LinkedIn Traffic Generation
If you’re seeing this right now, chances are you’re already aware that LinkedIn is by far the largest business-oriented social platform around. The general objective of the platform is to allow users to create a network of other professionals. It’s particularly used for the exchange of ideas, information, and other opportunities.
As a matter of fact, approximately 1.3 million small business owners and professionals just like you are on LinkedIn to gain new prospects, enhance their online presence, generate leads, and build their overall brand awareness. The owners know this, and as much, they provide an ad service that can also assist you with getting new potential customers, starting at a minimum budget of $10.
Above all though, LinkedIn is considered a social media networking site, specifically developed for business professionals and even entrepreneurs. There’s a number of things that set LinkedIn apart from say, a Facebook page or another network page.
LinkedIn allows you to design a customized business-oriented profile that highlights things such as work experience, skills, endorsements, education, curated posts, and in basically your entire professional presence. On the profile page, a summarized view is displayed to viewers. You can establish connections with other people by using the “InMail” messaging service to expand upon opportunities and network.
The platform is an acknowledged approach to advertise your presence online. As such, if you’re searching the web to discover new professionals, LinkedIn results will be given priority in the results.
This course will assume you already have an understanding of LinkedIn and how it works, so we’ll skip over that. Instead, we’re going to focus on how you can use LinkedIn for both traffic generation and also as a useful marketing tool as well.
Setting Up Your LinkedIn Account To Generate The Most Traffic
In this section, we’ll look over various tricks and tips for using your LinkedIn account to generate more traffic, regardless of your brand or business.
Create A Company Page
I’m sure you’re aware of how to use LinkedIn as an individual because after all, that’s what LinkedIn is most known for establishing yourself as a professional.
But have you created a company page for your brand or business? If not, you should consider doing that for a number of reasons. For starters, it allows people to learn more about your business. You can curate your content on here and centralize everything for sharing updates and other information.
To drive people to your company page, just ask each of your employees or even followers of your brand (such as subscribers of your list) to connect with your company page from their own personal profile. You’d be surprised how many people out there are actively using LinkedIn on a daily basis.
Company pages can also feature job postings as well as other information about your products or services. As an additional bonus, company pages rank very well for branded organic searches.
Optimize Your Profile Page
For starters, you should make sure you have a good profile picture, a complete summary that introduces yourself or your company, and a concise history of achievements and experiences. Don’t overlook the importance of these fundamentals with your profile page.
Here are just a few ways to optimize your profile:
- Write a summary that clearly explains what you do or what you’d like to do.
- Make it easy for people to contact you via email or LinkedIn.
- Be honest, be specific, and use numbers when possible.
- Read your profile out loud to look for typos.
Now that you’re familiar with the optimization of your profile page. Let’s discuss how you’re going to drive traffic.
With your LinkedIn page, you can link to blog posts, e-books, and even other digital media within your profile. Once you get traffic to your page, this is exactly how they’re going to click-through to your site.
Add a link to one of your best posts. Keep in mind that people who end up here are likely learning about you and your company for the first time. Share content that will inspire them to click-through and read.
Your media will appear in your Summary, which is one of the first things people see when viewing your profile. It’s really important to add media in the Summary section. LinkedIn might ask you to add Publications or Projects. You can create external links with those features, but they appear at the bottom of your profile.
Stick to the Summary for maximum exposure.
Focus On Your Summary
Nowhere should your profile be more differentiated than in the “Summary” section of your Linkedin profile. This is your opportunity to describe yourself in the context that you want to use the network.
For instance, a person conducting an open job search might explicitly write that in the summary. Or a person seeking to establish thought leadership within their field might highlight their accomplishments and how they demonstrate their expertise.
Louise Fletcher of Blue Sky describes her ideal “template” for this section as five paragraphs, while Laura Smith-Proulx of Job-Hunt suggests focusing on the readability of this section above everything else.
The summary communicates everything, really. It’s the first substantive thing that people will read on your profile and should communicate why you’re using the network (or in the case of incognito job searches, intimate as much).
Customize Your URL
This may seem like a trite thing, but the impression that the link “linkedin.com/in/jimdougherty” makes as opposed to “linkedin.com/in/A5620E9” is both subtle and substantive.
The former looks better and intimates familiarity with the network, while the latter makes it appear that you’re not familiar enough with LinkedIn to make a very easy customization.
A non-personalized URL communicates a lack of familiarity with the LinkedIn network.
A custom URL may make it easier to remember your profile and to navigate back.
Also remember that when you create this type of business plan, you should use estimates and projections that aren’t overly optimistic. Make sure that your plan will work in a ‘worst case scenario’ and don’t put unnecessary stress upon yourself. This way you can only be pleased by the results that you end up achieving.
Using LinkedIn As A Marketing Tool
Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive resume – on steroids. In addition, to information about your work experience and education, LinkedIn allows you to enhance your profile with the following Web 2.0 capabilities to showcase your expertise:
- Status Updates: One of the best ways to keep your connections informed about your happenings is by posting ‘status updates.’ Status updates are brief statements that you feel your connections will find useful. In addition, they can include links to related content on your Website or third-party Websites. To appear active in the LinkedIn community, post useful and actionable status updates on a regular basis.
- Blog Posts: LinkedIn allows you to easily syndicate your Blog posts to your profile. As you post to your blog on your Website, your LinkedIn profile will be automatically updated with your posts’ title, abstract, and link to the full post on your Website.
- Presentations: If you post PowerPoint presentations to SlideShare or Google Docs, you can display these presentations in your LinkedIn profile.
- Events: Are you speaking at an event or sponsoring a training session? You can post a LinkedIn Event to help promote and generate interest in your event.
- Tweets: If you are an active participant in Twitter, you can integrate your LinkedIn Status Updates with your Twitter Tweets to keep your connections and followers informed.
- Recommendations: LinkedIn makes it easy for you to request recommendations from your connections. A collection of glowing recommendations that underscore your expertise and experience will significantly enhance your profile.
- Reading Lists: If you want to share your reading interests with your LinkedIn connections, you can link your profile with Reading Lists by Amazon to display the books you are reading.
- Polls: LinkedIn Polls are a market research tool that allows you to collect actionable data from your connections and the professional audience on LinkedIn.
- Creative Portfolios: If you have a creative portfolio you want to display, post your portfolio of creative work to the Behance Network. Once posted, LinkedIn allows you to showcase your work in your profile.
- Huddle Workspaces: Huddle gives you private, secure online workspace packed with simple yet powerful project collaboration and sharing tools for working with your LinkedIn connections.
On top of just having a profile, LinkedIn also provides a number of community features that allow you to communicate and collaborate with other LinkedIn users, including:
- Groups: LinkedIn Groups help you stay informed and keep in touch with people that share your interests. You can create your own LinkedIn groups or join any number of groups that focus on your area of interest or expertise. Participating in LinkedIn Groups by adding value to the discussion is a great way to expand your circle of influence.
- Answers: LinkedIn Answers is a great way to share business knowledge and connect with like-minded colleagues. You can ask pressing questions and get fast, accurate answers from your network and other experts worldwide. In addition, you can showcase your knowledge, expertise, and interests by answering questions.
- Company Pages: Company Pages are a powerful research tool that you can use to find companies to do business with or research competitors. In addition, you can create a Page for your company to showcase your expertise. You can publish your company’s description, headquarters address, and Website address. To further your company page’s value, you can post targeted jobs, recruitment videos, information about products and services and company images.
Traffic Generation Methods Using LinkedIn
In February 2014, LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform to the public and rolled out access to everyone in English speaking countries early this year. It was later rolled out to everybody on the platform. Because of this, it increased LinkedIn’s capability of spreading invaluable content and in turn, generating valuable traffic.
In regards to that, here are just a few methods and tricks you can use to utilize LinkedIn as a traffic generation asset to your brand or your business.
Publish some content on the platform
Especially if you don’t have another outlet (like a blog) to perpetuate your personal messaging, you may consider publishing a few long-form pieces on LinkedIn.
A job seeker might demonstrate expertise or leadership with a few posts about their experience or philosophy. A salesperson might generate leads by writing about the effectiveness of their product or service to solve problems.
If you’re having trouble getting started, LinkedIn has some topical suggestions. My advice: most bloggers (myself included) have the opportunity to fail a lot before publishing better-received pieces.
If you have time, get some feedback on your content, edit (or even table it) before publishing it to LinkedIn. Because our professional reputations are important, anything intended to demonstrate competence ought to communicate what you want it to.
This communicates a level of expertise. An elaboration of your professional point of view, which plays a crucial role in authority.
Be judicious with your updates
LinkedIn is not Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. The posting behaviors that are commonplace on these networks are unusual on LinkedIn. I rarely will see personal updates on LinkedIn (and they look really out of place) – and oftentimes people who post excessively are painfully obvious in my LinkedIn feed.
The folks at Buffer suggest that the ideal number of LinkedIn posts per month would be about 20, with the rule of thumb to post as often as your content dictates. They say that each post will reach about 20 percent of your network, which is pretty extraordinary compared to other social networking sites.
This communicates a higher level of professionalism all around. By not spamming your network, it makes them more receptive to you when you have something to communicate.
Pay For It (Via Advertising)
Content marketing platform NewsCred ran some tests with LinkedIn Sponsored Updates and found they were able to generate $17 for every $1 they spend.
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates are used in tandem with the updates you are already posting from your company page. You can choose to “amplify” a post that you want to reach more people and you can target users based on all kinds of demographic data (job title, industry, education, location, etc.).
The issue with paying for traffic, of course, is that the visits stop when the money runs out.
Paying for traffic on LinkedIn can earn you followers as well as traffic, however. Interestingly, NewsCred found that the cost per name (CPN) — i.e. the cost per lead generated — decreased over time.
That means that their content reaches more people for less money. It happens because the content reaches more people, which generates more followers, comments, and likes, which increases organic reach.
Even more interesting, NewsCred reports that 60-65% of the leads were “medium-high or high quality” compared to just 20-30% on Google Adwords. Baller.
Okay, so you can get traffic, leads, more organic reach and the cost decreases over time…that’s a pretty sweet deal.
Be warned, however, that it’s very easy to waste money on paid acquisition if you don’t know what you’re doing. I’ve heard horror stories of forgotten campaigns that run for months before someone realizes the mistake.
The paid acquisition also requires rigorous testing and re-testing. If you want to make $17 for every $1 you spend, you better be ready to earn it. You’ve got to have great content, interesting updates and strong calls to action. Don’t start paying for amplification until you’ve got all of this squared away.
That said, if you’re trying to reach a B2B market, LinkedIn Sponsored Ads area a solid way to expand your reach and drive traffic to your website. For a deeper dive on Sponsored Ads, check out LinkedIn’s e-book Driving Quality Leads with Content.
As a whole, I hope that you’re leaving this course with a plethora of knowledge and tips that will help you boost both your presence and your traffic potential using the LinkedIn platform.
As you can see, LinkedIn is not just a “platform for getting jobs” anymore. It’s now expanded to a platform where you can establish your brand or yourself, curate content and valuable information, and of course, drive traffic to anywhere you please – which then means you can do whatever you want with that traffic.
Maintaining your brand via LinkedIn can improve your brand visibility and awareness among professionals and business owners. You can associate your LinkedIn profile with your resume, blog, website and other social networks to best utilize the advantages of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn allows you to connect with your past and recent co-workers, business partners, and friends. Users who are not connected with you, can’t see your complete profile.
There’s not a ton of secrets to know about LinkedIn other than to experiment and focus on linking all of your social networks and content generation platforms to LinkedIn so that you can keep it completely up to date.
With that in mind, it’s time for you to head out and get to work on your LinkedIn page. Whether it’s your personal profile or a profile for your brand or company, you can incorporate the information you’ve learned in this course all across the board.
Thank you so much for taking the time to go through this course and I wish you all the best of luck with your marketing and traffic generation endeavors.