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Marketing User Guide
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Contents
An Overview Of This Guide………………………………………………………………………….…4
What Is LinkedIn……………………………………………………………….………………………..…5
Why is LinkedIn So Important To B2B Marketing………………………..……………...…7
Premium Subscriber Accounts…………………………………………………………………....…9
Building A Compelling Profile…………………………………………………………………...…11
The Benefit Of A Complete Profile…………………………………………….…………………16
Achieving an All Star Profile………..…………………………………………….…………………18
Who’s Viewed Your Profile………………………………..…………………..……………………19
LinkedIn Search Feature……………………………………..………………………………....……21
Managing Your Connections………………………………..……………..…………………….…21
Advanced Search Functions ………………………………..……………..…………………….…22
Creating A Company Page……………………………………..……………………………….……25
LinkedIn Groups……………………………………………………..………….…………………....…29
Creating an Event (new)……………………..……………………………………………………….30
Using Groups ………………………………………………………………………………………………31
Publishing Articles On LinkedIn………………………………..…….……………………………32
Using Hashtags (new)………………………………….…………..…….……………………………36
Live Video (new)………………………………………………………………………………………….37
LinkedIn Elevate………………………………………………………..…………….…………....……39
Advertising On LinkedIn……………………………………………..………………....……………40
Setting up an Ad Campaign……..……………………………..……..………………………….…45
Content Marketing…………………………………………………..……..………………………..…48
LinkedIn Mobile Apps………………………………………………….……..……………………….52
Summary ………………………………….……………………………………………………………..…54
Further Reading…………………………..…………………………………..............................55
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About The Author: David Reilly
David Reilly is an entrepreneur, technologist and founder of Let’s learn Digital. Let's Learn
Digital provide quality training in digital marketing strategy, corporate innovation and
emerging technologies like Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning and Virtual Reality
He writes for Econsultancy and Smart Insights on emerging digital technology, B2B
marketing and what it means to thrive in a digital world.
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1. An Overview Of This Guide
The guide begins by explaining how to build your B2B marketing fundamentals on LinkedIn
(LI) including an explanation of building a quality profile that people notice, the pros and
cons of differing subscribers accounts utilising recommendations and how these collective
elements contribute to your LI profile status.
LI increasingly facilitates how members stay informed through sharing news, knowledge and
relevant content. This user guide is designed to be instructional by examining how LI
provides a formidable commercial opportunity for content marketing including the use of
Publishing, SlideShare and Company Pages all underpinned by robust tracking and
measurement. For Marketing Solutions we have examined the advertising opportunities
with Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads and Display Ads to understand the
elements of successful campaign execution
Hidden commercial opportunities for marketers are recommended throughout including
new features Live Video, hashtags and advanced search. Lastly we will examine where LI is
headed in the future now that it is part of the Microsoft family
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3. What is LinkedIn?
LI is the non-sexy and often ignored sleeping giant of the social networks. Today, at the time
of updating this guide, LI has over 630 million users from more than 200 countries. This
represents a huge percentage of the world's professionals and offers the largest online
group of influential, affluent and educated people of any online platform. Its membership
base is growing rapidly, almost 50% of the UK’s population have subscribed and the user
growth shows no sign of slowing down. The network offers a formidable platform for savvy
B2B marketers seeking to propel their marketing to new customers in a trusted, highly
respected environment.
The US has the largest user base, with 177 million members followed by India with 62
million. The biggest growth in the last few years has been in China, home to over 20% of the
world’s professionals, where LinkedIn membership has grown rapidly to 48 million. The UK
is the fifth biggest user group with over 27 million users.
The company mission is “to connect the world’s professionals to make them more
productive and successful”. However, LI is not solely about connecting individuals, it is also
provides a very powerful range of B2B marketing products which we will examine including:
1. Marketing Solutions - including Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads,
Display Ads and Lead Accelerator.
2. Content Marketing and distribution - including LinkedIn Publishing, SlideShare,
Company Pages, Groups and Elevate.
3. Multi-platform access - including LinkedIn’s mobile apps and Partnership Programme
The B2B marketing process of reaching, nurturing and converting prospects has become
harder due to the number of devices available to consumers. Multiple devices make the
sales funnel and conversion path much more complex. LI addresses this challenge by
offering an end-to-end product suite of advertising products reaching customer at the top
of the funnel down to the final conversion. The image below displays how the advertising
products, defined as marketing Solutions, impact every stage of the typical sales funnel:
“LinkedIn, unlike Facebook and Twitter, is all about business. The mindset and intent are naturally more
receptive to solving business problems than the kind of socializing and sharing that happens elsewhere”
Brian Clarke Founder of Copyblogger
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1Fig1: Lead Accelerator: Part of the LI Marketing Solutions Full-Funnel Platform
There are currently over 13 million companies with pages on LI, all vying for the attention
of the more than half a billion users. Company pages represent a huge opportunity for
businesses to establish their brands and expand their business network. Many
professionals register on LI and dabble in using it without realising its full potential.
1 Source: LinkedIn Advertising and Marketing Solutions, Lead Accelerator
https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/g/en-us/pdf/lms/linkedin-lmn-en-us.pdf
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4. Why Is LinkedIn So Important For B2B Marketing?
LI has reported that an incredible 90% of all social media traffic to B2B websites comes
from a combination Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. LinkedIn accounts for over half this
traffic, making it substantially more effective than its non-business-focused counterparts.
LI is often perceived as a social platform primarily benefiting recruiters and candidates.
This perception is probably due to its Talent Solutions product which, based on its last
available figures, before technology giant Microsoft (MSFT) acquired LinkedIn Corporation
for $27.0 billion, shows recruitment contributed a total of 65% of Q1 earnings back in
2016. The other key revenue segments as shown below include Premium Subscriptions
and Marketing Solutions making up advertising and sponsored updates. The most recent
earnings announcement and performance 2for LI showed that Marketing Solutions was the
fastest growing revenue segment up 44% year on year (Oct 2018 to Oct 2019)
Fig 2: Source of revenues 2016 Q1
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LinkedIn Earnings; October 24th
2019 https://news.linkedin.com/2019/January/linkedin-business-
highlights-from-microsofts-fy20-q1-earnings
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It remains to be seen in 2020 and beyond whether Microsoft will shift their commercial
priorities from Talent Solutions to other revenues such as Premium Subscriptions or
Marketing Solutions. They are certainly introducing better features for the latter but the
marketing solutions has yet to evenly compare by performance, engagement and ROI with
facebook Ad Platform and Google Adwords on a cost per click and performance basis.
We should also evaluate LI’s importance in the context of its global growth figures since its
launch in 2003. The UK’s usage has grown consistently over the last 17 years. From just
two million registered users in 2012 the UK’s user base to a staggering current figure of 27
million and growing, making it the fifth biggest user base globally.
Fig 3: LinkedIn Global members, Q1 2020
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5. Premium Subscriber Accounts
Everyone starts on LI with a free, basic account. However, although LinkedIn offers a lot of
amazing tools for free, the site also offers upgrades to a variety of paid-for premium
accounts. These accounts include Premium Business, Sales Navigator, Premium Career and
Recruiter Lite ranging in cost from £24.98 to £79.99 per month as shown on the next page
Fig 4: Summary of LinkedIn’s Premium Accounts
The key question to ask is what addition benefits will a paid account bring to you? Your
choice of paid accounts comes down to your individual objectives be it expanded business
insights, the capability to generate a database of prospects or hiring top employees. Also a
premium account also includes LI Learning, formerly Lynda integrated in 2015, giving access
to thousands of excellent training videos
Tips For B2B Marketers
We recommend as a minimum investing in the Premium Business Plus account which costs
£360 per annum or £30 a month, to unlock features that will greatly augment LI’s power as
a marketing tool to you. Premium Business will give you the following vital additional
services:
● Unlimited profile browsing - not only will you be able to see full profiles of
everyone in your network, you’ll gain access to professionals outside of your
network.
● See who’s viewed your profile - unlike the basic option allowing you to see only five
viewers over the last 90 days, premium allows you to see everyone, giving you the
opportunity to measure the impact of your outreach efforts.
● Gain access to 15 InMail messages - you’ll be able to contact 15 professionals via
direct messages even if you’re not connected. InMail allows those unused Inmails
to accumulate to the following month if they are not all used up
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● Greater insights for research- review unique and timely data about the companies
and people you are interested in allowing you to research and evaluate business
opportunities.
These paid features will make a huge difference to your marketing efforts making the
investment worthwhile. All premium accounts offer a free month’s trial which gives you
opportunity to test which options work best for you
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6. Building a Compelling Profile
Before we examine LI’s features and premium account capabilities it’s vital for you to
create a compelling profile. Your profile page represents an excellent opportunity for
presenting yourself as professional, approachable and trustworthy. This is the gateway to
your professional network and the first visual asset that current and new connections will
read and draw conclusions from. Therefore investing time into crafting your profile is the
most important foundation task for using LI effectively. In this section we’ll cover the key
areas you need to focus on to make your profile stand out.
Fig 5: Example of the author’s profile page using a branded image for Let’s Learn Digital
Profile Photo
Displaying a quality photo really matters, first impressions count. Your photo should
encapsulate who you are if someone was to meet you and didn’t know you. Invest in a
professional photograph with good lighting and an inviting smile. LinkedIn’s own research
has found that members with profile photos receive 14 times more profile views than those
that don’t
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Public Profile URL
When you sign up for a LinkedIn account you will be given a default profile URL. The URL
that is assigned to you will not usually be easy to remember or share either verbally or in
print. Customising your URL is an important part of enhancing your personal brand and
makes it easier for people to find you online. Custom profiles are available on a first come
first serve basis. Make sure that yours is personal and relevant to you and your business, for
example by using your company name. Below is the URL for the author’s page, as shown in
Figure 5, https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidreilly/.
Headline
By default, LinkedIn populates your profile headline with your current job title and
employer, and many people don’t change it. However, your headline is a unique
opportunity to succinctly express and showcase your speciality, value proposition or
personal brand. People read web pages from the top down so the headline is the first
opportunity to really build trust and to grab people’s attention. The headline you choose
will also enable you to optimise your profile against what potential connectors, or
customers are searching for thus raising your profile in your network.
Contact Information
A link to your contact information can be found on the right hand side of your profile card,
see Figure 5 above. You should also include your up to date phone number, email address,
Twitter handle, and up to two work related websites.
About (Previously Summary)
LI replaced the ‘summary’ heading in 2019 to ‘About’ Your personal about description
remains one of the most important sections on your profile page. It is the only area on your
profile where you can define yourself from scratch, evoke curiosity and interest from others,
and encourage people to want to connect with you. Consequently, you need to ensure you
project an authentic description of yourself and a true reflection of your professional
abilities.
You’ll find your about below your profile card information, you can see the start of the
author about section in Figure 5. To create a stand-out career summary you will want to
consider the following aspects:
● Articulate your operating principles and the things that energise you; for example, in
David’s profile this equates to “digital innovation, new disruptive technologies and
training”.
● Describe your skills, experience and things you do better than anyone else.
● Make the content easy to read by dividing content into short bullet points.
● Think about any point of differentiation or a snippet of your personal interests.
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● Write your about description as if you were taking a moment to introduce yourself
to potential clients.
● Think about the profile of your readers and what information they would be
interested in reading.
Although written back in 2013 Andy Foote’s excellent article ‘3 Stunningly Good LinkedIn
profiles’ 3has stood the test of time and has been shared by over 2000 people. He
demonstrates how choosing the right words can be incredibly effective although highlights
the challenges of doing so without appearing arrogant or self-absorbed. He suggests asking
yourself if you are in command of your narrative and whether your summary does you
professional justice. On LI it’s not enough to expect your experience to speak for itself, you
need a narrative to ensure you professional prospectus is unique and engaging. Your
summary is not only your chance to say what your good at, it’s also your opportunity to
differentiate yourself from your peers in a remarkable and memorable way.
Adding SlideShare Presentations
A stand-out presentation can add a powerful addition way of conveying your professional
credentials. SlideShare is the world’s largest professional content-sharing community with
over 70 million unique visitors a month and you have the option to add SlideShare
presentations within the summary, experience and education sections of you profile to
enhance the reader’s experience and understanding of you and your brand.
Integrating SlideShare presentations 4into your profile page is a powerful quick win feature
and an often underutilised tool which can really make a difference in displaying your
professional credibility and building trust with profile viewers and new connections.
Through the SlideShare feature you can share: presentations, videos, infographics, Upload
portfolios, conference talks, PDFs, marketing and sales presentations, and add audio to
make webinars. Econsultancy’s CEO, Ashley Friedlein’s summary, shown in Figure 6,
highlights the effectiveness and added value of including presentations.
“In a recent conference, I was asked my opinion on what is the biggest opportunity in B2B
Content Marketing? Without hesitation, I answered “SlideShare.”
Michael Brenner, Vice President of Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP
3 Andy Foot’s article 3 stunning Good Linkedin Profile Sumaries: http://www.linkedinsights.com/3-
stunningly-good-linkedin-profile-summaries/
4 How to integrate slideshare into linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-integrate-slideshare-
your-content-marketing-strategy-dan-galante/
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Fig 6: Example of Ashley’s Friedlein’s summary page, integrating SlideShare presentations
Recommendations
A powerful tactic to validate your professional credentials is to include quality
recommendations from former business colleagues. This reinforces your brand
credentials, demonstrates your capabilities and really helps you build a body of credible
professional opinion.
LI makes it very easy for its users to request recommendations from their connections. If
you’ve yet to have any recommendations then you can ask for one by visiting the profile of
one of your connections as shown in Figure 7. Select ‘More’ at the top of their page,
choose ‘Request a Recommendation’5 and follow the prompts. Once you’ve got at least
one recommendation a recommendations section will show up on your profile.
5 Request a recommendation:
https://www.linkedin.com/help/testing/answer/96/requesting-a-recommendation?lang=en
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Fig 7: The pop-up screen on requesting a recommendation from a connection
You can ask for one by visiting the profile of one of your connections. Select ‘More’ at the
top of their page, choose ‘Request a Recommendation’ and follow the prompts. Once
you’ve got at least one recommendation a recommendations section will show up on your
profile.
Education
The education section in simple terms allows you to list any relevant qualifications that
you have support your professional profile. An added benefit is by including this data it
makes your profile easier to find for searchers and helps you reconnect to expand your
network. In addition, include full information of all the institutes you’ve studied at, such as
Universities, to allow LI to categorise you within the education Alumni
Licenses & Certifications
Certifications are a great way to showcase your knowledge and professional achievements on
your LI profile. are a great way to showcase your knowledge and professional achievements on
your profile
Endorsements
Endorsements are a quick way to rate your 1st degree connections for specific skills but
have limited value as people who endorse you may never have worked with you. From a
data collection it will enable you to be found against a wider reach of skills
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Cover Photo
LI gives you the option to edit both your background image or cover photo. This is a
fantastic free opportunity and sizeable piece of highly visible real estate for branding
your business. Your cover photo should be eye catching and should contribute to your
story. We certainly recommend personalising this photo rather than using the LinkedIn
default cover image of geometric shapes, we have provided a link below to a selection of
free images6
Fig 8: David Reilly’s cover photo for Let’s learn Digital
7. The Benefit Of A Complete Profile
A key marketing benefit in completing your profile page is to ensure that you will appear in
LI’s search results. By completing an up to date profile page LinkedIn will evaluate its
completeness by ranking its profile strength. Achieving an All Star profile strength will
dramatically improve the potential of you being found in LI’s own search results when
someone searches for your job function.
If you’re profile isn’t yet complete, when you’re logged in, you will see a progress bar on
your profile page to represent your profile strength, as shown in Figure 9. The strength will
increase as you add more content to you your profile. The prompts shown below the
progress bar give recommendations of which profile sections you could add to. Adding to
your profile will improve its discoverability in search results and will increase profile search
appearances.
6 Free LinkedIn profile background images; https://linkedinbackground.com/
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Fig 9: Profile strength bar on a newly started LinkedIn profile
Once your profile is complete and you achieve All Star status the progress bar will no
longer show on your profile. You will still see the dashboard screen which will confirm your
All Star status and give you a quick overview of your profile’s performance.
Why You Need An All Star Profile
As we’ve touched on, having an All Star status greatly impacts your visibility on LinkedIn in
search. If someone searches for you last name or job headline and your profile is ranked as
beginner, intermediate or expert all of the other All Star profiles would rank higher. This
means that your name would be pushed down the search rankings and more than likely
wouldn’t be found.
LinkedIn’s search algorithm filters and displays results in this order:
1. Profile completeness (100% only)
2. Connections in common (shared)
3. Connections by degree (1st degree, then 2nd, and 3rd)
4. Groups in Common (shared)
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How To Achieve An All Star Profile
Profile completeness is a key contributory factor for maximising B2B marketers’ visibility to
any potential clients searching for your skills. LinkedIn’s own research has shown that an
All Star profiles are 40 times more likely to be found. Having an All Star rating will also
substantially improve Google organic rankings, given that LI is a highly trusted,
authoritative domain.
To summarise this section, here are our top tips for achieving an All Star status:
● Provide a professional profile photo
● Build an up to date professional story, in your style
● Write a compelling professional summary
● Include your current work industry and location
● Ensure the industry you select best suits your current situation
● State your last two career positions
● Add at least your last two job roles
● Highlight your relevant qualifications and key milestones within the education
section
● Select a minimum of three skills
● Grow your network so you have at least 50 1st degree connections
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8. Who’s Viewed Your Profile?
Who’s viewed your profile gives you a highly useful business insight into who is looking at
your profile details, who’s viewed your posts, and how you rank in comparison to your 1st
degree connections. This can be a little creepy when you first start using it but it can
provide excellent data and insights for B2B marketers.
You can see who’s viewed your profile by clicking the link on the dashboard on your profile
page. It’s worth noting that the amount you can see on this page will be relative to your
paid account. As we covered in section 4, premium accounts come with a lot of benefits.
With a basic account you’ll only be able to see the most recent viewers in the last 90 days
and basic insights. The Premium accounts unlock a full view and comprehensive insights
which are invaluable to B2B marketers.
Fig 10: Who’s viewed your profile insights shown on the author’s LI dashboard
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Insights For B2B Marketers From Profile Views
Having knowledge of who’s recently viewed your profile allows you to review how your
activity is impacting your profile engagement. Your views will be boosted by profile
completeness, updates and content that is posted, shared and liked.
Being able to analyse profile views provides B2B marketers with some very valuable
insights including the following:
● Quickly and easily understand the type of people and businesses who are showing
interest in you as a representative of the brand you work for. This might include post
campaign analysis to better understand new client activity as a results of your B2B
marketing efforts.
● Access more granular data from views to give you marketing insights on:
- Where your viewers work and live
- The source of their referral and they came to find you
- Which areas of your profile matched keywords they used to search
- Their industry and job titles
● View the number of viewers from the past 90 days along with a percentage
increase/decrease from the previous week.
● Review a graph of weekly viewer trends. You can place your cursor on data points to
see particular insights for each week, see Figure 11.
Figure 11: Graph of weekly viewer trends for a LI profile
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9. LI’s Search Features
One of the most powerful features of the LI platform is its search capability. Advanced
search features used to be unique to premium accounts but since Microsoft's takeover of
in 2016 many have now been integrated into the regular search functionality. These search
features are an exceptionally valuable tool in terms of simplicity, ease of use and the
quality of data you can search for and store.
You can start a simple search from the search bar in the main navigation. From the initial
search results page you can clarify whether you are searching for people, jobs, content,
companies, schools or groups. If you select one of these you are then able to narrow down
your search using a number of filters. All the data captured from LinkedIn’s 560 million
subscribers is captured in a structured format. This means that you can actually specify
query terms for specific fields. The filtered search delivers a much tighter set of marketing
data which contributes to more effective B2B marketing.
Fig 12: Some of the filtering options given for people searches
Once you’ve narrowed down your search you will have the option to save the search.
Remember that if you’re a Premium Business account holder you’ll be able to save more
searches than those with a basic account. LI will allow you to set up an instant email/text
alert to notify you directly when any new subscribers that match your advanced search
criteria have joined their database.
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Advanced Search Features
Although there are filtering and saved search options within the basic search functionality
some of the more advanced features are now only available to people with Sales Navigator
or LI Recruiter accounts. The advanced functions allow you to filter for years of experience,
function, seniority level, interests, company size and when joined. You can also run a
Boolean search on LI by combining keywords. The primary uses of Boolean logic within LI
searches are as follows:
● Quoted searches to retrieve results for an exact phrase
● Excluded search terms by using the word NOT immediately prior to the search term
● Broadened search results by typing the word OR between terms to search for one or
more items in a list
● Narrowed search results by typing the word AND to include all items in a list
● Combined search terms using parentheses
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10. Managing Your Connections
LI’s platform allows you to effectively manage your connections to leverage their potential
for your B2B marketing efforts. You can build your network by inviting other members to
connect with you, accepting invites from others or inviting contacts via email. LI Contacts
Manager gives you the option to periodically synchronise your contacts from Google
Calendar and Google Contacts so you can ensure you integrate all your new connections.
Your LI network is made up of 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections as well as members of
your LI groups. The way you can interact with your connections depends on the degree of
your connection the differing levels explained below:
● 1st degree connections - these are people who you are directly connected to
because either you’ve invited them or you’ve received an invitation from them. You
are able to send them a direct message.
● 2nd degree connections - these are people who are connected to your 1st degree
connections. You can invite them to your network by clicking the connect button on
their profile page or you can contact them through InMail.
● 3rd degree connections - these are people who are connected to your 2nd degree
connections. If their full name is displayed you can invite them to connect. If only the
first letter of their surname is displayed you will only have the option of contacting
them through InMail.
● Members of your LI groups - these people are part of your network purely because
of the shared group. You’re able to send them a private message or contact them
directly through the group.
● Members outside of your network - you won’t be able to contact these members
through InMail although you can always send them a personalised invitation to
connect.
Personalising Your Connection Requests
The key to growing your first degree connections on LI is to personalise your
communications. If you read only one piece of advice in this guide, this perhaps is the most
important one. When you request a new connection you have the opportunity to
personalise your message. In fact, when you hit ‘connect’, LI automatically prompts you to
customise your invitation, as shown in Figure 13. LI tells you that members are more likely
to accept invitations that include a personal note. The default message otherwise will be
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”, and it will be recognised as a
default. This is what most people do when they make a connection request but recipients
need to know why and even better make the request personal and use your imagination
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Fig 13: LI’s prompt to customise your connection requests
Writing a personalised request will have much more chance of resulting in a new and
meaningful relationship. Make sure you’ve reviewed the person’s profile page and write a
message that they can relate to. Below are some top tips to remember when requesting a
new connection:
● Use their name, and spell it correctly.
● If they know you or have met you, let them know where and when.
● Flatter them by commenting on their company, position or experience. If you
haven’t met them before this shows you’ve taken the time to look at their profile
page.
● Tell them who you are and share a little about your background.
● Explain the benefit of your connection and let them know what you’d like to do
moving forward.
● Include a warm sign off.
Sharing Your Profile
Another great way to help grow your network of connections is to make sure you share
your profile with your business contacts. A simple and effective way to do this is add a LI
button, as shown in Figure 14, to your email signature as you may do for other social
media channels. When your recipient clicks the link they'll head straight to your profile.
This is a great way for you to showcase your business skills of your business contacts and
you stand a good chance of being requested to connect.
Fig 14: LinkedIn’s logo that can be used on your email signature
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10. Creating a Company Page
One of the best marketing opportunities for your business is setting up your own Company
Page which is a free service and easy to do. Through a Company Page, you can market your
business to the LI network, tell your company’s story, and give customers and prospects a
place to learn about your business, employees and brand. LI’s own research has shown that
LI members are 50% more likely to purchase from a company which they like and engage
with. Great company pages can be found for businesses large and small, in this section we’ll
cover the key ingredients of a successful page.
For marketing purposes a Company Page is an opportunity for you to:
● Display your brand vision and purpose
● Engage with new advocates and followers
● Drive word of mouth at scale
● Enable followers to join debates regarding relevant industry news
● Promote your latest news
● Allow your employees to act as company ambassadors
● Measure the impact of your updates
● Know when someone mentions your brand
Company Page Layout
The newer version of the Company Page layout is clean and simple with an emphasis on
bigger images. This is great as it makes the information easier to navigate. To make the most
of the image-heavy design you will need to make sure that both your company logo and
cover photo are high quality and a true representation of what you do.
As you’ll see from the author’s Company Page for Let’s Learn Digital in Figure 15, there are
three main tabs that sit below your company logo which each populate different content on
your page:
● Overview - this is where all your core company details live such as about us,
specialities and company size. There is also a quick link to your most recent updates
to keep visitors engaged with the content you are sharing. You’ll need to ensure your
company description, about us, describes your business proposition and is tailored
to your audience.
● Jobs - this is where you are able to promote any positions in your company. It is a
really clean interface allowing job seekers to navigate through open positions. There
is also a section summarising employee insights such as where jobs are based,
seniority level and skills required.
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● Life - this is where you can really sell the culture of your company offering you the
opportunity to highlight your company’s biggest accomplishments and showcase
your employees and their achievements.
Fig 15: The layout for Let’s Learn Digital’s own Company Page
Showcase Pages
Showcase pages are a great way to segment and highlight individual brands within your
company. Ultimately they are extensions of your Company Page, designed for spotlighting a
sub brand, business unit, or service. It makes sense to create a showcase page when you
want to establish a dedicated page to represent a brand, business unit, or specific service.
For marketing purposes this creates dedicated sub-product pages with their own messages
and audience segments. If your goal is to develop a new audience for each product
requiring a Showcase Page then you’ll need to bear in mind the resource needed to
populate these pages and show them off to their full potential
Fig 16; the author’s Showcase Pages delivered on the home page
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Fig 17: Let’s Learn Digital’s Company Showcase Pages
Tagging teammates- (New Feature)
The new Teammates feature ensures that you never miss an update from your team, such as
your manager, teammates reporting to your manager, other teammates, and direct reports.
To access this feature click on mynetwork button at the top of the company page and then
click on teammates function which will display the image overleaf
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Fig 18; new teammates function
How To Promote Your Company Page
As with your profile page, there are some key elements that you need to include to ensure a
Company Page’s success. This includes writing a clear concise company overview,
highlighting your company’s skill set and using images and content to convey your brand
and messages. Below are some tips:
● Make your page easy to find - take advantage of your existing online properties by
linking to your page from your company website, blog, and other social platforms.
Company Pages also rank high in Google organic search so by adding this information
you will have one more property that appears in the top search results. This will
make it even easier for professionals to find you.
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● Allocate consistent content resources and company updates - it’s important once
you decide to have a Company Page, that you resource it properly, which means
posting regular updates to keep your company followers engaged. In terms of
resourcing and frequency of updates a good starting point is to take a look at your
competitors' pages and see if they are active and what kind of engagement they get.
Then use this insight to plan a test period for resourcing, ensuring to test different
content types, styles and frequency.
● Use Analytics to inform your content plan - you can use the excellent Company Page
analytics to track engagement on posts, follower growth, and key metrics and
trends. You can then use this valuable data to optimise, refine, and improve your
content plan.
● Use Sponsored updates to help grow followers - depending on your company size
and available budget a recommendation for growing your Company Page followers is
using sponsored updates. Sponsored updates allow companies to distribute content
to much more targeted demographic groups. LI offers excellent precise targeting for
reaching out to specific audiences. See more on Section 48 regarding LI advertising
Invite Connections to Follow Your LinkedIn Company Page’ (New feature)
Introduced in 2019 company page admins can now inviting their 1st-degree connections to
follow your Company page.
Note Only page admins with fewer than 500 connections are able to invite all their
connections via a 'Select all' option. Admins with more than 500 connections need to
manually select who they want to invite.
“The biggest risk of not having a Company page, especially for B2B, is a loss of
discoverability. LinkedIn is becoming the de facto starting point when searching for partners
and evaluating solutions” Shane Atchison CEO Possible
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12. Create an Event (New Feature)
This is a really useful feature and much overdue in the context of supporting new business
connections. The new events feature provides members with an easy way to either create
and or join relevant professional events that interest them. Still rolling out at the time of
writing LI members can use the feature to connect online with other members so they can
meet them offline in a professional capacity. Anyone can join an event (public or private) if
they receive an invitation from the organizer or an attendee, or from an event that’s been
shared by a connection.
The events function is accessible through the bottom left window of the home page. To
access click on “Events” located above Followed Hashtags
Then fill out the events form
Fig 18 ; events function
Once you create an event to plan your professional gathering, you can manage the event’s
details an update it accordingly
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12. LinkedIn Groups
The 2018 release of the 'New Groups' redesign stripped away any tools and former value
for membership of Groups so for this newly updated guide we are downgrading its
importance. While Groups vary in size ranging from huge groups of over 100,000 to more
specialist groups, such as author’s group Future Thinking in Digital marketing, with a few
hundred subscribers, the problem is that the vast majority of LI Groups at the time of
updating this guide, is only groups with a ‘die- hard’ cadre of 1% to 3% of the overall
membership who still remain engaged. Since the groups redesign many B2B marketing
advocates of groups have either switched to Facebook groups 7or Quora Spaces 8 which
are far more engaged
We include LI groups in this guide as we believe are showing signs of redesigning groups
beyond 2020 but the value of groups is currently in flux. In summary, LI allows individuals
to join up to 100 Groups by using the search feature at the top of your homepage
or viewing suggestions of groups you may like. Your chosen Groups are then displayed as
part of your profile page under the interests section.
Fig 17: Followed groups under your profile page
7
https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-groups-business/
8
https://www.quora.com/q/quora/Introducing-Spaces
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13. Publishing Articles On LinkedIn
LI’s publishing platform is a fantastic unrivalled opportunity to engage your connections,
support your company and build your profile and your authority via your own personal
network or posting on relevant groups.
If you are able to produce consistently engaging content that resonates with readers you
have the potential to:
● Build your credibility and authority- you have the opportunity to build trust with
both existing and prospective clients and stand out as an expert in your field
amongst your peers.
● Show up in search - LinkedIn’s content is ranked for search in a similar way to most
search engines. If your content is scanned and appears to be a good fit for a search
then you will rank highly. In this way, publishing articles creates more ways for LI to
find you and present you to the wider community.
● Become a pro - not only will your contacts and those viewing your profile see your
content but so will people searching for specific experts using the likes of LI
ProFinder.
● Publish rich content such as images and Video content. Since the launch of
LinkedIn native video in 2017, LinkedIn has proven that it’s a great platform for
publishing and distributed Video content
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How To Publish An Article
To publish an article on LinkedIn it’s as simple as clicking ‘write an article’ at the top of
your homepage as shown in Figure 18.
Figure 18: Location of ‘write an article’ button on user’s homepage
You’ll want to consider the following aspects of the article to ensure it’s as effective as it
can be:
● Write a captivating headline - this will grab the initial attention of your intended
readers, be clear but try to evoke curiosity
● Include a standout image - this displays at the top of the article itself and as a
thumbnail elsewhere on the site
● Important; create topical content - be sure to put yourself in the mind of your
reader, try to make the information exciting for them and help answer any
questions they may have. Useful tools for finding subjects include Twitter Search9,
Google Trends10, Quora11 and Answerthepublic12
● Include rich media - photos and videos help to engage readers, great visuals will
often be shared which will further help boost the engagement of your article.
● Include a call to action - this can be as simple as asking people to comment and
give feedback, this encourages viewers to start conversations.
● Be connected - be sure to directly mention people where relevant and use
hashtags to tag your posts
Tagging people in your images New
A useful new feature, added in 2019 allows the tagging of people in your photos
encourages engagement with your images. Tagging people notifies those members that
your photo might be relevant to them and these tagged photos become linked with the
associated members’ profiles. Viewers can click on connection names to navigate to their
profiles.”.
9
https://twitter.com/search-home?lang=en-gb
10
https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US
11
https://www.quora.com/
12
https://answerthepublic.com/
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14. How To Publish Video
As a content platform we are major supporters of using video on LI to engage your
audience. Video has fantastic power to engage because of its use on smart phone devises
on LI mobile devise and the potential to share meaningful content to the right audience via
the mobile app while the recipients are on the move. Our data shows that with the right
video delivers excellent results for pass-along engagement
Fig 18; The author’s use of an MP3 Video posted to his home page. Note the use of
hashtags to maximise the content distribution
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Below list the differing types of Video that can be deployed on LI:
● Embedded videos. For marketers many brands upload video from hosting
platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo, which they then share on LinkedIn.
● LI native video “Native video” is video that is uploaded directly to LinkedIn or
created on the platform itself as shown in fig 18. Unlike embedded videos, LinkedIn
native video autoplays in-feed, which is more likely to grab attention. Metrics show
that Facebook native videos garner 10 times more shares than linked videos, a
boost that likely also holds true for LinkedIn native videos
● Video ads are sponsored company videos that appear in the LinkedIn feed. Video
ad campaigns have greater potential to increase brand awareness, brand
consideration, and lead generation since they are typically served to a larger, more
targeted audience. To find out more about using Campaign manager for Ads go to
LI Advertising
● Using Video on Company pages. Organisations can share genuine perceptions of
the internal culture recruitment, news, and events and in so doing attract the best
talent and drive better engagement with professional audiences. LI’s own data has
shown that a Company Page video is 5 times more likely than other types of
content to start a conversation among members
A recommended low cost tool for creating quality, short videos is promo;
https://promo.com/pricing?utm_content=header
Once your Video is published on your profile page it will then be seen in the news feed of
your first degree connections. Tracking and results are display below the Video as shown
here: 36 views of your Video
Fig 19; Tracking and results for native video as displayed below the video showing above
36 views
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Using Hashtags New
LI hashtags 13were first introduced in 2018 and have been made popular by Instagram
hashtags and Twitter hashtags. You can use them on your summary, updates, articles,
company pages and you can add them when commenting Using hashtags helps you increase
your reach and get your updates in front of people outside your immediate network
without needing to be connected, get comments or get likes on your status updates. This
raises brand awareness on LI for your company and your personal brand.
How do they work? When you create an update to share with your network from your own
homepage, you can add your own hashtag by typing # and the word or phrase directly in
your post. You can also click on # Add hashtag at the bottom of the share box and type your
desired hashtag.
You can also use hashtags by following areas of personal interest, you’ll start seeing
relevant updates in your feed that include those hashtag topics. Clicking on a hashtag will
take you to the hashtag’s feed as shown below where you can see content related to the
hashtag topic
Fig 20; The author interest in posts and content around #Blockchain Training shows there
are 210 followers
Hashtags are very useful when you operate in a niche industry and subject which will
connect you to an online community that’s passionate about your vertical or industry.
Strike a balance by using popular general hashtags, too.
While there are no limits on the use of hashtags, at the time of writing, we recommend a
maximum of 3 in your from a visual UX perspective
13
Complete Guide to using Hashtags: https://blog.hootsuite.com/linkedin-hastags-guide/
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15. LinkedIn Live (New)
LI responded to the increasing use of Video by launching “LinkedIn Live” in Sept 2019 giving
people and organizations the ability to broadcast real-time to their network in real time. This
service was launched as a beta first option by invite-only
Fig 21: LinkedIn Live experience on through the mobile app
What makes LI Live an interesting product compared to other platforms is the professional
context. LI have been able to cultivate a very trustworthy environment on their platform
which implies a very different mindset compared to other social media platforms. Since all
posted content is linked back to the professional ID, people are very cognizant of what they
put out and how they present themselves. This has the potential of making the content
presented on LI Live if deployed correctly more credible and more valuable to the audience.
The first LinkedIn live, witnessed by the author, while impressive based on the engagement
volumes has been poor regarding the quality of delivery and non-existent interaction with
chat. As a live video service it needs to improve considerably but holds fantastic future
potential for live streaming for events or educating your audience. If Jeff Weiner is reading
this guide I recommend testing this product to a small group the iron out the chat function
before a wider release. One to watch in 2020
LinkedIn Live beta test LI is still accepting applications to be a part of beta-stage testing
here14
“Live video streaming allows broadcasters to share videos with their network in real time.
We're currently piloting live video streaming with a few broadcasters, so the feature isn't
available to all members or Pages”
14
https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/ask/lv-app
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16. Employee Advocacy and Elevate
A key challenge for B2B marketers in larger organisations is how to harness the content
skills and network connections of employees. Every employee has the potential to be a
brand advocate and to influence the market. To make it easier, LI created an app called
Elevate with a goal to enable companies to curate content, push it to their employees, and
encourage them to share it through their LinkedIn and Twitter networks.
The service is a paid employee advocacy platform and hence this is the domain or larger
companies who can afford it. This type of tool is particularly useful for recruiting staff.
Empowering employees to share content increases their reach and engagement and
allows businesses to attract talent and sell their products and services more effectively.
Statistics shared by LinkedIn include:
● Social enterprises are 58% more likely to attract top talent and 20% more likely to
retain them
● Content shared by employees has two times higher engagement versus when
shared by a company
● Salespeople who regularly share content are 45% more likely to exceed quota
LI and social media has given businesses a way to scale the voices of their employees, who
will always be their best advocates but companies need to take care in how this handled.
As employees tell or share stories the aggregate sharing effect can be very substantial.
How Does Elevate Work?
LinkedIn Elevate allows employees to find articles and content that is relevant to your
industry and company and share them with your network. You can either do this on
desktop or via the Elevate mobile app, giving you even more opportunity to share content
on the go. Sharing relevant, smart content can help establish you and your business as
experts in your field.
Fig 22: A step by step guide to Elevate explaining how it works
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Through Elevate, users can see how their respective networks is engaging with shares and
what's making the most impact. Additional features allow you to add sources, manage
broadcast schedules and bookmark articles you find on the web. There are three roles
available within the platform to help control permissions and sharing capabilities:
1. Admin role - control topics and permission settings
2. Curator role - find content, broadcast to Elevate feed and approve it to be shared by
employees via social networks
3. Employee role - share content from Elevate feed to social networks
“As employee advocacy becomes more important, what you’re going to see is marketers
being more involved because really employee advocacy is a component of your brand.” —
Eric Martin, Director-Marketing Programs, SalesLoft
If you work for a small company or cannot afford Elevate, we recommend using this
guide to share suitable tips and content ideas that work with a smaller team
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17. Advertising on LinkedIn
LI ads, referred to as its B2B marketing solutions, account for a growing proportion of LI
revenue indicating its growing importance to Microsoft in growing new revenues. When
used correctly the ads can be a very effective B2B marketing tool but require an
investment of considerable time upfront, patience and testing differing creative formats to
get it right
Types Of LinkedIn Advertising
LI offers a suite of marketing solutions to help connect businesses with their audience of
active, influential professionals. Before launching into your ad campaign though, it’s vital
to understand the different types of ads that are on offer. How you use these will depend
on your business objectives whether it be to focus on leads or to raise awareness.
LinkedIn’s self-service all-in-one advertising solution is relatively user-friendly once you are
familiar with its nuances. The Campaign Manager allows you to manage and optimise your
advertising by setting up your budgets, selecting clicks or impressions, and stopping ads at
any time. Meanwhile, dynamic visual reporting gives you a detailed breakdown of your
campaigns. The ad formats supported by the Campaign Manager are Sponsored Content,
Sponsored InMail and Text Ads. LI Advertising Partner Solutions provide display ads with
four different formats, giving the opportunity for more creativity within ads. Meanwhile,
Dynamic Ads are also available through account-managed advertising. Below we have
summarised the benefits of the four primary LinkedIn ad types to B2B marketers.
1. Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content appears within your LinkedIn feed amongst user curated content. They
are similar to promoted posts seen on other social media platforms. Sponsored Content is
promoting, and in turn amplifying, a piece content you already have on your Company
Page. You are able to sue more text and larger images to entice users, as shown in the
example in Figure 20. Sponsored content is a great way to raise awareness of events,
generate leads or traffic and drive engagement.
The author’s own experience with Paid Ads has revealed that Sponsored Content has driven
the most engagement and leads compared to other LI ad products based on clear return on
investment analysis. In the last 18 months (May 2018- Dec 2019) the cost per clicks have
increased substantially from £4-5 to £7£-£8 so any campaigns need to be carefully planned.
In the context of B2B lead times tend to be far longer than consumer purchase lead times
marketing planners to need to consider the cost issue carefully
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Figure 23: Example of NatWest’s clever use of Sponsored Content and Video
2. Sponsored InMail
Sponsored InMail allows you to send personalised messages directly to recipients’ inboxes.
Unlike a normal email campaign delivery rate will be 100% as the campaign will only
deliver to active members. Content can be tailored for the audience and designs are
responsive to ensure key messaging and calls to action are prominent on all devices.
Sponsored InMail is ideal for driving B2B leads, highlighting special promotions and
building engagement with valuable prospects.
3. Text Ads
These are the equivalent of PPC ads on a search engine and appear at the top of LinkedIn
pages. You can create multiple versions to allow you to test and adjust accordingly. It is
worth noting that the ads only work on desktop. Text Ads are great for driving brand
awareness and as you only pay based on the number of clicks or impressions you can
ensure the value of your marketing spend.
4. Dynamic Ads
Dynamic Ads derive information from LinkedIn member profiles to create highly
personalised ads. Users are able to send you their details directly through the ad without
even having to type their details using Lead Gen Forms. As shown in Figure 21, a great
advantage is that only two ads show at any one time, giving your ad more chance to be
noticed. Dynamic ads are great for advertising job openings and getting users to follow
your page.
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Fig 24: Example text ads and dynamic ads on a user’s profile page.
5. Lead Accelerator
Once your other acquisition channels higher up the funnel have done their jobs, LinkedIn
Lead Accelerator enables you to nurture your prospects and helps you design campaigns
and maximises your chance of achieving the ultimate goal: lead conversions, pipeline
contribution, and customer acquisition.
Lead Accelerator is part of LinkedIn’s suite of marketing solutions that allows you to
nurture your prospects. By ensuring only the most relative content is served to the optimal
high-value segments anywhere online, you can deliver high-quality leads to your sales
team. Lead Accelerator is a fantastic tool for B2B marketers, as highlighted in Figure 25.
Figure 25: Highlights of LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator marketing tool
“When I ran marketing at a mobile startup, we routinely compared the impact of each
channel at each funnel stage. We plotted channels along two dimensions: volume of names
and cost per lead. LinkedIn topped all other lead sources—across both dimensions and at
every stage of the funnel. When it came to content distribution and lead generation,
LinkedIn quickly became the first dollar budgeted each quarter.”
Joe Chernov – Former VP of Marketing at Kinvey, now VP of Content at Hubspot
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LinkedIn Targeting Options
The real marketing value for using LI ads is in its accurate precise targeting options. While
Google has wider reach and Facebook has more categories for pure targeting, nothing
compares to the accurate targeting provided by LinkedIn. LI enables you to target and drill
down on very specific attributes such as industry, location, skills, job title or even groups.
This means that you can ensure your message gets in front of the right people when they
are most engaged.
In practice this means if, as an example, you wish to target marketing directors who have
worked in insurance in the last 3 years you can configure your ads exactly to that audience
with a direct call to action and be reasonably sure that they will be the ones who see and if
interested click your ad. As a consequence it can take longer to make the campaigns work
but the quality of respondents will likely be higher. This is because LinkedIn users input the
targeting data themselves; if they work in a bank, they put in their profile that they work in
a bank.
Fig 25: An Introduction to LinkedIn Ad Targeting
Campaign Manager
Accessing LinkedIn’s ad platform enables you to manage your campaigns through a single
interface accessible through its Campaign Manager interface. Using Campaign Manager
has become easier to manage ads previously a time-consuming task but updates this year
have made the tool much more intuitive. The layout is now very similar to Facebook’s Ads
Manager tool, which has seen huge success. This, in turn, lowers the education curve for
users to learn a new format when advertising on both platforms.
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Fig 26: The author’s Campaign Manager Interface divided into Accounts, Campaign
Groups, Campaigns, Ads
Key features within Campaign Manager include:
● Streamlined interface - an easier layout to facilitate monitoring and comparing
campaign performance
● Easier asset management - to help organise your content
● Added insights - helping to identify key performance indicators and focus ad spend
● Personalised home screen - customisable options to ensure you see the data and
key metrics most relevant to your business
● Simpler workflow - a more intuitive navigation with increased search options
Introduction of Video for Sponsored content
Adding to the option of publishing Video (14) LI also introduced the video option for
Sponsored Content and Company Pages. Initial tests by the author using Sponsored
Updates reveals that short video clips for highly targeting distribution can deliver a much
higher engagement and pass-along impact.
This supported by LI’s own research showing that their subscribers spend almost 3 times
more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content.
With Company Page video, organisations can now share genuine perceptions of the
internal culture recruitment, news, and events and in so doing attract the best talent, and
drive better engagement with professional audiences right from their Company Page. LI’s
own data has shown that a Company Page video is 5 times more likely than other types of
content to start a conversation among members, based on results in their beta program.
The quality of video is not always easy to produce, be ruthless with the message and keep
your video clips short and relevant to target audience
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15. How To Set Up A Successful Ad Campaign
Once you are in Campaign manager platform it’s as simple as selecting ‘Create Ad’ to get
started. If you’re new to Campaign Manager you will need to set up an account and at
least one campaign to be able to start creating ads.
Next step is to create your ads. Below, are some tips to get started to ensure you produce
a successful campaign.
Get Creative with your Display Ads
You will need a strong engaging creative, with a clear benefit and call to action to produce
the results you want. LI ads are short, just 75 characters for the description and 25
characters for the headline. Every character counts so use your words wisely. Images need
to be high-quality and to add value to your message. In terms of choosing words to
maximise clicks the following is a good guide:
● Be useful to the reader
● Choose words which convey a sense of urgency
● Show that the benefit of your offer is unique
● Include a call to action
Fig 27 Sponsored Content Ad with clear call to action
For your first campaign using ad manager we recommend creating multiple versions to
test which ad gets the best results. Vary the text, call to action and images with up to 15
different ads within a campaign.
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Target Your Audience
One of the best features of advertising on LI is its powerful granularity and highly focused
targeting. You are able to select your audience based on their self-reported information.
Within Campaign Manager you will be able to see the estimated audience size and can
ensure its broad enough to get the initial results you need. To find more targets, LinkedIn’s
Audience Expansion tool uses algorithms to find similar audiences to ones you’ve
specified.
Set Your Budget
You can control your daily ad spend budget and the ad platform displays ads at different
rates during the day depending on when users are most active on the platform. 50% of
your budget might be spent in the morning, with 25% going to the afternoon and another
25% at night. When you reach your daily budget limit, your ads stop showing for that day.
One of the criticisms marketers have of LI ads is the high minimum cost per click, currently
5-7 USD, and daily minimum per campaign, currently 10 + USD). This can be expensive for
small businesses that are testing it when compared to Google AdWords and Facebook Ads
All ad cost are paid for globally in US dollars. You can run your ads as a cost per thousand
impressions (CPM) or a cost per click (CPC). Our recommendation for B2B marketers is to
run ads on a CPC rather than CPM basis as it is a more cost effective performance based
model. This is because given the low click volume and high impressions from those who
see the advert, you will achieve far more value from buying clicks rather than impressions.
You can read more about LinkedIn’s advertising costs and bid types here.
Fig 28: Minimum bidding options available on LinkedIn’s Campaign manager
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Measure Your Performance
It is important to define your approximate advertising goals and set your expectations
before launching your test campaign. For testing Display ads on average perform at a
0.03% to 08% as a realistic click-through-rate (CTR) while sponsored updates will perform
better with an average of 0.8 to 1.0% CTR. Be realistic and understand the B2B sales cycle
is a much longer considered purchase and you are capturing prospects at the
consideration or starting phase of the purchase cycle. Thus we recommend a period of
testing performance, refinement and patience to fully optimise click performance
Below describes two scenarios for tracking your ad performance:
Either 1) If your goal is simply to generate clicks to your website at a certain cost per click
(CPC), you will need to track the number of clicks you've received against your total budget
spent within Campaign Manager.
or 2) If your goal is to generate leads, enquiries, or sales that result from the clicks that you
receive, you need to track users’ actions on your website and attribute those actions to
your ads on LinkedIn. The most common way is to track and configure your LinkedIn ads
into your Google Analytics data.
Configuring your Account with Google Analytics
To configure your LinkedIn ads within your Google Analytics dashboard you will need to do
the following:
1. Tag your URLs - you will need to use the Google Analytics URL Builder to tag your
URLs with tracking parameters. Insert your landing page at the top, then fill out the
rest of the details.
2. Use your tagged URL - take the URL the Google Analytics tool spits out and insert it
in your LinkedIn ad as the destination URL.
3. Create goals in Google Analytics - if you don't have it set up already, you will need
to create goals in Google Analytics for the conversions you want to track.
4. Create a Custom Report - you should set up a Custom Report in Google Analytics to
allow you to keep track of your campaign and optimise your results.
In summary, to get the best performance value from LI advertising platform experience,
patience and testing really matters. You will need to evaluate content performance by
audience segments by considering clicks, conversion rate and highest ROI. At the worst if
your ads don’t achieve conversions you will find this a great strategy on capturing feedback
about whether various business segments find your product compelling
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17. Content Marketing
LI is primary platform for B2B Content marketing and thus worthy of special attention.
Extracting the most value involves a mix of content planning, tracking performance,
monitoring and evolving your LinkedIn content strategy should be viewed as an iterative
process. LI has evolved into a significant visual platform allowing for more images, videos
and documents through SlideShare content excellent for demonstrating your company’s
work.
Creating and showcasing content is only one part of the puzzle. Getting your content
distributed and into the hands of the right person is also critical for delivering meaningful
results. Please refer to section 14 which summarises the ad formats available to optimise
distribution
LinkedIn conducted its 15own research in 2014 on 2,701 members who actively share and
consume content to better understand the triggers behind content consumption. The key
findings remain relevant today and are worth noting:
● On average, LinkedIn subscribers spend about 1 workday consuming professionally
relevant content as a way to educate themselves on their industry news and trends.
● Content must be mobile-friendly. On average of 43 percent of unique visiting
LinkedIn members came through mobile
● Content creators must deliver on three consumers 3 key needs: to enhance sector
knowledge, spark conversations and build authority.
Tips And Best Practice For Content Format
Below we have summarised the main types of content and their benefits to your B2B
marketing efforts.
1. Publishing content
With the integration of LI’s publishing platform, as described in section 12, into the main
homepage feed, you essentially have your own on-site blog.
2. Leveraging SlideShare on your profile
Including SlideShare presentations, on your profile or Company Page is a great marketing
play. This enables you to showcase your projects, ideas, research and helps you build your
reputation as a thought leader in your niche.
15Linkedin Research on Content Consumption
https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/marketing-
solutions/global/en_US/campaigns/pdfs/2014-prof-content-report-en-us-v2.pdf
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3. Images and visual content
Quality images and visual content are also very effective for generating engagement on
Company pages as shown in Figure 26 and 27.
Fig 29: PwC’s great use of Video on their Company Page
Fig 30: BBC’s clever use of compelling visuals to generate conversation
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4. Video
Online Video humanises you and your brand. When done well, a video can trigger powerful
emotions that lead to increased engagement and trust. As such, video is an excellent
medium for building trusted connections via LinkedIn.
Our recommendation is to link videos directly to YouTube to maximise distribution and
ensure they play directly within the LinkedIn feed. This is supported by LinkedIn’s own
research which shows that videos hosted through YouTube usually result in 75% higher
share rate.
Fig 31: Unilever use of video for recruitment and Old Mutual Sponsored product Video
18. Maximising Content Visibility
Maximising content distribution is important for content, below is some examples:
1. Hosting content on your personal profile
Publishing and SlideShare enable you to showcase your content on your own profile to
make sure it is seen by your first degree connections.
2. Distribute on Twitter, Facebook groups and Quora Spaces
Make sure, to maximise distribution when you are sharing content, that you include your
Twitter handle on your home page. In addition use Facebook groups or the relatively new
Quora Spaces16
16
Quora Spaces:https://www.quora.com/Can-I-start-a-Quora-Space-If-so-how-do-I-create-
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3. Share of content in LI groups
Conversations in a relevant LI groups can be a great opportunity for distribution by
prompting group discussions to motivated group members you can build excellent trust
with new advocates
4. Use advertising to distribute your content
To maximise distribution you can use a small paid advertising budget. This can really work at
generating company followers and getting engagement to a relevant event
5. Use analytics to understand what is working
Use company engagement stats on your LI analytics available to all Company Page admins
A huge amount of information is given to detail the engagement for each post as shown
below including date published and audience and performance.
Fig 32: Performance of company post in the last 15 days
one
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19. LinkedIn Mobile Apps
Mobile access for LI is now at 57% significant increase when LI went public in May 2011,
only 8% of its users were on mobile
LinkedIn have invested heavily in mobile pursuing a multi-app strategy splitting its core
desktop service into a selection of specialised apps for mobile, which we have
summarised below:
● The 'flagship' LinkedIn App - accessible on all mobile browsers allows users to
browse through their contacts and professional connections, view their profile and
employment history and offer recommendations and endorsements. It is efficient
and very easy to use as a general LinkedIn app experience.
● LinkedIn SlideShare - easy access to over 18 million professional presentations,
infographics and videos
● LinkedIn Learning - giving you opportunity to learn the most in-demand business
knowledge taught by industry experts
● LinkedIn Recruiter - premium app to help you find talent on the go
● LinkedIn Sales Navigator - allowing you to engage with the right prospects wherever
you work in real-time
● LinkedIn Elevate - discover interesting articles, share them and build your reputation
LinkedIn’s mobile app plan is driven by a recognition that the most successful apps are the
ones that are product specific simple to use and fulfil a specific purpose. Thus this
segmented mobile app strategy is likely to continue as their product offering continues to
expand.
53
20. LinkedIn Partnership Programme
With LinkedIn’s Partnership Programme, you can use LinkedIn’s API to create custom
branded experiences that allow members to engage using their LinkedIn login. This
simplifies the need for them to enter additional data. Even more importantly, by using the
API to access LinkedIn’s rich data, you can tailor the user experience based on profile data
and encourage virility by triggering your app to publish updates about a user’s activity on
site.
LinkedIn APIs can be used in four ways:
1. Allow members to represent their professional identity via their LinkedIn profile
using Profile API.
2. Enable members to post certifications directly to their LinkedIn profile
3. Enable members to share professional content to their LinkedIn network from
across the Web leveraging the Share API.
4. Enable companies to share professional content to LinkedIn with the Company API.
Access and approval to use these APIs will only be granted to developers signed up to the
developer programme. The programme gives you additional API functionality and data
access, increased call limits and dedicated support.
54
21 Summary
LinkedIn will continue to grow in importance as a B2B platform and its continued
improvements, as described in this guide, make it an absolute priority not just for B2B
Marketers but for business developments professionals, senior business leaders and
recruiters.
LinkedIn is now the de-facto prime B2B platform for sharing content, with Live Video and
hashtags validating its continual importance for the owners. Whether it is with videos,
sharing topical updates or your updating your personal achievements on your profile,
sharing who you are authentically and communicating that consistently has never been
more important in this data-saturated world.
We hope you found this guide useful any comments or feedback
55
22. Further Reading:
Andy Foote’s excellent website about LinkedIn https://www.linkedinsights.com
LinkedIn’s Q and A help section https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin
Let’s Learn Digital LinkedIn Guide https://www.letslearndigital.com/resources/
Contact Details
David Reilly; david@letslearndigital.com
Mobile: 07989 985922
For training on Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality or Corporate
Innovation go to
https://www.letslearndigital.com/courses

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LinkedIn B2B Marketing User Guide 2020

  • 2. 2 Contents An Overview Of This Guide………………………………………………………………………….…4 What Is LinkedIn……………………………………………………………….………………………..…5 Why is LinkedIn So Important To B2B Marketing………………………..……………...…7 Premium Subscriber Accounts…………………………………………………………………....…9 Building A Compelling Profile…………………………………………………………………...…11 The Benefit Of A Complete Profile…………………………………………….…………………16 Achieving an All Star Profile………..…………………………………………….…………………18 Who’s Viewed Your Profile………………………………..…………………..……………………19 LinkedIn Search Feature……………………………………..………………………………....……21 Managing Your Connections………………………………..……………..…………………….…21 Advanced Search Functions ………………………………..……………..…………………….…22 Creating A Company Page……………………………………..……………………………….……25 LinkedIn Groups……………………………………………………..………….…………………....…29 Creating an Event (new)……………………..……………………………………………………….30 Using Groups ………………………………………………………………………………………………31 Publishing Articles On LinkedIn………………………………..…….……………………………32 Using Hashtags (new)………………………………….…………..…….……………………………36 Live Video (new)………………………………………………………………………………………….37 LinkedIn Elevate………………………………………………………..…………….…………....……39 Advertising On LinkedIn……………………………………………..………………....……………40 Setting up an Ad Campaign……..……………………………..……..………………………….…45 Content Marketing…………………………………………………..……..………………………..…48 LinkedIn Mobile Apps………………………………………………….……..……………………….52 Summary ………………………………….……………………………………………………………..…54 Further Reading…………………………..…………………………………..............................55
  • 3. 3 About The Author: David Reilly David Reilly is an entrepreneur, technologist and founder of Let’s learn Digital. Let's Learn Digital provide quality training in digital marketing strategy, corporate innovation and emerging technologies like Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning and Virtual Reality He writes for Econsultancy and Smart Insights on emerging digital technology, B2B marketing and what it means to thrive in a digital world.
  • 4. 4 1. An Overview Of This Guide The guide begins by explaining how to build your B2B marketing fundamentals on LinkedIn (LI) including an explanation of building a quality profile that people notice, the pros and cons of differing subscribers accounts utilising recommendations and how these collective elements contribute to your LI profile status. LI increasingly facilitates how members stay informed through sharing news, knowledge and relevant content. This user guide is designed to be instructional by examining how LI provides a formidable commercial opportunity for content marketing including the use of Publishing, SlideShare and Company Pages all underpinned by robust tracking and measurement. For Marketing Solutions we have examined the advertising opportunities with Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads and Display Ads to understand the elements of successful campaign execution Hidden commercial opportunities for marketers are recommended throughout including new features Live Video, hashtags and advanced search. Lastly we will examine where LI is headed in the future now that it is part of the Microsoft family
  • 5. 5 3. What is LinkedIn? LI is the non-sexy and often ignored sleeping giant of the social networks. Today, at the time of updating this guide, LI has over 630 million users from more than 200 countries. This represents a huge percentage of the world's professionals and offers the largest online group of influential, affluent and educated people of any online platform. Its membership base is growing rapidly, almost 50% of the UK’s population have subscribed and the user growth shows no sign of slowing down. The network offers a formidable platform for savvy B2B marketers seeking to propel their marketing to new customers in a trusted, highly respected environment. The US has the largest user base, with 177 million members followed by India with 62 million. The biggest growth in the last few years has been in China, home to over 20% of the world’s professionals, where LinkedIn membership has grown rapidly to 48 million. The UK is the fifth biggest user group with over 27 million users. The company mission is “to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”. However, LI is not solely about connecting individuals, it is also provides a very powerful range of B2B marketing products which we will examine including: 1. Marketing Solutions - including Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads, Display Ads and Lead Accelerator. 2. Content Marketing and distribution - including LinkedIn Publishing, SlideShare, Company Pages, Groups and Elevate. 3. Multi-platform access - including LinkedIn’s mobile apps and Partnership Programme The B2B marketing process of reaching, nurturing and converting prospects has become harder due to the number of devices available to consumers. Multiple devices make the sales funnel and conversion path much more complex. LI addresses this challenge by offering an end-to-end product suite of advertising products reaching customer at the top of the funnel down to the final conversion. The image below displays how the advertising products, defined as marketing Solutions, impact every stage of the typical sales funnel: “LinkedIn, unlike Facebook and Twitter, is all about business. The mindset and intent are naturally more receptive to solving business problems than the kind of socializing and sharing that happens elsewhere” Brian Clarke Founder of Copyblogger
  • 6. 6 1Fig1: Lead Accelerator: Part of the LI Marketing Solutions Full-Funnel Platform There are currently over 13 million companies with pages on LI, all vying for the attention of the more than half a billion users. Company pages represent a huge opportunity for businesses to establish their brands and expand their business network. Many professionals register on LI and dabble in using it without realising its full potential. 1 Source: LinkedIn Advertising and Marketing Solutions, Lead Accelerator https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/g/en-us/pdf/lms/linkedin-lmn-en-us.pdf
  • 7. 7 4. Why Is LinkedIn So Important For B2B Marketing? LI has reported that an incredible 90% of all social media traffic to B2B websites comes from a combination Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. LinkedIn accounts for over half this traffic, making it substantially more effective than its non-business-focused counterparts. LI is often perceived as a social platform primarily benefiting recruiters and candidates. This perception is probably due to its Talent Solutions product which, based on its last available figures, before technology giant Microsoft (MSFT) acquired LinkedIn Corporation for $27.0 billion, shows recruitment contributed a total of 65% of Q1 earnings back in 2016. The other key revenue segments as shown below include Premium Subscriptions and Marketing Solutions making up advertising and sponsored updates. The most recent earnings announcement and performance 2for LI showed that Marketing Solutions was the fastest growing revenue segment up 44% year on year (Oct 2018 to Oct 2019) Fig 2: Source of revenues 2016 Q1 2 LinkedIn Earnings; October 24th 2019 https://news.linkedin.com/2019/January/linkedin-business- highlights-from-microsofts-fy20-q1-earnings
  • 8. 8 It remains to be seen in 2020 and beyond whether Microsoft will shift their commercial priorities from Talent Solutions to other revenues such as Premium Subscriptions or Marketing Solutions. They are certainly introducing better features for the latter but the marketing solutions has yet to evenly compare by performance, engagement and ROI with facebook Ad Platform and Google Adwords on a cost per click and performance basis. We should also evaluate LI’s importance in the context of its global growth figures since its launch in 2003. The UK’s usage has grown consistently over the last 17 years. From just two million registered users in 2012 the UK’s user base to a staggering current figure of 27 million and growing, making it the fifth biggest user base globally. Fig 3: LinkedIn Global members, Q1 2020
  • 9. 9 5. Premium Subscriber Accounts Everyone starts on LI with a free, basic account. However, although LinkedIn offers a lot of amazing tools for free, the site also offers upgrades to a variety of paid-for premium accounts. These accounts include Premium Business, Sales Navigator, Premium Career and Recruiter Lite ranging in cost from £24.98 to £79.99 per month as shown on the next page Fig 4: Summary of LinkedIn’s Premium Accounts The key question to ask is what addition benefits will a paid account bring to you? Your choice of paid accounts comes down to your individual objectives be it expanded business insights, the capability to generate a database of prospects or hiring top employees. Also a premium account also includes LI Learning, formerly Lynda integrated in 2015, giving access to thousands of excellent training videos Tips For B2B Marketers We recommend as a minimum investing in the Premium Business Plus account which costs £360 per annum or £30 a month, to unlock features that will greatly augment LI’s power as a marketing tool to you. Premium Business will give you the following vital additional services: ● Unlimited profile browsing - not only will you be able to see full profiles of everyone in your network, you’ll gain access to professionals outside of your network. ● See who’s viewed your profile - unlike the basic option allowing you to see only five viewers over the last 90 days, premium allows you to see everyone, giving you the opportunity to measure the impact of your outreach efforts. ● Gain access to 15 InMail messages - you’ll be able to contact 15 professionals via direct messages even if you’re not connected. InMail allows those unused Inmails to accumulate to the following month if they are not all used up
  • 10. 10 ● Greater insights for research- review unique and timely data about the companies and people you are interested in allowing you to research and evaluate business opportunities. These paid features will make a huge difference to your marketing efforts making the investment worthwhile. All premium accounts offer a free month’s trial which gives you opportunity to test which options work best for you
  • 11. 11 6. Building a Compelling Profile Before we examine LI’s features and premium account capabilities it’s vital for you to create a compelling profile. Your profile page represents an excellent opportunity for presenting yourself as professional, approachable and trustworthy. This is the gateway to your professional network and the first visual asset that current and new connections will read and draw conclusions from. Therefore investing time into crafting your profile is the most important foundation task for using LI effectively. In this section we’ll cover the key areas you need to focus on to make your profile stand out. Fig 5: Example of the author’s profile page using a branded image for Let’s Learn Digital Profile Photo Displaying a quality photo really matters, first impressions count. Your photo should encapsulate who you are if someone was to meet you and didn’t know you. Invest in a professional photograph with good lighting and an inviting smile. LinkedIn’s own research has found that members with profile photos receive 14 times more profile views than those that don’t
  • 12. 12 Public Profile URL When you sign up for a LinkedIn account you will be given a default profile URL. The URL that is assigned to you will not usually be easy to remember or share either verbally or in print. Customising your URL is an important part of enhancing your personal brand and makes it easier for people to find you online. Custom profiles are available on a first come first serve basis. Make sure that yours is personal and relevant to you and your business, for example by using your company name. Below is the URL for the author’s page, as shown in Figure 5, https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidreilly/. Headline By default, LinkedIn populates your profile headline with your current job title and employer, and many people don’t change it. However, your headline is a unique opportunity to succinctly express and showcase your speciality, value proposition or personal brand. People read web pages from the top down so the headline is the first opportunity to really build trust and to grab people’s attention. The headline you choose will also enable you to optimise your profile against what potential connectors, or customers are searching for thus raising your profile in your network. Contact Information A link to your contact information can be found on the right hand side of your profile card, see Figure 5 above. You should also include your up to date phone number, email address, Twitter handle, and up to two work related websites. About (Previously Summary) LI replaced the ‘summary’ heading in 2019 to ‘About’ Your personal about description remains one of the most important sections on your profile page. It is the only area on your profile where you can define yourself from scratch, evoke curiosity and interest from others, and encourage people to want to connect with you. Consequently, you need to ensure you project an authentic description of yourself and a true reflection of your professional abilities. You’ll find your about below your profile card information, you can see the start of the author about section in Figure 5. To create a stand-out career summary you will want to consider the following aspects: ● Articulate your operating principles and the things that energise you; for example, in David’s profile this equates to “digital innovation, new disruptive technologies and training”. ● Describe your skills, experience and things you do better than anyone else. ● Make the content easy to read by dividing content into short bullet points. ● Think about any point of differentiation or a snippet of your personal interests.
  • 13. 13 ● Write your about description as if you were taking a moment to introduce yourself to potential clients. ● Think about the profile of your readers and what information they would be interested in reading. Although written back in 2013 Andy Foote’s excellent article ‘3 Stunningly Good LinkedIn profiles’ 3has stood the test of time and has been shared by over 2000 people. He demonstrates how choosing the right words can be incredibly effective although highlights the challenges of doing so without appearing arrogant or self-absorbed. He suggests asking yourself if you are in command of your narrative and whether your summary does you professional justice. On LI it’s not enough to expect your experience to speak for itself, you need a narrative to ensure you professional prospectus is unique and engaging. Your summary is not only your chance to say what your good at, it’s also your opportunity to differentiate yourself from your peers in a remarkable and memorable way. Adding SlideShare Presentations A stand-out presentation can add a powerful addition way of conveying your professional credentials. SlideShare is the world’s largest professional content-sharing community with over 70 million unique visitors a month and you have the option to add SlideShare presentations within the summary, experience and education sections of you profile to enhance the reader’s experience and understanding of you and your brand. Integrating SlideShare presentations 4into your profile page is a powerful quick win feature and an often underutilised tool which can really make a difference in displaying your professional credibility and building trust with profile viewers and new connections. Through the SlideShare feature you can share: presentations, videos, infographics, Upload portfolios, conference talks, PDFs, marketing and sales presentations, and add audio to make webinars. Econsultancy’s CEO, Ashley Friedlein’s summary, shown in Figure 6, highlights the effectiveness and added value of including presentations. “In a recent conference, I was asked my opinion on what is the biggest opportunity in B2B Content Marketing? Without hesitation, I answered “SlideShare.” Michael Brenner, Vice President of Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP 3 Andy Foot’s article 3 stunning Good Linkedin Profile Sumaries: http://www.linkedinsights.com/3- stunningly-good-linkedin-profile-summaries/ 4 How to integrate slideshare into linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-integrate-slideshare- your-content-marketing-strategy-dan-galante/
  • 14. 14 Fig 6: Example of Ashley’s Friedlein’s summary page, integrating SlideShare presentations Recommendations A powerful tactic to validate your professional credentials is to include quality recommendations from former business colleagues. This reinforces your brand credentials, demonstrates your capabilities and really helps you build a body of credible professional opinion. LI makes it very easy for its users to request recommendations from their connections. If you’ve yet to have any recommendations then you can ask for one by visiting the profile of one of your connections as shown in Figure 7. Select ‘More’ at the top of their page, choose ‘Request a Recommendation’5 and follow the prompts. Once you’ve got at least one recommendation a recommendations section will show up on your profile. 5 Request a recommendation: https://www.linkedin.com/help/testing/answer/96/requesting-a-recommendation?lang=en
  • 15. 15 Fig 7: The pop-up screen on requesting a recommendation from a connection You can ask for one by visiting the profile of one of your connections. Select ‘More’ at the top of their page, choose ‘Request a Recommendation’ and follow the prompts. Once you’ve got at least one recommendation a recommendations section will show up on your profile. Education The education section in simple terms allows you to list any relevant qualifications that you have support your professional profile. An added benefit is by including this data it makes your profile easier to find for searchers and helps you reconnect to expand your network. In addition, include full information of all the institutes you’ve studied at, such as Universities, to allow LI to categorise you within the education Alumni Licenses & Certifications Certifications are a great way to showcase your knowledge and professional achievements on your LI profile. are a great way to showcase your knowledge and professional achievements on your profile Endorsements Endorsements are a quick way to rate your 1st degree connections for specific skills but have limited value as people who endorse you may never have worked with you. From a data collection it will enable you to be found against a wider reach of skills
  • 16. 16 Cover Photo LI gives you the option to edit both your background image or cover photo. This is a fantastic free opportunity and sizeable piece of highly visible real estate for branding your business. Your cover photo should be eye catching and should contribute to your story. We certainly recommend personalising this photo rather than using the LinkedIn default cover image of geometric shapes, we have provided a link below to a selection of free images6 Fig 8: David Reilly’s cover photo for Let’s learn Digital 7. The Benefit Of A Complete Profile A key marketing benefit in completing your profile page is to ensure that you will appear in LI’s search results. By completing an up to date profile page LinkedIn will evaluate its completeness by ranking its profile strength. Achieving an All Star profile strength will dramatically improve the potential of you being found in LI’s own search results when someone searches for your job function. If you’re profile isn’t yet complete, when you’re logged in, you will see a progress bar on your profile page to represent your profile strength, as shown in Figure 9. The strength will increase as you add more content to you your profile. The prompts shown below the progress bar give recommendations of which profile sections you could add to. Adding to your profile will improve its discoverability in search results and will increase profile search appearances. 6 Free LinkedIn profile background images; https://linkedinbackground.com/
  • 17. 17 Fig 9: Profile strength bar on a newly started LinkedIn profile Once your profile is complete and you achieve All Star status the progress bar will no longer show on your profile. You will still see the dashboard screen which will confirm your All Star status and give you a quick overview of your profile’s performance. Why You Need An All Star Profile As we’ve touched on, having an All Star status greatly impacts your visibility on LinkedIn in search. If someone searches for you last name or job headline and your profile is ranked as beginner, intermediate or expert all of the other All Star profiles would rank higher. This means that your name would be pushed down the search rankings and more than likely wouldn’t be found. LinkedIn’s search algorithm filters and displays results in this order: 1. Profile completeness (100% only) 2. Connections in common (shared) 3. Connections by degree (1st degree, then 2nd, and 3rd) 4. Groups in Common (shared)
  • 18. 18 How To Achieve An All Star Profile Profile completeness is a key contributory factor for maximising B2B marketers’ visibility to any potential clients searching for your skills. LinkedIn’s own research has shown that an All Star profiles are 40 times more likely to be found. Having an All Star rating will also substantially improve Google organic rankings, given that LI is a highly trusted, authoritative domain. To summarise this section, here are our top tips for achieving an All Star status: ● Provide a professional profile photo ● Build an up to date professional story, in your style ● Write a compelling professional summary ● Include your current work industry and location ● Ensure the industry you select best suits your current situation ● State your last two career positions ● Add at least your last two job roles ● Highlight your relevant qualifications and key milestones within the education section ● Select a minimum of three skills ● Grow your network so you have at least 50 1st degree connections
  • 19. 19 8. Who’s Viewed Your Profile? Who’s viewed your profile gives you a highly useful business insight into who is looking at your profile details, who’s viewed your posts, and how you rank in comparison to your 1st degree connections. This can be a little creepy when you first start using it but it can provide excellent data and insights for B2B marketers. You can see who’s viewed your profile by clicking the link on the dashboard on your profile page. It’s worth noting that the amount you can see on this page will be relative to your paid account. As we covered in section 4, premium accounts come with a lot of benefits. With a basic account you’ll only be able to see the most recent viewers in the last 90 days and basic insights. The Premium accounts unlock a full view and comprehensive insights which are invaluable to B2B marketers. Fig 10: Who’s viewed your profile insights shown on the author’s LI dashboard
  • 20. 20 Insights For B2B Marketers From Profile Views Having knowledge of who’s recently viewed your profile allows you to review how your activity is impacting your profile engagement. Your views will be boosted by profile completeness, updates and content that is posted, shared and liked. Being able to analyse profile views provides B2B marketers with some very valuable insights including the following: ● Quickly and easily understand the type of people and businesses who are showing interest in you as a representative of the brand you work for. This might include post campaign analysis to better understand new client activity as a results of your B2B marketing efforts. ● Access more granular data from views to give you marketing insights on: - Where your viewers work and live - The source of their referral and they came to find you - Which areas of your profile matched keywords they used to search - Their industry and job titles ● View the number of viewers from the past 90 days along with a percentage increase/decrease from the previous week. ● Review a graph of weekly viewer trends. You can place your cursor on data points to see particular insights for each week, see Figure 11. Figure 11: Graph of weekly viewer trends for a LI profile
  • 21. 21 9. LI’s Search Features One of the most powerful features of the LI platform is its search capability. Advanced search features used to be unique to premium accounts but since Microsoft's takeover of in 2016 many have now been integrated into the regular search functionality. These search features are an exceptionally valuable tool in terms of simplicity, ease of use and the quality of data you can search for and store. You can start a simple search from the search bar in the main navigation. From the initial search results page you can clarify whether you are searching for people, jobs, content, companies, schools or groups. If you select one of these you are then able to narrow down your search using a number of filters. All the data captured from LinkedIn’s 560 million subscribers is captured in a structured format. This means that you can actually specify query terms for specific fields. The filtered search delivers a much tighter set of marketing data which contributes to more effective B2B marketing. Fig 12: Some of the filtering options given for people searches Once you’ve narrowed down your search you will have the option to save the search. Remember that if you’re a Premium Business account holder you’ll be able to save more searches than those with a basic account. LI will allow you to set up an instant email/text alert to notify you directly when any new subscribers that match your advanced search criteria have joined their database.
  • 22. 22 Advanced Search Features Although there are filtering and saved search options within the basic search functionality some of the more advanced features are now only available to people with Sales Navigator or LI Recruiter accounts. The advanced functions allow you to filter for years of experience, function, seniority level, interests, company size and when joined. You can also run a Boolean search on LI by combining keywords. The primary uses of Boolean logic within LI searches are as follows: ● Quoted searches to retrieve results for an exact phrase ● Excluded search terms by using the word NOT immediately prior to the search term ● Broadened search results by typing the word OR between terms to search for one or more items in a list ● Narrowed search results by typing the word AND to include all items in a list ● Combined search terms using parentheses
  • 23. 23 10. Managing Your Connections LI’s platform allows you to effectively manage your connections to leverage their potential for your B2B marketing efforts. You can build your network by inviting other members to connect with you, accepting invites from others or inviting contacts via email. LI Contacts Manager gives you the option to periodically synchronise your contacts from Google Calendar and Google Contacts so you can ensure you integrate all your new connections. Your LI network is made up of 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections as well as members of your LI groups. The way you can interact with your connections depends on the degree of your connection the differing levels explained below: ● 1st degree connections - these are people who you are directly connected to because either you’ve invited them or you’ve received an invitation from them. You are able to send them a direct message. ● 2nd degree connections - these are people who are connected to your 1st degree connections. You can invite them to your network by clicking the connect button on their profile page or you can contact them through InMail. ● 3rd degree connections - these are people who are connected to your 2nd degree connections. If their full name is displayed you can invite them to connect. If only the first letter of their surname is displayed you will only have the option of contacting them through InMail. ● Members of your LI groups - these people are part of your network purely because of the shared group. You’re able to send them a private message or contact them directly through the group. ● Members outside of your network - you won’t be able to contact these members through InMail although you can always send them a personalised invitation to connect. Personalising Your Connection Requests The key to growing your first degree connections on LI is to personalise your communications. If you read only one piece of advice in this guide, this perhaps is the most important one. When you request a new connection you have the opportunity to personalise your message. In fact, when you hit ‘connect’, LI automatically prompts you to customise your invitation, as shown in Figure 13. LI tells you that members are more likely to accept invitations that include a personal note. The default message otherwise will be “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”, and it will be recognised as a default. This is what most people do when they make a connection request but recipients need to know why and even better make the request personal and use your imagination
  • 24. 24 Fig 13: LI’s prompt to customise your connection requests Writing a personalised request will have much more chance of resulting in a new and meaningful relationship. Make sure you’ve reviewed the person’s profile page and write a message that they can relate to. Below are some top tips to remember when requesting a new connection: ● Use their name, and spell it correctly. ● If they know you or have met you, let them know where and when. ● Flatter them by commenting on their company, position or experience. If you haven’t met them before this shows you’ve taken the time to look at their profile page. ● Tell them who you are and share a little about your background. ● Explain the benefit of your connection and let them know what you’d like to do moving forward. ● Include a warm sign off. Sharing Your Profile Another great way to help grow your network of connections is to make sure you share your profile with your business contacts. A simple and effective way to do this is add a LI button, as shown in Figure 14, to your email signature as you may do for other social media channels. When your recipient clicks the link they'll head straight to your profile. This is a great way for you to showcase your business skills of your business contacts and you stand a good chance of being requested to connect. Fig 14: LinkedIn’s logo that can be used on your email signature
  • 25. 25 10. Creating a Company Page One of the best marketing opportunities for your business is setting up your own Company Page which is a free service and easy to do. Through a Company Page, you can market your business to the LI network, tell your company’s story, and give customers and prospects a place to learn about your business, employees and brand. LI’s own research has shown that LI members are 50% more likely to purchase from a company which they like and engage with. Great company pages can be found for businesses large and small, in this section we’ll cover the key ingredients of a successful page. For marketing purposes a Company Page is an opportunity for you to: ● Display your brand vision and purpose ● Engage with new advocates and followers ● Drive word of mouth at scale ● Enable followers to join debates regarding relevant industry news ● Promote your latest news ● Allow your employees to act as company ambassadors ● Measure the impact of your updates ● Know when someone mentions your brand Company Page Layout The newer version of the Company Page layout is clean and simple with an emphasis on bigger images. This is great as it makes the information easier to navigate. To make the most of the image-heavy design you will need to make sure that both your company logo and cover photo are high quality and a true representation of what you do. As you’ll see from the author’s Company Page for Let’s Learn Digital in Figure 15, there are three main tabs that sit below your company logo which each populate different content on your page: ● Overview - this is where all your core company details live such as about us, specialities and company size. There is also a quick link to your most recent updates to keep visitors engaged with the content you are sharing. You’ll need to ensure your company description, about us, describes your business proposition and is tailored to your audience. ● Jobs - this is where you are able to promote any positions in your company. It is a really clean interface allowing job seekers to navigate through open positions. There is also a section summarising employee insights such as where jobs are based, seniority level and skills required.
  • 26. 26 ● Life - this is where you can really sell the culture of your company offering you the opportunity to highlight your company’s biggest accomplishments and showcase your employees and their achievements. Fig 15: The layout for Let’s Learn Digital’s own Company Page Showcase Pages Showcase pages are a great way to segment and highlight individual brands within your company. Ultimately they are extensions of your Company Page, designed for spotlighting a sub brand, business unit, or service. It makes sense to create a showcase page when you want to establish a dedicated page to represent a brand, business unit, or specific service. For marketing purposes this creates dedicated sub-product pages with their own messages and audience segments. If your goal is to develop a new audience for each product requiring a Showcase Page then you’ll need to bear in mind the resource needed to populate these pages and show them off to their full potential Fig 16; the author’s Showcase Pages delivered on the home page
  • 27. 27 Fig 17: Let’s Learn Digital’s Company Showcase Pages Tagging teammates- (New Feature) The new Teammates feature ensures that you never miss an update from your team, such as your manager, teammates reporting to your manager, other teammates, and direct reports. To access this feature click on mynetwork button at the top of the company page and then click on teammates function which will display the image overleaf
  • 28. 28 Fig 18; new teammates function How To Promote Your Company Page As with your profile page, there are some key elements that you need to include to ensure a Company Page’s success. This includes writing a clear concise company overview, highlighting your company’s skill set and using images and content to convey your brand and messages. Below are some tips: ● Make your page easy to find - take advantage of your existing online properties by linking to your page from your company website, blog, and other social platforms. Company Pages also rank high in Google organic search so by adding this information you will have one more property that appears in the top search results. This will make it even easier for professionals to find you.
  • 29. 29 ● Allocate consistent content resources and company updates - it’s important once you decide to have a Company Page, that you resource it properly, which means posting regular updates to keep your company followers engaged. In terms of resourcing and frequency of updates a good starting point is to take a look at your competitors' pages and see if they are active and what kind of engagement they get. Then use this insight to plan a test period for resourcing, ensuring to test different content types, styles and frequency. ● Use Analytics to inform your content plan - you can use the excellent Company Page analytics to track engagement on posts, follower growth, and key metrics and trends. You can then use this valuable data to optimise, refine, and improve your content plan. ● Use Sponsored updates to help grow followers - depending on your company size and available budget a recommendation for growing your Company Page followers is using sponsored updates. Sponsored updates allow companies to distribute content to much more targeted demographic groups. LI offers excellent precise targeting for reaching out to specific audiences. See more on Section 48 regarding LI advertising Invite Connections to Follow Your LinkedIn Company Page’ (New feature) Introduced in 2019 company page admins can now inviting their 1st-degree connections to follow your Company page. Note Only page admins with fewer than 500 connections are able to invite all their connections via a 'Select all' option. Admins with more than 500 connections need to manually select who they want to invite. “The biggest risk of not having a Company page, especially for B2B, is a loss of discoverability. LinkedIn is becoming the de facto starting point when searching for partners and evaluating solutions” Shane Atchison CEO Possible
  • 30. 30 12. Create an Event (New Feature) This is a really useful feature and much overdue in the context of supporting new business connections. The new events feature provides members with an easy way to either create and or join relevant professional events that interest them. Still rolling out at the time of writing LI members can use the feature to connect online with other members so they can meet them offline in a professional capacity. Anyone can join an event (public or private) if they receive an invitation from the organizer or an attendee, or from an event that’s been shared by a connection. The events function is accessible through the bottom left window of the home page. To access click on “Events” located above Followed Hashtags Then fill out the events form Fig 18 ; events function Once you create an event to plan your professional gathering, you can manage the event’s details an update it accordingly
  • 31. 31 12. LinkedIn Groups The 2018 release of the 'New Groups' redesign stripped away any tools and former value for membership of Groups so for this newly updated guide we are downgrading its importance. While Groups vary in size ranging from huge groups of over 100,000 to more specialist groups, such as author’s group Future Thinking in Digital marketing, with a few hundred subscribers, the problem is that the vast majority of LI Groups at the time of updating this guide, is only groups with a ‘die- hard’ cadre of 1% to 3% of the overall membership who still remain engaged. Since the groups redesign many B2B marketing advocates of groups have either switched to Facebook groups 7or Quora Spaces 8 which are far more engaged We include LI groups in this guide as we believe are showing signs of redesigning groups beyond 2020 but the value of groups is currently in flux. In summary, LI allows individuals to join up to 100 Groups by using the search feature at the top of your homepage or viewing suggestions of groups you may like. Your chosen Groups are then displayed as part of your profile page under the interests section. Fig 17: Followed groups under your profile page 7 https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-groups-business/ 8 https://www.quora.com/q/quora/Introducing-Spaces
  • 32. 32 13. Publishing Articles On LinkedIn LI’s publishing platform is a fantastic unrivalled opportunity to engage your connections, support your company and build your profile and your authority via your own personal network or posting on relevant groups. If you are able to produce consistently engaging content that resonates with readers you have the potential to: ● Build your credibility and authority- you have the opportunity to build trust with both existing and prospective clients and stand out as an expert in your field amongst your peers. ● Show up in search - LinkedIn’s content is ranked for search in a similar way to most search engines. If your content is scanned and appears to be a good fit for a search then you will rank highly. In this way, publishing articles creates more ways for LI to find you and present you to the wider community. ● Become a pro - not only will your contacts and those viewing your profile see your content but so will people searching for specific experts using the likes of LI ProFinder. ● Publish rich content such as images and Video content. Since the launch of LinkedIn native video in 2017, LinkedIn has proven that it’s a great platform for publishing and distributed Video content
  • 33. 33 How To Publish An Article To publish an article on LinkedIn it’s as simple as clicking ‘write an article’ at the top of your homepage as shown in Figure 18. Figure 18: Location of ‘write an article’ button on user’s homepage You’ll want to consider the following aspects of the article to ensure it’s as effective as it can be: ● Write a captivating headline - this will grab the initial attention of your intended readers, be clear but try to evoke curiosity ● Include a standout image - this displays at the top of the article itself and as a thumbnail elsewhere on the site ● Important; create topical content - be sure to put yourself in the mind of your reader, try to make the information exciting for them and help answer any questions they may have. Useful tools for finding subjects include Twitter Search9, Google Trends10, Quora11 and Answerthepublic12 ● Include rich media - photos and videos help to engage readers, great visuals will often be shared which will further help boost the engagement of your article. ● Include a call to action - this can be as simple as asking people to comment and give feedback, this encourages viewers to start conversations. ● Be connected - be sure to directly mention people where relevant and use hashtags to tag your posts Tagging people in your images New A useful new feature, added in 2019 allows the tagging of people in your photos encourages engagement with your images. Tagging people notifies those members that your photo might be relevant to them and these tagged photos become linked with the associated members’ profiles. Viewers can click on connection names to navigate to their profiles.”. 9 https://twitter.com/search-home?lang=en-gb 10 https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US 11 https://www.quora.com/ 12 https://answerthepublic.com/
  • 34. 34 14. How To Publish Video As a content platform we are major supporters of using video on LI to engage your audience. Video has fantastic power to engage because of its use on smart phone devises on LI mobile devise and the potential to share meaningful content to the right audience via the mobile app while the recipients are on the move. Our data shows that with the right video delivers excellent results for pass-along engagement Fig 18; The author’s use of an MP3 Video posted to his home page. Note the use of hashtags to maximise the content distribution
  • 35. 35 Below list the differing types of Video that can be deployed on LI: ● Embedded videos. For marketers many brands upload video from hosting platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo, which they then share on LinkedIn. ● LI native video “Native video” is video that is uploaded directly to LinkedIn or created on the platform itself as shown in fig 18. Unlike embedded videos, LinkedIn native video autoplays in-feed, which is more likely to grab attention. Metrics show that Facebook native videos garner 10 times more shares than linked videos, a boost that likely also holds true for LinkedIn native videos ● Video ads are sponsored company videos that appear in the LinkedIn feed. Video ad campaigns have greater potential to increase brand awareness, brand consideration, and lead generation since they are typically served to a larger, more targeted audience. To find out more about using Campaign manager for Ads go to LI Advertising ● Using Video on Company pages. Organisations can share genuine perceptions of the internal culture recruitment, news, and events and in so doing attract the best talent and drive better engagement with professional audiences. LI’s own data has shown that a Company Page video is 5 times more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members A recommended low cost tool for creating quality, short videos is promo; https://promo.com/pricing?utm_content=header Once your Video is published on your profile page it will then be seen in the news feed of your first degree connections. Tracking and results are display below the Video as shown here: 36 views of your Video Fig 19; Tracking and results for native video as displayed below the video showing above 36 views
  • 36. 36 Using Hashtags New LI hashtags 13were first introduced in 2018 and have been made popular by Instagram hashtags and Twitter hashtags. You can use them on your summary, updates, articles, company pages and you can add them when commenting Using hashtags helps you increase your reach and get your updates in front of people outside your immediate network without needing to be connected, get comments or get likes on your status updates. This raises brand awareness on LI for your company and your personal brand. How do they work? When you create an update to share with your network from your own homepage, you can add your own hashtag by typing # and the word or phrase directly in your post. You can also click on # Add hashtag at the bottom of the share box and type your desired hashtag. You can also use hashtags by following areas of personal interest, you’ll start seeing relevant updates in your feed that include those hashtag topics. Clicking on a hashtag will take you to the hashtag’s feed as shown below where you can see content related to the hashtag topic Fig 20; The author interest in posts and content around #Blockchain Training shows there are 210 followers Hashtags are very useful when you operate in a niche industry and subject which will connect you to an online community that’s passionate about your vertical or industry. Strike a balance by using popular general hashtags, too. While there are no limits on the use of hashtags, at the time of writing, we recommend a maximum of 3 in your from a visual UX perspective 13 Complete Guide to using Hashtags: https://blog.hootsuite.com/linkedin-hastags-guide/
  • 37. 37 15. LinkedIn Live (New) LI responded to the increasing use of Video by launching “LinkedIn Live” in Sept 2019 giving people and organizations the ability to broadcast real-time to their network in real time. This service was launched as a beta first option by invite-only Fig 21: LinkedIn Live experience on through the mobile app What makes LI Live an interesting product compared to other platforms is the professional context. LI have been able to cultivate a very trustworthy environment on their platform which implies a very different mindset compared to other social media platforms. Since all posted content is linked back to the professional ID, people are very cognizant of what they put out and how they present themselves. This has the potential of making the content presented on LI Live if deployed correctly more credible and more valuable to the audience. The first LinkedIn live, witnessed by the author, while impressive based on the engagement volumes has been poor regarding the quality of delivery and non-existent interaction with chat. As a live video service it needs to improve considerably but holds fantastic future potential for live streaming for events or educating your audience. If Jeff Weiner is reading this guide I recommend testing this product to a small group the iron out the chat function before a wider release. One to watch in 2020 LinkedIn Live beta test LI is still accepting applications to be a part of beta-stage testing here14 “Live video streaming allows broadcasters to share videos with their network in real time. We're currently piloting live video streaming with a few broadcasters, so the feature isn't available to all members or Pages” 14 https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/ask/lv-app
  • 38. 38 16. Employee Advocacy and Elevate A key challenge for B2B marketers in larger organisations is how to harness the content skills and network connections of employees. Every employee has the potential to be a brand advocate and to influence the market. To make it easier, LI created an app called Elevate with a goal to enable companies to curate content, push it to their employees, and encourage them to share it through their LinkedIn and Twitter networks. The service is a paid employee advocacy platform and hence this is the domain or larger companies who can afford it. This type of tool is particularly useful for recruiting staff. Empowering employees to share content increases their reach and engagement and allows businesses to attract talent and sell their products and services more effectively. Statistics shared by LinkedIn include: ● Social enterprises are 58% more likely to attract top talent and 20% more likely to retain them ● Content shared by employees has two times higher engagement versus when shared by a company ● Salespeople who regularly share content are 45% more likely to exceed quota LI and social media has given businesses a way to scale the voices of their employees, who will always be their best advocates but companies need to take care in how this handled. As employees tell or share stories the aggregate sharing effect can be very substantial. How Does Elevate Work? LinkedIn Elevate allows employees to find articles and content that is relevant to your industry and company and share them with your network. You can either do this on desktop or via the Elevate mobile app, giving you even more opportunity to share content on the go. Sharing relevant, smart content can help establish you and your business as experts in your field. Fig 22: A step by step guide to Elevate explaining how it works
  • 39. 39 Through Elevate, users can see how their respective networks is engaging with shares and what's making the most impact. Additional features allow you to add sources, manage broadcast schedules and bookmark articles you find on the web. There are three roles available within the platform to help control permissions and sharing capabilities: 1. Admin role - control topics and permission settings 2. Curator role - find content, broadcast to Elevate feed and approve it to be shared by employees via social networks 3. Employee role - share content from Elevate feed to social networks “As employee advocacy becomes more important, what you’re going to see is marketers being more involved because really employee advocacy is a component of your brand.” — Eric Martin, Director-Marketing Programs, SalesLoft If you work for a small company or cannot afford Elevate, we recommend using this guide to share suitable tips and content ideas that work with a smaller team
  • 40. 40 17. Advertising on LinkedIn LI ads, referred to as its B2B marketing solutions, account for a growing proportion of LI revenue indicating its growing importance to Microsoft in growing new revenues. When used correctly the ads can be a very effective B2B marketing tool but require an investment of considerable time upfront, patience and testing differing creative formats to get it right Types Of LinkedIn Advertising LI offers a suite of marketing solutions to help connect businesses with their audience of active, influential professionals. Before launching into your ad campaign though, it’s vital to understand the different types of ads that are on offer. How you use these will depend on your business objectives whether it be to focus on leads or to raise awareness. LinkedIn’s self-service all-in-one advertising solution is relatively user-friendly once you are familiar with its nuances. The Campaign Manager allows you to manage and optimise your advertising by setting up your budgets, selecting clicks or impressions, and stopping ads at any time. Meanwhile, dynamic visual reporting gives you a detailed breakdown of your campaigns. The ad formats supported by the Campaign Manager are Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail and Text Ads. LI Advertising Partner Solutions provide display ads with four different formats, giving the opportunity for more creativity within ads. Meanwhile, Dynamic Ads are also available through account-managed advertising. Below we have summarised the benefits of the four primary LinkedIn ad types to B2B marketers. 1. Sponsored Content Sponsored Content appears within your LinkedIn feed amongst user curated content. They are similar to promoted posts seen on other social media platforms. Sponsored Content is promoting, and in turn amplifying, a piece content you already have on your Company Page. You are able to sue more text and larger images to entice users, as shown in the example in Figure 20. Sponsored content is a great way to raise awareness of events, generate leads or traffic and drive engagement. The author’s own experience with Paid Ads has revealed that Sponsored Content has driven the most engagement and leads compared to other LI ad products based on clear return on investment analysis. In the last 18 months (May 2018- Dec 2019) the cost per clicks have increased substantially from £4-5 to £7£-£8 so any campaigns need to be carefully planned. In the context of B2B lead times tend to be far longer than consumer purchase lead times marketing planners to need to consider the cost issue carefully
  • 41. 41 Figure 23: Example of NatWest’s clever use of Sponsored Content and Video 2. Sponsored InMail Sponsored InMail allows you to send personalised messages directly to recipients’ inboxes. Unlike a normal email campaign delivery rate will be 100% as the campaign will only deliver to active members. Content can be tailored for the audience and designs are responsive to ensure key messaging and calls to action are prominent on all devices. Sponsored InMail is ideal for driving B2B leads, highlighting special promotions and building engagement with valuable prospects. 3. Text Ads These are the equivalent of PPC ads on a search engine and appear at the top of LinkedIn pages. You can create multiple versions to allow you to test and adjust accordingly. It is worth noting that the ads only work on desktop. Text Ads are great for driving brand awareness and as you only pay based on the number of clicks or impressions you can ensure the value of your marketing spend. 4. Dynamic Ads Dynamic Ads derive information from LinkedIn member profiles to create highly personalised ads. Users are able to send you their details directly through the ad without even having to type their details using Lead Gen Forms. As shown in Figure 21, a great advantage is that only two ads show at any one time, giving your ad more chance to be noticed. Dynamic ads are great for advertising job openings and getting users to follow your page.
  • 42. 42 Fig 24: Example text ads and dynamic ads on a user’s profile page. 5. Lead Accelerator Once your other acquisition channels higher up the funnel have done their jobs, LinkedIn Lead Accelerator enables you to nurture your prospects and helps you design campaigns and maximises your chance of achieving the ultimate goal: lead conversions, pipeline contribution, and customer acquisition. Lead Accelerator is part of LinkedIn’s suite of marketing solutions that allows you to nurture your prospects. By ensuring only the most relative content is served to the optimal high-value segments anywhere online, you can deliver high-quality leads to your sales team. Lead Accelerator is a fantastic tool for B2B marketers, as highlighted in Figure 25. Figure 25: Highlights of LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator marketing tool “When I ran marketing at a mobile startup, we routinely compared the impact of each channel at each funnel stage. We plotted channels along two dimensions: volume of names and cost per lead. LinkedIn topped all other lead sources—across both dimensions and at every stage of the funnel. When it came to content distribution and lead generation, LinkedIn quickly became the first dollar budgeted each quarter.” Joe Chernov – Former VP of Marketing at Kinvey, now VP of Content at Hubspot
  • 43. 43 LinkedIn Targeting Options The real marketing value for using LI ads is in its accurate precise targeting options. While Google has wider reach and Facebook has more categories for pure targeting, nothing compares to the accurate targeting provided by LinkedIn. LI enables you to target and drill down on very specific attributes such as industry, location, skills, job title or even groups. This means that you can ensure your message gets in front of the right people when they are most engaged. In practice this means if, as an example, you wish to target marketing directors who have worked in insurance in the last 3 years you can configure your ads exactly to that audience with a direct call to action and be reasonably sure that they will be the ones who see and if interested click your ad. As a consequence it can take longer to make the campaigns work but the quality of respondents will likely be higher. This is because LinkedIn users input the targeting data themselves; if they work in a bank, they put in their profile that they work in a bank. Fig 25: An Introduction to LinkedIn Ad Targeting Campaign Manager Accessing LinkedIn’s ad platform enables you to manage your campaigns through a single interface accessible through its Campaign Manager interface. Using Campaign Manager has become easier to manage ads previously a time-consuming task but updates this year have made the tool much more intuitive. The layout is now very similar to Facebook’s Ads Manager tool, which has seen huge success. This, in turn, lowers the education curve for users to learn a new format when advertising on both platforms.
  • 44. 44 Fig 26: The author’s Campaign Manager Interface divided into Accounts, Campaign Groups, Campaigns, Ads Key features within Campaign Manager include: ● Streamlined interface - an easier layout to facilitate monitoring and comparing campaign performance ● Easier asset management - to help organise your content ● Added insights - helping to identify key performance indicators and focus ad spend ● Personalised home screen - customisable options to ensure you see the data and key metrics most relevant to your business ● Simpler workflow - a more intuitive navigation with increased search options Introduction of Video for Sponsored content Adding to the option of publishing Video (14) LI also introduced the video option for Sponsored Content and Company Pages. Initial tests by the author using Sponsored Updates reveals that short video clips for highly targeting distribution can deliver a much higher engagement and pass-along impact. This supported by LI’s own research showing that their subscribers spend almost 3 times more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content. With Company Page video, organisations can now share genuine perceptions of the internal culture recruitment, news, and events and in so doing attract the best talent, and drive better engagement with professional audiences right from their Company Page. LI’s own data has shown that a Company Page video is 5 times more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members, based on results in their beta program. The quality of video is not always easy to produce, be ruthless with the message and keep your video clips short and relevant to target audience
  • 45. 45 15. How To Set Up A Successful Ad Campaign Once you are in Campaign manager platform it’s as simple as selecting ‘Create Ad’ to get started. If you’re new to Campaign Manager you will need to set up an account and at least one campaign to be able to start creating ads. Next step is to create your ads. Below, are some tips to get started to ensure you produce a successful campaign. Get Creative with your Display Ads You will need a strong engaging creative, with a clear benefit and call to action to produce the results you want. LI ads are short, just 75 characters for the description and 25 characters for the headline. Every character counts so use your words wisely. Images need to be high-quality and to add value to your message. In terms of choosing words to maximise clicks the following is a good guide: ● Be useful to the reader ● Choose words which convey a sense of urgency ● Show that the benefit of your offer is unique ● Include a call to action Fig 27 Sponsored Content Ad with clear call to action For your first campaign using ad manager we recommend creating multiple versions to test which ad gets the best results. Vary the text, call to action and images with up to 15 different ads within a campaign.
  • 46. 46 Target Your Audience One of the best features of advertising on LI is its powerful granularity and highly focused targeting. You are able to select your audience based on their self-reported information. Within Campaign Manager you will be able to see the estimated audience size and can ensure its broad enough to get the initial results you need. To find more targets, LinkedIn’s Audience Expansion tool uses algorithms to find similar audiences to ones you’ve specified. Set Your Budget You can control your daily ad spend budget and the ad platform displays ads at different rates during the day depending on when users are most active on the platform. 50% of your budget might be spent in the morning, with 25% going to the afternoon and another 25% at night. When you reach your daily budget limit, your ads stop showing for that day. One of the criticisms marketers have of LI ads is the high minimum cost per click, currently 5-7 USD, and daily minimum per campaign, currently 10 + USD). This can be expensive for small businesses that are testing it when compared to Google AdWords and Facebook Ads All ad cost are paid for globally in US dollars. You can run your ads as a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) or a cost per click (CPC). Our recommendation for B2B marketers is to run ads on a CPC rather than CPM basis as it is a more cost effective performance based model. This is because given the low click volume and high impressions from those who see the advert, you will achieve far more value from buying clicks rather than impressions. You can read more about LinkedIn’s advertising costs and bid types here. Fig 28: Minimum bidding options available on LinkedIn’s Campaign manager
  • 47. 47 Measure Your Performance It is important to define your approximate advertising goals and set your expectations before launching your test campaign. For testing Display ads on average perform at a 0.03% to 08% as a realistic click-through-rate (CTR) while sponsored updates will perform better with an average of 0.8 to 1.0% CTR. Be realistic and understand the B2B sales cycle is a much longer considered purchase and you are capturing prospects at the consideration or starting phase of the purchase cycle. Thus we recommend a period of testing performance, refinement and patience to fully optimise click performance Below describes two scenarios for tracking your ad performance: Either 1) If your goal is simply to generate clicks to your website at a certain cost per click (CPC), you will need to track the number of clicks you've received against your total budget spent within Campaign Manager. or 2) If your goal is to generate leads, enquiries, or sales that result from the clicks that you receive, you need to track users’ actions on your website and attribute those actions to your ads on LinkedIn. The most common way is to track and configure your LinkedIn ads into your Google Analytics data. Configuring your Account with Google Analytics To configure your LinkedIn ads within your Google Analytics dashboard you will need to do the following: 1. Tag your URLs - you will need to use the Google Analytics URL Builder to tag your URLs with tracking parameters. Insert your landing page at the top, then fill out the rest of the details. 2. Use your tagged URL - take the URL the Google Analytics tool spits out and insert it in your LinkedIn ad as the destination URL. 3. Create goals in Google Analytics - if you don't have it set up already, you will need to create goals in Google Analytics for the conversions you want to track. 4. Create a Custom Report - you should set up a Custom Report in Google Analytics to allow you to keep track of your campaign and optimise your results. In summary, to get the best performance value from LI advertising platform experience, patience and testing really matters. You will need to evaluate content performance by audience segments by considering clicks, conversion rate and highest ROI. At the worst if your ads don’t achieve conversions you will find this a great strategy on capturing feedback about whether various business segments find your product compelling
  • 48. 48 17. Content Marketing LI is primary platform for B2B Content marketing and thus worthy of special attention. Extracting the most value involves a mix of content planning, tracking performance, monitoring and evolving your LinkedIn content strategy should be viewed as an iterative process. LI has evolved into a significant visual platform allowing for more images, videos and documents through SlideShare content excellent for demonstrating your company’s work. Creating and showcasing content is only one part of the puzzle. Getting your content distributed and into the hands of the right person is also critical for delivering meaningful results. Please refer to section 14 which summarises the ad formats available to optimise distribution LinkedIn conducted its 15own research in 2014 on 2,701 members who actively share and consume content to better understand the triggers behind content consumption. The key findings remain relevant today and are worth noting: ● On average, LinkedIn subscribers spend about 1 workday consuming professionally relevant content as a way to educate themselves on their industry news and trends. ● Content must be mobile-friendly. On average of 43 percent of unique visiting LinkedIn members came through mobile ● Content creators must deliver on three consumers 3 key needs: to enhance sector knowledge, spark conversations and build authority. Tips And Best Practice For Content Format Below we have summarised the main types of content and their benefits to your B2B marketing efforts. 1. Publishing content With the integration of LI’s publishing platform, as described in section 12, into the main homepage feed, you essentially have your own on-site blog. 2. Leveraging SlideShare on your profile Including SlideShare presentations, on your profile or Company Page is a great marketing play. This enables you to showcase your projects, ideas, research and helps you build your reputation as a thought leader in your niche. 15Linkedin Research on Content Consumption https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/marketing- solutions/global/en_US/campaigns/pdfs/2014-prof-content-report-en-us-v2.pdf
  • 49. 49 3. Images and visual content Quality images and visual content are also very effective for generating engagement on Company pages as shown in Figure 26 and 27. Fig 29: PwC’s great use of Video on their Company Page Fig 30: BBC’s clever use of compelling visuals to generate conversation
  • 50. 50 4. Video Online Video humanises you and your brand. When done well, a video can trigger powerful emotions that lead to increased engagement and trust. As such, video is an excellent medium for building trusted connections via LinkedIn. Our recommendation is to link videos directly to YouTube to maximise distribution and ensure they play directly within the LinkedIn feed. This is supported by LinkedIn’s own research which shows that videos hosted through YouTube usually result in 75% higher share rate. Fig 31: Unilever use of video for recruitment and Old Mutual Sponsored product Video 18. Maximising Content Visibility Maximising content distribution is important for content, below is some examples: 1. Hosting content on your personal profile Publishing and SlideShare enable you to showcase your content on your own profile to make sure it is seen by your first degree connections. 2. Distribute on Twitter, Facebook groups and Quora Spaces Make sure, to maximise distribution when you are sharing content, that you include your Twitter handle on your home page. In addition use Facebook groups or the relatively new Quora Spaces16 16 Quora Spaces:https://www.quora.com/Can-I-start-a-Quora-Space-If-so-how-do-I-create-
  • 51. 51 3. Share of content in LI groups Conversations in a relevant LI groups can be a great opportunity for distribution by prompting group discussions to motivated group members you can build excellent trust with new advocates 4. Use advertising to distribute your content To maximise distribution you can use a small paid advertising budget. This can really work at generating company followers and getting engagement to a relevant event 5. Use analytics to understand what is working Use company engagement stats on your LI analytics available to all Company Page admins A huge amount of information is given to detail the engagement for each post as shown below including date published and audience and performance. Fig 32: Performance of company post in the last 15 days one
  • 52. 52 19. LinkedIn Mobile Apps Mobile access for LI is now at 57% significant increase when LI went public in May 2011, only 8% of its users were on mobile LinkedIn have invested heavily in mobile pursuing a multi-app strategy splitting its core desktop service into a selection of specialised apps for mobile, which we have summarised below: ● The 'flagship' LinkedIn App - accessible on all mobile browsers allows users to browse through their contacts and professional connections, view their profile and employment history and offer recommendations and endorsements. It is efficient and very easy to use as a general LinkedIn app experience. ● LinkedIn SlideShare - easy access to over 18 million professional presentations, infographics and videos ● LinkedIn Learning - giving you opportunity to learn the most in-demand business knowledge taught by industry experts ● LinkedIn Recruiter - premium app to help you find talent on the go ● LinkedIn Sales Navigator - allowing you to engage with the right prospects wherever you work in real-time ● LinkedIn Elevate - discover interesting articles, share them and build your reputation LinkedIn’s mobile app plan is driven by a recognition that the most successful apps are the ones that are product specific simple to use and fulfil a specific purpose. Thus this segmented mobile app strategy is likely to continue as their product offering continues to expand.
  • 53. 53 20. LinkedIn Partnership Programme With LinkedIn’s Partnership Programme, you can use LinkedIn’s API to create custom branded experiences that allow members to engage using their LinkedIn login. This simplifies the need for them to enter additional data. Even more importantly, by using the API to access LinkedIn’s rich data, you can tailor the user experience based on profile data and encourage virility by triggering your app to publish updates about a user’s activity on site. LinkedIn APIs can be used in four ways: 1. Allow members to represent their professional identity via their LinkedIn profile using Profile API. 2. Enable members to post certifications directly to their LinkedIn profile 3. Enable members to share professional content to their LinkedIn network from across the Web leveraging the Share API. 4. Enable companies to share professional content to LinkedIn with the Company API. Access and approval to use these APIs will only be granted to developers signed up to the developer programme. The programme gives you additional API functionality and data access, increased call limits and dedicated support.
  • 54. 54 21 Summary LinkedIn will continue to grow in importance as a B2B platform and its continued improvements, as described in this guide, make it an absolute priority not just for B2B Marketers but for business developments professionals, senior business leaders and recruiters. LinkedIn is now the de-facto prime B2B platform for sharing content, with Live Video and hashtags validating its continual importance for the owners. Whether it is with videos, sharing topical updates or your updating your personal achievements on your profile, sharing who you are authentically and communicating that consistently has never been more important in this data-saturated world. We hope you found this guide useful any comments or feedback
  • 55. 55 22. Further Reading: Andy Foote’s excellent website about LinkedIn https://www.linkedinsights.com LinkedIn’s Q and A help section https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin Let’s Learn Digital LinkedIn Guide https://www.letslearndigital.com/resources/ Contact Details David Reilly; david@letslearndigital.com Mobile: 07989 985922 For training on Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality or Corporate Innovation go to https://www.letslearndigital.com/courses