Is LinkedIn Useful For Marketers? Emerging Trends & Data You Can’t Ignore

Where would you place Linkedin in the relevance hierarchy of social media channels for your business? Is Linkedin useful for marketers or is it just the nerdy younger brother of the cooler social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube that can actually generate a return?

Regardless of your personal thoughts on the social channel, I think everyone would agree that the industry that benefits from its existence more than any other is recruitment. At least that’s how it has been seen traditionally. If you are in recruitment, it’s your daily portal to both sides of your middle man position. It provides access to businesses looking to fill roles and a never-ending supply of professionals in various states of employment who may just be the perfect candidate.

For everyone else, opinions on Linkedin vary wildly depending on what you do, how long you’ve done it and whether Linkedin can provide more than just access to your next career move.

If you’re in the fairly large pool of professionals who have a profile but rarely checks them as you feel it has only ever provided value when you have been in between jobs then perhaps its time to reconsider that hypothesis especially if you are a marketer for a B2B organization.

2019 may see it’s utilization as a highly useful and pivotal tool for far more than job seekers and job fillers. In this article, we ask the question; is Linkedin Useful for marketers in 2019 and beyond? We will uncover some trends and statistics that give clarity on its future value proposition to industries across the spectrum.

Linkedin Is The Best Social Channel For Lead Generation

As a social marketing option, LinkedIn’s USP is that its audience is already self-selected as educated and business-minded. It’s the go-to option for B2B marketers who know the companies and job titles of those key decision makers within them to target. It can be a goldmine for finding valuable leads and making sales. That said, high-quality content is the sometimes difficult to deliver pre-requisite needed to capture this market’s valuable attention.

LinkedIn users have a lot of pull

LinkedIn has 562 million users, making it the world’s largest professional network. Fifty percent of Americans with a college degree use LinkedIn (compared to nine percent with a high school diploma or less).

The metrics that really help the social channel’s marketing call to action is its sub-categories of users. They are impressive:

61 million senior-level influencers, 40 million decision-makers, 6 million C-level executives. This is a premium audience working in a professional mindset, and they’re eager to listen.

LinkedIn users are ready to listen

Forty-seven percent of B2B marketers are focused on delivering quality leads as their top priority (and top challenge), according to Demandwave’s 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing survey. And guess what? LinkedIn is the number one social platform for lead generation.

Linkedin is a Content Marketers Safe Haven

LinkedIn is more for content marketers, than recruiters.

Whilst many believe that Linkedin is a recruiters playground, the statistics show a different view.

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 Benchmarks, ninety-four percent of B2B marketers will use LinkedIn to distribute content. Not only that, but  LinkedIn boasts 15 times more content impressions than job postings.

LinkedIn is a safe space for your brand

According to GumGum & Digiday’s latest poll on brand safety, LinkedIn is considered to be the safest platform for digital advertisers’ brands which is reassuring when poorly setup campaigns on other channels can allow for messaging to appear on inappropriate content.

LinkedIn is under-appreciated

While only 38 percent of marketers posted video content on LinkedIn, 75 percent of them found it to be effective, according to a recent survey by Wyzowl.

Linkedin Analytics Offers Deeper Referral Insights for B2B Marketers

If you are using Linkedin to drive traffic to your site, there are far deeper insights available on the traffic that came to your website via LinkedIn Website Demographics than is available from other channels.

From the site:

Website Demographics uses data from LinkedIn’s 500+ million members to provide insight into your company’s website visitors in a way that respects member privacy. Featuring an easy-to-read interface in LinkedIn Campaign Manager, Website Demographics lets you filter your website audience by 8 individual professional dimensions, including:

Job title

Industry

Job seniority

Job function

Company

Company size

Location

Country

This data is invaluable to B2B professionals who are unable to convert people straight from LinkedIn itself and as would be expected, most profiles targeted on Linkedin would naturally want to review the website of the outreach that intrigued them.

LinkedIn Can Assist SEO Efforts thanks to Google's Guidelines Update in 2018

The value of LinkedIn will seemingly spread it influences to areas with direct intent (something traditionally unavailable to social media marketing) like Google and other search engines. As we move further into the age of IoT and semantic search LinkedIn could become a tool to validate criteria that are used to determine search engine rankings.

On July 20th Google released their new Quality Rater Guidelines. There was nothing too surprising within the content, all in all, it was largely the same as last year, except for one substantial difference.

They have placed a higher weighting on what they call E-A-T.

The acronym stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust.

Now E-A-T is not a new thing, in fact, it’s been in their guidelines for as long as I can remember but they have put a larger emphasis on E-A-T this year with specific light being shone on the “Expert” element. Essentially they are training their raters on how to validate that the content is written by an expert.

Google Image E-A-T

How to Demonstrate Expertise, Authority & Trust?

The guidelines are pretty clear; if you want to rank well, then your content must be trustworthy, authoritative and most importantly, written by an expert. So either become an expert or hire one.

Schema Markup has a huge role to play in this.

Through Schema markup, you have the ability to allow the machine learning based algorithm to understand not just what words are but what they mean. One of the most appropriate schemas for this particular point is author schema.

By utilizing Author schema on articles that are written on your website and syndicated across your channels you can help the crawlers determine the expertise of the author by implementing the “same as” schema markup into your author bio on your website. In so doing you can inform crawlers that the author of, for example, this article is Sean Butler; who is the same Sean Butler of LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia etc.

In a not to distant future state, when crawlers understand information connectivity in more advanced levels than they do now, crawlers may seek to understand “expertise” through the available connections of data. They may seek to review my LinkedIn bio content to determine my expertise through various elements such as the “recommendations” section, or “job title” and “experience” sections. Hopefully, they will see that I am in fact someone who has enough credibility to be considered somewhat of an expert on this topic and should, therefore, receive a boost in ranking versus an author of similar content who does not have either the same experience and or the same connectivity of information protocols in place.

In my opinion, LinkedIn is still underutilized versus its peer group as a channel that delivers value and whilst the stats are pretty clear to me that there is a lot of value in the present for B2B marketers and B2C albeit to a lesser extent.

Moreover, the future of semantic search may provide significant additional value compared to the other social networks out there in ways that social channels have never been able to tap into before now. Assisting SEO campaigns to accelerate and amplify your direct intent narratives by being validated as an expert in what you do may be a key future component of the Linkedin value proposition. So don’t neglect to ask your peers for referrals and to keep your profile updated in whatever accomplishments you have made that can support this drive to connect the world’s information.

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