The Essentials of a LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

LinkedIn can be a valuable social media platform for your business. If you are in the B2B sector, having an effective LinkedIn marketing strategy a must.

Link Up Your Business

Is LinkedIn more than “Connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”? That’s their slogan and there is a lot to it. It’s a social media platform that has benefited greatly from its acquisition by Microsoft.

When you use your individual account, it’s the new resume, useful for creating a personal, professional brand, and a way to make valuable connections in the B2B space.

Screenshot of mobile LinkedIn post.

Using a LinkedIn company page, it’s another avenue for discovery via search and a way to show credibility, authenticity, and trustworthiness.

But how can you profit from LinkedIn as a small business? Like any platform, it will depend on your firm and your industry. If used appropriately and strategically, there are two general ways a LinkedIn marketing strategy can benefit your company.

They are social selling and thought leadership.

Social Selling

We covered this in detail in an earlier post, but, here’s a quick reminder of the definition of social selling from Hubspot:

Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.

You and your sales team use your content or targeted content curation to move prospects through your buying cycle towards a deal.

Participating in group conversations is a good strategy. Ask questions and answer those from other group members. This technique builds your employees and company’s credibility. It also leads us to thought leadership.

Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is where you publish original content and share curated content to demonstrate your company’s competence, expertise, and trustworthiness.

You have to prove your value to a prospect before you ask for an in-person conversation much less a sale. They want to find someone who is an expert and can solve their problem. They want to stop searching and start buying. Your content makes them select you.

Besides publishing great content on your blog, you can publish it on LinkedIn Publisher (“publish a post”) and “share an update” on LinkedIn.

Publisher is an effective way to repurpose content from your blog. Updates could be original or curated. Always include an engaging image and don’t forget to include your link. 😉

When you are publishing on LinkedIn, you are are blogging. So use the same techniques and strategies covered in this earlier post. The home of these long-form articles (Publisher) or updates is your company page.

Screenshot of LinkedIn company page.

And by the way, don’t publish crap!

Setting up your LinkedIn Company Page

Continue reading “The Essentials of a LinkedIn Marketing Strategy”

Why Social Selling is the best selling

Social media platforms are the third pillar of your content marketing strategy. And they are a fluid pillar, evolving daily.

Bring the Rain

The social platforms your business should use will depend on your industry, your business, and most importantly your customers.

You will need to go where your customers and prospects are engaging with social media. Our other posts look at individual platforms. But, a common thing you will do with all of them is engage in social selling. It is the tactic that can make your sales team into Rainmakers.

Hubspot has a good definition of social selling:

Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.

Social media is also where your sales team will find and research prospects. They can initiate a relationship and nurture it through the sales cycle.

As you know, relationships are at the heart of any sales success. Social selling just lets you develop them at scale.

How is social media different from the other pillars of content marketing? Contently has a good explanation:

…social is inherently spontaneous, while content tends to be carefully crafted before it’s set loose upon the world. Social tends to be reactive; content, on the other hand, sparks conversation. And, finally, content is generally made by an experienced creative professional: a writer, designer, video producer, etc. Social? Not so much.

Social media is where your team members (that are not your content producers) can help your marketing efforts. However, they will be posting and sharing on their individual social media accounts, not your company accounts. And they should have separate accounts for business as opposed to personal accounts.

However, they will be posting and sharing on their individual social media accounts, not your company pages. And they should have separate accounts for business in addition to their personal ones. For example, if they have a personal Twitter account they should open a second one for social selling.

In Sales, Change is Constant

The profession of sales is quickly changing, but the role of social media in sales is changing even faster. These new communication methods are vital tools that will play a big role in your future sales success. The concept of social selling involves using them in a strategic manner in order to strengthen relationships with your clients and prospects.

But before we get into what to do with your social selling strategy lets take a quick look at how the sales process is changing.

By the time a potential client contacts you they are 60-70% through the buying process. They have been researching potential products and solutions in a “self-service” manner on a variety of online platforms. These include your website and blog. Social selling helps your team get involved in the buying process at an earlier point. The best way is by sharing content from your site/blog via social media.

Duct Tape Marketing believes you need to change your sales strategy in order to be relevant to potential customers. And most importantly to be useful to them. I agree. They note:

Today’s marketing minded salesperson thinks like a publisher and builds their own expertise by sharing and crafting a platform.

That platform is social media, and you need a social selling strategy to succeed in today’s market. You want to be providing the information your potential clients have been reviewing in a self-service manner prior to contacting a vendor. You want to be interacting with them online before they get 60% of the way through the buying process.

The goal is to become a resourceful and useful asset in your customers lives. You want to be seen as a trusted authority in your field. Your usefulness will make existing customers more loyal. And it will make potential ones more likely to initiate a relationship with you. Being useful and developing authority is part of effective content marketing.

After finishing part three of this book, you will have a better idea of the social platforms you need to use in order to create great relationships with your clients.

Concentrate on using two or three well rather than all of them poorly. Again, you want to go where your target audience is interacting with social media.

Now, let’s look at what you need to do to develop a social selling strategy.  Continue reading “Why Social Selling is the best selling”