the power of linkedin articles & social selling

At Pretty Pragmatic, we’re dedicated to helping brands communicate effectively and achieve real engagement with their customers and clients. But with in-person meetings taking a back seat over the last year and our minds (and newsfeeds) occupied by the challenging times we’re living in; we understand how difficult it is to get your message across to the right people.

As the 2020s force our lives online in new and unprecedented ways, here’s why we believe LinkedIn articles could be the answer to creating those all-important business relationships.

LinkedIn: more connected than ever

Anyone who’s worked within the B2B sector will tell you how important business relationships are in securing new contracts or leads. In fact, up to 73% of trade show exhibitors said they’d attend events to meet new clients or hold meetings with existing clients, pre-pandemic.

With the absence of these opportunities, reaching out via LinkedIn is becoming somewhat of the norm. In 2020, LinkedIn saw a 55% increase in conversations among connections and a 60% increase in content creation on the platform.

Telling your brand’s story through thought leadership

As well as being the top social networking site for getting your paid ads seen by the right people, LinkedIn is used by 96% of marketers to promote organic content such as thought leadership in order to build brand awareness.

Publishing a LinkedIn article via an employee’s personal page offers the opportunity to engage with trending topics in a timely manner, share opinion and expertise, and have direct, one-to-one conversations with the right people. It’s a great way to tell your brand’s story on a more personal level. In fact, LinkedIn users are more likely to follow and engage with a personal account than that of a business.

A surge in social selling

Social media isn’t just for building brand awareness. It also has an important part to play further down the sales funnel, with 76% of buyers happy to discuss purchasing plans with social media connections.

Equipping your sales teams with the tools to share engaging content on LinkedIn boosts the chances of them sparking those new relationships with potential clients and enabling social selling. With 92% of B2B buyers keen to engage with salespeople who are industry thought leaders, a wealth of relevant leads could be just a “publish” button away.

Optimising online engagement

A LinkedIn article is just like any other online content and should be optimised to reach the right people. Including the right keywords and headings will help LinkedIn’s search engine find your content and get it in front of the right people.

Making sure you tag sources, peers and other industry leaders will hugely increase your chances of being reshared or popping up on a broader array of newsfeeds. LinkedIn groups and InMail also provide captive audiences who are relevant to, and might benefit from, your service or product offerings.

To learn more about how to create engaging, optimised content for LinkedIn, send us an email at hello@prettypragmatic.com – we’ll be happy to help!

linkedin targeting

LinkedIn ads stat

We’ve recently been working with a number of brands helping them to connect with small businesses in the UK.

One of the most obvious places to start doing this is LinkedIn, where the ad targeting capabilities allow you to target profiles based on the size of company people work at alongside other factors such as job title, seniority, function, location and vertical (to name but a few).

For SMBs, say in the 11-50 employees category, there is a button to click that means your ads can target the people who LinkedIn knows work in companies of that size. In the UK, LinkedIn can provide access to ~1.3 million people who work at companies with 11-50 employees.

LinkedIn SME Include Targeting

All useful stuff, but there is one common challenge that data like this brings – inconsistency.

Not everyone has a 100% ‘All-Star’ profile (a nice way that LinkedIn encourages you to fully populate your details). Some people have half completed profiles. Some businesses have half completed profiles. Many small businesses don’t have a profile at all.

This means that if a person works for a small business of 11-50 employees without a company page, or their company page doesn’t specify the number of employees, or they haven’t listed their current employer, then you would never find them when targeting by their company size.

With this targeting we are able to reach 1.3 million people in our target 11-50 employee companies, a total of only 33% of our audience given companies of this size employed over 3.9 million people in the UK in 2015.

Given LinkedIn has over 22 million UK members, where the economically active working population is 33.4 million (I appreciate this is a rough indication of coverage!), we should be aspiring to reach ~65% of our SMB audience via LinkedIn (this would be 2.53 million small business employees) rather than our current 33%.

Here is where a frequently overlooked feature comes in handy.

As well as targeting who you want to ‘include’ in your targeting, you can also select who you would like to ‘exclude’.

Below you can see how we’ve excluded everyone who has a profile that identifies them as working in the UK but in companies that don’t fall within our 11-50 employee target organisations.

LinkedIn SME Exclude Targeting

With the ‘include’ targeting we were under-represented with 1.3 million people (33%). With the ‘exclude’ targeting we are over-represented with 14 million people (358%!).

This is where understanding your audience personas is critical, as you now need to use LinkedIn’s other targeting criteria to filter this number down to those you actually want to reach – the job titles they are likely to hold, the seniority they are likely to be at, the verticals they are likely to be in, the groups they will be members of and so on.

LinkedIn Targeting Criteria

Combining this inclusive and exclusive approach to LinkedIn ad targeting can allow you to reach the greater proportion of your audience, and is an especially useful tip if you want to reach a particular company size.