The year 2020 redefined the brand image and perception of LinkedIn as a business and as a platform. It was once considered a platform for stuffy leaders and corporate recruiters. Today, it is among the best platforms for personal (professional) branding, relationship building, and social selling (thanks to the LinkedIn Sales Navigator feature). If you can improve your LinkedIn presence with a few key strategies, you can gain more visibility among your target audience.
LinkedIn comes on strong in 2021
As more businesses went online, LinkedIn became one of the top-ranked marketing platforms and a favorite of every digital agency handling B2B clients. With more than 57 million businesses registered on the website, this platform is now a vital part of marketing strategies for a lot of businesses on the web, and for good reason.
LinkedIn’s B2B lead conversion rates are 3X higher than other ad platforms like Google ads, Facebook, or Twitter. Well, no surprises here. LinkedIn, after all, has a higher concentration of individuals who will engage with B2B marketing content.
This platform has also grown to be one of the leading social media platforms. It is a space where individuals from different industries and geographical backgrounds now congregate virtually to share their expertise and knowledge.
Now, many individuals leverage LinkedIn to build networks and relationships on a global level. It has further made it easier for organizations across the globe to adopt diversity and inclusion at a larger scale.
With the rise in popularity and the number of users, it often gets tricky to become a familiar name on the platform. The competition on LinkedIn is only increasing with each passing day.
If your profile gets lost in the digital world somewhere, this indicates you did not leverage the platform up to its full potential. Finding jobs, leads, recruiters, or communities can become challenging if you do not have the right direction or when you are not putting in enough effort and time.
If your goal is to develop a personal brand, you need to be extra careful. You should aim to be different and better than others if you yearn to outshine the crowd. Establishing authority on LinkedIn might not be rocket science, but it is still pretty demanding.
While many of you already know the conventional process and how you can start your LinkedIn journey, finding the way forward can be challenging.
In this article, we will be talking about how to improve your presence on LinkedIn and go beyond adding relevant connections and consistently sharing content. Read on.
Leverage industry keywords when optimizing profile
Keywords play a crucial role in attracting the right audience. It is the perfect opportunity for you to leverage the power of words. It matters what words you are using when optimizing your profile for search.
You already have an idea that you need to add keywords to your LinkedIn profile. Yet, a lesser-known tactic is using the correct and relevant keywords. It is these well-placed, precise keywords that help to avoid losing your profile in the digital space.
Now, what exactly are these ‘correct’ keywords? You must understand that the answer to this question varies from person to person.
Optimizing search for LinkedIn is slightly different from Google. While your prospect may search for ‘urban designing services for public space designs’ in Google, they will most likely search for ‘urban designer’ on LinkedIn.
However, LinkedIn Profiles also have a chance to hit the top rank in SERPs. Hence, it is always beneficial to add the balanced ratios of Google-based and LinkedIn-based SEO keywords.
Your keywords should include your industry-lingo and your experienced-based jargon. It will help you gain more visibility for your niche. For instance, you are an independent urban designer specializing in designing streetscapes. You will want to add keywords like ‘urban design’ and ‘street design’ specifically in your profile.
Once you have your relevant keywords, add them to your profile strategically. There is no penalization, like Google, in stuffing your profile with keywords. Yet, it is best to steer clear of it for your audience.
Some areas to add your keywords include the headline, summary, and experience section. You can also ask people who are giving you recommendations to add your top keywords to their reviews.
While we all know keywords are necessary, it is crucial to pick the right ones out of the lot.
Find and engage with the content related to your expertise
When we say find content, we mean going above and beyond your first connections. One feature of LinkedIn that has proven to be useful for this is Content Search.
If you are working on your personal brand, establishing yourself as an authority is an essential step. There are several ways for you to do this. One of them is by adding value to posts by others through commenting and sharing your knowledge.
Content Search makes it easier for you to find posts that talk about your industry or your area of expertise. You can:
- Find content posted by your second or even third connections by making use of this feature.
- Also use this feature to find your content shared by others or used without due credits.
- Engage with the audience of those who have shared your content further and take necessary actions for the latter section.
So, how does Content Search work?
It is pretty easy. Add a keyword, your field of expertise, or a phrase in the search tool. Select “See All Results” and choose the “Posts” tab. It will bring all the posts by your first, second, and third connections in one place.
Additionally, you can add more filters to sort out the posts based on relevance, posting date, and author industry.
Finding content is not a time-consuming or difficult task. What you need to focus on is adding value. Share your insights and expertise with the right people, at the right time, and in the right place. It will help improve your reach and add to your visibility for your prospects.
Make the LinkedIn Algorithm happy
I am sure you have blamed the LinkedIn algorithm at least once after joining the platform. It is only fair. Just like Google, LinkedIn likes to play around with the algorithms as well.
Yet, there are a few things that you can do to always keep the algorithm happy. The main goal is to keep your audience in mind. The more you do that, the more odds will be in your favor.
Think of the LinkedIn algorithm as your competitor in a Karate tournament. If you want to beat (no pun intended) your competition, you need to identify your strength and their strategy.
The LinkedIn algorithm has four different filters. Beat these filters, and you are home. These may include quality, engagement, credibility, and editors.
- Quality. LinkedIn bots measure the quality of your posts. Sharing content that serves no purpose or adds very little value for your connections will get buried under the mass. Keep your content insightful.
- Engagement. If your audience enjoys your content and finds it helpful, it will engage with it. Users might give your post a like, comment on it, or share it on their profiles. The more engagement your posts get, the better it is for your reach.
- Credibility. It is better to stay consistent with the quality of posts you are uploading. Make sure you are consistently sharing good content. LinkedIn has a preference for those who have been regularly sharing valuable content with the audience. It helps in adding to your credibility.
- Editors. Last is the human team of LinkedIn that sits on the other side of the computer and evaluates your posts. It depends on these editors, whether the content that you are sharing is more suitable for the masses or the content graveyard.
As you can see, these are all pretty basic. Something that you should anyway be mindful of, with or without algorithms.
Create a group/community for your audience
LinkedIn groups have proven to be a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader. It is also useful in attracting a highly targeted audience if leveraged accurately.
When you create your group, you gain more visibility. It is because groups are easily discoverable and more accessible than your profiles. When your audience or prospects join your group, you will appear more on their profiles, thus improving your recall value.
Moreover, since you will be the creator of that group, it will be easier to establish authority.
To spread the word, send your prospects and fellow professionals a connection request. Whoever accepts, immediately add them to your group. They may or may not accept. But a majority of individuals will.
Send them a message, telling them about the purpose of your group and how they can leverage the same. Show them how valuable that space can be for them.
Keep interacting, engaging, and sharing in the group. Make sure conversations never find an end here, otherwise, the purpose will get dissolved.
Once you have enough members, share a free content asset. It will help ensure three things including credibility, authority, and value. The three things that will help you take your LinkedIn game to the next level.
While it is not rocket science, building a community is still pretty tricky. You need to be very careful about how you are handling your conversations in public or private messages.
Incorporate different forms of content in your strategy
You must understand that pleasing your audience is not easy. Already too many people are looking to grab their attention. It takes effort and trials to outshine others.
Experimenting with different forms of content is one of the best strategies to improve your LinkedIn presence that I have come across.
Different forms of content help to attract different types of people from your audience. It has proven to be a great tactic to expand your reach.
When you use a form other than text-based, it might also help you beat the algorithms if the content is valuable.
Since the launch of LinkedIn Video back in 2017, videos have turned out to be one of the best ways to share your expertise. Videos make it easier to share relevant information and help avoid misinterpretations. Something that is very critical when social media is concerned.
Videos act as a great conversation starter. Many find it easy to relate to a video, thus improving the engagement rate.
Today, carousel posts are also getting the hype they deserve. Carousel posts are a great way to divide your post into bite-sized content. They are a mix of images, art, and text-based content. Just like videos, this form also allows you to attract another section of the audience altogether.
Such posts are also a great medium to build up for the final reveal. It could be a content asset that you are sharing, a new product you have launched, or a treasured piece of advice.
There are plenty of other formats that you can try, for example, blog posts or LinkedIn Live. What you should focus on is incorporating different forms in your strategy instead of sticking to one.
Offer valuable content assets
You have made the commitment to post content regularly. You have your audience figured out, and your content is getting the traction it deserves. And you also experiment with different forms of content monthly.
Now, is there another step that you can take? The answer is a big yes. Content Assets are a great way to establish yourself among the top leaders in the industry.
Indeed, you can easily share your knowledge using posts. But by offering a comprehensive content asset, you maximize your online exposure. These assets have time and again proven to be a fantastic lead generator. So, if you are looking for improved sales apart from personal branding, content assets are the perfect solution.
These assets go beyond your LinkedIn reputation. They can help you generate quality backlinks for your website. You can use a free backlink checker to spy on your competitor’s backlink strategies and domains that they’re targeting. You can reach out to the same quality domains, make them aware of your awesome content asset, and ask for a link.
When you leverage a content asset well, use organic marketing properly, and share insightful information, it will act as your marketer without actually paying anything for online ads!
What are these magical pieces of content that we have just talked about? These include eBooks, articles, well-detailed videos, apps, interactive assets, cheat sheets, and the list goes on.
Make sure these assets that you offer are downloadable files. It gives your audience the ease and convenience to find what they are looking for anywhere, anytime.
Surely, you will spend time and effort in creating an asset for your audience. But if the content is valuable and well-promoted, this same asset will bring improved ROI. It will all be worth it.
To wrap it up, taking your LinkedIn game to the next level will require you to spend time, energy, and effort. Engaging with content posted by others, creating and sharing insightful content assets, experimenting with content forms, and adding relevant keywords should become a significant part of your LinkedIn strategy if your profile experiences stunted growth. Just make sure to keep adding value and solving the queries of your audience with relevant solutions.
Do you guys have other tips to improve your LinkedIn presence that you would like to add? Share in the comments below!
About the author
Vaibhav Kakkar is the Founder and CEO of Digital Web Solutions, a globally trusted agency with a full suite of digital marketing services and development solutions. Vaibhav believes in building system over services, and has helped scale up agencies from scratch to niche-leaders with million dollar turnovers.