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Lake One’s Guide to LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn marketing holds a key place in a modern marketing strategy, especially for B2B marketers.  With more than 500 Million users, nearly half of which use it daily – LinkedIn offers a unique reach that other social networks struggle to compete against. Because of it’s emphasis on work, LinkedIn attracts often hard to reach buyers. Whether in niche industries or by titles – or high net-worth (41% of millionaires, have a presence on LinkedIn!).  

It’s no wonder that marketers flock to LinkedIn as an acquisition source. In 2017, Social Media Examiner found 81% of B2B Marketers and 44% of B2C marketers are leveraging the network in their marketing programs.

So with all this opportunity, you’re chomping at the bit to get a piece of the pie for your business. We get it. That’s why we created Lake One’s guide to marketing on LinkedIn.

Linkedin Marketing Guide

In a hurry? Email yourself a copy to read later.

Creating your page / Types of Posts / Grow your Following / Using Hashtags / LinkedIn Advertising / Measuring Success

Chapter 1:

How to create a LinkedIn Company Page

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What is a LinkedIn Company Page?

A Company Page is LinkedIn’s version of a company profile. Think of the page as an opportunity to help you build your business and brand. It is a dedicated space for you to promote your business by describing what your company does, highlight your work and successes, recruit new talent and share news and other relevant content to drive engagement with your brand.

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Your company page should contain the information that prospective customers and potential employees would be interested in. It’s important here to think beyond just company description and a logo (although those are important too!) and take advantage of all the features LinkedIn has to offer when creating your page. Here are 5 steps to creating our LinkedIn Company Page to get you started on the right path.

Your LinkedIn Company Page should have information not only for prospective employees but prospective customers too.[Click to Tweet]

Step #1 – Create the Company Page

First things first, you need to create the page. You can create your new company page while logged in to your individual profile by navigating to “Create a Company Page” via the “Work” tab, or by clicking here.

LinkedIn Company Page Setup - Step 1

Step #2 – Add your Images & Company Description

Images: According to LinkedIn, a company with logo images gets 6 times more visits to their company page than those without. Your logo will appear in search results and on employee’s profiles. Along with your logo, the cover image is your chance to make an impression on your page visitors. You will need at a minimum a PNG or JPEG with the following dimensions:

  • Logo Image: 300 (w) X 300 (h) pixels
  • Cover Image: 1536 (w) X 768 (h) pixels

 

Company Description: Your company description should do just that, describe what your company does with a focus on the company’s mission, brand, and an overview of offerings. Keep in mind you’re writing not only to prospective employees, but prospective customers!

LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters here and it’s okay to use them. However, use them strategically. You’ll want your company page to be optimized for SEO with keywords throughout.

LinkedIn Marketing - Updating Company Content

Step #3 – Rounding out Your Page with the Necessities

Perhaps this goes without saying, but just like every other profile you’ve likely created, you’ll have the opportunity to fill in general information about your company like number of employees, the type of company, what industry, locations, contact information, etc… The detailed information all helps in painting the picture that is your company.

Step #4 – Adding Content

Content is truly king and if you are going through the work of creating it, you absolutely must reap the benefits and share your content on your company page. You can utilize your page by promoting ebooks, white papers, press releases, blog posts, you name it. Sharing content increases traffic and thought leadership, which of course are good things. We have more on posts for your LinkedIn Page, later in this guide.

Step #5 – Building Showcase Pages

LinkedIn created Showcase Pages to be extensions of your Company Page designed for spotlighting business units, product offerings, or initiatives. It’s your chance to put your inbound marketing skills to work and market to a specific buyer persona by catering to their needs. LinkedIn users can actually follow a single Showcase Page without following a business. For example, Microsoft, who now owns LinkedIn, has showcase pages for Microsoft Office, Lync, Bing Ads, and more.

LinkedIn Marketing - Showcase Company Pages

There are a few key differences to note when creating a Showcase Page:

  • Showcase Pages have a larger hero image.
  • They have a two-column newspaper-like layout for content posts.
  • Unlike Company Pages, there are no careers, products, or services tabs at the top of the page.
  • They have a two-column newspaper-like layout for content posts.
  • Unlike Group Pages, businesses can advertise and buy sponsored updates.
  • All Showcase Pages link directly back to the business page. This means your pages are all centralized around your company.
  • Employee profiles cannot be associated with a Showcase Page.
Chapter 2:

LinkedIn Post Types

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Once you’ve created a company page, it’s time to fill up your feed. But what you post on instagram, might not work as well here. Research from MarketingProfs found that LinkedIn members will engage with content when it’s educational/informative, relevant to their specific interests and related to industry news and trends (89% say they are interested). Additionally, they like tips and best practices (86%).

Unlike some channels that may be heavily influenced by friends and families, this same research from Marketing Profs found that while individuals have a slight advantage, brands bring a fair degree of influence.

Long form content performs best on the network.

 

Links,Text, Videos

Before we look at the content of post types, what kind of posts work best in LinkedIn Marketing. The best data we’ve found comes from AgoraPulse. The content scientist at AgoraPulse, Scott Ayres ran a test and found that text only posts perform best. That said, we still recommend a mix of content and post types to keep your feed interesting and looking organic.

So what are some of the types of posts businesses create? Glad you asked.

How To/Tips

Linkedin Post Type - How To

Providing tips and resources is a great way to build your expertise. Whether it’s a link to a post that goes in depth, or a long form post that captures the entire tip – sharing subject matter expertise and insights from within your organization can help drive relevant B2B traffic and build pipeline.

Predictions/Point of View

Linkedin Post Type - Predictions : Point of View

In the same vein of building thought leadership – sharing perspectives on industry trends or predictions on what’s to come can be a great way to highlight your company’s subject matter experts.

Having a strong corporate point of view is one of the best ways to establish differentiation, and predictions and opinions on trends is how your brand can put that point of view in action. LinkedIn is a great medium to share these views, again whether in blog form with a link or long form post – both are beneficial posts in your LinkedIn marketing strategy.

Company Culture

Linkedin Post Type - Company Culture

Culture is one of the most critical themes in LinkedIn as it’s a key recruiting channel. Sharing what’s happening inside your organization from teambuilding to professional development can be a key part of your Linkedin Marketing strategy for both recruiting but also for attracting new potential customers. Prospective buyers like to see that a company invests in their culture and their employees.

The folks over at Buffer have a great point, that no matter what type of post you publish, make sure to review your analytics and tailor your content to the type of followers you have. We talk more about using LinkedIn analytics later in this post.

Chapter 3:

How to Grow your Company Page Following

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Once your page is set up, you’re naturally gonna want to know the best ways to grow your company following. A large company following can help with recruiting, driving brand awareness and all the way up the funnel through lead generation and sales.

Three areas to focus right way on growing your company following on Linkedin include: integration, employees and advertising. Let’s look at each one individually.

Integrate Your Page – Everywhere

Once the page is up, make sure you incorporate the “follow” button in places that people would naturally be inclined to connect. Some common places include:

  • Website footer
  • Blogs
  • Email signature
  • Career pages
  • Email newsletter

Make it easy for people who are engaging with your brand and content to follow along on LinkedIn for updates. To create the follow button, head over to Linkedin’s developer resources and follow the on screen prompts to get an embed code.

Create a linkedin follow button

 

Roll Out an Employee Advocacy Program

According to LinkedIn, your employees networks are about 10x bigger than your company’s. That makes them a literal goldmine when looking to build your company following and expand your brand awareness on the network.

The key to maximizing this valuable resource is to map out a strong content strategy, a plan to enable and empower your employees to become social champions of your content, and make sure employees understand that this isn’t just about growing your brand, but a great way for them to build their professional network too.

LinkedIn has a great guide on this stand alone topic here.  

Maximize your LinkedIn Advertising

We’ll address advertising in depth shortly. But one of the side benefits of sponsored content for example, is the ability to also grow your following.

As people engage with your content, you extend your reach. You can also toggle on the option when setting up a sponsored content campaign to let people follow your company updates right from the ad unit.

Grow you company following with LinkedIn Advertising

Chapter 4:

LinkedIn Hashtags

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LinkedIn was a little late joining the hashtag party, but the need for organization and categorization in a sea of posts and content drove LinkedIn to join the hashtag movement. As you are likely well aware, there’s nearly a hashtag for everything, however, when done correctly, hashtags should be used purposefully to help drive engagement. Check out our tips on how to incorporate hashtags in your LinkedIn posts.

What is a hashtag?

What exactly is a hashtag? According to this article on LinkedIn, it’s this character # (the pound sign), followed by a word or phrase with the hopes of:

  • Helping readers find information more easily
  • Generating awareness
  • Creating community

Using Hashtags on LinkedIn

Hashtags can be a bit of an art and a science and what works for one company, might not work for the other. However, we’ll give you the basics to get you moving in the right direction.

Posting: The most common way to leverage hashtags on LinkedIn would be to include them in post updates. Hashtags can be added at the end of the post copy or in context. The below posts incorporates both ways.

How to Use Hashtags in LinkedIn Posts

*Please Note* Managing and discovering hashtags on LinkedIn are part of a test and are not yet available to all LinkedIn members. If you are one of the chosen, continue on!

Exploring & Following: See a hashtag that peaks your interest? Follow the instructions below to add your favorite hashtags to your LinkedIn feed! This is a great way to expand your knowledge base and also get hashtag ideas to incorporate in your own posts.

You can discover new hashtags to following by clicking “Discover More” in the left rail of your LinkedIn homepage. From there, click the “+ Follow” icon below the topic you’d like to follow.

Chapter 5:

Getting Started With LinkedIn Advertising

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With more then 500 Million professionals on the platform, LinkedIn provides a unique advertising opportunity. Since helpful, informative content makes the platform go – round, LinkedIn Advertising can be a great way to add fuel to B2B inbound marketing campaigns, promoting content throughout the buyer’s journey and filling up lead pipelines. While LinkedIn provides a great opportunity for B2B marketers, B2C marketers have found opportunities on the social network as well. LinkedIn offers 5 advertising options including:

  • Sponsored Content
  • Sponsored Inmail
  • Text Ads
  • Dynamic Ads
  • Programmatic Display Ads

Sponsored Content, Inmail and the text ads are the most readily accessible to the largest swath of advertisers. With Dynamic and Programmatic ads available through agency partners.

 

How is LinkedIn Advertising Priced

Like other paid social advertising, LinkedIn advertising can accommodate budgets of all sizes and work to help achieve your marketing goals.

What you pay for LinkedIn advertising depends on what you set as a budget and can be stopped and started as you wish. Like other online advertising, LinkedIn is an auction based system, meaning your ads compete with other advertisers, to be seen by a similar audience. LinkedIn offers three ways to control your budgets:

 

  • Total Budget: You can set a total budget for a campaign
  • Daily Budget: You can set a budget for a daily spend amount on campaign that run perpetually.
  • Bids: You can set the maximum you are willing to spend per click, impression of delivered InMail.

What works best? That depends. Play around with pricing and bidding to see which drives the results you are looking for.

 

LinkedIn Advertising for B2B, B2C or both?

Is LinkedIn only for B2B advertising? It’s true that LinkedIn is a powerful network for B2B marketers. But B2C marketers have also found targeting business professionals through the network a possibility.

B2C linkedin advertising

Take Olive Garden’s efforts to attract the office lunch with their “Break Lunch Block Campaign” cleverly placed and timed ads that appeared on the social network as offices across the country try to figure out what’s for lunch?

How do I Target LinkedIn Ads

With more then 550 Million members, LinkedIn is a no brainer for the B2B advertiser. According to LinkedIn – 4 out of 5 of their members drive business decisions. With that kind of reach, B2B marketers have direct access to influencers and decision makers across all kinds of B2B purchases. But how does targeting on LinkedIn Ads even work?

 

Customized Linkedin Ad Targeting

From website retargeting to integrating your email lists, creating custom, matched audiences is a powerful way to nurture your known prospects, leads and contacts who are actively in the research and buying process. Make sure you install the LinkedIn Insights tag (more on that later)

 

Prospecting with LinkedIn Ads

But what about reaching new audiences? Tapping into all that LinkedIn network muscle?  Simple set up an audience leveraging one of the many member generated demographic data points including: job title, company, industry, seniority, group membership, metro, school and more.

Creating Your LinkedIn Ad Account

To get started with LinkedIn ads, click on the “work” grid to the right of your account profile drop down.

 

In the flyout window, click “advertise.” On the new page, Click “Create Ad” either in the upper right hand corner of the page, or the center of the screen.

 

If you have an ad account already, you can skip this next step. If no account exists you will need to create an add account.

Name the account, assign currency and associate the company page.

 

Choosing your Campaign Type

Once the account is set up click create campaign (upper right hand corner)

Create_LinkedIn_Campaign

You will need to select the type of ad campaign, Sponsored content, Text Ads or Sponsored Inmail.

 

Sponsored Content: Sponsored content are ads that look like regular LinkedIn posts.

sponsored content example

Text Ads: Simple ads, text based and can include a picture. These ads show up at the top of LinkedIn and in the right hand panel – but not in the newsfeed. Generally have a lower performance but are also usually a little cheaper.

LinkedIn Text Ads

Sponsored InMail: Sponsored InMail gets you into the LinkedIn inboxes of your ideal audience. Create targeted messages to those you most want to reach.

Sponsored Inmail

Each type of campaign will vary in the ad creative prompts, but most of the setup and targeting will be similar.

 

For the purposes of this guide, we’ll show you a sponsored content set up.

 

Setting up your LinkedIn Ad Campaign

First, you’ll need to name your campaign, assign it to a campaign group (or create a new one) and select your target language. Campaign groups are a newer feature that allows advertisers to group related campaigns together. You could group campaigns by targeting, objectives, budget etc.

Name Your LInkedIN Ad Campaign

Next up – you need to set you campaign goals.

 

Send people to website: If you have a landing page or more information you want to share with your ideal audience, sending them to your website is an ideal goal. A secondary option here is to add a “follow button” so people can follow your company page right from the add unit.

 

Collect Leads: Another ad unit type is the lead gen form. If you have something to offer (i.e. a white paper or webinar –  or want to find people who are interested in talking with you, this is a great option to remove a step. Instead of sending someone to a landing page where they need to fill out a form, they can fill the form with information from their LinkedIn profile. (more on setting this up in a second.

 

Get Video Views: Just looking to grow awareness, video ads are a powerful tool. Share testimonials, product overviews with a call to action to learn more on your website after watching.

LinkedIn Campaign Goals

Once the goal is selected – it’s time to build your ads (note some campaign types have a step in between for additional selections. For example, sponsored content, send people to your website will ask what kind of ad you want to create, single image or carousel.

 

You’ll load up the content. Whether text and image for text ads, copy for inmail or selecting which content you want to sponsor for sponsored content. You can also create sponsored content that will only show in ads – not on your page.

Create LinkedIn Ad Unit

Once the ads are loaded, it’s time to set you targeting. The world is your oyster here. Here’s what the targeting page looks like and what the key areas mean.

LinkedIn Ad Targeting - Markup

A – If you have customer or prospect lists, you can load these to LinkedIn to create matched lists and use these in your targeting. All matched audiences are available here to be added.

B – If the LinkedIn Insights tag is installed, you can create remarketing audiences and retarget website visitors based on pages they’ve viewed.

C – Know the exact companies or people you want to reach? Load lists of companies or email addresses here.

D – Location is required, target by country, state, city etc.

E – As you start adding in your targeting criteria, the potential audience size will update here.

F – Here’s when it gets super fancy. You can zero in on your audience across 16 different categories of member generated insights.

G – Want your ads to reach people when they aren’t just on LinkedIn? Enable the audience network.

H – Use LinkedIn machine learning to reach audiences that are similar to your targeting, this expands your reach.

I – Have a really good targeting set up you want to use again, save it!

Exclusion/Inclusion – in many of these parameters, you can combine inclusion and exclusion options to target exactly who you want.

 

The final step in launching your campaign is setting your goal and budget. Here’s what the screen looks like with key areas marked up again.

LinkedIn_Budget - Markup

A – Set your campaign goal. This is what LinkedIn will work to optimize towards: Awareness (more views), Visits (more clicks) or Conversions (more goal completions)

B – If you set up conversions with your insight tag, here’s where you select which ones to measure along with this campaign (note, you can also assign the conversion to the campaign later)

C – Set how much you want to spend daily ( actual daily spend can sometimes run 20% higher than your budget (if you want to set a total budget, click the “show end date drop down under the campaign start date)

D – You can either automate your bidding or manually set CPC

E – Campaign scheduling: start immediately, schedule it in the future (you can also schedule an end date by clicking the drop down immediately below the date picker.

F – Not done yet? Save the campaign as a draft.

G – Ready to go – hi launch and the ads will go into approval. (note ads can sometimes take up to 24 hours for approval before the campaign is fully live. )

Chapter 6:

LinkedIn Analytics

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LinkedIn Analytics

Analytics for LinkedIn come in two forms – Page analytics and insights on your ad performance. By comparison with other social platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn’s analytics aren’t that robust. But at least they still give you some indication into what’s moving the needle.

LinkedIn Page Analytics

In order to view company page analytics, you need to be a company page admin. If you are, you’ll have access to insights that will help you:

  • Evaluate engagement of your individual posts
  • Identify trends across key metrics
  • Understand more about your follower demographics and sources
  • Understand more about your page traffic and activity

To view analytics for your Company Page:

  1. Click the  Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Below Manage, select your Company Page.
  3. Click the Analytics tab

On the analytics tab you’ll have the ability to measure the following:

 

Visitors

Visitors shows you a breakdown of Pageviews and Unique Visitors, by device, with the ability to view across pages (Company Page, Career Page, Showcase Page) or specific pages.

You can view the data by 7 days, 15 days, 30 days 3 months, 6 months or a year.

You can also see demographic breakdown of your visitors by:

  • Job Function
  • Country
  • Region
  • Seniority
  • Industry
  • Company Size

LinkedIn Analytics - Company Page Visitors

 

Updates

Updates provides insights on your company page posts and how engaging they are. The dashboard starts with a roll up showing Likes, Comments, Shares, and Follows in the last 30 days vs previous 30 days.

Similar to visitors, you can view the data by 7 days, 15 days, 30 days 3 months, 6 months or a year.

Engagement metrics are broken out organic (those who find your page naturally through the Linkedin feed) vs paid (via sponsored content or other ad mechanism). Metrics include:

Impressions

  • Unique Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Social Engagement %

 

You can also view your most recent 20 posts, and view specific metrics per post including:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Video Views
  • CTR
  • Social Action
  • Engagement

Linkedin Analytics - Company Page Updates

Followers
Similar to the updated dashboard, Followers starts with a roll up, showing you growth (or decline) in your followers in the last 30 days vs the previous 30 days, broken out by organic vs acquired.

You can chart the gains over time, by organic vs paid, in the same time increments as the other dashboards:  7 days, 15 days, 30 days 3 months, 6 months or a year.

Below this dashboard you get a breakdown of your followers by demographic, a shift from LinkedIn’s former exposure of who the followers actually were. Now you can only view them, in aggregate, by:

  • Geography
  • Job Function
  • Seniority
  • Industry
  • Company Size
  • Employment Status

The final dashboard in the Followers section provides some competitive insight. It looks at your page versus other pages viewed by those who viewed your company. It plots follower size, growth, publishing frequency and engagement levels.  

If you’ve enhanced your page with LinkedIn Career Pages, you’ll also have access to Talent Brand analytics.

LinkedIn Advertising Analytics

When it comes to LinkedIn analytics, you get a lot more when you’re advertising. Like all of online advertising, your reporting is far more useful when tied with conversion tracking.

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Conversion tracking with LinkedIn lets you see

  • How many leads your campaigns are driving
  • What kind of ROI your ads are producing
  • Helps you optimize campaigns for better performance

 

Setting up LinkedIn Advertising Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is fairly easy to set up.

 

Step 1

Head into your advertiser account by clicking on the”work” icon to the left of “Me”. Then click “advertise”.

Setting up LinkedIn Advertising Conversion Tracking 1

Select your ad account.

Then, hover on account access and select “conversion tracking.” Here’s when you tell LinkedIn where you will track your conversions, most likely your website.

Setting up LinkedIn Advertising Conversion Tracking 2

You can just enter in your high-level domain as conversion tracking will work across subdomains.

Setting up Linkedin Advertising Conversion Tracking 3

Step 2

Once this step is completed, you’ll get your LinkedIn Insight tag. This is your universal tracking tag. You can share this with your webmaster to install on all pages either direct through your site code base or through a tag manager like Google Tag Manager.

Step 3

With the Insights tag up and running, it’s time to create a conversion event. Head back to the Account Assets Menu and Click Conversion Tracking.

Now click the “Create New Conversion” button.

Here, you’ll provide the information necessary to create the conversion event. It could be a key pageview, a pageview after submitting a form for a download, or checking out from a purchase or signing up for a product.

Setting up LinkedIn Advertising Conversion Tracking 4

Name the conversion something you’ll remember and give it a conversion type. One of:

  • Add to cart
  • Download
  • Install
  • Key page view
  • Lead
  • Purchase
  • Sign up
  • Other

If you know the value of the conversion, give it a value for ROI tracking.

You can adjust your attribution windows if you want – but this also will adjust the amount of time LinkedIn has to learn what a conversion is and do it’s optimization around.

Assign the conversion to any active campaigns.

For most people, the site wide insight tag is sufficient, if you need an event specific pixel to install, toggle to that option.

In the url field, omit http or https protocol and put in a simple url for the goal destination (include www if your domain includes that.)

If there are multiple possible goals for this event, you can add another URL, otherwise click save and you’re good to go!

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