[Published by POSSIBLE] When people think about LinkedIn, they typically see its primary function as centered around job search and professional networking. But LinkedIn has evolved into so much more. Today, it is the world’s largest business network by far, with fully integrated advertising and content platforms. And its metrics are nothing short of incredible:
- LinkedIn has 260+M users, 3+M companies, and 1M+ publishers in 200+ countries
- It adds 2 new members per second
- 48% of its members influence business decisions at their company, making it an extremely high value audience
- Advertising click-through rates are as high as 20 times industry averages
- LinkedIn drives significantly more traffic – 64%—to corporate websites than all the other social platforms combined
- It has 6 times more engagement with its content than its job postings
- It generates more B2B sales leads than Facebook, Twitter, or blogs
- It has 4 times the corporate utilization rate of Microsoft SharePoint and Salesforce Chatter
LinkedIn is also growing and expanding its products and services, aiming to become a content platform closely integrated with CRM and digital asset management systems. It often adds new industry and segment specific functionality and seems committed to doing more in the future. For example, it launched LinkedIn Universities pages earlier this year, which create sub-networks around each school (similar to LinkedIn Company pages). And more recently it added LinkedIn Showcase pages, which provide unique content stream sub-pages for company product families or events.
While this all sounds great, many people (including marketers) struggle with one question…
Where do we start?
For most brands on LinkedIn, that conversation isn’t as clear as you would hope. They are excited about its potential, have ideas about what they want to do, and are seeing results in areas they are exploring. However, they lack an integrated approach to LinkedIn that goes beyond a traditional media buy and creates a sustainable brand community on and off platform.
POSSIBLE has successfully created unique LinkedIn opportunities for many of our clients. We do so by showing them how to increase brand presence and awareness, create new communities with creative content, serve that content to hypertargeted audiences, and leverage the LinkedIn API’s to build richer experiences across their owned properties.
Each of these engagements starts with a conversation that clarifies how the client’s current LinkedIn initiatives are working, how their business objectives match up with each LinkedIn opportunity area, and how we will measure success.
In other words, we gather insights about where unique opportunities exist for each brand. Then we build an understanding of how they can leverage content, assets, and LinkedIn functionality to achieve specific objectives. We also test those ideas by identifying and monitoring performance indicators specific to their brand on LinkedIn—and optimizing them to achieve the maximum effect.
The numbers don’t lie. LinkedIn offers a very compelling marketing platform for almost any company. But realizing its true value involves much more than a well-constructed LinkedIn ad campaign.
Instead, we need to view LinkedIn as an evolving platform, one that can already be tailored to each client’s unique marketing objectives. At the least, it should be an essential part of any content strategy, because it offers the ability to create valuable relationships and communities around business challenges. If a company’s content is engaging enough, it can generate a large number of high value followers who subscribe to the way it does business and aspire to be affiliated with its brand.
We are excited about the direction LinkedIn is headed and the opportunities to create deeper relationships with our clients’ audiences. As we integrate LinkedIn further into client CRM objectives and communication plans, we expect to see big increases in meaningful engagement, ultimately translating into long term benefits for brands.
Put simply, LinkedIn is a huge opportunity, but an often-overlooked one. Like anything, you’re only going get out of it what you put into it. So it’s time for brands to start thinking more deeply about how to make the platform more integral to their overall marketing strategy.