LinkedIn is essential for every business with Australian membership sitting at 11+ Million. Circa 48 per cent of members log in monthly and of those, it’s reported 45 per cent are active daily.
Further, LinkedIn is the largest professional database in the world with proven ROI. But small businesses should not put all their marketing eggs into the one basket as the platform is not used by every member every day, or bi-monthly or weekly. Opportunities will be missed.
Don’t get me wrong, LinkedIn is undisputed for awareness, marketing, branding, lead generation and content distribution. As profiles and company pages rank on the first page of Google searches, it’s also vital for social proof and resource visibility.
Truth is, not everyone who is an ideal client is also a regular user. The platform is noisy and your ideal clients may use the platform for a range of purposes not aligned to yours. And as the platform is not owned by you, there are no guarantees of the state of future play.
Like a wholesome diet, a healthy marketing wheel contains a diversity of owned, earned and paid elements for eyeball and engagement reach and conversion. It is dangerous for a small business to put their effort, time and content into one element of the marketing wheel.
Owned, earned, paid media
The marketing wheel comprises owned, earned and paid pillars with a convergence of intersecting multiple delivery touchpoints. And across numerous platforms, all three can reside side-by-side.
Protection, positioning and distribution of your brand assets is a commercial insurance policy along with smart marketing. They briefly comprise:
Websites, Blogs, social media channels, eCommerce sites, direct mail, email, SMS, apps.
NB: whilst you own your profiles on social media and LinkedIn, you don’t own the platform.
PR, news, media interviews and mentions, guest blogs, reviews, digital backlinks, social media shares, endorsements.
Digital media advertising, SEO, PPC, traditional advertising, influencer marketing, events, sponsorships.
Tips for a broader mix
- Understand and research where your target market congregates. There are some industries where LinkedIn has a very high relevancy, others not so. Data is key.
- Check-in with your clients and prospects around their news and industry resource preferences. What do they read and why? Where do they learn and keep abreast of general business and industry updates and news? You are reading one of those just now from Inside Small Business.
- Engage with PR professionals and develop niche subject media. I guarantee that many small-business owners on LinkedIn are losing prospects by not adding a few more eggs into their marketing basket. Social proof amplifies when you are endorsed and found on reputable and industry channels.
- Distribute your LinkedIn content to a wider audience. Share as a guest blog on other websites and channels, podcasts or videos. Add to your website blog, offer to other niche media outlets (and tweak as necessary). Add to your mailing list and email campaigns.
- Consider investing some advertising spend into the right channels and media.
- Don’t buy into big shiny sales and digital solution pitches. Not every media is appropriate for all. Be critical and discerning with facts as consumer behaviours and trust is ever-evolving.
- Email networking and outreach. Check if a prospect actually uses LinkedIn regularly. If not, email an introduction instead.
LinkedIn will continue to grow in 2021 but so will other marketing avenues. Across all marketing channels and LinkedIn success is maximised by being brave, unique and creative. It’s not just the where you show up, but the how.
Sue Parker, Founder, DARE Group Australia
DARE Group Australia is a valued content partner of Inside Small Business