Any business that wants to be taken seriously needs to build and market their brand and any serious marketing and branding efforts that do not include LinkedIn are limited at best. If a business has any kind of digital footprint – website, social media account, blog, etc… – it is already building a brand whether it is doing so intentionally or not. This can be good news or bad news depending on whether the business is aware of how their branding is being perceived by current and potential customers within their market.
While branding is important for businesses across all types of industries, niches, and verticals due to its ability to produce name recognition, business value, market trust, and an increased customer base, how the branding is done is more important.
In other words, how to market a brand is more important than the branding itself because doing so haphazardly may bring name recognition, just not the kinda business wants.
Branding & Marketing
Marketing your brand does not have to be expensive. Even startups with small budgets can grow their brand with little to no budget at all. The main thing businesses need to consider when marketing their brand is which online marketing platform to choose to deliver their message and what message to deliver.
As for what type of brand message to promote and how to promote it, the following marketing principles work best beginning ‘branders’:
Market Product, Not Message: At least in the beginning. Businesses just starting to make a name for themselves should concentrate on building their brand around their best product or service instead of focusing on advertising messages that capture their prospects’ attention but do not deliver on the goods.
Showcase Customer Testimonials: 68% of consumers trust other consumers’ opinions when it comes to online purchases. Therefore, let your ‘happy’ customers do the selling for you.
Armed with these two basic and inexpensive marketing techniques, a business should choose the right platform for spreading the word. The right platform is the one where the ‘right’ audience hangs out at. As was stated earlier, any business that wants to be taken seriously should choose a marketing platform where ‘serious’ prospects frequent. Currently, the most reputable online business ‘hangout’ is LinkedIn!
LinkedIn & Branding
While LinkedIn is a wonderful platform from which to establish an individual’s online presence, its real purpose is allowing businesses and business professionals to connect with other interested businesses and professionals and make and thus find potential opportunities while building a name for themselves.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network boasting over 645 million users hailing from over 200 countries across the globe. The platform boasts a huge pool of professionals from various backgrounds, demographics, and industries that businesses can engage with, as well as share their knowledge and resources with to establish themselves as thought leaders within their industry.
Branding on LinkedIn begins and ends with providing value. One of the main ways LinkedIn assures that its users create and receive relevant information is by allowing them to share their unique messages through various kinds of content formats.
These formats include:
- Research Papers
- Detailed Posts
What is more, the topic of the content a business chooses is assured to reach the ‘right’ audience as LinkedIn’s feed utilizes a special algorithm that picks what it believes the best-suited material for each user’s connections (followers). Because of these features, engagement is almost assured each time a particular brand decides to share something of interest on LinkedIn.
How To Market On LinkedIn
Brand marketing on LinkedIn begins with a fully-detailed profile.
The more detailed a brand’s LinkedIn profile is, the more it separates them from others within their industry. By including a complete set of skills, academic credentials, and personal and professional accomplishments, other users on the platform will get a feel for the brand, its message, and its products and develop more trust in the person behind it.
The following are some additional tips that help create a ‘stand out’ LinkedIn profile:
- Background Photo- Profiles with photos get 14x more views!
- Unique Headline- This is the brand’s main message they want to convey (tagline).
- Detailed Summary- The summary should include the brand’s vision, the personal role of the face behind the brand, and any relevant products or services that may be of interest to other users.
- Education- Academic credentials should only be those that are relevant to the brand and its mission.
- Skills- Skills should be relevant to the brand and its message.
- Accomplishments/Credentials- Should be mentioned only if relevant to the brand.
- Accomplishments/Credentials- All URLs to relevant publications should be provided.
- Recommendations/Endorsements- Within this profile section, brands should recommend other resources they have found valuable as well as ask others to endorse them if they have gotten any value from their content, products, or services.
Aside from providing a detailed profile, those who wish to brand themselves through LinkedIn should also apply the following marketing tips:
There are a lot of professional groups on LinkedIn where brands and individuals can comment and post their ideas. Interacting with these groups allows professionals and brands to provide value to the community as well as showcase their knowledge and expertise within their field.
LinkedIn has a feature that allows users to publish content on their LinkedIn pages, essentially turning it into their own personal and professional blog. The great thing is that not only will LinkedIn users see it but it could also show up in Google Search bringing in more targeted traffic and potential prospects.
However, posted articles should be original and not copied and pasted from other sources. Original content will provide value to the community, establish brand trust, and provide the possibility of ranking in Google Search.
LinkedIn has an event option where users can invite others within their network to online events within the platform or on other social media platforms.
LinkedIn Events are another great way to establish brand recognition and trust among a particular community, as well as build stronger relationships within that community, which can blossom into further opportunities for LinkedIn users.
The average LinkedIn user spends around 17 minutes on the platform each day. However, individuals and companies who wish to establish their brand should spend more time on LinkedIn and further their marketing efforts. If possible, users should spend at least half an hour each day providing content, posting updates, and interacting with groups to take full advantage of the platform’s branding capabilities.
Back in 2003, LinkedIn was regarded solely as a website that helped people connect with other people to find jobs and business opportunities. While LinkedIn still provides these benefits, it has advanced into a ‘branding’ machine giving awareness and credibility to companies and individuals.
Simply stated, LinkedIn helps professionals make a name for themselves within their respective industries and in so doing, helps them stand out from their competition.