Years ago, I sat in a meeting with an agency's top talent, in which there was a 20-minute discussion about whether to “link in” with a prospect before or after a meeting. The days of this being the only thing to think about on the platform are long gone...
Dubbed as “the professional social networking site”, with over 740 million members and over 55 million registered companies, LinkedIn has taken digital center stage as one of the main ways to showcase your business as a hot entity.
For the past 3 years we’ve seen not only the use of this employment-orientated platform skyrocket, but its success in terms of attracting new business accelerate too.
As we return to the-reality-we-once-knew, professional post-covid habits we’ve picked up, such as a reduced tolerance for anything that doesn’t immediately grab our digital attention, or serve us in a momentary challenge, are here to stay.
Couple this with our work-from-home schedules and dual screen mentality, we’re spending more time than ever, professionally, being social online.
These shifts in behavior directly affect the way in which brands source, shortlist, and track agency activity in 2022. Cue your marketing team and LinkedIn strategy.
How to generate new business and stand out on LinkedIn
In a world of digital noise, agencies are beginning to understand and invest in the right content strategy and activation to gain inbound attention - which, at Ingenuity, we’ve been pushing long before content was cool.
With more agencies in the market producing thought leadership, jumping on webinars and thinking video first, c-suites and directors are forced to think about creative ways in which they can amplify their unique views on certain trend-led topics (vs copying and pasting an angle done to death).
In a country that houses 25,000 agencies (according to Gripped), how does your team build a LinkedIn strategy that not only captures attention but generates leads?
1. The full 360 webinar
Pre-pandemic webinars were generally a thing to avoid, purely because face-to-face held so much more power. You get the real life feel of the room, you get to shake hands with clients, understand their vibe and who they are as people.
Post pandemic, digital classes and raw content are still with us, and, safe to say, they’re not going anywhere.
Webinars have become so important on so many levels and these include serving as a function for agencies for building pipelines and for brands in terms of letting them know what’s out there.
We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to getting this right. We now use a 360 formula for all our agency clients and for the partners we work with to ensure maximum chances of generating new business.
1. Pick your topic of expertise
2. Define your USP and point of difference
3. Create a burning platform to shock brands into action (formed from equal parts threat and opportunity...)
4. Create a compelling invitation combined with a well-designed landing page (you’d be surprised how often people try to skimp on the latter – and how detrimental it can be to driving interest)
5. Build a brand list of attendees, highlight key takeaways and the value exchange i.e., their time in exchange for X
6. Keep them interested in the lead up to the webinar (people can forget what they have coming up that evening, never mind three weeks from now)
7. Host a momentous event
8. Nail your post-event follow-up with a concrete call to action and a thorough nurture process for anyone who attended (as well as those who didn’t)
2. Show off your work & create shareability
To help you stand out from the crowd, it’s imperative that your company page is up to date and displays your latest work.
Your LinkedIn is one of the first places that any new potential prospect will look, and if it’s still showing cave paintings you made for your founding client at the dawn of humanity, you’re unlikely to leave a lasting impression.
Clients want to know what’s out there, so if you’re sitting on some trailblazing work you’ve done in the metaverse, or you’ve just finished an enormously forward-thinking employee branding project with a company in the FTSE 100, make sure potential clients know about it.
If the work carries an important message with an element of shareability to it, all the better – it might be easier than you think to go viral on LinkedIn, and the rewards (and earned media) for doing so can be enormous...
3. Humanize your team (video first)
A well-rounded video editor with a good sense of humor is worth their weight in gold for an agency’s marketing team, and that’s even more true when it comes to LinkedIn. Video content is the perfect way to humanize your agency, and if you can make your prospects smile as they familiarize themselves with your team, then all the better.
After a packed morning of meetings, the easiest piece of content for a prospect to consume on their lunch break is a 1-minute clip of your MD being quizzed on their thoughts on whatever hot topic your agency is leading the conversation on.
It’s a far more snackable format than a long read (and I’ll try my best to avoid breaking the fourth wall by reiterating how valuable a long read can be...), although both have their place on the platform.
4. Become best friends with Sales Navigator
The Ad world is notorious for shouting from the rooftops when there’s a change in senior marketing stakeholders or a shift in keys to the budget. With this comes outbound intelligence and a new opportunity to approach a brand you may once have given up on.
There are a couple of functions on LinkedIn that agencies tend to neglect, one of them being the Sales Navigator tool. This allows you to track CMO movement in some of your high priority targets or prospects. Something that can really enhance your trajectories on LinkedIn.
In short, the Sales Navigator tool helps any sales professional to successfully execute three of the most crucial functions of funnel building: target, understand and engage.
5. Don’t just rely on organic, get a budget for paid and do both
Putting money behind content that sells means you can push out the important stuff to new and targeted audiences. Just like finding the perfect balance between work and play, finding the perfect balance between organic and paid content is the sweet spot.
LinkedIn and Stashaway recently compared organic and paid content online and discovered a cleverly mixed organic and paid strategy can lift conversions by 14% (when compared to paid-only targeting). In addition, LinkedIn members who are exposed to both organic and paid media can be converted at up to 12% lower cost per conversion.
We’ve all been there. You see an ad for something, then comes the organic content relating to that same advert, the ad then re-surfaces, and you orchestrally yo-yo back and forth until eventually you think “maybe I should check this out.”
B2B consumers are very much in this B2C mindset, and we’ve seen the shift first hand.
New ways to win
Although it’s difficult to predict future LinkedIn trends as the times shift, we know for certain the platform will continue to evolve alongside B2B behavior, and it’s our job to stay on top of new ways to engage with and win new clients.
One feature that we know is coming is an audio-based networking feature as its user-base has been demanding more ways to communicate.
Siliconrepublic commented on the new feature saying, “LinkedIn is set to introduce a new audio feature that lets users engage in virtual events and fireside chats.”
LinkedIn has reportedly been working on this feature since March last year, trying to be one of the first business-like social platforms to tap into the market.
We’ve seen first-hand the trends of winning new business and how LinkedIn is an imperative tool in making it happen. So, if you’re ever in the market for new business, email our head of business development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to Ingenuity’s content hub
Receive the latest interviews, insights and trends straight to your mailbox.