Turn Left Media is a company that represents LinkedIn marketing solutions in Africa.
They are focused on helping agencies learn more about the platform and giving them the ability to build up their organic collateral.
Today, I sat down with Anthea Chitinden to discuss the ins and outs of LinkedIn marketing.
Can you elaborate on the growth LinkedIn has had over the past couple of years since Microsoft took over, as well as the expansion of LinkedIn in Africa?
The usability of LinkedIn continues to improve, and we can see how more and more clients are making an effort to build up their media and company pages.
Building up good business pages is an indication of the user advocacy and thought leadership, which is the foundation of any well-paid campaign.
There has also been remarkable growth in Africa.
Since you now have different languages and industries participating on the platform, there is an opportunity for people to learn about the nuances of these different audiences.
LinkedIn is an objective-based buying platform, which means that the first key criterion of paid media is your objective.
Your objective should tie-in to your over-arching strategies and the content you are producing.
The tools that are available on LinkedIn are also better and make it possible for you to layer your criteria.
Therefore, you can play around with audiences with much more ease than ever before.
The truth is, the audience is the key to success.
It does take a lot of testing, and you need to be able to continuously evolve with your campaigns and know what your strategies are, from a content point of view.
Of course, costs and budgets are a big part of any campaign, but you will be paying for premium service in terms of this kind of audience.
However, LinkedIn has taken stringent measure to make sure that you have a trusted and credible environment as well as being GDPR compliant.
Over time, your bid strategies become quite significant.
Different companies will have various campaigns and techniques, which is why working on your objective to lay that foundation is so crucial.
Do not be eager to jump in; you will need to do preparation.
You need to engage and educate your audience, especially on the more complicated buys.
After you have laid that foundation, you can build your audience and formulate a bidding strategy.
On LinkedIn, you have a great depository of information available to campaign managers.
You can access this information and use it to improve your campaigns.
All the tools available on the backend are just getting better and better.
Features such as target costs, CPCs, CPMs and manual are done clearly on the platform and will encourage more AB-testing.
These tools ultimately do not only help with advertising but also content- in how you are structuring good, helpful content and developing thought leadership within the business- therefore, you need to have your 3-month, 6-month and 12-month plan in place.
You can also be creative about how you pull-out content and how long you can make use of it. For example, you can amplify thought leadership.
How do you amplify thought leadership on Linkedin?
Thought leaders can create a long-form post in the form of an article.
Then, you can amplify that article as a paid media campaign and run it as a post-engagement objective ad.
An amplified post looks very different from your boosted posts.
Is LinkedIn’s boosted-post feature, similar to Facebook’s boosted-post feature?
However, you are not allowed to boost a post from a profile on LinkedIn.
In the instance of an article written by a thought leader, you would post that article to the company page and then make it into a paid media campaign.
This type of campaign will always come from the brand and drives legs to the campaign.
Keep in mind that people are looking or unique, helpful information that would allow them to do what they are doing, better.
In South Africa and Africa at large, people are hungry for knowledge and want to learn.
What are the main differences between LinkedIn and Facebook?
On a surface level, LinkedIn is more of a B2B platform, and Facebook is a B2C platform.
Also, consider the mindset that people are in when they are engaging in each of the platforms.
Facebook is more of a social escape, whereas LinkedIn exposes your professional persona.
As a result, even though people engage in heated debates, language and overall character is monitored because you want to remain professional- making LinkedIn a brand-safe environment.
Also, account-based marketing (ABM) is growing on the platform.
ABM is when a business uses first-party data that they have gained legitimately through their business.
LinkedIn allows you to use this data as “data ingestion”.
Insight tags on your website are a great way to build up a prospect company list and should be used in conjunction with LinkedIn.
A significant difference between the two platforms is units.
Advertising units are sponsored content which can appear in the form of carousels, static posts or videos.
Message ads and newly launched conversation ads are also available.
Message ads are one-on-one engagement between you and your prospect, whereas conversation ads act more like bots.
Both these methods allow you to massage people down your sales funnel, though be mindful of the fact that lead generation is not easy and you should continuously monitor your data.
Who is LinkedIn best suited for?
If you are a working professional who is active in your market or if you are a graduate that is entering the market for the first time, then you should get on the platform.
A LinkedIn profile is an investment that will allow you to form connections with mentors and your peer group- while giving you a way to humanise your credentials.
In the same breath, if you are someone who enjoys learning, then you should consider signing up- because LinkedIn provides a platform where you can engage in conceptual conversations and maybe even become a thought leader yourself.
Which businesses are best crafted for LinkedIn and who should consider experimenting with the platform?
The businesses which find the most success on LinkedIn are quite broad. Businesses range from entrepreneurs to big enterprises, from retail to automotive to IT to real estate.
Also, anyone who is in the service business will benefit hugely from using LinkedIn, because it puts you right in front of the decision-makers of different companies- and these are primarily the people you want to be targeting.
From forming connections, all that is left to do is build a relationship.
Consumer brands are not excluded from this though- especially in the case where your product is a high-ticket item.
You can use the platform to target people who you know will be able to afford your product.
What is a good content strategy when it comes to LinkedIn?
When it comes to your content, not everything you do has to be a hard product push.
Depending on your business, there are a lot of elements you can encompass as part of your brand story.
From a typical “day in the life” of your employees to your environmental involvement, to how you have solved problems for other businesses- capitalise on what makes you, you.
In terms of the organic side of LinkedIn, what are some best practices SMEs can use to draw attention to their profiles?
PLAN. You want to ensure you have an active page if your goal is to draw attention to it, and you do this by having a 3-month, 6-month and 12-month plan.
Use your analytics to find out which times are best for you to make posts.
Think about what your content strategy is and ensure that your content is varied, consistent and of good quality, while also making sure your imagery is done correctly.
After you have done this, test your content, make use of hashtags, tag people and share and like other content.
Layer your content to keep people coming back.
Brands must share valuable content that is going to be more than a sales push. Make sure you can answer the “why” in peoples minds.
You can also include stories and experiences, helpful advice for other businesses and above all, give your content that human touch.
If you are struggling to think of content, put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
As your customer, what kind of content would you like to see?
Your goal with LinkedIn should be to connect, be social and build long-term relationships.
An Organic Outreach Strategy Would Include:
- Connect with decision-maker.
- Be interactive with their content by commenting, liking and sharing.
- After a few days of engaging with their content, send them a direct message asking a question or for their opinion or advice.
- After you have established a relationship, you can move on to asking them if they would be interested in a solution you can provide for them.
Make sure you have a photo on your profile, perhaps one with your billboard behind you.
Also, be creative with your title on your profile. You want to spark curiosity within the people who visit your profile.
To be continued …