What was once a platform left to the realms of job interview prep and resume updates, is now the best kept secret for branding and marketing. Yes…LinkedIn! But, raise your hand if you’ve forgot your LinkedIn password, more than likely logging in now and again, checking in, like that of an old friend not spoken to in months. Daily posting? I think not!
You know it as a who’s who of your professional persona, but nowadays, we’re using this social for more than just CVs and job applications. For too long, it’s been left out in the cold, so now is the time to heat up your LinkedIn profile and maximize your trade business.
While millennial influencers and brands are busy trying to beat the algorithm over on Instagram, savvy marketers are ditching the poser platforms, opting instead for a place where we might build a more authentic connection, add more value, and, we argue, do it on a platform that is not as over-saturated as its younger sister. We might say: substance over style?
Much like Facebook or Medium, LinkedIn can be used for blogging and article sharing, but in the vein of YouTube and Instagram Stories, can also host native video. Launched in July 2017, native video— that is, video which is hosted directly on the platform, not ‘linked in’ from YouTube—gave the opportunity to put a face to the brand name; the same way Facebook did in 2017. In a study, conducted by Quintly, we learned native video can generate 530% more comments than videos from third parties. So why aren’t you using it?
Forbes Magazine tell us, “Native videos play right in the [LinkedIn] interface, while YouTube videos need to load an external mobile web page which is then displayed inside [LinkedIn’s] wrapper. The result is a faster, cleaner, simpler user experience.” It also auto-plays so if your connection is slowly scrolling by they might even see a few seconds of your visual. Make sure you grab their attention.
Video, absolutely, trumps text, not to mention In-Mail. Oh that dreaded In-Mail. Does anyone actually read it, or is it a constant tirade of canned, generic messages: Hey congrats on your work anniversary; Sponsored posts, offers, and ads from LinkedIn? With all that spam floating around, why not shock people by adding some real value.
Just like Instagram, you can now follow hashtags on LinkedIn, meaning you, as a business owner can now create content with up to ten hashtags in your post. If you are publishing the aforementioned value-add content with appropriate hashtags you’ll drastically increase your reach, connecting with potential new clients.
Brands like Amazon, Starbucks, and U.S franchise, Target, have all found success on the platform; but what about the smaller businesses or independent farm shops—can it work for you? Absolutely! It’s not all big brands that use LinkedIn, or any social platform for that matter. In the 2018 House of Commons Business Statistics Paper, we learned Micro-businesses i.e. who have 0-9 employees, account for 5.4 million (that’s 96% of all businesses). So don’t get stuck in a mind-set of: that’s just for the big players. You are in the majority.
So how can you create better online content? Following our ABC Method:
Ask: see those customer, who come to your retail business each and every week, month; they are the best people to ask. What do they need to know? While growth and new custom is so vital to your profits, serve the relationships you have now. Do they have knowledge gaps about your products, teach them with your content. Serving your community is how you really build influence in the online space.
Brainstorm: This is the fun part; getting creative with what you’re putting out there is vital. Imbue everything you do with signature style. Planning is key and developing a content strategy will save you time and, ultimately, money.
Create: Remember, you need to engage, inform, entertain and inform, all through various forms of media: maybe it’s a podcast, an infographic, a video or text-based testimonial. When you make it, make it engaging.
One person, who knows exactly how to utilize LinkedIn is Podcast Host and Growth Consultant Brittany Krystle. On her show, Beyond Influential, this Calabasas-born is a former lawyer and colleague of the marketing man, Gary Vaynerchuck. (Sidenote: If you’re not familiar with Gary V, then stop what you’re doing and Google him immediately).
Hoping to break into the entertainment law industry, she studied at Georgetown Law School, Washington DC, but soon realised it wasn’t her calling. After her boyfriend sent her a Gary Vee Tweet about job openings at his new LA office, she took a chance and applied, which ended up paying off more than anticipated.
Landing a role with VaynerMedia—the brainchild of the world’s foremost thinkers on entrepreneurship and business—Brittany soon discovered her knack for helping others build influence. Cut to 2019 and she’s got her own personal brand, working with entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial minded to build real world influence online.
Working with creative thought leaders like Quest Nutrition founder, Tom Bilyeu, and Life Coach Marie Forleo on their personal brands, you can’t ignore Brit’s results-driven techniques. She knows social; she knows how to brand and she knows how to add value to her community. Case-in-point, when we asked Brittany to chat with us about how you, our Trade customers, can use LinkedIn to grow your brand, she speedily gave us a shout, showing that, even with thousands of followers, she’s connected with her tribe on a 1-1 level.