LinkedIn has made a dramatic impact on the world of B2B marketing, recruitment and business networking.
Many brands are already using it as an effective way of connecting with customers and sharing content, often positioning themselves as experts in their market rather than selling products. But many companies and organisations still aren't utilising LinkedIn as much as they could be. Often it's down to an issue of resource or a debate over which team the task of managing a LinkedIn Company Page should sit with, but if you're having problems justifying devoting attention to LinkedIn to your boss, read on!
Some of the statistics around LinkedIn are pretty impressive. A new LinkedIn user signs up every 2 seconds, whilst 40% of LinkedIn users already check it every day and that number is growing rapidly. But of more interest to content marketers is the fact that every article a user shares with contacts on LinkedIn, drives an average of 1.5 clicks back to the publisher. That's against an average of 1.1 clicks from all other networks including Facebook and Twitter. It might be a smaller audience but it's a more targeted and engaged one. Realising its importance to content marketing, LinkedIn has also just launched its own Content Marketing Score service, a data-driven tool designed to let brands measure how effective their paid and organic content is on the platform.
So, with all of that in mind, here are the 5 key benefits of LinkedIn marketing as we see it:
Connecting with influencers
LinkedIn can be used to build an excellent network of influencers who you can then use to help spread the word about your brand and products. Once you've set up your Company Page, reach out to the influential people within your current community, be it partners, clients or loyal customers. And then connect to other experts in your industry or product area. Build valuable relationships with them by exchanging information over LinkedIn, and there's every chance they will share your content and posts with their networks, particularly if your content is informative and engaging.
Sharing and seeding content
LinkedIn is a network built for content. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, it is perfectly suited to sharing detailed articles, infographics, presentations and business-orientated video content. The new Content Marketing Score shows just how seriously LinkedIn takes content and how successful businesses are using it as a publishing platform. Innovations such as LinkedIn Pulse can help deliver your content to users who are interested in it through personalised news feeds and alerts, and LinkedIn also provide excellent insights into who's consuming your content and trending topics, helping you plan your content strategy effectively.
The SEO benefit
It makes sense that a network driven by content and links will help your SEO, but there is also clear evidence that this is the case. In a Hubspot study into link sharing via social networks and SERP (search engine results page) placements, LinkedIn came out top in terms of the network that delivered the best improvement in search rankings against activity. Again, this is not that surprising, as each time your content is seen and shared on LinkedIn, you receive an inbound link, which in turn, creates a snowball effect of links to your site.
LinkedIn Groups are a great way of expanding your business' reach and network, whilst creating your own community. Start your own LinkedIn Groups in your field of expertise and invite your existing network to join them. Make sure you also join and participate in relevant Groups that already exist. Through discussions and posts, you can communicate directly with people in your Groups, helping spread the word about your brand and your benefits to them, and seeding your content.
Highly targeted advertising
LinkedIn has a whole lot of data about its users, from their job and place of employment to who they're connected to and how. This makes it a hugely powerful advertising platform and not just for B2B businesses. Consumer brands are getting in on the act to and delivering excellent results. From Mastercard to Mercedes Benz, big businesses are seeing the huge benefits of advertising on this most targeted of hugely affluent networks.
So there are our 5 key benefits of LinkedIn marketing. Of course, like any marketing area, to really reap the rewards available on LinkedIn you need a considered plan and a bit of time and resource to devote to it. But even simple steps, like making sure your Company Page is properly branded and posting a few interesting pieces of content, will start to have an impact pretty quickly. Make a start today!