linkedin marketing

Why 2017 is the year of LinkedIn

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 2 June , 2017
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    • 6 min read

LinkedIn, over the last few years has come a long way from being just a job search portal to a platform for lead generation, especially for B2B and small business. The platform has globally around 500 million users and 42 million Indian users, making it an ideal platform to promote your content. However, with Facebook having a sophisticated advertising platform and ad formats, more marketers preferred Facebook for lead generation. Understand this, LinkedIn recently introduced changes to its advertising methods, making it a comprehensive platform to generate leads. Here is a look at all the changes that marketers need to know.

If you have used the Facebook Ads Manager, using the LinkedIn advertising platform will not be too difficult.

LinkedIn Lead ads

The LinkedIn lead ads are the coolest and newest update that the platform has introduced. It is also the most useful one for any B2B business. You can use the LinkedIn lead forms for your sponsored content and campaigns. It works like a regular ad but when you click on the call to action, it takes you to a pre-filled lead from within the platform, making the entire experience seamless and hassle-free for users. The form is prefilled because the form already extracts most of the information from the user's profile. With more marketers going the mobile first route, this ad format is an excellent option to explore, especially since it does not take you to a landing page or a website, making the process much faster and easy to navigate on the mobile.

Here is a guide on how to create the lead form ad.

Step 1 - Select the Lead Forms option

Go on to the LinkedIn advert manager and select the preferred language, type the name of the campaign and choose the ad format as, “ Collect Leads Using LinkedIn.”  

Step 2 - Choose the content

Choose the content that you would like to promote. You can choose from the available content that you have posted or post new content for your target audience.

Step 3 - Set up the lead form

The next step is to set up the lead form itself. Enter a form name, a headline and other information needed. Treat it as a landing page and give all the necessary information including a powerful call to action to make sure that the user fills out the form.  

Step 4 - Choose the fields for the form

The next step is to create the form and you can choose up to seven fields that you want to collect from your lead form including name, email address, job title and phone number.

Step 5 - Thank you Message

You also have the option to set a thank you message and display a URL that can take the user to, once some fill out the form. This can be a landing page or website.

Step 6 - Select the target audience

Selecting the target audience is the most important step to collecting the right leads. LinkedIn gives you the option to choose from a wide range of them based on demographics, job titles, location, industry, skills, gender, etc. Once you have selected the audience, choose the budget and define your bid type from CPC or CPM and voila, your ad is now ready!

Measuring results from the Lead Forms

Apart from giving you the basic information of the cost per lead, LinkedIn also tells you how many people opened the advert, how many of them opened the form and how many submitted as well. You can also download the leads from your form and used that data for future campaigns.

Matched audience

LinkedIn already has detailed targeting options, which allows marketers to target potential audience by the company, job title, etc. However, the platform has now expanded and introduced a concept called matched audience. Matched audience lets you retarget website visitors and add your contact database. This option gives you the chance to target people who are familiar with your business, giving you a better chance of capturing the lead and driving sales. Using matched audience, you can target:

Website Visitors

As the name suggests, with this feature, you can target people who visit your website. Make sure you add the LinkedIn pixel on all pages of your website, just like how you add the Facebook pixel and create a custom audience in the tools section of campaign manager.

Contact targeting

If you have a database of your customers, with contact targeting, you can add them to your LinkedIn campaign manager and target them.

Account Targeting

Account targeting lets you reach powerful people who call the shots within your target accounts. All you need to do is upload a list of target companies to match against the 8+ million company pages on the platform.

InMail ads

Sponsored InMail ads look just like a regular email and present the opportunity to marketers to send personalised messages to their target audience. The InMail ads act as an email marketing campaign, which is sent to the target audience’s LinkedIn inbox, without having to acquire their email ids. The best part about this feature is that it has 100% delivery as the emails are sent only to people who are active on the platform when it is being sent.

InMail ads are a great way to showcase your product, branded content, webinars and promote content downloads such as ebooks and infographics.

With the Sponsored InMail ads, you can target a variety of target audience relevant to your business just like the lead ads. The ads are only sent to a user once in 60 days so it eliminates the question of spam and crowd.

Best practices for creating InMail ads

  • Keep the subject line catchy
  • Personalise your greetings and your target audience by their first name.
  • Use compelling text and visuals
  • Use a powerful call to action
  • Use relevant target audience

Why do LinkedIn ads work?

  • Create awareness about your brand
  • Reach decision makers - From CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to senior level executive, LinkedIn has all the top decision makers who can potentially see your advert.
  • Increase the reputation of the brand

Who Should Advertise On LinkedIn?

With more than 500 million users and various ad formats, LinkedIn has become the go-to platform to promote content. If you are a small to medium size business and want to sell to decision makers, LinkedIn is the perfect place to be.  According to data, more than 80% of the leads generated for B2B companies come through LinkedIn. From promoting relevant content to showcasing the product, B2B services can create a niche market for themselves on LinkedIn.

Although LinkedIn is synonymous with the B2B sector, we have tried it out for B2C sectors as well. It especially works well for real estate, education, finance, the publishing industry, etc. With the right targeting, a business can increase their visibility and possibly generate leads.  Given below is an example of how one of our real estate clients, Mahindra Lifespaces, leveraged LinkedIn lead ads to improve the quality of sales. To promote one of their properties on GST Road, Chennai, they look to LinkedIn lead ad feature to target senior level executives. The ad opened to a lead form within the platform, giving a convenient way for potential investors to contact the buyer. With LinkedIn, Mahindra Lifespaces saw a 5x increase in leads at about 20% of the cost.


Which one of these updates are you trying out for your business? Let us know by leaving a comment.


9 Tips For Social Recruiting In India

  • Roshni Chhabria
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  • 22 June , 2016
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    • 8 min read

Social recruiting is one of the latest recruitment methods in the industry. Recruitment has seen a 360-degree shift in the way how employers connect with potential candidates. Professional recruiters and employers have moved away from traditional methods like newspaper ads to newer techniques and are using social media channels for talent acquisition.  Social recruiting is the latest trend where recruiters use social media channels to source and recruit candidates instead of direct sourcing or job boards. Today social recruiting is not just a novelty, it’s a must have for any successful recruitment strategy. Below are 9 essential tips to keep in mind for your social recruiting strategy.

1.    Content is king

The importance of content marketing has grown significantly over the last few years. Content marketers are constantly focusing on creating content that would be suitable for prospective clients/customers. However, one target segment that most marketers tend to overlook is prospective employees. Various content marketing techniques can be used to attract and engage with potential employees. Even if the company is not hiring at the moment, it is considered ideal to create content that would appeal to prospective employees. So, in the future when you need to hire someone, you are already on your prospective employees’ radar.

Below are a few other ways in which you can leverage the power of content marketing as a part of your social recruiting strategy.

  • Showcase employee experiences/testimonials
  • Create content around the work culture of the organization.
  • Showcase the fun team activities/outings
  • Leverage current employee’s expertise to create content

2. Rise of Facebook recruitment

Facebook’s substantial talent pool along with its numerous ad types and thousands of possible ad targeting parameters, make it the perfect platform for companies to find and engage with potential employees.

An easy way to do this would be to create a job advertisement for the open position and target the relevant audience segment in order to reach qualified candidates. Facebook allows you to target people based on multiple criteria’s so you can filter and reach only those who are the right fit. To begin with, the simplest way is to target people based on their age, gender, and location.  For more advanced options, you can decide to show your ad only to people of a certain education level, field of study and colleges that they have graduated from. For an example if you are looking to hire an MBA from a premium B-school for a managerial role then you can choose to deliver your ad only to those who would be the right match.

3. Twitter - A recruiter’s secret weapon

When it comes to talent acquisition it helps to be where all the people are and there are over 23 million registered Twitter accounts in India. Twitter is considered an open social network, and it is very easy to use Twitter to connect and build relationships with relevant active users.

Build your twitter following

It is essential to ensure that you engage with the people from your target talent pool and that they follow you on Twitter. If you don’t have these relevant followers and you tweet about a job opportunity then it is highly unlikely that you will see any good results out of this activity. An effective way to do this is to search for these people and follow them. So, how do we search and find people on twitter?

  • A useful but rarely used feature of twitter is the advanced search. It is the simplest way to look for people by keywords or cities they live in.
  • Search for relevant hashtags and see who are the people using it or alternatively you could pick a trending topic that is relevant to your industry to see who is talking about it and follow them.
  • Once you find a few appropriate people you can see if they are part of any lists and then you can find other people on that list who are likely to have similar interests.
  • Third Party Tools such as followerwonk, a Moz app helps you search twitter bios. This could be an ideal way to search for potential candidates as most people would have their industry/designation details along with other interests or passions mentioned in the bio.

 

  • Another interesting and simple way is to use search engines like Google/Bing to literally X-Ray twitter for the information you need. For example, if you are looking to connect with SQL Developers you can go to Google and type site:twitter.com chennai sql~develop –jobs and you will find relevant accounts on twitter with those keywords in the city specified by you.

Listen & engage

You can use Twitter Advanced Search to listen in on relevant conversations and engage with the right audience. You can also save the searches in order to be able to continuously monitor the specific keywords. Tools like Hootsuite are very useful to listen and monitor any conversations that you feel are relevant to your business. This can help you curate content you are interested in, find people, discover content and much more. Also, you can use tools like IFTTT, which can help automate the monitoring and listening process.

Twitter Ads

Twitter ads can be intimidating for those of you who are trying it for the first time. Read our Complete Guide to Twitter Ads and see how your brand can leverage twitter ads, in order to help your social recruiting strategy.  Interaction on Twitter is by and large seen as less intrusive, when compared to other forms of traditional communication (emails, phone, text) as well as other social networks. This means that recruiters can not only reach out to, but can also easily be very social with potential employees before the formal hiring process begins.

4. Find the perfect hire on LinkedIn

The recruiting process is constantly evolving and it is essential to stay ahead of the game. However, LinkedIn still remains the top social recruiting tool. With the changing face of the recruitment industry, LinkedIn is a must-have for every recruitment team.  LinkedIn groups and sponsored job postings are the most common and effective ways of attracting the right talent. There are other paid LinkedIn options, which include plans specifically designed keeping in mind, the needs of a recruiter. For an example, Talent Finder lets you access every single profile be it 2nd degree or 3rd degree connections. You have access to premium search filters with the focus on industry, company, years of experience etc.

5. The good old e-mailer

Some candidates with a certain technical skill set may not be very active on social media and hence it becomes difficult for recruiters to reach out to these candidates. In such a case, it is advisable to send E-mailers for specific job openings to a relevant database, which can help garner an excellent response.  It is essential to ensure that you have a remarkable subject line that can cut through the clutter and entice a candidate into reading more. It is okay to experiment a bit until you find the tone and style that is best suited for your brand. It is recommended to constantly A/B test to optimize, and measure key metrics like open rate, click through rate etc. Mention all essential details about the position and clearly specify what action the candidate needs to take if he or she would be interested to apply for the position. We could redirect the users to our social media channels or LinkedIn job posting from the e-mailer in order to take the next step in the hiring process.

 

6. Career Page is a recruiter’s best friend

In order to have a successful new-age recruiting strategy, a well built and descriptive career page is absolutely necessary. A career page does not have to be necessarily fancy but it must highlight the value proposition.  The page should explain the key benefits of working with your company and why candidates must choose you over any other company. An essential thing, over and above all of these is to ensure your careers page is mobile optimized and the process of applying to an open position is as easy and short as possible.

7. Building a social talent brand

A company’s talent brand is nothing but how their vision and corporate culture are perceived on various social media platforms. This plays an important and immense role in not just reducing the cost of hiring for a company but also its ability to attract top quality candidates. Google, for an example, does a great job when it comes to talent branding. They look like the best place to work and that has become one of their biggest assets in their hiring process. Keep in mind, that it is essential that your company’s image, in words, photos, and videos, is consistent across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and all other social media platforms.

8.  Turn employees into brand ambassadors

There is nothing more powerful than your own employees speaking about the company and its work culture when it comes to attracting and hiring the best talent.  Creating content that goes viral is a difficult task and it is essential to learn how you can multiply your reach. For example, if you have 1000 employees and say 60% of them share your social media content with their followers and each of them has an average of 400 followers then you have just reached 240,000 more people. Yes, there might be common connections but even if you have reached two-thirds of this number then it is a notable reach. Encouraging employees to follow and share your content on social media is an essential step and you can definitely see positive results out of this simple activity and increase your social media reach significantly. Read more on 100X social media reach by turning your employees into brand ambassadors.  According to a survey by Monster, more than 65% of candidates tend to consider an opportunity for a new job role if they happened to come across such information from existing employees on social media channels. So this is a complete win-win situation and has a positive impact on your social recruiting process.

9. Showcase the fun on Instagram

Instagram is the secret to catching the attention of passive candidates by telling them a great visual story about your brand and also showcase what it is like to work with you. The stories could focus on things that potential candidates would desire in their prospective employer. On Instagram, the trick is to give users a glimpse into a space that they would otherwise have no access to. In this way, brand awareness is created and an employer can reach out to both current job seekers as well as passive candidates.


Leveraging LinkedIn to generate leads for a Small Business

  • Varun
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  • 16 March , 2016
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    • 5 min read

The foundation to leverage on any social media tool is to ask yourself, ‘’Is this tool right for my business?’’ The answer to this question should not be driven by your competitor or market ally, who has plunged into using the tool, to aid his business. Are you a small business pondering your thoughts upon selecting LinkedIn as a platform for lead generation? Well, the dilemmas can be swept aside as LinkedIn will act as a lifeline to stay in front of your customers and also help you reach out to new prospects.

In digital marketing, your network is everything. Publishing a brilliant article on your website with 1,00,000 flares can make your feel ecstatic and boost your credibility. But it won’t matter if you aren’t speaking to the right audience. That’s where LinkedIn has stepped into the arena. It has become a prime channel where brands share content. This makes it easier for small business to connect with brand advocates, potential customers, and industry influencers, all at the same place. While content is one of the dual weapons, LinkedIn gears your business with, lead generation is the other ammunition. With access to over 400 million members on the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn enables sales lead generation by allowing sales professionals to easily and quickly find the right prospects. Here are some of the most successful lead generation strategies that your business can leverage on, for generating leads.

Make an Effective Debut
There is nothing like effectively introducing yourself as a business to create an impact on users. Take care to optimise your profile and pay attention to your feed and website descriptions. Being descriptive builds trust and captures the eye of prospects more efficiently. Using the necessary keywords will help your business get captured during filtered searches.

Make Connections
Nothing works like direct one-on-one networking. Invest in a couple of minutes each working day, clicking the "connect" button on the "People You May Know" list that LinkedIn displays on your feed. Through time you will broaden your network and will become someone known for doing so. Remember that everyone you talk to about business or meet during the course of a business day is a potential LinkedIn connection.

Capitalize on LinkedIn Applications
The platform gives you the option to add interesting apps that will improve the experience people have on your LinkedIn page. You can add blog posts, let people know what you are reading, and even set up polls to find out what’s on the minds of your customers and prospects. For example, your business can use SlideShare to display a webinar or use a PowerPoint deck of how your business helps in solving a customer’s problem.

Rendezvous on LinkedIn Groups
Participating in LinkedIn Groups is the one of the key moves to generate leads. If you are a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them. In addition to this, group members can also view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Take some time to search for groups to join where your targeted buyers are likely to be members. Start by contributing to conversations, be helpful in answering questions, and provide links to assets you have on your site that might help members of the group. Put your most valuable assets behind a short form on your site to capture LinkedIn visitor’s details. And voila, you now have a new lead! Alternatively, joining groups that are outside your industry that might help you grow your business too. Stretching out a little bit, helps your business expand its reach. For example: If you’re an Social Media Specialist, you don’t want to just join an Social Media Professionals Group - you’ll want to join groups for Digital Marketing, Startups, App Marketing, and other groups outside of your immediate circle.

Sponsored Updates + Valuable Content
Many small businesses have started to run LinkedIn Sponsored Update campaigns to generate leads for their business. While regular updates can be a hit or miss in terms of impressions; using sponsored updates allows you to share updates that don’t appear as ads, at first glance. Start by generating a whole lot of original content (blogs). Then trial with creating 20 sponsored updates over the space of two months to promote it to your target audience. It’s a lot of work, but it pays off! NewsCred ran a series of sponsored update campaigns that netted them 288 new followers and 71 leads, over a span of 2 months. The company also found the campaign to be 75% less expensive than the Google AdWords lead gen campaigns they were running in parallel. It is to be noted that research has revealed leads collected via LinkedIn are three times more likely to convert into customers than leads collected via any other digital advertising platform.

Priming LinkedIn Direct Ads (Text Ads)
LinkedIn’s advertising platform can be used to drive new prospects to your landing page, LinkedIn group or other destination. The ads work the same way Google paid search ads work. You simply write a headline, add some copy and create a destination link. Then you bid on how much you’ll pay LinkedIn every time someone clicks on the ad. If you pay Rs.100 to LinkedIn for a click, and it takes 50 clicks before you convert a customer, then you’ve just spent Rs.500 for 1 customer. If your product sells for Rs.5000 each, investing Rs.500 to generate Rs.5000 is not a bad return-on-investment. In our experience, text ads deliver high impressions but fail to capture leads effectively, when compared to the sponsored updates.

For more information on how you can leverage LinkedIn for your B2C or B2B brands, take a look at what Ishan Gupta of LinkedIn has to say.


LinkedIn Showcase Pages – Why you must use them

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
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  • 1 April , 2014
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    • 4 min read

The social media space has always been extremely dynamic with all players constantly rolling out changes to their platforms. It was LinkedIn’s turn last week when they announced that, from 14th April 2014, they will be doing away with the Products and Services tab from Company Pages.

Exit Products & Services Tab

The move has evoked mixed reactions from users with most being unhappy with it. A large number of businesses have invested a lot of time and effort to showcase all their products and services on the page and to get recommendations from their clients. Come April 14th, this page will disappear and all the work that has been put in will be gone. All the recommendations will be gone too, and the official Linked In announcement suggests you “copy them from the tab into your own document” or request a copy through a support request, if you want to keep them.

Another group of users believe that the move to do away with the tab makes perfect sense since a very small number of visitors to the page actually clicked on the Products & Services Tab. The tab also lacked images, and the Static content on it is not as much as viewed as content updates, which have a far greater reach. In fact, analytics for the Social Beat company page on LinkedIn show that barely 10% of page visitors clicked on the Product & Services tab.

 

Social Beat Product & Services Page Analytics

 

Many also view the change as LinkedIn’s attempt to do away with static content (which, once written, remains on the page for people to see), thereby forcing users to use dynamic updates to communicate with their follower base. These could be monetized much more easily using LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates.

Either way, change has to be embraced and the best made out of it. So, now that the Products and Services page has been done away with, how do you showcase your businesses products and services and get visibility for them on LinkedIn? The answer lies in LinkedIn Showcase pages.

Enter Showcase Pages

Introduced by LinkedIn in November 2013, Showcase Pages are dedicated pages that allow companies to highlight different aspects of their business, products and services and build relationships with the right community. They are like sub-pages of the main company page and each of them can be used to promote specific products and services to a specific buyer persona.

LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool and it is worth investing time and effort to make the transition to Showcase pages. Here are the advantages of Showcase pages, which is why you must use them.

 

Social Beat - Showcase page for SEO

 

Why you must use Showcase pages

  • Build a Targeted audience – You now have a dedicated page to post updates for each particular aspect of your business and build a targeted audience for that product or service. And if your content is appealing enough for your audience to share it, you will be able to organically expand your reach for each product/service.
  • Focus: Showcase pages focus entirely on the product or service. There are no careers, products, or services tabs on them as they are on Company pages.
  • Analytics: Showcase pages have their own analytics on follower engagement, trends and demographics.
  • Two-column layout: Unlike Company pages, where updates show up in a single column format, Showcase page updates show up in two columns which make it easier for users to scroll through content. Showcase pages also have a larger and more prominent hero image.
  • All showcase pages branch off from the company page and link back to them, creating a centralized page structure. You can create upto 10 showcase pages.
  • Users can follow only that part of your business that they are most interested in and receive updates tailor-made for them.

 

Showcase Page Structure

 

Teething Trouble

Showcase pages do have some limitations and constraints as well, a major one being the trouble with choosing a name for the page URL. Although LinkedIn showcase pages are centralized under a single Company Page, the URL for each Showcase page is not currently nested under the Company url. For eg, the Social Beat showcase page for Social Media carries the url  http://www.linkedin.com/company/effective-use-of-social-media while it should have ideally been http://www.linkedin.com/company/Social-Beat/effective-use-of-social-media. This has made it extremely difficult and challenging to choose names for Showcase pages.

Some other Showcase Page constraints include the need for each Showcase page to be managed, updated and edited separately, and the 10-page limit which may not work well for larger companies.

However, Showcase pages are still in their initial stage and these constraints could just be considered teething trouble which LinkedIn would definitely work on improvising as these pages become more mainstream and popular. For now, it is best to work through these limitations and focus on leveraging this new feature for business growth.

 

What is your take on LinkedIn Showcase pages? Have you begun building them for your business?


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