In today’s connected world, most people and brands are on LinkedIn as it offers incredible benefits and opportunities. Considering how the pandemic has changed the way we network, is your LinkedIn profile up to scratch? Have you done anything to improve your online visibility and keep connected with your existing and potential customers?

In this short article, we share some valuable insights into LinkedIn advertising and social selling in general. In the end, you can also download a free eBook with expert tips on creating an All-Star LinkedIn profile.

Done right, LinkedIn can help build better connections, increase brand awareness and take your conversions to the next level. With the online tools at your disposal, there is no reason you cannot find your way to the top of the social selling food chain.

Using LinkedIn In The New Normal

Many brands faced new challenges when the pandemic took control of so many aspects of our lives, personal and business-related. We could no longer have face-to-face customer meetings which didn’t bode well for companies who rely on that personal touch to sell their products or services.

This opened Pandora’s Box in a sense as many companies may not have had a strong online presence. They had to update their website and LinkedIn pages, be more active on social media and find new ways of growing their business.

Whether we like it or not, the pandemic has changed the way we communicate and it’s not a bad thing. Fact is, according to McKinsey & Company, 70-80% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service. Taking a more digital approach could derive a competitive advantage and more loyal customers.

Virtual Networking Versus Traditional Networking

Pre-covid, people had to see clients, attend workshops, tradeshows and often travel extensively. Now, the digital world seems to be the first choice as virtual networking is the new normal and LinkedIn is at the top of the list.

The biggest difference between virtual networking and traditional networking is that you can build scalable relationships. Think about this for a second; when attending a physical event or going on a sales call, you don’t always know who the people are or if they’re the right customer for your brand.

This process takes time and often costs money especially a tradeshow or conference and it doesn’t always yield the right results. Doing business on LinkedIn is different as it’s time-efficient and your network is always there so you don’t have to drive anywhere. It’s also free, except LinkedIn ads, but most importantly, you can do your research and target specific people.

How To Start Using LinkedIn

The first thing you should do is improve your profile as LinkedIn puts it into three different categories, i.e. beginner, intermediate and All-star. You should aim for an All-star status as it can make your profile 40 times more discoverable.

There are several things you can do to reach this level which you’ll learn from the eBook but here’s a breakdown of what it entails:

  • Uploading a professional photo
  • Adding a headline to tell your story
  • Writing a summary
  • Describing your experience
  • Adding skills to your profile
  • Listing your industry and location
  • Include your education
  • Make valuable connections
  • Customise your LinkedIn URL

How To Build Better Connections

A common question about LinkedIn is whether having more connections is better or if quality still matters. The answer is both but quality should always be a priority. To stand out from the crowd, you want to get at least 500 connections as that shows people you have spent time networking and talking to people.

LinkedIn also keeps an eye on who you connect with so it’s best to be specific. They can’t help you if you connect with every person regardless of industry, title or location. Do this right and LinkedIn can suggest other connections similar to yours which is great for expanding your network.

When inviting someone to connect, do the following:

  • Only use the Connect button on the profile view
  • Always personalise the message
  • Make it about them and not you
  • Imagine they are standing in front of you

Attracting More Leads With Thought Leaderships

Now that you have made connections, how do you reach people you don’t have that much in common with? This is where thought leadership comes in and LinkedIn provides the best platform. Even though it’s is a great tool for job seekers and recruiters, there are 15x more content impressions than job listings.

With that in mind, 97% of B2B companies use LinkedIn for content distribution but less than 1% of users share weekly content. Now there is a great opportunity to set yourself apart! What you post is extremely important and here are some of the basic tips:

  • Put content up that will engage people (and not funny memes or a picture of your breakfast)
  • Spread out personal posts by at least a few hours
  • Whilst LinkedIn is all about business, don’t be robotic as it’s OK to be human

How To Improve Your LinkedIn Posts

One way to post is a short paragraph identifying a problem or an interesting scenario. You can then ask a question to really get their curiosity going which often encourages action. Once the reader clicks on ‘Read more’, it lets LinkedIn know that your post is engaging and that your “dwell time” is increasing.

If you follow this format using the right content for your brand, you could see tremendous success. Make sure you encourage comments and likes which will help boost visibility. Remember to like comments on your post within 24 hours and only tag people who are likely to comment.

Here’s an example from the webinar with Gunnar Hood, a WSI consultation and LinkedIn Expert. You can access a free recording of the webinar for more tips and tricks and compelling insights.

What About LinkedIn Advertising?

If you have done all of this but want more business opportunities, then LinkedIn advertising is your next stop. It’s pretty powerful as you’ll see from these statistics:

  • 58% of B2B Marketers say LinkedIn ads deliver the best value
  • 42% of marketers plan to increase LinkedIn ad budget
  • Sponsored Messaging has a 52% open rate which far outweighs emails

LinkedIn advertising is extremely targeted which is why it has been such a success. You can set a small target audience with a minimum number of 300. Of course, you can target C-suite people or those in a very niche market. There are several different ad formats which are measurable through the usual clicks, conversions, etc.

Why Is LinkedIn Advertising So Powerful?

Looking at the traditional marketing funnel, it consists of Awareness – Consideration – Conversions. Experts have studied this in great detail and not every channel is good in all areas, whether it’s Google or Facebook among others. They found that LinkedIn is best for Consideration and Conversions with website visits, engagement and lead generation.

Depending on what your goals are, some ad formats may work better. We highly recommend that you watch the free webinar recording for a more detail overview but here is a brief breakdown:

  • Dynamic Ads
  • Single Image / Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Conversation Ads

Final Thoughts

As the saying goes: ‘The show must go on” and so does business regardless of what happens. Those brands that could go digital did very quickly and that trend will only continue to grow. Getting in front of it is important and using LinkedIn for virtual networking will certainly help.

It’s all about building a buyer-centric All-star profile but you don’t have to do it alone. WSI eMarketing can help as we specialise in social media marketing, online reputation management, SEO, PPC and marketing automation among others.

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