialties, business website, and critical company details such as your location and industry. Then, hit Publish. Your LinkedIn page is now live.
Your company page not only attracts prospective customers. It serves as a major recruiter tool for top talent. Make it look professional and appealing. It is your digital business card.
2. Identify Your Target Audience.
Hootsuite writer Dara Fontein reports that more than one million people use LinkedIn’s publishing platform and they share more than 130,00 posts per week. The potential reach of their posts is huge. According to Fontein, LinkedIn has over 467 million users; almost 60% of which scroll the business-focused social network on mobile devices.
With nearly a half a billion users, it behooves you to identify your target audience.
Start by importing your existing contacts from your email address. This easy step will immediately connect you with professionals, clients, friends, and acquaintances you’ve interacted with. Next, join LinkedIn communities in your industry. Just like connecting with your existing contacts, these communities will help you to easily reach like-minded people and expand your network. Just remember to be a helpful member of the community. Hard sales and marketing only posts can get you removed, and quickly.
LinkedIn does offer great sales tool at a premium that will help you target specific demographics, such as Sales Navigator and Lead Builder. Perhaps the most popular audience targeting tool is Campaign Manager’s Audience Expansion menu.
Audience Expansion allows you to filter your audience by job title, industry, geography, age, and gender. This feature is especially useful if you want to use A/B testing to gauge the effectiveness of the content you publish.
For example, try to publish two different versions of an article on the same topic and target audiences with similar demographics. Track how each performs, how much it gets shared, and how many comments it receives. The winning version will inform how you create headlines and shape content moving forward.
There’s also a tremendous side benefit to Audience Expansion. This automated audience targeting tool also locates people that would be interested in your content and recommends your business page to them. As LinkedIn recommends your content to these interested parties, it expands your business’ readership and offers your target audience relevant articles you’ve published or shared.
If your LinkedIn network grows substantially, use Campaign Manager’s Click Demographics functions to track how smaller audience segments respond to your content. This feature provides much more specific demographic and user behavior information, which in turn explains who you’re reaching and who you’re missing.
3. Publish at Least Two Well-Researched Articles per Month on LinkedIn Publisher.
You can have a sprawling network with an alluring company page, but without publishing regular content, you cannot effectively grow your influence. Content is the most important way you can educate your audience, demonstrate your industry knowledge, and present your business as a thought leader.
Ambitious content creators publish daily or weekly. For most businesses, that content calendar isn’t realistic. It is, however, doable to publish two posts every month.
The standard for shareable LinkedIn articles is very high. You will be publishing content that other high-level business executives will read. What you write must be thoroughly researched, engaging, and most importantly, original.
Keep the articles at 1,000 words or less. Embed rich media and other graphics, which will help to break up the text of the piece. Cite sources and embed links to articles you reference in your posts.
Avoid writing any that sounds too promotional or directly asks for sales. LinkedIn posts are about informing your audience, not selling products.
In addition to your regular posts, mix up the kind of content you feature on your LinkedIn company page. Curate articles from industry leaders, journalists, and clients, choosing topics that you know your audience will enjoy.
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