#WeBuildWednesdays Episode 20: LinkedIn Marketing Hacks 2019

Step Up Your LinkedIn Game

Hey guys, it’s Mike! I’ve got Trent here with me and today, we’re going to talk to you a little bit about LinkedIn. Trent has been doing some great stuff on LinkedIn lately and we’re going to disprove some rumors and teach you some tips.

Mike: The first of which people tell us all the time: my customers are not on LinkedIn. People say that way too often. Trent, what’s your take?

The Facts

Trent: It’s blatantly false. I actually just made a LinkedIn update earlier last week. It’s just not true. There are 260 million LinkedIn users logging in each month. There are over 100 million logging in each day. So 60 million users are senior-level influencers, basically people that would buy products, services, goods, whatever it might be, and 40 million of them are in “decision-maker positions.” So, when we’re talking 60 million plus 40 million, that’s over 100 million people that are actually going to be in a place to buy whatever it is you’re selling.

There are 87 million millennial users of LinkedIn, as well. I know there’s a lot of rumors about millennials, that they’re lazy pieces of crap, whatever…

Mike: No!

Trent: No, not us, of course, everyone else though. But really the important part of millennials is that they’re making purchasing decisions now. And they’re going to be making purchasing decisions over the next five, 10, 15 years. So, as much as you might detest the smartphone generation, if you will, they’re going to be your customers and now is the perfect time to reach them, especially on a platform like LinkedIn.

Of that 87 million that we talked about, 11 million are already in decision-making positions. That’s probably going to double and then triple over the next five to 10 years. Google actually did a research study along with Forrester identifying that nearly half of all B2B researchers for decision-making purposes are millennials already. So again, that’s a place you have to hit.

So now you might be thinking, “Okay, that’s great. LinkedIn is awesome. But tactically, why am I supposed to use LinkedIn?” Besides the fact that your target market might be there, the idea behind LinkedIn is it’s a place to build trust and authority. People don’t buy things from strangers. There’s a reason why only about one percent of cold calls are insert, and of those, it takes eight to 10, sometimes 12, touch points, in order to get your target buyer on the phone.

Mike: I’m guilty of that.

Trent: Absolutely. I mean, I’m guilty of that and I sell for a living. LinkedIn is great because you can see the person’s face, you can see their expertise, you can see what company they work for, and you can see some of their career highlights, if you will. What’s even better than that, though, is it’s a platform for content. And, since the Microsoft acquisition of LinkedIn, they’ve made it a marketer’s dream, a salesperson’s dream, to produce and write content that’s going to resonate with target audiences.

What You’re Doing Wrong

So kind of underscoring that fact is that people do business with people that they are familiar with and people that are helpful and people that they trust. Think about the last five things that you purchased that are bigger than nominal value. So we’re not talking about groceries. We’re talking about a car, a house, a piece of software for your business. Chances are, you were referred to someone by that salesperson because you want to work with someone that you can know and trust. Otherwise, you might as well just randomly find somebody and pray that it works out. There’s some very interesting stats that back up the fact that people want to buy from people that they know. 80 percent of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, only 13 percent come from Twitter, and only about seven percent come from Facebook. So, when you’re looking for that authority figure, a lot of it is going to come from LinkedIn. Especially for our B2B clients, it’s probably the best platform for you.

Now, there are some unique scenarios where we would suggest Twitter or Facebook, but the vast majority is going to come from LinkedIn. 84 percent of B2B decision-makers have stated that they start their purchase decision or their buyer’s journey, if you will, through a referral. So, again, people want to work with people that they know of or have heard of or someone that they have used before. They’re going to look for LinkedIn.

To couple with that, 74 percent or about three-quarters of all buyers choose a company to work with based on the first company that provides them value. So, let’s dive into that a little. If it’s someone just saying, and we see it all the time, “Hey, I can help you increase your Google rankings.” I mean, that’s great, but that’s exactly what 15 other robo spam callers have reached out to me about today. What would be awesome is if that robo spam caller was actually a real person and they conducted a website audit and said, “Hey, you guys are missing a huge conversion possibility on your checkout page or your homepage if you just change this button to green and you include this text as the CTA.”

Mike: I can speak to that a little actually. Recently, I had someone reach out to me and they took a video recording of themselves on the Youtech website, sent it over to me after they had been commenting, liking all kinds of stuff on my LinkedIn posts, and messaging me on LinkedIn. So they finally emailed me and sent this video and really, it was amazing. It was a personalized touch, they got in front of me, and he showed me just something quick and easy we could do that would probably improve our conversion rate. And he was like, “Hey, can we talk?” It was great.

Trent: Yeah, and what that shows, too, for a potential buyer, is that the seller has done their homework. They care and they’re not just throwing you into an automation tool and praying and praying and treating you like a piece of meat as they are with everybody else in the room.

On that topic, 79 percent of business buyers say it’s critical or, at least, very important that the salesperson is trusted and knows what they’re doing. This was a study conducted by Salesforce. And let’s think about it. Even if you’re trying to get car work done, you want to work with someone that knows what they’re doing instead of just saying, “Yeah, I can change your oil,” and then lo and behold, your car never starts again.

The Solution

People want to buy from people that they know and they trust. So, let’s marry the two parts of it together. Obviously, we know that your target customers are on LinkedIn, we know that it’s really important to build trust and authority, but how do we do that? What are the actual tactical Xs and Os, if you will, to do that. And the answer is content. When we say content, we’re talking about written word. We’re talking video. Obviously, we’re doing a lot of video content right now. We’re talking multimedia, so like infographics, you know, white papers, case studies, that sort of thing. What’s really unique about LinkedIn is it’s probably the most underpriced attention platform that we have right now.

About a million new blogs are written every single day and if you’re competing with the trillions of websites that are on Google Search right now, how are you going to have your one in one million on a daily basis stand out from the rest? You’re not. You really have to extol a ton of resources time. From the SEO side of it—and here’s an amazing stat—there are nine billion content impressions that are garnered every week on LinkedIn, and what’s crazy about that is only three million users are sharing that content. So there are three million users, they’re generating nine billion impressions on a weekly basis. To me, that’s an arbitrage. There’s an opportunity where attention is underpriced because there aren’t as many people producing content.

So what does that mean? If you have something valuable to say, if you have a secret sauce, and you know how to do certain things, share it with your users and your audience. In our case, it would be how to deconstruct your checkout page to make sure that you’re getting optimal conversion rates. We would actually go in and show you what this A/B test did or what changing a button color did. We would film that and post it on LinkedIn, and people think, “Wow, these guys know what they’re doing and they’re not afraid to give away the secret sauce.” And that is how you build trust.

If you give away your best content for free, you’re going to be infinitely more helpful to your network. Again, three million people are producing nine billion impressions on a weekly basis. You could be one of those people. You just have to have a high-value proposition that you’re sharing with everybody.

Mike: I think a good way to think about it, too, is what would you follow to yourself? If you’re just posting content and you’re like, “I would never follow this, but I think other people might, maybe I can dupe them into it.” You’re not doing it right.

Trent: And it’s crazy to think that all of the people that are on LinkedIn—and I gave you those stats earlier—only one million users have published an article on LinkedIn. That’s point two percent. The opportunity to go from baseline zero, which you might be at right now, to above that point two percent is huge. It’s not going to take a ton of time. You might devote three months, six months, nine months, 12 months, 24 months, to really hone in on a LinkedIn strategy and content sharing strategy. And you can make up a huge amount of ground in a short period of time, which is kind of how Facebook used to be when you had unlimited organic reach on Facebook pages. We’re back in the early days of Google AdWords when it would cost you literally two cents to buy huge value keywords. Gary Vaynerchuk always gives the analogy of how, when he was running Wine Library, it cost him two cents for the keyword “merlot.” And you know what that keyword costs now? About 24 dollars, if not more. So, again, what we’re trying to instill in the audience here today is you have underpriced attention, but it’s not going to be like that forever. Eventually, it’s going to become oversaturated, over monetized, but now is the perfect time to start moving.

It’s okay if you’re starting from scratch, that’s totally fine. Of the 10,000 most-shared LinkedIn posts over the last five years, only six percent were written by the LinkedIn influencers, which are the guys with a little blue “In” flag next to their name. Even these big players in the LinkedIn game are not even taking advantage of it, which means there’s a huge opportunity for you to come step over your competition and do so not just efficiently, but effectively as well. Again, trust and authority, you start putting out content that people like and that people understand, you’re going to just skyrocket up the LinkedIn newsfeed.

The Power of the Newsfeed Algorithm

Mike: One thing we talked about earlier was really getting into those platforms that aren’t saturated yet before they get saturated, especially in your niche. If you can do that, you’re going to carve out something very nice for yourself and you’re going to be good to go.

Trent: We hear a lot from people saying, “Well, I’ve used LinkedIn and then I take my blog post and throw it up on LinkedIn and I get maybe two or three likes and it might be my uncle or nephew or whoever.” That’s because you’re not exactly capturing the power of the news feed algorithm, so it’s very similar to Facebook, where the newsfeed is going to place precedent and an importance on content that stays on the platform. It’s just like I said, the Facebook doesn’t want you externally linking to two different news articles. They want you to provide your guidance on that article and then just drop that link in the first comment of the post and that’s a quick, super easy hack. I see it all the time. Manage Service Providers might take an article that was shared from the Hewlett-Packard partner blog and just throw it up on their LinkedIn and they hit ‘post’ and then they leave it and that’s it.

If you took the two or three best bullet points that you can think of and how you apply it to your clients’ businesses and put that in the actual post copy and then throw in an emoji or two, throw in a couple of hashtags, and then put the link in the first comment, I guarantee you you’re going to see five to ten times the engagement rate and once that engagement rate starts moving, that’s when you start moving up the LinkedIn newsfeed. I know this because I’ve been testing it and I’ve actually been testing it against what Mike’s been doing on LinkedIn.

Mike: He’s beating me.

Trent: I am! Honestly, I am. I’m getting about 10,000 views per LinkedIn post and I’m basically kind of unpeeling the onion and showing people exactly what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. Instead of saying, “Hey, I wrote this really cool article. Please click on the link because you owe me something.” It’s not true at all. I’m just trying to fight to provide as much value as possible and doing it in a way that’s going to one, resonate with users or my audience and two, that’s going to work for the LinkedIn newsfeed algorithm. So I wrote another post about how to game the system with that. We’ll put that link in the comment section of this post, as well, so you can check that out, but really, LinkedIn is just an enormous opportunity for all of our clients, B2B especially.

Mike: By contrast, going back to your posts, you said you’re getting 10,000 views. I’m getting about 500. I’m linking out of the platform. I’m just posting blog content. I’m not spacing it out right. I’m not using particular word counts. I’m not doing any of this algorithm stuff and Trent’s kind of been testing his approached against me and he’s just destroying me.

Trent: But yeah, we’re getting Mike back on top because everyone deserves more #WeBuildWednesdays.

We’re Here to Help

Mike: So Trent’s actually got an e-Book coming out soon.

Trent: We’ve kind of taken the best methodologies and best strategies and not just on the theory level, but on the actual implementation execution level. I’m showing you exactly what kind of post to write. You can steal, you can copy and paste them, there are examples in there that I’ve literally copied and pasted and it succeeded like 20,000 views and it’s almost the exact same post someone else has used. I just put a little spin on it to make me look a little bit more authentic.

One example would be my coming back to work after paternity leave. I literally took the same structure of how to tell that story from an inspiration I got and it turned into like 58 comments, 58 likes, about 4 shares, and 20 comments. So it works. It’s important to know it’s not just a vanity metrics game like on Instagram. We don’t really care about the number of likes or the number of shares and comments. What we’re doing is planting that seed so the audience knows that I know what I’m doing, I know what I’m talking about, and I’m back at it and ready to start crushing business for 2019. As a result, on each of those posts that I’ve probably done for the last six weeks or so, I’d say about every other post that I do, I get someone reaching out that I haven’t talked to in a long time, asking what I’ve been up to, what I’m doing, and that kind of parlays into business discussions. I have a friend from high school that said, “Man, I haven’t heard you in a long time.” Super smart kid, he was recruited by Expedia out in Seattle after graduation. He reached out and asked if we’d be interested in completing an RFP. Will we win the RFP? I don’t know, we’ll see. But we wouldn’t even have that if not for LinkedIn.

This is just kind of a real-world example of how it can work. Be on the lookout for the e-Book. It’s going to be completely free. We’re not going to charge money for it because, again, I’m giving away the best secrets for free.

Mike: Practice what you preach.

Trent: You have to. Which is why we have things like #WeBuildWednesdays, to help up your marketing game, so you can really go forth and prosper.

Mike: Well, thank you for joining us today, Trent.

Trent: Thanks, Mikey.

Mike: Take it easy, guys!


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