Linked In

Like most small businesses, we like to make the most of our advertising budget. Lucky for us, the internet affords everyone a fantastic option to maximize presence before making a huge dollar investment in an advertising campaign. With 259 million subscribers worldwide, Linkedin is a formidable presence in the world of social media, and the only platform to have a professional/business emphasis. So, being a B2B service provider, we recently decided that a presence on Linkedin makes sense for Email Broadcast.

Our long-term goal as a company is to have about 100 clients – the right clients. We considered the following when making the decision to put time and resources into developing a Linkedin presence:

Our clients tend to be small-to-medium businesses that sell a more expensive service or product. This margin allows us to make a big difference for clients’ businesses; if you’re a purveyor of yachts and our campaign helps you to sell 3-5 more boats in a year, that makes a significant impact on your bottom line.

Our clients also tend to be image-conscious. They know the difference that great design makes, and making sure that every message meets their brand standard is a priority.

One of the things that we provide our customers that they most love (or grow to love!) is a way to shore up a weak follow-up system. For clients whose business can benefit from automated reminders to their customers (like our medi-spa clients) or for those who have a long sales-cycle (like our furniture clients), we help them make the most of their ability to inform and inspire their mailing lists and close the loop.

Finally, our customers understand the value of converting web visitors into actual contacts who have opted-in to hearing from them.

In short, our ideal clients tend to be tech and design savvy, but lack either the time or the specialized expertise to do their email marketing right. It makes sense that these kinds of clients would be users of a professional networking site like Linkedin.

That being established, we decided to think about what we’d like to achieve on Linkedin and came up with this list of objectives:

• To establish Email Broadcast as a thought-leader in the world of email marketing
• To create and distribute useful, compelling content in our area of expertise
• To build a base of engaged followers. (Hey, why not follow us right now?)
• To find our “right fit” 100 customers

Our assumption is that when people come across us in organic search results via Google and other searching, following up via Linkedin to vet our credentials is a natural second step. Having a robust presence there that showcases our 13 years’ experience is clearly a worthwhile investment.

Process/Challenges/Results

We started by creating our company page. From the get-go, however, technical difficulties abounded trying to get the page well branded. Upload a 660×240 png or jpeg? Sure! But wait, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Upload a jpeg?: “File type not supported.” Switch it to a png?: “File type not supported.” Exactly 660×240 pixels and 1.2 MB?: “File too large.” HUH? And lest you think it’s our prowess, or lack thereof, there are pages and pages full of forum questions on the issue… and a complete lack of response from LinkedIn. Starting off our new project this way was discouraging, to say the least.

The image we uploaded ended up not being the one we wanted, but we’ve been unable to recreate the delicate balance of wind, star alignment, and karma that enabled us to uploaded it in the first place. C’est la vie.

Another challenge we’re grappling with is what comes first: the followers or the content? Do we send a bunch of content out into the ether in the hopes that it attracts followers? Or should we try to attract followers first, so that we have someone to give content to? We’ve decided to do both. Our founder and CEO is promoting our content via his personal page to attract company followers, and we’re simultaneously releasing content on our company page, despite the fact that our number of followers is lower than what we aspire to right now.

One way we’ve decided to address the issue of followers is through LinkedIn’s feature of targeted advertising. We created a small ad directed at medi-spa doctors in Canada, an industry segment we already do quite a bit of business with. So far, the campaign has garnered about 3300 impressions and cost just under $7.00 but has only generated one click through.

This led us to look into their premium advertising options, Sponsored In-Mail and Premium Display Advertising. We got an email back that read: “to take advantage of our full portfolio of marketing solutions with a dedicated account team, we have a budget minimum of $25,000 per quarter in the US,” which kind of defeats our goal of making something happen in the most affordable way possible.

So, after getting off to a bit of a rocky start, our next steps include more education (via LinkedUniversity, Lewis Howes, and other 3rd party LinkedInExperts), joining and potentially creating our own group, and fully building out and maximizing not just our company page, but employee pages as well. We’ll also be distributing content, pushing status updates, and looking into how we can best use images and visual media to inform and inspire our followers. Stay tuned here for updates.