A LinkedIn marketing strategy can boost your business when times are tough
As a marketing and creative leader, you’re likely facing many challenges during the current economic downturn – we hear you – but it’s not all out of your control.
Even in tough times, social media platforms like LinkedIn can offer opportunities for you to connect with customers and build relationships that can lead to long-term growth (not to mention personal fulfilment).
In this blog post, we’re sharing ideas and methods for marketing during a recession through LinkedIn content marketing that engages with customers. Including best practices, content formats, and other tips to keep things moving in the right direction.
Best practices for engaging customers on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a unique entity in the social media space. Unlike its peers, LinkedIn is business-focused, providing a place for insight, conversation and knowledge-sharing with the goal (usually) to improve career, network, or both.
To get the most out of the platform for your business, many have noticed the benefits of a LinkedIn marketing strategy that focuses on a personal profile as opposed to solely a business or company profile.
Why? Because people connect with people, and people associate brands with the people they encounter who work for them.
A personal profile:
Mark Owens, Creative Director of This Awesome Brand.
Posts would be posted by Mark.
A company profile:
This Awesome Brand, California.
Posts would be posted by This Awesome Brand.
Building a personal profile – AKA a personal brand – can have a huge impact on your company, but there are things to keep in mind if you want to rise up the ranks:
- Understand your target audience and their specific needs and pain points
As with anything in marketing, understanding who you’re talking to is essential. Consider using a brand approach to posting on the platform, by strategically planning out content that will resonate with the target audience your company wants to reach.
What do they care about? What things frustrate them? How can you (and, by extension, your company) help them?
- Establish a strong and consistent brand voice
Having a brand voice is a powerful tool to keep in your arsenal. Much like visual branding, the more we use consistent communication styles, the more connections we make in our dream customers’ minds.
Consider the brand voice of your company, but also your own, natural voice. There’s no need to resort to corporate speak if that’s not how you speak in real life – the more you can sound like you, the better.
Yet, remember that you’re representing your company, too. Don’t start swearing or discussing politics if that doesn’t align with your brand’s values.
- Encourage engagement through likes, comments, and shares
Marketing 101: if you don’t ask… you don’t get.
When you’re crafting your valuable and insightful LinkedIn marketing content, make sure to add a call to action (CTA) to the end that invites people to respond.
Encourage engagement by asking questions, soliciting feedback, and responding to comments. Comments are what fire up the LinkedIn algorithm, but people often scroll on if there’s no invite to participate.
This works both ways, too. If you’re scrolling your own feed, take the time to engage with other people’s posts by leaving thoughtful and useful comments, liking or sharing content that resonates with you (and that will benefit your target audience).
Remember, even though it’s a business platform, at its core it’s a social media platform – so get social!
- Track engagement and have a follow-up strategy
Analytics can become your best friend on LinkedIn, make sure to regularly take stock of what your network is enjoying (or not) from you.
What posts generated the most engagement? What posts went down like tumbleweeds in the desert?
While it’s important to be honest and authentic with your posts, data can give you valuable insight into what resonates and what doesn’t, so you can adjust your content strategy accordingly.
The types of content for a successful LinkedIn profile
When it comes to posting content to LinkedIn, as with any marketing effort, there needs to be an element of strategy behind it. Posting for the sake of posting, with no direction or intention, won’t get you very far.
So what do you post?
Educational and informative content
This is key: VALUE.
What are you offering the reader by sharing this content? Aim to post something that will help them in some way, as it gives purpose to your content while demonstrating your expertise.
This could come in the form of carousels that contain tips/advice, downloadable templates, or stories about how your company solved problems.
Industry insights and trending content
Showcase your thought leadership by responding to current conversation topics. What interesting response do you have? What unique spin can you put on the subject?
Use data to back up your points and provide actionable takeaways for your audience, but be wary of memes unless they align with your company’s identity.
Your company culture is a powerful differentiator, especially during an economic downturn. If you and your team have done something exciting, team-building or even shared an interesting conversation, tell the story on your personal profile and tag your colleagues.
Tagging colleagues not only shows your network who else works for your brand, but it widens the reach of a post by leveraging the other person’s connections list, too.
Following on from the last point, your company’s values and mission can give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your work environment. What do you stand for?
Storytelling is a powerful way to share these insights – has anything happened recently that gives readers a glimpse into your company’s world that you can share? Events, team-building days, and even Zoom quizzes can all make great content.
Sharing success stories and case studies
Don’t be afraid to big your brand up! Everyone loves to celebrate the successes of their peers, and it’s a nice way to showcase the great things your company has accomplished without being overly braggy.
Use real-world examples to demonstrate how your products and services have helped other companies succeed, and highlight the ROI of working with your company.
Share the failures
Yes, successes are great. But often, sharing the failures can open up a new level of vulnerability and connection between you and your audience.
You don’t need to go too deep into the runnings of the business, but if something didn’t go to plan – like a launch, for example – share the results in an authentic way and offer up thoughts as to what you will do better next time.
Or even better, ask your audience how you could have made the experience more optimized for them.
For a relaxed way of doing this, take inspiration from CEO and founder of Simple Strat and Host of HubSpot Hacks, Ali Schwanke. She shared this video of her messing up her lines on a video post – something we can all relate to on some level.
Is it a huge failure? No. But does it remind us that she and her company are human? Absolutely.
Try it all
There are many content formats available to use on LinkedIn, and a variation of all of them can be the ticket to engaging (and not overly repetitive) content. Try videos, infographics, PDF documents, carousels, and static photography.
Visual elements help to tell your brand story and communicate complex ideas in a more engaging way, but we know that not everyone has the design eye they may wish they had. It takes practice, so if you’re looking to outsource design to gain a headstart, our flexible subscription service offers a variety of social media graphics and content types to keep you posting high-quality, share-worthy content consistently.
Other tips for engaging customers on LinkedIn during an economic downturn
Economic difficulties or not, posting to LinkedIn regularly can be a strategic and enjoyable way to boost your company reputation by positioning you as a leader and expert in your niche.
Here are some other quick-fire tips to help you succeed:
- Create a LinkedIn company page that represents your brand
It’s best practice to have a company profile, too. All of the above tips apply, and you can seamlessly interact between your profile and your business profile to increase reach and brand association.
- Build connections to grow your network
Get in the habit of connecting with peers on the platform at any opportunity. Been to an event? A coffee? Liked someone’s post? Send them a request to connect and watch your network expand into a valuable resource.
- Engage with customers through Direct Messaging (sparingly)
Proceed with caution here, no one likes a spammer. But DMs can be a valuable place to build connections and subtly promote your brand. If you have something valuable to share, reach out to your customers directly without asking for anything in return.
- Using LinkedIn Advertising to reach your target audience
Available with most social media platforms, paid advertising is a fantastic option to increase reach in a targeted, strategic way. We recommend starting small and using this service from your company profile over your personal.
When you’re ready to scale your LinkedIn presence with on-brand advertising, our design team can help ensure you hit the mark with quality creative assets – you know, so you can focus on building your brand.
Ready to go forth and put LinkedIn to work?
Engaging with customers on LinkedIn during an economic downturn – or anytime, really – requires a thoughtful strategy and a commitment to creating valuable content that resonates with your target audience.
By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you’ll be well on your way to using LinkedIn as a powerful tool for building relationships with your customers and driving long-term growth for your business.
And remember, if you need a helping hand to design creative, engaging content, Design Force can help. Book a free 15 minute demo to see how our global team, loved by TikTok and HubSpot, can be by your side in just one day.