Integrating organic (nonpaid) and paid strategies may be the key to more effective PR and marketing on LinkedIn.
That’s the main message in LinkedIn’s new e-book “The Secret Sauce,” which contains best practices for improving PR, marketing and advertising on the professional network.
The greater your organic reach, the more it can amplify your paid efforts, the e-book states. PR and marketing can test and optimize organic content to select their best-performing paid campaigns. Although the guide focuses on advertising, PR and marketing professionals who oversee nonpaid strategies can also benefit from its recommendations.
PR and marketing professionals can also use sponsored content to determine the most effective organic posts. Direct sponsored content—sponsored posts that do not appear on company pages—can be used in A/B tests.
According to the platform, membership engagement with the newsfeed is growing by more than 50 percent a year. Members “like,” comment and share almost twice as much as last year, and views of the feed are up 60 percent from last year.
More marketers may begin to prefer LinkedIn due to Facebook’s algorithm changes, which severely constrain organic reach of brands, some observers predict. Facebook now prioritizes posts of users’ personal contacts and shows fewer posts from publishers and other businesses in newsfeeds. LinkedIn’s numerous changes are aimed at making it attractive for content marketing.
Readership and engagement of the top 100 best performing articles on LinkedIn quadrupled over the past two years, according to a NewsWhip analysis.
“If nothing else, this proves that LinkedIn is becoming a genuine force as a platform where people read and engage with content, and … it is worth paying attention to which publishers’ content is having the most success on LinkedIn,” writes Benedict Nicholson, a NewsWhip editorial researcher. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft.
LinkedIn offers these tips:
- Test ad creatives. For sponsored content, run at least four different creatives against one target audience to optimize for highest performance.
- Go big on stats. LinkedIn says sponsored content updates that include a statistic saw a 37 percent higher CTR and 162 percent more impressions.
- Bid aggressively. In one test, bids 10 percent higher than the maximum suggested bid saw a 15 percent lift in CTR and 27 percent lift in conversions. (Obviously, this recommendation results in more advertising revenue for LinkedIn.)
- Use rich media. Rich media images have 38 percent higher CTR than share updates with a thumbnail image preview.
- Combine sponsored email and content. When LinkedIn used Sponsored Content and InMail together, it saw a 25 percent increase in Sponsored InMail open rates and a 95 percent increase in CTRs.
- Work on images. Eye-catching imagery that matches the content’s message helps capture audience attention. Keep the text on imagery to a minimum. Because a large percentage of engagement on LinkedIn ads comes from mobile devices, it’s important to examine how it appears on small screens.
- Consider affordable image options. Creativity doesn’t have to be a costly venture. Though organizations with ample budgets can turn to Photoshop and platforms like Visage to find and edit images, smaller organizations can find free resources on sites such as Canva.
Organizations should run their own tests of content marketing and paid advertising to validate their results and determine the most effective approaches.
A version of this post first ran on the Glean.info blog.