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LinkedIn or Out

As the owner of a digital marketing agency, I get asked all the time why LinkedIn is not a more prolific platform for my B2C and B2B efforts. On the surface, it readily identifies a person’s occupation, title, education, affiliations, and even interests. As a social media platform, it’s a veritable gold mine of information.

Why then do my clients not spend a larger portion of their marketing budget on LinkedIn?

My answer … don’t spend money, spend time.

Let me explain.

I have friends that are LinkedIn experts including one very bright guy who was an early adapter and an industry influencer. They see the inherent value of the platform and know how to best utilize it for their peers and their clients. I’ve been fortunate to learn from two of the best.

Before we go further let’s also recognize just what our end goal is when using LinkedIn. People use it to create opportunities either for sales or employment. Brands are historically less prevalent but do find value in marketing there, particularly for B2B campaigns.

LinkedIn has recently made moves to make themselves a more viable and commoditized advertising platform.

Some of the new additions are enhancements to their campaign manager that allow you to identify an objective and subsequently track conversions. They’ve also implemented a feature that allows you to forecast results that provide LinkedIn advertisers all the metrics they need to make their boss (or their clients) happy. You can also mine data with click demographics which allows you to peel back the curtain so that you can gather key insights into who is engaging your ad.

In my opinion, these developments have made LinkedIn a better, more viable advertising platform but it still doesn’t take away from the point I made earlier on time vs. money.

So back to my point… how best to use LinkedIn. For those of you not looking to get a new job or straight up solicit a stranger, LinkedIn provides two very valuable things: access and identity. Now, if you choose to cold-call direct message everyone all of your brand attributes, A.) you’ll need to have a premium membership and B.) you won’t be very successful.

The better play with LinkedIn is to utilize the platform to distribute your brand attributes by way of content. Put it out there … express opinions, address industry trends and talk about how your product or service is beneficial in addressing needs that other businesses may have. Straight up solicitations are not awesome so be sure to develop your content in a manner that’s both informative and persuasive.

LinkedIn can work for your brand, whether that brand is corporate or personal. What it takes is time and proper execution in how you position yourself or your company. If you think LinkedIn can help you to acquire more customers for your product or service and need help getting there, feel free to contact me here, or find me on LinkedIn.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ed Olsen is the president/owner of ReThinc Advertising. He has lots of opinions on all things marketing. To read more of them, click here.

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