Members of NVI attended a LinkedIn seminar held at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal last week. Speakers at the event included Brian Church, the Country Manager at
LinkedIn Canada, Julie Howlett, LinkedIn Canada’s Account Director and Steve Watt, a Marketing Manager at LinkedIn.
The theme of the seminar was to present key LinkedIn marketing solutions to help businesses get the most out of LinkedIn. Up until recently, LinkedIn has been a service used by business professionals to put up their CVs, recruit people, and network.
Over the last year, it has expanded its services to organizations as well. LinkedIn is (finally) harnessing the power of its high-profile network to become a key B2B marketing tool that offers companies a valuable way to advertise, manage their professional identity, build strong business relationships and ultimately, get leads, revenue and conversions.
Why LinkedIn Makes Sense
1. #1 resource for career-minded professionals
2. Over 120 million members
3. Precise targeting by seniority, industry, job function and geography
If you’re kind of new to the concept of LinkedIn as a marketing tool let’s delve right into the 4 things you should do to maximize your LinkedIn marketing efforts.
1. Optimize your Company Page: utilize all of LinkedIn’s new Company page features to strengthen your presence on LinkedIn and online.
2. Get Recommendations: build a highly targeted network of followers and increase number of brand evangelists
3. Amplify your message: through “paid media” (LinkedIn Recommendation Ads for example) you can scale your message to boost your social capabilities
4. Analyze and Refine: Track progress and message strength using LinkedIn Analytics Tool
1. Optimize Your Company Page
Your Company Page is where LinkedIn members can discover more about your company and engage with your brand. From new job postings, products and services, new hires, recent Tweets, new blog posts, to user recommendations, this is where members can learn who you are, what you’re up to and “Recommend” you to others in their network. Recommendations are akin to “authority” Likes that can help drive traffic to your LinkedIn page, your website and increase engagement and buzz surrounding your brand, from highly targeted prospects in the LinkedIn network.
Products & Services Tab
The products and service tab gives you the opportunity to highlight all of your best products and services. You can add comprehensive descriptions for each p/s with relevant links back to product pages on your website. As LinkedIn already gets top rankings on the SERP it can be a great way to pass on page rank to your site.
You can create up to 3 different display banners for your products and services page with links in them. Since you are targeting business networks specifically, it’s an opportunity to get creative with your banner ads. For example, providing stats on the company’s performance, incentives to “Become a fan on Facebook” or
better yet, “Follow Us on LinkedIn”.
Video can do a lot to enhance user experience on your products and services homepage. You can embed videos from YouTube, advertise services, show video tutorials, host contests, announce special offers (LinkedIn highly recommends providing special offers to members) and more.
LinkedIn’s recommendation engine is probably the most valuable new feature of its service update. Once you’ve set up your services page, LinkedIn sends you the coding to add a LinkedIn “Recommend” button on your business website.
Many companies have been seeing significant results by using the Recommendation Ads paid service. Recommendation ads help gain a critical mass of recommendations more quickly. You can define your target audiences and customize your message so it displays relevant content for up to 5 different audience segments.
LinkedIn says you should actively seek recommendations as part of all your customer communications.Through LinkedIn’s “request Recommendations” module, you can invite members to recommend products and services straight from your products and services tab.
Since recommendations are the most trusted form of marketing, getting recommendations from trusted peers is an active way of strengthening your brands reputation, and increasing your brand and products’ potential to spread virally throughout LinkedIn’s broad network of company pages and professionals ones.
Members will see what someone in their network said about you, and these badges of approval then appear on your LinkedIn company page, helping empower your brand’s authority and presence on the most widely-used business network.
Amplify Your Message
Case study: Hewlett-Packard
HP was looking to expand its social capabilities and reach to get both commercial clients and customers engaging about HP products and endorsing the brand. Utilizing LinkedIn’s company page module and running a paid campaign through Recommendation Ads the company saw unprecedented results in only 2 weeks.
The ads encouraged LinkedIn members to visit the HP Company Page on LinkedIn, recommend HP products and services, and share those recommendations with their network.
• 2,000 product recommendations in two weeks
• 20,000 new followers on HP Company Page
• 500,000 viral updates about HP products and services.
Analyze and Refine
The LinkedIn Analytics tab is only viewable to admins and shows you who is visiting your company page, what pages they viewed most, and how you fare in comparison to others in your industry. You can also refine your analysis to learn which industries, functions and companies make up your group of followers.
By tracking analytics and progress, you have the ability to learn which products are most popular, which don’t get enough traction, who your followers are and how you can improve your message to target new communities.
It will be interesting to see the evolution of LinkedIn’s B2B marketing services as more companies jump on the bandwagon. Since there are little to no other competitors doing what Linkedin is doing right now, the recommendations engine could prove to be a highly useful tool for raising brand awareness, reputation, trust and loyalty. Applying LinkedIn as part of an integrated campaign seems like it has the potential to yield some pretty outstanding results.