Facebook may be the world’s most popular social network, but LinkedIn is quickly surging as the most powerful. When LinkedIn initially went online 14 years ago, it started off mostly as an online version of business networking events. It did not take long for the network to become the most important source for online employment opportunities; years later, LinkedIn became an essential hub for business information and advice.
These days, LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft and has offices in more than 24 cities around the world, and it caters to users in 24 languages. In terms of social media advertising, LinkedIn is only second to Facebook. No other social network offers the sheer breadth of business connections as LinkedIn; when it comes to marketing, LinkedIn is regrettably ignored by business owners and brand managers who incorrectly believe that their companies would not be a good fit for the network.
It is important to note that LinkedIn is the world’s largest business-to-business marketplace. If your company operates in the B2B sector, an active LinkedIn profile is mandatory. Even if your company is a business-to-customer operation, you should make an effort to reach out to the more than 400 million users in this social network.
Marketing analysts believe that LinkedIn is home to the best prospective clients and customers you could ever hope to find. With this in mind, here are four branding and advertising strategies that you should be carrying out on LinkedIn:
Sponsored Content and Native Ads
Business owners should not forget that LinkedIn members tend to be successful professionals who are more likely to have higher levels of disposable incomes. The more active LinkedIn members tend to be those who earn the most; these premium prospects are easier to reach with native ads and sponsored content. An excellent LinkedIn strategy consists of creating great content that is not only about goods or services but also about the company. Like ASEA’s online portfolio, there must always be a professional angle in every LinkedIn account. By establishing this professional brand, you can then create content. Once the sponsored content has been seen by the targeted audience, the next part of the strategy would be to deliver native ads so that LinkedIn members are reminded of the original content.
LinkedIn power users tend to be very attracted to InMail, the network’s proprietary email system. For advertisers, InMail is an irresistible proposition in the sense that it can deliver marketing messages only when LinkedIn members are logged into the network and actively engaged. Even better, InMail messages can also include call-to-action buttons.
To really get the attention of LinkedIn members, a personalized and dynamic advertising campaign is required. Dynamic ads are highly targeted display units that can be used to reach top decision makers within companies. The structure of LinkedIn’s Dynamic Ads is simple: ad copy plus a call-to-action element; however, the magic is created with images that are borrowed from the profiles of the targeted members. The best action to incite from Dynamic Ads is for members to follow the advertiser so that future marketing efforts are highly targeted and meaningful.
Similar to Google AdWords, LinkedIn Text Ads can be used for general branding purposes, to generate website traffic and to create a book of warm leads. LinkedIn Text Ads have an advantage in the sense that they can be carefully targeted. For example, a law firm that specializes in corporate practice can target companies that have only been in business for a few months; this is typically when executives start looking for permanent legal counsel to advise them.
In the end, the marketing potential of LinkedIn is too great for any business to ignore, particularly now that the network is under Microsoft ownership.