LinkedIn started in 2003 and now has more than one billion members in 200 countries and regions across the world. Around 140 job applications are submitted every second, with 61 million people using it to search jobs every week and six people hired per minute through the platform. And while that’s only one element of LinkedIn’s functions, it does indicate the level of activity it attracts.
According to a survey on LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, which is its paid advertising vehicle:
- 40% of B2B marketers indicated it was the most effective channel for driving high-quality leads
- Brands see a two to three times lift in brand attributes when advertising on LinkedIn
- Brands see a 33% increase in purchase intent from ad exposure on LinkedIn
- Marketers see up to 2x conversion rates on LinkedIn
- Audiences exposed to brand and acquisition messages on Linkedin are 6x more likely to convert
While it’s becoming more competitive to generate organic visibility, there’s plenty you can do to make an impact, and boost that with paid advertising. You just need to understand how to use it most effectively, adopt a strategic approach and be consistent.
Building a community of potential customers
One of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn is that you can use it to find and build a network – not just any network, but a community of people who could legitimately need your services. This gives your marketing a much more targeted approach.
There are many ways you can build your community on LinkedIn. The key to this is being relevant, personal and not salesy when reaching out to people you don’t know.
Managing your network: The ‘manage my network’ button on your personal profile page is a great place to mine information and contacts. You can use this feature to look at all your contacts and the friends of your friends (tier 2) and their friends (tier 3). Finding relevant people to reach out to using this method already gives you a natural ‘in’, especially in the tier 2 category. When you message someone to connect, you can say something along the lines of ‘I notice we’re linked through X and work in similar areas, so it would be great to keep in touch’. If you can add something more personal, so much the better.
This feature will also show you who other people with your role follow.
‘People also viewed’: From the profile pages of people you’re connected with, you can see who they are connected with and use the ‘people also viewed’ panel on the right of the page to see who they’ve been looking up.
Searching for job titles: Think very specifically about the individuals who would be buying your services. Is it the IT manager at a distribution company, the marketing director at a digital agency, the HR lead at a medium-sized enterprise? Simply type that role into the search menu and you’ll get a list of people which you can further filter down by things like location, industry and services.
Joining groups and events: Joining relevant groups or attending LinkedIn events can be another great way to find relevant contacts, because you’ll be able to see other members of the groups, or attendees at an event. Groups can also be helpful for engaging in conversations and building your reputation.