In this episode, Joe Rizzo, co-founder of TashRizzo shares LinkedIn best practices that we should keep in mind to drive business growth.
Some topics we discussed include:
- Why LinkedIn is a microcosm of the wider online marketing world?
- How do you stand out on LinkedIn?
- 12 LinkedIn best practices to give you a jumpstart on the platform
- Publishing on LinkedIn is easy and there are many options. How do you balance and filter out the best opportunities to drive business growth?
- Is publishing enough or do we also need to engage in outreach to build your audience?
- How do we follow up on LinkedIn conversations effectively?
- Why Joe recommends LinkedIn Sales Navigator as part of your best practice?
- When should you consider using LinkedIn advertising and what is the best way to use it?
- How LinkedIn’s insights tag can help with retargeting your audience.
- How to build trust when starting out?
- Does LinkedIn have a role to play in customer retention and engagement?
- Why consistency is a key LinkedIn best practice?
- Some topics we discussed include:
- Why LinkedIn is the place to be if you are in the B2B space?
- How do you stand out on LinkedIn?
- 1. Beef up your personal profile
- 2. Focus on education and assistance
- 3. Ease comprehension and utility with visuals
- 4. Publish consistently
- 5. Tag strategically
- 6. Get your employees in on brand promotion
- 7. Leverage LinkedIn learning
- 8. Pay to target
- 9. Create a group
- 10. Use the LinkedIn insights pixel
- 11. Use your analytics
- 12. Create a comprehensive marketing ecosystem
- Additional LinkedIn best practices
- How to find the best opportunities to publish magnetic content on LinkedIn?
- Is publishing enough or do we also need to engage in outreach to build your audience?
- Why use LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- How to build trust when starting out
- LinkedIn best practices to help you achieve more
- Links and resources mentioned
- Connect with Joe
Why LinkedIn is the place to be if you are in the B2B space?
Everyone has an opportunity to stand out on LinkedIn. There are close to 700 million users on LinkedIn. Everyone has a unique opportunity, no matter what their businesses, to stand out on LinkedIn simply because of the number of people involved in a business that are on the platform.
But how do you find active users to engage with? How do you stand out from the crowd on LinkedIn?
How do you stand out on LinkedIn?
At the moment LinkedIn has great SEO value. If you do searches on Google, you’ll start to see people popping up in the search results based on their LinkedIn profiles. More so than a website. Why is this?
The reason is, there’s a lot more traffic going to LinkedIn than any other website.
If that is the case, then it makes sense to implement LinkedIn best practices to give your presence on LinkedIn a jumpstart regardless of whether you have been on the platform for a while or are just beginning to use it.
12 LinkedIn best practices to give you a jumpstart on the platform
1. Beef up your personal profile
If you want to stand out, obviously, it starts with optimizing your profile. You want to make sure that your profile is different and that your –
- Professional headline is below 120 characters, lists career focus and components of work
- Includes industry-related keywords, core skills, strengths, talents, and interests
- Well written in a professional style, no spelling and grammatical mistakes
- Answers questions that provide deeper insight about you. Questions like:
- What makes you unique?
- Where is your career headed?
- How would others describe you?
- What are your values and personal traits?
2. Focus on education and assistance
LinkedIn’s platform makes it easy to publish your own articles. The kind of content that wins over your audience is one that helps them not ones that are self-promotional or that promote your company or sell your products.
The most successful content on LinkedIn is educational in nature. So answer common questions that arise in your industry. Address challenges and concerns that your audience faces on a regular basis.
Take, for example, Brian Fanzo who is well known as a social media marketer and speaker due to his educational content. A pattern that he continues on his LinkedIn profile as well.
Educational content also works to build your brand’s credibility. Over time as your audience witnesses your industry expertise, they will be more inclined to work with you or your brand in the future.
3. Ease comprehension and utility with visuals
It’s been proven that humans, for the most part, are visual creatures and hence why visuals and videos are processed a lot faster than text-based content alone which makes articles with images, charts, infographics, and other visuals are more appealing than those without. Visuals also make it easier to digest the information and remember it.
- Don’t limit your use of visuals to LinkedIn’s publishing platform.
- Use visuals to liven up your profile.
- Incorporate video, infographic, or images that will engage the reader and describe what makes you unique.
LinkedIn video use has been on the rise and there are several ways you can use video as part of your visual content strategy. With a smartphone just about anyone can create and edit videos easily. You could create videos to:
- Tell your brand’s story — give your brand a voice that humanizes it.
- Address some of your frequently asked questions.
- Interview experts within your industry.
- Show customer testimonials of how your brand has helped other clients.
- Enhance your profile with real-life examples of your expertise
Dennis Koutoudis, a renowned LinkedIn coach and public speaker strategically uses video to underscore his skills. For example, he says he is a personal branding expert and to demonstrate his expertise he provides a series of videos to support that. You don’t have to scour the internet for examples
4. Publish consistently
As we have said earlier one of the best ways to stand out right now is creating some content that’s valuable to you to your clients and potential clients. And the reason is only about 1% of people on the platform are consistently putting content on there, week after week after week.
So in other words, if you put content up on LinkedIn, you can start putting yourself into the top 1 to 10 percent of users on LinkedIn. As you do that you will get noticed on LinkedIn as it pushes your profile to the top. It’s a great place to publish videos and articles right now and really stand out.
Stale content will also turn your audience off unless it is evergreen content.
So how can you keep your content fresh?
Aim to publish content at least once a week on LinkedIn to keep your audience engaged. Chances are that if you don’t they won’t have a reason to come back.
So, for example, you could cover industry developments. As soon as new developments hit the industry, be the first to offer your perspective on it. Audiences will start to turn to you for fresh insights and advice.
5. Tag strategically
Tagging, when done strategically, allows you to draw individuals’ attention in a positive way. Too much and it can quickly become annoying.
Tags can only be made if you’re sharing or posting a comment. It doesn’t work on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform. The person will be notified when you place the “@” symbol in front of their name. The best part you don’t have to be connected to the person to tag them.
In what instances can you use it?
Consider instances when you quote or mention an influential person in your content. Tag the person. They, in turn, may repost your content giving you more exposure but also helps reinforce the person’s reputation as an expert or influencer.
6. Get your employees in on brand promotion
Given the extent of exposure that a LinkedIn profile gets and the nature of the platform it only makes sense to encourage others on your team to create content to post.
This provides two benefits –
- It gives you more content to post. Bear in mind that not everyone is comfortable with writing or speaker and while it is useful to capture their points of view, editing may be required. So invest in a content strategist and editor to ensure the content is ready for public viewing.
- It humanizes your brand, showing the real people behind the brand.
7. Leverage LinkedIn learning
LinkedIn Learning is available for free if you get Sales Navigator. Joe recommends using that if you wish to upgrade.
He says LinkedIn learning is somewhat new and a lot of people don’t realize that they have free courses across a lot of different areas inside of LinkedIn which comes with part of that platform.
It has some really good training for different industries. It’s good to know those industries and to learn how to use the platform in the most beneficial way.
8. Pay to target
Now, admittedly, this isn’t a financially sound strategy for every piece of content you create. But if you have a particularly high-quality piece of content that will fill a vital need for your audience, consider investing some money to get it in front of a few more eyeballs.
If you notice that your audience really enjoys a certain piece of content, it’s a pretty sure bet that others will too. Pay to reach a wider audience and ultimately draw attention back to your brand.
9. Create a group
Is it worth creating a group on LinkedIn? We covered the pros and con’s in a previous article on – How to use LinkedIn for powerful Business marketing results.
Whether you create your own group or join existing groups, it can be a great way to engage with people around similar interests and speak to their specific challenges and needs.
Before you start your own group, ask yourself if you have the following:
- A strong group of followers that will create a solid foundation — People look for social proof.
- A special topic — There are so many groups vying for people’s attention on LinkedIn. Just check out the number of groups under “marketing,” and you’ll see what we mean. Don’t create a new group if you can’t bring a new idea to the table.
If you decide that you have what it takes to create a successful group on LinkedIn a few good practices can help lay the foundations for success including:
- Create a catchy group name. There are many groups on LinkedIn so stand out with an engaging and different name.
- Keep the group up-to-date. Don’t share promotional content but rather share the latest information with your group’s audience that will benefit them the most.
- Encourage your employees to support the group. This can help it feel more alive and inclusive, which will encourage others to participate.
10. Use the LinkedIn insights pixel
What a lot of people don’t know is that LinkedIn has the same tools that Facebook, Google, and Twitter have. On LinkedIn, they call it the insight tag and you place it on your website. Once you have 300 visitors, you can now retarget people on LinkedIn. Joe’s recommendation is that you put the Insights tag in your Google Tag Manager as it works exactly like a Facebook Pixel.
They’ve just added in the last 12 months video views, which is very similar to what Facebook has. You can get video views, but I will tell you that oftentimes, you know, you’re dealing with people that aren’t on the platform all the time. So your cost per click or cost per view or cost per acquisition can be higher is because they’re not always on the platform versus say Facebook.
Joe says LinkedIn advertising can cost more but they now have more targeting options. You can upload a list, as long as it is no more than 10,000 contacts or use the remarketing retargeting through LinkedIn. However, he sees it more as an investment and recommends if you’re starting off to use tools like the remarketing options along with top of funnel stuff like video views.
He says from their experience with their clients you will be able to turn it into an investment and get a return on that as they tend to be higher converting leads.
11. Use your analytics
To determine you are successful with your LinkedIn marketing and as part of your LinkedIn best practices, you need to be tracking and measuring your efforts. Some of the following LinkedIn metrics can tell you more about your overall engagement efforts:
- Visitor Demographics: Discover who reads your content, their industry, job title, seniority level, location, company size, employee vs non-employee, function and referral source.
- Page Views: The number of company page views during a specified date range.
- Unique Visitors: The number of users that viewed your company page, excluding multiple visits from a single user.
- Impressions: The number of times the post was shown to LinkedIn members.
- Engagements: The number of interactions divided by impressions.
- Clicks: The number of clicks on your content, company name, or logo.
- Followers Acquired: The number of new followers you gained from a sponsored update (non-organic on the native platform, but available through Sprout Social).
- Audience: Shows if a post was sent to all your followers or a targeted group.
12. Create a comprehensive marketing ecosystem
While LinkedIn is a great place to drive business growth Joe says you really need to have an ecosystem. This allows for unforeseen circumstances and allows you to keep your marketing machine working for you even when one aspect of it may not be doing so well.
So consider ways in which you can have your message deliver to your audience across platforms in multiple ways. So consider whether you have:
- Direct mail pieces that could go out
- Facebook remarketing
- Google remarketing
- Automation in place. For example, like using handwrytten for direct mail
- Email marketing
Tactics will change as circumstances, platforms and people’s interests change. But the strategies behind using multiple channels and building out your ecosystem will be sustainable over the long-term.
Additional LinkedIn best practices
Joe answered a few more questions which also serve as additional LinkedIn best practices that you could implement to drive your business growth
How to find the best opportunities to publish magnetic content on LinkedIn?
From a marketing standpoint, you need to know your market data versus product data.
If you want to find your ideal customers, you need to know:
- Their concerns?
- What they’re thinking about?
Let’s say you walk into a room full of people in the HVAC industry. Let’s also say you’re a recruiter for HVAC that deals with Heating, Air conditioning. What would you want to talk about to that room that captures everyone’s attention?
If you start talking about recruiting to your ideal clients, you’ll probably find that 90% don’t need it. 10% may or may not need a firm. 1-3% of that will probably need a solution. So a better way would be to talk about issues that are affecting the HVAC industry that those people can relate to.
In the same way – When you look at what content you should publish. Think about:
- The top of funnel, so you can start getting everybody everyone’s attention first. So think of topics like the top three trends that are affecting HVAC companies right now.
- And then start to filter them down
- Now they start to see you and they see your content. If they want to learn more about you and what you do, they’re going to go there, they’re going to figure it out, especially if you’re delivering valuable market data that’s specific to that industry because you’re not talking about every other industry. You want to be specific enough that you’re speaking to your market, but gentle enough that your entire market understands.
- You can have some other copy that focuses on that part of the audience segment and 3% of that might be on that bottom of the funnel.
So it is important to have both. Market data and product data will help everyone in your audience and will allow for enough people to listen to you and see that your message actually matters.
Is publishing enough or do we also need to engage in outreach to build your audience?
Joe says that they’ve found that it is good to have a combination of publishing targeted content and building your audience on LinkedIn. He says LinkedIn’s algorithms are constantly changing and examining who are you connected to, and how you connect with the right people.
Most people when using LinkedIn to connect with people, just hit the connect button on a profile in the hope that the person will accept the invitation.
Joe says in his opinion we should always have some type of connection message like – Hey, this is how we know each other. We’re in the same industry, this is who I help love to connect?
So have some connection message and test the connection message. Also don’t just stop there. When people connect send a follow up message thanking them for connecting because you want to build that relationship. LinkedIn is still a social platform. Yes, it is a business platform but it’s also a social platform.
And what ends up happening is LinkedIn will make sure that your new connections are seeing content that you just posted, because they want to make sure that relationship is being catered to. built for. So remember you’re not just putting content out there, but also making those connections.
There’s a saying your net worth is in your network. And the reason is, you have the right network of people. Now when you put that content out there, they’re going to start seeing the content that you’re putting out there, because LinkedIn is going to push it to them, and they start engaging with it, they’re going to see it more often.
You can build your tribe, your audience by connecting and then also publishing content that’s relevant to the people that you’re connecting with. Joe says he doesn’t just connect with anyone but takes a targeted approach with the use of LinkedIn Sales Navigator to make sure he is connecting with the right people who also care about your message.
Why use LinkedIn Sales Navigator
This is where one of their paid versions could help. You can get a subscription for LinkedIn Sales Navigator or check out a free trial but deciding to acquire a subscription or not.
Joe says that in addition to publishing content you should also be actively growing your connections on LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s algorithms are constantly being fine tuned to examine who you are connected to and how you connect to the right people.
With Sales navigator you get a lot more search features and so can find and target your ideal customers a lot more efficiently than with just the free version of LinkedIn. You also get a lot more insights and additional resources like LinkedIn learning to make you a more effective marketer in general as well as on the platform.
How to build trust when starting out
When starting out whether you are in the SaaS space or some other industry, you can go out there and talk about not just what your product does, but the problems that you’re seeing that your software product solves.
Joe used to work for Clickvoyant which is an analytics software that sits on top websites to determine not just how the site is doing, but what did you do to improve the site. There we talked about the analytic standpoint as that was adding value to the companies we wanted to talk to.
No matter what stage of growth your business may be in you can add value by addressing the problem that you solve with the product that you sell.
If you think about it you’ve probably gotten into business to solve a problem for a client. That’s how you’re going to stay in business. The bigger the problem, the bigger your pay, the bigger the audience, the more opportunity you have. Even as a startup it doesn’t matter. This is an opportunity that any company can use to look bigger than it is and stand out
There’s not a lot of places that you have a chance to stand out. On Facebook, for example, you’re constantly competing and have to pay for ads. Business pages only get 1% of reach. On LinkedIn, you have an opportunity to get a lot of eyes on your content for free.
LinkedIn best practices to help you achieve more
These LinkedIn best practices and good practices provides you with a solid launchpad to get you marketing effectively on the platform.
While marketing opportunities exist, LinkedIn is a social platform. To harness its power and opportunities you have to control and consistently communicate to all your LinkedIn connections. However, you also have to do this in a more humanistic and personal way to get your posts viewed. By following the best practices, we outlined above you can easily target your posts and reach the right audience to build trust and move them further in their buying journey.
Links and resources mentioned
Connect with Joe
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