People don’t join LinkedIn for a chat. Well, they shouldn’t do if they understand what this platform is all about.

LinkedIn is not the same as other social channels. 

The rules of engagement are different and often people must relearn their “social skills” to use LinkedIn to its full potential. Those who have dipped their digital toes into the sales and marketing aspect of LinkedIn will no doubt have experienced this first-hand. 

Marketing on LinkedIn can be an exercise in futility or an expensive way to listen to crickets – unless you know how inbound and outbound marketing works on this unique medium.

Marketing on LinkedIn Made Simple

marketing on LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be a potent B2B marketing and sales tool. However, it’s less about spamming people about your product or service and more about starting meaningful, contextual conversations and building targeted relationships.

There is no shortcut to doing these (seemingly) simple things. 

You will need to:

  • Log in daily to check and respond to messages
  • Find and follow targeted clients, decision-makers, or potential partners
  • Comment thoughtfully on posts
  • Create your own relevant, original and engaging content
  • Offer your opinion and advice on topics you know something about
  • Grow your list of connections through careful nurturing and personal conversations
  • Create and continually update a professional personal profile

While taking the time to perform these functions regularly may feel like treading water in corporate cyberspace, these small tasks are incremental in nature and form the backbone of marketing on LinkedIn. 

This is what inbound and outbound marketing on LinkedIn consists of.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is designed to communicate with a targeted audience to elicit a productive response. Great content, events, or videos are a great way to pull or draw attention to your offerings. People will act on your message if it interests them. It is subtle and non-interruptive. 

What does this look like on LinkedIn?

  • A strong, complete and current personal profile
    • SEO-friendly content that makes you easy to find
    • A professional head and shoulders photograph
    • A bio that clearly shows what you do and what value you add
  • If applicable, a comprehensive business page
  • Regularly posting engaging content replete with your views and opinions
  • Regularly reacting to and commenting on posts of people that you follow
  • Offering assistance or advice when appropriate
  • Engaging in mentorship programs to give back
  • Finding and commenting in groups of likeminded people
  • Establishing yourself as a helpful resource in your niche
  • Responding to messages, questions, or requests for assistance from connections

Outbound Marketing

In contrast, outbound marketing requires you to reach out to individuals with information or offers which encourage them to act. This is more direct, a way to push a targeted individual to respond to you. It’s an interruptive process, and very often a paid one.

On LinkedIn, outbound marketing includes the following:

  • Actively reaching out to targeted people to grow your connections
  • Starting conversations with new connections and finding common ground
  • Sending inMail to reach a specific audience at scale with a personal message
  • Create and run LinkedIn ads
  • Where appropriate, pitch to leads or contacts when you know that they have a specific need that you can fulfil

Should you Push or Pull?

As you can see, there is no silver bullet to LinkedIn success. 

Should you push or pull? The correct answer is, both. 

Find the balance between reaching out to people and creating the optimal environment for them to find you. Outbound marketing must be coupled with a genuine desire to add value to your prospects. Successful inbound marketing leans heavily on sharing your wisdom and insights, and offering thought leadership in your niche. 

If this is new information to you, or you would like a hand in getting on the LinkedIn ladder of success, we’d love to assist you. We offer comprehensive, practical B2B LinkedIn training courses covering this idiosyncratic channel.

Marketing on LinkedIn isn’t a cakewalk, but with a little sustained effort and the right tools, you can have your cake, and eat it!