Business Case for LinkedIn and the New Normal
The impact of COVID-19 pushed people out of their comfort zones. While uncomfortable, it is also the best way to grow.
Because so many in-person meetings, networking events, and tradeshows were put on hold in 2020, LinkedIn became an even more attractive option because it:
- Boasts 63 million decision-makers and 30 million company pages
- Accounts for 80% of B2B leads from social media
- Triples the visitor-to-lead conversion compared to other channels
- Is voted the most trusted network.
Unfortunately, 98% of LinkedIn users miss the bullseye… but that means that the 2% who leverage the platform effectively can hugely out-perform their competitors.
The platform has always been known for its virtual networking, but you might be surprised to know how LinkedIn is also a powerful sales tool for both lead-generation and nurture. It’s time-efficient, informed, broadly visible, free, and available 24/7, so it’s no wonder that 75% of decision-makers prefer remote interactions and self-service options – enough to make hefty purchases on these interactions alone.
We have even crafted a programme to help business owners, sales executives and sales professionals leverage LinkedIn and build it as part of their sales strategy with our LinkedIn Executive Coaching. Below are some of the main focuses of this approach.
Personal Brand Visibility
An all-star LinkedIn profile increases your reach by 50+%, but sometimes building a standout profile can be hard if you don’t like writing about yourself. We have a great resource to help you get started (How to Create an All-Star LinkedIn Profile). If you don’t have the time to craft this yourself, it makes sense to get help from a specialist.
The key to an engaging profile is to ensure it is buyer-centric, i.e. focus less on what you do and more on how you help others solve their problems.
Take advantage of the new ‘Featured section’ to share rich content such as slides, PDFs, videos etc.
Use the ‘Social Selling Index‘ tool to keep score – aiming for a score of >60 which, when combined with an all-star profile, puts you in an elite category.
Build Better Connections
Although getting over 500 initial connections is a milestone to work towards, the quality of your connections trumps quantity – especially because LinkedIn is “watching” and will suggest more of the type of connections you have.
Targeted search results across categories returns not just people, but articles, content, and jobs related to your search. This gives you greater exposure to relevant connections which you can narrow down by researching them for common ground and then creating curiosity through views, likes, comments, and following them.
When inviting your ideal candidate to connect, use the Connect button on the profile view so that you can personalize your message. Again, craft your message to be about them, and not about you. Do NOT use automation – it isn’t personal and it is against LinkedIn policy.
Attract Through Thought Leadership
When building your connections with individuals where you may not have visible common ground, thought leadership is the means for you to position yourself as an expert in your field. 97% of B2B use LinkedIn for content distribution, making it one of the biggest content publishers.
Only 0.4% of users share content weekly. Differentiate yourself by publishing weekly for a competitive edge. Check out the LinkedIn Pages Playbook for inspiration on what to publish. Be engaging (especially when a post of yours is attracting a lot of interaction), be human, and space out your personal posts by at least four hours.
Encourage likes and comments, and then respond within 24 hours. Only tag people who are likely to comment to keep the LinkedIn algorithms happy.
Although it can be perceived as expensive when considering digital advertising channels, 58% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn ads deliver the best value and 42% plan to increase their LinkedIn ad budget. This is thanks to how targeted the audience can be and the various ad formats available:
- Single image or video
- Sponsored messaging:
- Messaging ads (currently shown to get a 52% open rate)
- Conversation ads
This can help broaden the reach of your content through promoting your posts or by building ads natively in the platform.
However you see it working for you and your business, we can agree that your presence online is more important than ever. Whether you’re a sales person looking to connect with new prospects, or a business owner trying to position yourself as an expert in your fields, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal.