As a business owner or marketing manager, some of the most useful resources available to you on LinkedIn can be accessed directly through your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn Ads provide a self-service advertising solution that can be directed at a very specific segment of the LinkedIn community, providing you with the tools to advertise towards potential customers and business partners exclusively.
The ability to target your ads as effectively as LinkedIn is quite rare with other services. Only a few of them offer the same depth and efficacy that LinkedIn’s ad program provides.
Setting Up Your Ad Campaign
Getting started on your ad campaign is very easy. With a LinkedIn account and a credit card handy, you are able to get started immediately:
• Create The Ad - LinkedIn provides an ad creation portal that you can use to write the ad in question, choose what site the ad will link to, and more.
• Select Your Target Audience – Here, you can begin by describing the niche or the LinkedIn population that you would like to address. Since LinkedIn encourages its users to divulge lots of information about themselves (and many do), you have a very healthy degree of options when it comes to choosing who you want to see your ad.
Your ads can be local or international, targeted towards CEO’s or to the currently unemployed, and can even focus on specific segments of these populations in a very efficient way.
• Set Your Campaign Budget - Once you have decided who you want to see your ads, you need to set the maximum amount of money you are willing to pay and the maximum amount of money you are willing to spend on clicks and impressions for your ads.
If you are already using LinkedIn, you have seen ads on their home page already, as well as in your inbox, in search results and more. When you are creating your ads, you need to keep that format in mind and make them stand out.
In general, these ads consist of five elements:
• Headline - Up to 25 characters of eye-catching text;
• Description - Up to 75 characters describing the ads focus;
• From - This is either your personal name or that of your company;
• Image - A 50x50 pixel thumbnail that identifies your brand.
• URL - The destination website you want customers to be pointed to.
If these five elements are designed in harmony with one another, you will have an effective and attractive-looking ad that you can immediately begin using to grow your business. Ads have been proven to help businesses that use them effectively.
In order to help people like yourself use them effectively, LinkedIn offers a helpful list of best practices on their partnership page. This list covers simple topics, such as the size of the logo relative to the text and the elimination of generic phrases.
Carefully reading these best practices can help you create great advertisements and have them placed effectively... giving you the best return on your investment.
When it comes to using LinkedIn many businesses seem to underestimate the “Groups” and “Events” features. Majority of the social network's users are more bent on making personal connections via messages and one-on- one interactions. One-on-one interactions are great but you are not taking advantage of LinkedIn's full potential if you
are limiting yourself to such traditional strategies.
This is where the “Groups” and “Events” features enter the picture. You can tap into these features to double or even triple the amount of connections you make on the site. LinkedIn has constantly improved these features to make them accessible to anyone. As long as you are a member of the social network, you can be a part of any group or
First let's take a look into the “Groups” feature and how you can use it to make connections. A LinkedIn group is just like any group. If you are familiar with Facebook groups, they are pretty similar with LinkedIn groups. It's just a bunch of LinkedIn users who share the same interests, hobbies, or causes.
There are two common ways that you can get yourself involved with a group. You can either create a group or you can join one that's been created by another user. There's no limit as to how many groups you can join. No matter what industry you are in, there are likely dozens of groups for it on LinkedIn. Use the site's in-built search functions to look
for these groups that are relevant to your interests or niche.
Obviously, making connections with users who belong to groups you are interested in is much more effective than making connections with random members. In essence, it is targeted marketing. You will be talking to people who will actually listen to what you ave to say.
For instance, let's say that you are in the business of selling video games. You can log into your LinkedIn account and search for groups about video games. You can then join these groups and start connecting with the other members. When you talk about video games,
there's an instant audience for you. Of course, there are certain rules and regulations in these groups that you need to follow to make yourself a helpful member.
The “Events” feature on the other hand is used to draw more attention or shall we say exposure for an upcoming event. Whether you are conducting an online webinar, an offline conference, or you just want to let people know that you will be having a booth in some trade show, creating an “Event” on LinkedIn would be very helpful.
Setting up the “Event” isn't very hard. As a matter of fact you can have it live in a couple of minutes. Then all you need to do is invite all your connections to become a part of it. You can also make use of external tools like Twitter and Facebook to promote the event.
LinkedIn's “Groups” and “Events” features are invaluable tools for making connections. You should take advantage of them whenever you can.
With LinkedIn rising quickly to become one of the largest professional marketplaces in internet history, it is more important than ever to make sure that your presence on it lets you stand out in a positive, professional way.
You never know who is going to stumble upon your profile; and when they do, you want to make sure they leave feeling impressed and inclined to stay connected.
In order to capitalize on your LinkedIn presence, it is necessary to carefully construct your profile in order to show the best of your brand to potential customers and clients.
Here are the 7 things you need to avoid doing on LinkedIn!
No Picture - On the Internet, one of the easiest ways to shoot yourself in the foot is to avoid putting up a picture of yourself or your company logo. The fact is that, in the minds of the masses, no picture means not human, i.e. a robot or fake profile.
Boring Headline - You have 120 characters you can use to describe yourself in your profile headline. Most people either go strictly by the book and use their job title only or describe themselves in superfluous, mellifluous language that nobody understands or cares about. Go for a middle ground approach that represents you not only clearly, but distinctively as well.
Not Updating - Granted, Twitter and Facebook are much more favorable to constant feeds of your activity, but LinkedIn is the perfect place to keep interested clients and customers up to date on what you are up to in a professional sense. News like a colleague’s promotion or a recent article about the company will work perfectly here.
Updating With The Wrong Content - If you choose to update your LinkedIn profile with the same things you would put on your personal Facebook page, you should re-examine your social media strategy. Different social platforms have different purposes; and your content should mesh with the purpose of each platform for the best results.
Not Using Your Company Description Effectively - This 2000-character space might look fine with some general information about your business, but it is too important of an area to simply copy and paste some sales copy into it.
This is the area where search engine algorithms will be looking most intently for keywords, so you want to make sure you add a few, as well as key figures and statistics that reflect your businesses’ success.
Not Connecting With Your Existing Connections - Chances are that the suppliers you work with for your business are also on LinkedIn. Connecting at this level can help to show that your business is both established and active, as well as earn you customers through other relationships those suppliers may have.
Profile Set to Private – This could go without saying, but a “private” profile makes it hard for people to find it. Therefore, when you set yours up, make sure it is set to “public” so that new leads can easily find your business.
Your LinkedIn Company Page is one of the most important elements of your presence on this social media web service. In order to maximize the benefits of using LinkedIn, it is necessary to have an eye-catching company page that represents you and your business in a meaningful way.
Choose A Recognizable And Eye-Catching Banner - The banner of your company page is the first thing that most customers and business partners will see when they enter your page. For this reason, it is very important that your banner be recognizable and effectively branded.
Customers will associate a professional-looking banner with a high quality page that offers useful information, products and services to them. Color is very important here, as choosing a scheme that matches your company brand, as well as the rest of the page, will create a smooth, pleasant experience for anyone who lands on your page.
Another important tip for creating your banner is to make it different than the one you use on your company Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Examine Your Wording - Two of the greatest pitfalls to an otherwise healthy company page is the overuse of industry buzzwords and standard search terms that every business in the field would use. In order to help your page stand out, it is best to minimize your wordiness as much as possible.
Even though it is tempting to try and prove your company’s worth through a detailed history of your successes on the market, those four paragraphs of information are going to wear out your user’s eyes before they finish reading. Keep your wording short and succinct for the best results.
Include A Video - Customers and potential business partners who land on your page may not have time or may lack the mood to read too much. A quick, 30-second video that summarizes your company, the products or services you offer and your goals will help immensely in completing an attractive company profile.
Keep Your Information Up To Date - This should come off as an obvious tip, but it is an important one, that many people forget about over time. There are quite a few LinkedIn profiles that, despite a very polished, professional look and approach, still display an old address of the company or an industry that does not match the company profile exactly.
Update The Page - One of the most important aspects of using LinkedIn is keeping it active. This means taking advantage of the blog-style news feed format and delivering links to useful information, just like you would on Twitter.
In fact, you can crosslink your posts in order to communicate more easily with your LinkedIn audience through another social media site. This lets you double the effectiveness of any post.
There are many more tips that could help you use LinkedIn to your advantage, you just have to know where to start! Introducing our comprehensive Kickstart Toolkit for LinkedIn.
If you want a solid online presence with more activity on the professional front, LinkedIn is the best place to start.
When you communicate with your followers, you are communicating with the first level connections who serve as a powerful force when it comes to spreading the word about your brand.
You are also likely transmitting to a handful of your own employees, as well as potential employees who are following you on the site.
If you are interested in gaining a larger and more effective social following for your business, LinkedIn has tools that can help you achieve that.
Are you still wondering why LinkedIn is ideal for almost any business looking to gain traction on the internet? Here are some benefits of using LinkedIn for business:
It is worth noting that some of the most advanced search tools are only available for premium members who pay for the privilege. This powerful, efficient indexing, however, can often pay for itself if it is used effectively.
The connections that you make on LinkedIn are noticeably more effective than those that you could get by cold calling or even references. This is thanks to LinkedIn’s meaningful use of information and to the people and brands the service has attracted so far.
If you are like many other small business owners, you may have reservations about using LinkedIn to put your brand on the map online. Using LinkedIn, of course, has its share of advantages that you should be aware of and that you should consider before deciding whether to join or not.
What Do You Want To Achieve Through LinkedIn?
Like any tool, LinkedIn is only as useful as the skill of the person operating it. If you sign up for LinkedIn and immediately expect to see thousands of orders flying in, hundreds of job applicants and a multinational promotional deal on the table, your expectations may be too high for the moment.
When using LinkedIn, you want to clearly identify what the scope of your usage is. That usage can fall into any of the following categories:
• Connecting With New Business Partners - Perhaps you need product distribution in an area where you have no influence. LinkedIn can provide you with the contact information you need to make a presentation to the decision makers in charge there.
• Hiring New Employees - If you have specific needs for new employees to fill, LinkedIn has powerful filters that make it easy to narrow your search down and find exactly the people who carry those set of skills, live in your area and are available to work.
• Communicating With Your Audience - If you are a brand that is fortunate enough to retain a following that you would like to see grow, then LinkedIn offers you a great number of tools that you can use to cater to your audience and give them content and material to share.
After you have identified your goals, it is time to discuss the pros and cons of using LinkedIn.
Clearly, the benefit of using a site like this is that you have a busy web portal readily available to help you raise awareness of your brand, service and products without costing you anything.
You can strengthen the connection with your existing contacts, find new employees and contact potential business partners at the click of a button, maximizing your efficiency and reducing waste.
Disadvantages are hard to come by, but they may appear if LinkedIn is not properly used. For instance, it may be tempting to spend all of your time on the website, sending generic presentations to every person who could possibly benefit from your service. This would hurt more than it helps, since it would feel like spam and associate your brand with that feeling.
It should be pointed out that most LinkedIn users spend only a few hours a week on the site, yet, they enjoy enormous benefits thanks to having built an effective profile that does most of the work for them.
If you approach LinkedIn this way, it is always a good idea to sign up. To make sure you get the most out of your membership, it will not hurt to benefit from the services of an online marketing consultant... at least until you get the hang of it.
We know most people aren't ready to invest in that level of service, so we created a Kickstart Toolkit to help you build an incredible effective LinkedIn presence on your own. Learn more below.
LinkedIn is a social networking site with a slightly different approach than the vast majority - being that it is heavily focused on business-oriented relationships. Therefore, you can easily forge new connections with consumers, colleagues, and other companies.
While LinkedIn is not as popular as Facebook and Twitter (generally speaking), it is the preferred choice for executives and like-minded business professionals.
It’s a place to generate new leads, as well as new business opportunities and partnerships. In addition, you can stay up to date on the latest industry news, as well as share your own news and insights with your followers.
LinkedIn users are signing up at a rate of two new members per second; so it’s steadily gaining popularity as people start to realize just how important it is today.
Serving as an online Rolodex, LinkedIn offers some highly attractive features that you can use to expand your business and gain exposure for your brand:
When it comes to maintaining relationships with distributors, promotional companies, suppliers, and other organizations, LinkedIn provides a platform where they are all immediately accessible from your own profile.
Not only that, but it’s a place that will allow you to build a highly-targeted audience that is interested in your brand, products, and services.
Company Pages & Showcase Pages
A Company Page is a page that allows people to learn more about your business. You can introduce your company, engage with followers, and share great content and industry news.
A Showcase Page is a page off of a Company Page that focuses on a particular area or niche of your business. In other words, it allows you to drill down to certain buyer personas to keep the content extremely targeted.
If both you and your competitors use LinkedIn, you can casually and easily compare your business model and relationships with theirs, at the click of a button.
Using LinkedIn is just as simple as using any other social media site. You need only an attractive profile to explain your business and the connections you would like to make, import whatever existing connections you already work with, and begin to expand.
Once you connected with others through a series of invitations (both those received and sent by you), you have what are called first-level connections. The second level relationships available through the site are determined by degrees: a friend of a friend represents, for instance, a second degree connection.
After you have established your network of primary connections, you can begin the process of establishing secondary and tertiary connections that can bring you additional business opportunities.
The bottom line is, you are probably up against a lot of competition in your field. How do you stand out from other bloggers that are also attempting to attract prospects and customers in your niche? The following 4 tips will improve your odds of drawing attention away from your competition.
1 – Be Unique
There is only 1 you in the universe. Even if you think you are "normal" or "average", you are uniquely different from every other man, woman and child on the planet. Address what makes you unique in your blog and social posts. If you cannot find some unique quality or trait you possess, create a unique slant or approach to everything you do concerning your content.
2 – Be Yourself
Don't try to be something you are not. Human beings in the 21st century are excellent at sniffing out copycat garbage. Let your defenses down. Be who you are. Communicate the way you do with your friends. Talk about the things that interest you. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there who connect with who you are. You can't make that connection if you are not honest about your personality, likes, dislikes and other personality traits.
3 – Be Original
Look at your niche. Check out the websites of the top 10 or 20 search results for the main keyword you are targeting. What do those sites and blogs look like? How do they "feel", and how do they attempt to connect with your target audience? You can convey the same information as those top ranking sites, even reverse engineer their SEO practices and keywords, but you should do so with an original spin. Make your blog original and you will easily stand out from the crowd.
4 – Don't Publish Average Content
You should never, ever publish a blog post just so you can publish a blog post. It is better to release 1 epic blog post of 2,000 words every month, rather than releasing 5 posts each month which are 400 words in length, and offer very little or no value to your readers. Always make sure every idea you communicate to your audience is of extremely high quality, and solves some big problem your target market is experiencing.
How far can you go before you become that "creepy" guy or gal as far as trying to bond with your audience? The last thing you want to do is lose your privacy or reveal too much personal information, for a number of reasons. Keep the following tips in mind and you can develop a personal connection with each individual you encounter online, without putting your personal safety and important information in danger.
1 – Write (Talk) to 1 Reader
Developing a connection is as easy as writing in the second person. When you use the words "you", "yourself", and "yours", every reader that stumbles across your content feels like you are talking to him or her individually. Writing in the second person is a simple way to develop a personal connection with your audience, on an individual, 1-to-1 basis, without giving up any personal information.
2 – Go Vague, Leave Out the Details
You can tell your audience that you just got back from a wonderful vacation in the mountains. There is no need to tell them what mountain range you traveled to, and other specific details about your trip. Especially in the case of discussing an upcoming trip or vacation, you can be vague but personal, without revealing details that could put your privacy in jeopardy.
3 – Write Like People Talk
Coupled with tip number one above, this is a simple copywriter's trick-of-the-trade. People don't always speak in complete sentences. Like this one. They begin sentences with "but", "or" and "and". Some paragraphs are 1 sentence long, and some sentences are 1 or 2 words long. When you communicate too formally online, the average person cannot identify with you. Write like people talk, and you can make a personal connection without revealing much, if any, personal data.
4 – Don't Reveal Family Names
Referring to your son, daughter, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or husband is a smart way to connect with your audience. This is especially the case when emotional conflict is involved with a story about one of your loved ones. People can definitely identify with interpersonal relationship problems. However, there is no need to reveal the names of your friends and family members.
The Harvard Business Review and other websites have shared research which shows a good story actually changes human brain chemistry, in a good way. It makes the reader want to know more.
An effective story, one that really draws in the reader, can turn a casual web surfer into a lifelong follower and customer.
How do you do this?
Tie your blog post to a current event, and turn it into a story. Perhaps your blog is all about natural remedies and health topics. You see that some famous celebrity has just lost 25 pounds, and her new bikini pics are all over the Internet. Tell her story, and then circle back to the weight loss benefits of specific natural remedies and a healthy lifestyle.
You can also tell a story effectively by looking at your own life. People identify with other people they see as "normal". This means that you don't have to have any amazing personal stories to tell. Relating the story of how your dog got into your garbage, or the problems you had buying your first home, are simple but very effective ways to connect with your audience.
Make a great hook. No matter what your story is about, it needs a click-magnet headline that stops Web surfers in their tracks. Your first sentence of your first paragraph should also hook your reader, and make them want to read the next sentence. Your title and opening paragraph need to hook your reader, and lay down the basic premise of the story they are about to read.
Don't forget to make your story relative. A site that is all about peanut butter and jelly probably won't attract too many readers with a story about washing machine repair. You may have developed the most authoritative blog post on that subject, and even if your story is good, it won't work on your blog if it is not related to your overall theme.