Leveraging LinkedIn for business: A complete guide 

Table of Contents
Why LinkedIn is important for businesses
What is the difference between organic and paid activities on LinkedIn?
How to make the most out of organic posting on LinkedIn
How to improve ROI of LinkedIn paid advertising
Download the Grey Dog LinkedIn for business checklist
Get in touch with Grey Dog

Why LinkedIn is important for businesses

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that offers a fantastic opportunity for businesses to increase brand awareness, generate leads and ultimately, increase business growth. 

While many users are familiar with the basic features, unlocking the platform’s full potential involves a strategic blend of organic posting and paid advertising efforts. 

Whether you’re aiming to increase your brand’s visibility or exploring the benefits of paid advertising, this comprehensive guide will show you how to maximise your presence on LinkedIn.

Ready to make the most of your LinkedIn presence? We’re offering a handy LinkedIn for business checklist.

What is the difference between organic and paid activities on LinkedIn?

The main difference between organic and paid strategies on LinkedIn comes down to visibility: by posting organically (or, in other words, for free), you naturally build a presence over time through regular posts and engagement with your audience via likes, shares and comments. Organic posts are mainly viewed by your followers. However, through engagement with your content, your posts have the potential to reach a larger audience.

Alternatively, paid strategies like sponsored posts and InMail messages involve targeted advertising to increase reach and guarantee that specific content is seen by a selected audience.

How to make the most of organic posting on LinkedIn

1. Optimise your company page

Your company page is your ‘storefront’ and acts as a mini website. Use it to your full advantage by completing it with a compelling ‘about us’ description that includes relevant keywords, so that people (and the algorithm) can find you more easily.  

Add your logo and a header image in your brand colours. Include keywords, your company tagline or a new product or service you want to promote

Pin your top-performing posts to the top of your profile. This can be used to promote a new campaign or product, or act as an ‘explainer’ to give visitors more context around your brand or offering.

2. Regularly share valuable content

By regularly sharing a mix of content, including industry news, thought leadership pieces on key trends, case studies, and company updates, you increase brand awareness and keep your brand top-of-mind for your audience. 

Video content, infographics, polls and high-quality photographs and graphics will lead to higher reach and engagement. Grey Dog recommends using a variety of content and formats.

In the caption of your post, make sure to include a CTA (call to action). Not sure what a CTA is? Here’s a handy guide to marketing jargon.

Use 3 to 5 specific and relevant hashtags to the content of your posts to increase the visibility of your content and join trending conversations.

Anatomy of a good social post on LinkedIn.
Anatomy of a good social post on LinkedIn

3. Engage with your audience

Foster connections and engagement by responding to comments and posing questions to invite further discussion. 

Participate in relevant groups and discussions to establish your brand as an industry leader.

4. Encourage sharing 

Encourage your colleagues and employees to share company updates, job postings, and relevant content on their personal profiles. Personal pages and posts tend to get better engagement so advocating for sharing from personal pages for your company is a good way to improve engagement. Tag other people and companies, where relevant.

5. Leverage LinkedIn articles

Showcase your expertise and thought leadership by publishing long-form content using LinkedIn Articles. Add your comments to collaborative LinkedIn Articles to further increase awareness of your thought leadership.

6. Maintain a consistent posting schedule 

Building your presence on LinkedIn takes time and consistency. Maintaining a consistent posting schedule can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a plan. To keep on track and post consistently, check out the Grey Dog content planner and make content planning a breeze!

7. Track performance

Track days and times when posts perform best so that you can develop an optimal posting times schedule.

How to improve ROI of LinkedIn paid advertising

1. Create targeted LinkedIn ads

LinkedIn’s targeting options allow you to narrow down your audience based on job title, company size, industry, sector and other factors. Grey Dog recommends being specific with ad targeting, but not so specific that you narrow your audience too much. Rule of thumb: choose location and two other targeting criteria to start.

2. Experiment with formats

There are different ad formats to choose from including sponsored content, sponsored InMail and display ads; experiment with different formats to test which ones resonate the most with your audience.

3. Use compelling ad copy and imagery

Concise and compelling ad copy in your brand’s tone of voice will highlight your brand’s unique value proposition and encourage people to ‘convert’, for example clicking on the link in the ad and driving traffic to the ad landing page.  

Eye-catching visuals, such as high-quality images or videos, will capture attention and increase brand awareness.

See our LinkedIn checklist for character restrictions on different ad formats. 

Anatomy of a good LinkedIn ad

4. Use A/B testing

Testing different ad variations and formats is the best way to understand what resonates with your audience. Experiment with different headlines, ad copy, images, and CTAs.

5. Create an effective landing page

Landing pages for ads on LinkedIn play a key role because they act as the bridge between the ad your audience sees and the action they take. Think of them like a well-designed destination where your audience lands after clicking on an ad. 

A good landing page has consistent messaging and ensures a smooth and user-friendly experience, increasing the chances of your audience doing what the ad wants them to do, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up, or exploring more about a product or service.

6. Set realistic bidding and budgets

Monitor your ad performance and adjust your bidding strategy and budget accordingly. LinkedIn Ads can be more expensive, so it’s crucial to find the right balance.

7. Analytics and reporting

Regularly analyse performance metrics to understand what’s working and refine your strategy accordingly. Use LinkedIn Analytics to gain insights into your audience and adjust your targeting.

How to create a content marketing plan for the entire year: a step-by-step guide 

A well-crafted content marketing plan acts as a compass, guiding you through the intricacies of strategic communications. However, putting an effective content marketing plan together can easily become overwhelming and time-consuming. Many factors come into play, from business objectives, target personas to current trends and competitor analysis. Unfortunately,  many businesses often end up posting content reactively, leading to inconsistency and a lack of clear messaging. 

This comprehensive guide unveils the secrets to creating an effective content marketing plan. Bonus! We’re offering you a free content marketing plan template to jumpstart your planning. 

Table of Contents
What is a content marketing plan?
Step 1: Keep track of your ideas
Step 2: Define your content pillars
Step 3: Map your ideas onto marketing objectives
Step 4: Understand your target audience’s awareness stage
Step 5: Break the year down into quarters
Step 6: Make monthly plans
Step 7: Execute and iterate!

An effective content marketing plan considers various factors, including your marketing objectives, target audience, and current trends. By clearly listing content topics and then mapping these topics onto ‌your objectives, you gain:

  • Inspiration repository: avoid content creation bottlenecks by having a reservoir of ideas.
  • Objective alignment: ensure that every piece of content contributes directly to your business objectives.
  • Clear direction: streamline your content strategy by visualising how each piece fits into the overarching goals of your marketing plan.
  • Targeted communication: tailor content to meet your audience’s awareness stage for deeper engagement.
  • Holistic strategy: gain a comprehensive view of content distribution across different buyer’s journey stages.
  • Continuous improvement: leverage insights to refine and optimise your content strategy over time.
  • Efficiency: ultimately save time and resources.

The first pillar of a successful content plan lies in compelling ideas. Use the Grey Dog Content Planning Template as a centralised hub to keep track of the content ideas you’ve garnered from:

  • Analysing what type of content performs well
  • Questions or pain points from your target audience
  • Trends that are top-of-mind for your industry and audience
  • Keywords you wish to optimise for SEO
  • Competitor content analysis
  • Team ideation sessions

Using this bank of content ideas ensures that no creative spark is lost and ideas are ready for evaluation and implementation.

Jot down your ideas in the first column of your ideas bank.

Once you have your bank of ideas, categorise them into content pillars—your core topics. Communication on core topics allows you to build consistent brand awareness. Most businesses typically have three to four content pillars.

Edit the drop down menus. Click on the dropdown and then the pencil icon to edit the dropdown options to suit your needs.

Edit the drop-down menus. Click on the dropdown and then the pencil icon to edit the dropdown options to suit your needs.

Strategic content planning requires a seamless alignment between your content and business objectives. You need to consider the goal of your marketing communications. We have four main objectives in marketing: brand awareness, consideration, conversion and retention.

Do you need people to become aware of your brand and the product or service you offer? 

Do you need to persuade people who are already interested in your service or product with more information?

Do you need to fully convince people who have shown interest in your product or service to purchase?

Do you need to nurture your customer base?

Understanding your audience’s awareness stage is pivotal for crafting content that resonates with your target personas. Our template incorporates a feature that prompts you to categorise content based on the awareness stage of your target audience. 

Different types of content suit the various stages of the customer journey. 

Note any special days, upcoming events, partnerships or planned campaigns for each quarter. The Grey Dog Key Dates Calendar will come in handy here! 

Assign overall objectives, target audiences, themes and sub-themes to each quarter, providing a clear, strategic view of your plan for the year. 

It’s time to get granular! With your quarterly strategic framework in place, you can now easily plan and visualise your content calendar month by month, ensuring a consistent and cohesive narrative. By mapping out topics, formats and go live dates, you ensure that every piece of content serves a purpose.

With your quarterly strategic framework in place, it’s time to get granular! Map out topics, formats, and go-live dates. The Grey Dog Content Planning Template allows you to easily plan and visualise your content calendar month by month, ensuring that each piece of content has a purpose and you maintain a consistent and cohesive narrative. 

The monthly plans are also where you can keep track of individual items for each campaign or content theme as you move into the execution phase. Use the filter feature to see the status of individual campaigns or content themes at a glance. 

You can filter alphabetically or by dropdown option.

Congratulations! You’ve now mastered the art of content planning. It may seem counterintuitive, but you have completed the bulk of the work. With a good plan in place, it is far easier to transition from ideation to execution, creating content that aligns with your business objectives and caters to your audience’s unique journey. 

We hope you enjoy using the Grey Dog Content Planning Template as a flexible planning tool, point of reference and tracker throughout the year.

Click the button, below, where you will get a Google Sheets link to the Grey Dog Content Planning Template. Make a copy, rename and adjust the template to suit your needs from there! 

Need it in Excel format? Download here!

Got a question about your template? Feel free to reach out to our Content Lead, Siobhán

Need support putting a content marketing plan into place? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch!

Delivering a low-cost, high-impact digital marketing campaign: a case study

Client overview 

Already established as specialists in high-end private home builds and commercial fit-outs, our construction sector client partnered with Grey Dog to launch a digital marketing campaign for an ambitious 12-house development project. Having successfully collaborated on previous digital marketing projects with Grey Dog, the client approached Grey Dog for guidance on overcoming the challenges of establishing a robust online presence for a new brand. 

Challenges and objectives

Entering a pivotal phase in their business but unsure on how to enter a new market, the client initially aimed to enhance online brand awareness and establish trust among their core audience on Facebook and Google 

A strategic approach 

In close collaboration with the client, Grey Dog crafted a comprehensive marketing strategy that addressed their core objectives. The marketing plan included creating a visual brand for the development, building a new website, implementing a solid digital marketing campaign encompassing email marketing and paid digital advertising, and executing impactful local marketing with eye-catching signage on the development site. 

Quantifiable success 

The campaign has yielded remarkable results. The website engagement rate, at just over 62%, was well above the industry average of 54% and generated 987 leads. The ad had 319,060 impressions with a noteworthy CTR (click-through-rate) of 3.41%, far exceeding the industry average of 0.99%. In line with this level of engagement, the Meta ad generated an additional 634 leads. What’s more, the cost per lead was an impressive €0.07, underscoring the efficiency and effectiveness of Grey Dog’s strategies in turning online engagement into tangible business opportunities.

Interested in knowing more about marketing terms such as CTR and SEO? Check out our marketing terms jargon buster

Key success factors

Transparent communication

A cornerstone of our success was consistent communication and transparent reporting, providing the client with a clear view of the campaign’s progress and performance. Grey Dog not only met but exceeded initial expectations, instilling confidence in the campaign’s effectiveness.

Meta advertising triumph

A standout achievement was the paid advertising campaign on Meta, which contributed two-thirds of the overall campaign leads. This success was magnified by a well-designed website, showcasing the power of paid digital advertising—a previously unexplored avenue for the client.

An iterative approach 

Grey Dog’s iterative approach, starting with a modest budget and incrementally increasing it as the campaign evolved, ensured a steady and consistent flow of leads for the client. This adaptability contributed to sustained success throughout the project’s lifecycle.

How you can get similar results 

Business owners often understand the importance of incorporating digital marketing into their overall strategy. But they can struggle with knowing how to establish their brand online in a way that achieves high ROI. This case study shows that with our expertise, clients can enjoy a significant impact on lead generation while maintaining cost-effectiveness. 

Ready to transform your digital presence and drive tangible results? Get in touch to find out how Grey Dog’s tailored solutions can bring your projects to new heights.

GET IN TOUCH

Unravelling the Digital Marketing Acronym Maze

In the ever-evolving realm of digital marketing, navigating through the sea of acronyms can feel like deciphering a secret code. CTA, CTR, PPC, SEO – these terms are designed for brevity, but often leave you scratching your head. So, we’ve decoded digital marketing jargon for you. We’re excited to present a comprehensive cheat sheet that will not only demystify the acronyms, but also empower you to align your marketing strategy with your goals. 

Decoding the Digital Alphabet 

The first step in mastering any subject is understanding the language. Our free jargon buster comprises of 30 key digital marketing acronyms, serving as a visual roadmap to help you navigate the intricate landscape of online promotion. Think of it as your decoder ring for the digital marketing world, unlocking the secrets behind terms like CTA (Call to Action), CTR (Click-Through Rate), PPC (Pay-Per-Click), and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). 

Maximise Your Strategy with Knowledge 

Armed with this cheat sheet, you hold the power to maximise your marketing strategy. No longer will you be confounded by the cryptic conversations of your marketing team or agency. Instead, you’ll confidently engage in discussions, ensuring that every tactic employed aligns seamlessly with your overarching goals. Knowledge is the key to strategic planning, and this cheat sheet is your gateway to unlocking and understanding the digital marketing landscape. 

Measure Results, Drive Success 

The essence of digital marketing lies in its measurability. Our cheat sheet not only helps you understand the terminology, but also equips you with the tools to measure the success of your campaigns. From tracking the effectiveness of your Calls to Action to understanding Click-Through Rates, you’ll be able to prove the impact of your marketing endeavours. After all, in the digital age, results speak louder than words. 

Empowerment Through Partnership 

But why stop at decoding acronyms? At Grey Dog, we go beyond the cheat sheet. Partnering with us means having a dedicated marketing, events, and design department by your side. We’re not just advisors; we’re collaborators, working with you at every step to catalyse your growth. Let’s not just talk about marketing – let’s discuss your specific needs, delve into events that leave a lasting impact, and content marketing and design strategies that resonate with your audience. 

Download, Decode, and Dominate 

In the world of digital marketing, knowledge is the ultimate weapon. Download our free cheat sheet, decode the digital alphabet, and empower yourself to not only understand, but also influence your marketing strategy. Maximise your efforts, measure your success, and push the boundaries of growth with Grey Dog. Your journey to marketing mastery starts with a click – download your free jargon buster today. 

The power of persona analysis for marketers 

Understanding your target audience is a cornerstone of marketing success. In particular, B2B transactions can be complex, involving multiple decision-makers, with longer sales cycles and intricate purchasing processes. To effectively navigate this landscape, marketers turn to persona analysis as a potent tool that can drive strategic decision-making, enhance customer engagement and foster meaningful relationships. In this Blog, we explore why persona analysis is a great tool for marketers and how it can elevate your marketing efforts.  

Understanding persona analysis 

Persona analysis involves creating detailed profiles that represent different segments of your target audience. These profiles are based on a combination of research, data and insights into the characteristics, behaviours, needs and pain points of your ideal customers. Persona analysis goes beyond demographics; it delves into the motivations, challenges, and decision-making processes that influence how potential clients interact with your products or services. At Grey Dog, we often suggest associating real target customers with specific personas to gauge a deeper understanding of their motivations and personality.  

Precision targeting and customisation 

One of the standout benefits of persona analysis is its ability to facilitate precise targeting and content customisation. By crafting distinct personas, marketers gain a deep understanding of the various individuals involved in the decision-making process. This knowledge allows for tailoring marketing messages, content and strategies to resonate with each persona’s specific needs and concerns. Precise targeting not only enhances engagement but also positions your brand as a valuable solution provider that truly understands its audience. 

Informed strategy and messaging 

Persona analysis provides marketers with actionable insights that drive strategy development. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of each persona’s pain points, goals and challenges, marketers can create compelling messaging that speaks directly to these concerns. Whether through content marketing, social media or email campaigns, persona-based messaging establishes your brand as a knowledgeable resource that addresses the unique needs of your audience. 

Customer-centric approach 

In successful marketing techniques, establishing trust and building relationships is crucial. Persona analysis allows marketers to adopt a customer-centric approach that aligns with the needs and preferences of each persona. When your marketing efforts reflect an understanding of the challenges faced by different decision-makers within a company, you position yourself as a partner committed to helping them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. 

Improved lead nurturing 

Effective lead generation and nurturing hinge on delivering relevant content and solutions at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Persona analysis equips marketers with the insights needed to guide prospects through these stages with precision. From awareness to consideration and decision-making, persona-based strategies ensure that your content addresses the unique concerns of each persona, increasing the likelihood of conversion and retention. 

Enhanced collaboration between departments 

Persona analysis is not solely a marketing tool—it can benefit your entire organisation. By sharing persona insights with sales, product development and customer relationship teams, you create a unified understanding of your target audience. This collaboration ensures that every department is aligned in meeting the needs of various personas, from the initial interaction to post-purchase support. The result is a seamless customer experience that fosters loyalty and advocacy. 

In the complex landscape of marketing, persona analysis stands as a cornerstone for success. By diving deep into the motivations, challenges and decision-making processes of your target audience, persona analysis enables precise targeting, tailored messaging and strategic alignment across your organisation. By harnessing the power of persona analysis, marketers can navigate the intricate path to engagement, conversion and long-term customer relationships. 

Are we the right fit for you?

5 benefits to outsourcing your marketing services 

Marketing is a driving force that propels companies towards growth, visibility and market dominance. However, the marketing landscape is constantly evolving demanding intricate strategies, comprehensive research and a deep understanding of the target audience. In light of these challenges, outsourcing marketing services has emerged as a powerful strategy to achieve exceptional results. Here are the reasons why outsourcing marketing services can amplify reach, enhance expertise and unlock success.   

1. Navigating complexity with expertise 

Marketing is far from a one-size-fits-all endeavour. It requires a nuanced understanding of industry dynamics, buyer personas and market trends. Outsourcing marketing services grants access to experts who are well-versed in the intricacies of this type of marketing.

These professionals bring a fresh perspective, staying attuned to evolving trends, technologies and strategies that resonate with your target audience. Their specialised knowledge allows for tailored marketing campaigns that effectively address customer pain points, showcase solutions and drive engagement among potential clients. 

2. Resource optimisation for efficiency 

Launching and sustaining marketing campaigns involves a significant investment of resources, including time, manpower and technology. Outsourcing marketing services enables businesses to optimise these resources by transferring the responsibility to external experts. This frees up your internal team to focus on core business functions, such as product development and relationship building. Moreover, by leveraging the outsourced team’s specialised tools and technologies, you can ensure that your campaigns are executed with precision and effectiveness. 

3. Flexibility and adaptability 

Business needs can fluctuate, demanding marketing strategies that can quickly pivot to address changing circumstances. Outsourcing marketing services offers unmatched flexibility and adaptability. External experts are well-equipped to adjust their strategies based on market shifts, emerging trends or shifts in your company’s objectives. This ensures that your marketing campaigns remain relevant, timely and aligned with your business’s evolving goals. 

4. Cost-effective and scalable solutions 

Outsourcing marketing services doesn’t just enhance expertise; it also presents a cost-effective approach to achieving superior results. Instead of investing in building an in-house marketing team, with associated salaries, benefits, and training costs, outsourcing allows you to access a team of professionals at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, outsourcing offers scalable solutions, allowing you to expand or scale back marketing efforts based on your business’s needs and budgets. 

5. Focus on core competencies 

In a competitive marketplace, focusing on core competencies is essential for sustainable success. Outsourcing marketing services lets your internal team concentrate on what they do best – developing innovative products, nurturing client relationships, and strategising for growth. By entrusting your marketing efforts to experts, you ensure that your business remains aligned with its core mission while benefiting from targeted, specialized marketing efforts. 

Marketing in 2023 is a complex arena that demands strategic thinking, specialised expertise and innovative approaches. Outsourcing marketing services emerges as a potent strategy for unlocking your business’s potential.

By tapping into industry specialists, optimising resources, embracing innovation and enhancing flexibility, you position your business to not only navigate the challenges of marketing. but to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape. Through outsourcing, your marketing efforts can attain new heights of success, amplifying brand visibility, generating traction and driving business growth. 

Find out more about Grey Dog’s outsourced marketing services.

Are we the right fit for you?