LinkedIn has become an essential tool in professional networking and career building, but it is also much more than a place to post an online resume and network with potential employers. As one of the largest social media platforms in the world, LinkedIn is also a goldmine for marketers and brands looking to grow or diversify their audience and prospects. Whether you’re a sole proprietor or part of a large company or agency, incorporating LinkedIn into your marketing and branding efforts can yield impressive results. If you only use three features to get your LinkedIn marketing efforts off the ground, start with these ones.
1. Step Up Your Content Marketing Efforts with Articles
If you already create content for a company blog and several social media and press outlets, the thought of publishing content on LinkedIn as well might seem a bit superfluous. But if you aren’t taking advantage of the Articles feature on LinkedIn, you’re potentially walking away from an opportunity not just to have your content seen and shared on the platform, but across the internet.
Some of the benefits of regularly publishing articles on LinkedIn include:
- Improved SEO
- Establishing yourself or your brand as a thought leader in your field
- Creating new leads and potential clients/customers
- Reaching a larger share of your network than with other social media platforms
Publishing relevant, high-quality articles with useful information should be your priority. Start with a goal of publishing once a week, and work up from there.
2. Make It Visual with Slideshare
Like the Articles feature, Slideshare is an easy and convenient way to increase your content’s reach on and off LinkedIn. In addition to LinkedIn’s already colossal audience of more than 500 million users, Slideshare has its own built-in audience in excess of 80 million users.
If you’ve been searching for a way to produce quality presentations and get in on the infographics game (hint: if you haven’t yet, you should), know that Slideshare is the perfect solution. Setting up presentations and branded content on Slideshare will be an ideal way to elevate your profile alongside everyone from Google’s Eric Schmidt to the U.S. government.
3. Turbocharge Your Networking with Groups
Like Facebook, LinkedIn has groups organized by everything from job descriptions and industries to hobbies and geography. Whether you want to make contacts in your industry, grow your audience or build your sales funnel, you’ll likely discover there is already a group (probably more) for that. Do a little research and perform some targeted searches to find relevant groups.
Once you join, practice the good neighbor policy to build trust and respect for yourself and your brand. Offer useful content and information that will be beneficial and useful to members, and practice reciprocity. Think of LinkedIn groups as an exercise in relationship building rather than as just another passive outlet to blast your content and services.
Powerful LinkedIn Tools for Sales and Content Marketing
LinkedIn may not be the first platform that comes to mind when working on your content marketing strategy, but it does offer millions of active users sharing articles and content they find relevant and useful with their networks. (Pro tip: consider setting up a LinkedIn employee engagement program to leverage the many connections and untapped audiences that already exist within your own organization and network.)
The interconnected and referral-based nature of LinkedIn makes it an ideal platform to build a targeted and qualified audience, new contacts and new leads. It is also the perfect opportunity to establish yourself as a trusted authority in your field.
Make LinkedIn a Part of Your Inbound Marketing Efforts
Whether you already take advantage of LinkedIn’s powerful tools or just want to dip your toes in, keep in mind that creating content or joining a platform or network just for the sake of it can be counterproductive. To be successful on LinkedIn and benefit from what the platform has to offer, follow a few simple tips:
- Fully optimize your profile. Fill it out completely and include a professional picture, relevant keywords, links and up-to-date contact information.
- Set up an employee engagement program, with your company- and brand-specific goals and guidelines to get your employees sharing your content with their networks.
- Establish yourself as an authority and thought leader in your field by offering useful content on a regular basis.
Setting up your marketing plan for LinkedIn will take some time and effort in the beginning, but once in place, you’re likely to find it taking on a life of its own.