As Expend is being adopted by more businesses, departments and accountants, a key use case is for managing marketing spend, and in particular advertising budgets and subscriptions. So we caught up with Jason Miller, Social and Content Lead EMEA for LinkedIn, international speaker and rock photographer for 60(ish) seconds to find out how growing businesses can get more out of the world's biggest professional network.
What are the top 3 reasons that small businesses should be using LinkedIn for marketing?
The audience – LinkedIn is the platform where you can reach all of the world’s professionals in one place, so it’s the best environment to find the most relevant audience for your business.
The targeting – LinkedIn member profile is detailed and kept up-to-date by members themselves, meaning you can reach the most relevant audience for your business and drive quality leads that will convert to revenue faster. You have the option of using your own first-party data for targeting on LinkedIn as well, including retargeting website visitors and existing email addresses on your database, which enables you to reach people likely to engage and respond. LinkedIn conversion tracking means that you can see exactly who you’re engaging and what that engagement leads to.
The trust – LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional content platform and also the most trusted by far. Members look to the LinkedIn feed to provide relevant insight that can help both them and their businesses grow – and that’s a superb opportunity for small businesses with a compelling offer.
How can small businesses with limited budgets make the most of LinkedIn for their marketing?
If your budget is tight, it’s best to be focused in how you deploy it. Start by running just a few campaigns so that you can invest enough in each to achieve scale, generate data and optimise to drive effectiveness. AB testing will always help you to get more value from your budget.
If you’re able to build up a follower base on LinkedIn – or if you have connections and employees with networks of people that are relevant to your business – then you can get a lot of value from organic touch points. Use free updates on your Company Page to test your content, and then invest budget in sponsoring the content that drives the most engagement, so you can leverage greater value by reaching a wider audience.
Finally, don’t overlook Text Ads, which are the most cost-efficient of the LinkedIn advertising formats. Text Ads don’t run on the LinkedIn mobile platform, but if you are interested in reaching an audience through desktop then they can be a very cost-efficient way of achieving reach at scale.
LinkedIn is as much about employees personal brand and employee advocacy. What tips do you have companies that want to promote this?
LinkedIn Elevate is a great tool for engaging your employees with the content that you produce as a business, and leveraging the power of their networks to spread it organically. However, even if you’re not using Elevate, it’s always worth taking the time to market your content and advertising campaigns internally. Don’t just assume your colleagues know what you’re doing as a marketer. Make time to engage them and ask for their help. Work towards helping employees create content that they can author themselves to give them a voice and build their personal brands.
You've won plenty of awards for LinkedIn’s marketing, but if you could pick one, what single piece of content would you recommend people to, (download, read or watch) if they are serious about LinkedIn marketing?
The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn is still the encyclopaedia for LinkedIn Marketing – and it’s updated every year. However, I’d also take a look at the Read Me Guides that we launched earlier this year. These are designed to tell you every practical detail that you need to know in order to advertise, build brand awareness and generate leads on LinkedIn. Whatever you need to do on LinkedIn as a marketer, they’ll help you to do it better. They are a fantastic, concise and they’ve been hugely popular amongst marketers.
Oh – and don’t forget to keep a close eye on our Marketing Solutions blog as well – that’s where you’ll find the latest developments in LinkedIn marketing, plus our take on the big issues in B2B and content marketing more generally.
Budgeting and ROI is very important for marketing teams and small businesses. What trends are you seeing for better management of LinkedIn advertising and marketing spend?
There’s been a lot of excitement around Account targeting on LinkedIn, which makes Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategies a lot more accessible to most businesses. With Account targeting, you can upload a list of target accounts and then reach them specifically, and there’s no minimum number of accounts, which can make a big difference to smaller businesses. Account targeting like this means you can align your marketing efforts very closely with sales – and target the businesses already identified as potentially high value in terms of revenue. It’s great for both sales and marketing alignment and ROI, and people I know in the agency world tell me that clients are very impressed with the impact it has.
We’re also seeing an evolution in how people approach calculating ROI for their LinkedIn marketing. Because of the quality of the LinkedIn audience, leads generated from our platform tend to convert at a higher rate and make a bigger revenue contribution. As a result, marketers are starting to look beyond simple cost per lead (CPL) to assess both conversion to customers and the lifetime value of those customers, when calculating ROI.
Finally you've somehow found a way to bring together your love of marketing and your love of rock music and photography. Is there something we can all learn from that?
Absolutely! I’m a very firm believer in the value of the side-hustle: pursuing other aspects of yourself that you are passionate about, and using the energy and creative perspective that gives you to help develop your professional career. I’ve learned so many things as a rock and roll photographer that I can plug directly into B2B marketing. I get creative inspiration from album covers and bands that I admire, and the skills I’ve learned in framing and editing imagery are immensely useful when it comes to putting campaigns together.
A big thanks to Jason for spending the time with us and giving us all plenty to think about, read and try out.
If your looking for a smarter way to manage your marketing spend, try Expend for free and spend more time on amazing marketing campaigns and less on admin.