It is safe to say that the pandemic has thrown quite an interesting curveball to marketers. How do you continue to reach people and motivate them to spend money with you when it seems like much of the world has ground to a halt?
The truth is: it hasn’t.
In reality, this is a marketer’s time to shine. It is time for marketers to get out those creative juices, flex their technology muscle, and sweat the strategy until you get it right. What else are you doing, anyway?
So where does LinkedIn fit into this picture? If you are a business-to-business business (say that 10 times fast), it’s essential.
You need to be active on LinkedIn if:
- own a business
- want a new job
- sell B2B services or products
- need experts to help run your business
- need to stay up-to-date on your industry
- want to be seen as a leader in your field
“Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.” — Chris Anderson (Former Editor-in-Chief of Wired & author of The Long Tail)
When you Google your name or the name of your business, what do you see? Do the results that show up accurately represent you and your business? Do they showcase you in a good light? Maybe, you’re competing with others that have a similar name. Three years ago, I googled my name and my LinkedIn profile came up in the 3rd spot on the 1st page. Today, it is the 1st spot. If someone looks me up, happens upon my LinkedIn profile (and they will — remember, #1 spot), then I need that profile to accurately represent my business, expertise, and goals. Also notice how important a social media presence is in 2020, in general.)
In 2017, the Edelman Trust Barometer reported that peers were now as credible as experts. That means an individual, such as those on LinkedIn, was essentially as trustworthy as an academic or technical expert. What a time to build a presence!
Today, in 2020, sliding into Month 7 of a pandemic, trust appears to be at an all-time low when measuring government, business, NGOs, and the media. Dip into the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer here. I say, it is still a great time to build a presence!
But in this day and age, the emphasis needs to be on competence and ethics. How a company acts means much more to people today. The default is to not trust and assume deceit. So, how can you, as an individual or a brand, stand above that, act in good conscience and with a sense of community, while setting a good example?
So why else use LinkedIn?
- Looking for a career change? 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn
- 122 million people have received a job interview through LinkedIn
- Looking to hire? Employees sourced through the site are 40% less likely to leave the company within the first 6 months
At Sinuate Media, we have used LinkedIn to advertise our last 3 positions, have conducted many Zoom interviews during the last couple of months, and have made two successful hires — all through LinkedIn.
How Else Has Our LinkedIn Use Changed since COVID?
- The increased use of hashtags!
- Increased advertising, advertising, advertising
LinkedIn started incorporating hashtags in 2018, but it is finally picked up momentum. Basically, we’re seeing a lot more data tied to the tags and they are more useful now that more folks are using them. That has helped posts on personal profiles and company pages to increase reach when used. So, use those hashtags!
On the advertising front, we have significantly increased LinkedIn advertising for our clients’ campaigns. A big motivator for this has been the demise of the in-person networking event. How else do you reach people in the business community? While there are many avenues that we use (content still reigns strong) but if you want to expedite this process — targeting advertising, it is.
We love LinkedIn advertising because you can target by:
- Job titles
- Some specific companies
When I talk to my clients about LinkedIn advertising, I say something along the lines of:
Do you want to reach decision-makers at [so-and-so type] company — and track how successful your campaign is? There is no other better way to do this than LinkedIn.
Of course, with this level of targeting comes what you’d expect: a higher cost. Some campaigns come in around $3.25 CTR but others are much, much more expensive, especially if your goal is conversions. At times, you can expect them to be into the 3-digits. Remember though, this is a matter of perspective. If you’re selling a higher-ticket item as many B2B companies do, then you can expect your Cost Per Acquisition to be relative.
How Can LinkedIn Improve Your Personal Brand or Network?
Who’s in Your Network?
One of the most useful features of LinkedIn is seeing who your contacts are connected to. It is time to do some digging and see who is in your 2nd degree and 3rd-degree networks. Do you already know any of those people? Request to connect with them. Do you want to know those people? Ask for an invite to connect, or reach out to them directly.
Who is Moving and Shaking?
I’m going to be honest here and share that if it wasn’t for LinkedIn, I’d forget how many years I’ve been involved with some organizations or when is the anniversary month of a team member at Sinuate Media. Those reminders are gold.
But it is also super for helping to keep you in the loop with how has moved to a new position or company if they’ve had a work anniversary. Besides helping you be a nice person, it gives you a reason to touch base, congratulate them, and have you stay top of mind!
Stay on Top of the News & Trends
Searching for multiple news outlets takes time. Nothing wrong with that — when you have time. So, streamlining some of the most relevant articles of the day is helpful. But also, look at those engagement numbers (number of readers). This is an excellent opportunity to make a comment on that article and get your name in front of a whole lot of people.
While you are at it, comment on some of your contacts’ posts too.
Share What You’ve Been Up To
Part of building your networking is letting your networking know what you’ve been up to. New product — share it. New hire — celebrate it. New office — post photos of it. Need help or advice — reach out. Mentioned in a news story — post it.
Video is also a fairly new addition to LinkedIn. But like with all social media, video is what people want to consume these days. You can now upload native video to LinkedIn (rather than sharing it from another platform like YouTube). Expect up to 3x more engagement for video content that static content alone. It’s worth incorporating into your mix.
There is a lot of opportunity on the B2B networking side even though in-person events have been greatly diminished or canceled although. Make the best of it, and maybe you’ll even find it more effective than strategies you were using before!