LinkedIn as a Marketing Vehicle
In 2013, Spider Trainers created the "Great Big Book of Things Marketers Say" as an experiment in repurposing and the effectiveness of using social media for promotion—specifically LinkedIn. This week has been a big week for that effort—two years later—and here's why.
As I'm certain you already know, LinkedIn is a business-oriented social-networking service used primarily for professional networking. In 2013, they reported more than 259 million users in more than 200 countries and territories—that's a wide reach and one that, as a marketer, I wanted to harness. For us the question was, "Could LinkedIn—as a professional network—be used for marketing more effectively, or as effectively, as other social networks we already recognized for their marketing value?"
To gain the answer to my question, I set out to create a campaign that might give me the insight I needed. I built a campaign specifically ideal for repurposing—everything from video to email—and though I was focused on LinkedIn for much of the marketing, we did use Twitter, Facebook, SlideShare, YouTube and other vehicles as well.
The campaign was sizeable and had many moving parts. Of course we needed to first have enough content to create a book, but then we also had to choose how the book would be created, how to deliver it, and so on. Our approach went something like this:
- Collect quotes from marketers
- Produce the product
- Post the product (what format and where)
- Track the engagement
- Promote the content
- Repurpose the content
- Promote the repurposed content
- Measure the success
Of course we used email every step of the way, for instance:
- We reached out to our clients—who are primarily marketers-and asked them for quotes
- We used auto-responders to confirm submissions
- We announced the final product posted to SlideShare
- We announced repurposed versions (such as the video, blog article, PDFs, and case study)
- We reminded authors of the benefit to them when they shared it in their networks
- We suggested quoted authors add the book to their products on their LinkedIn profile
Some of our emails were direct and some were created inside LinkedIn, but in no case did email stand alone. There were also times where the emails were personalized—actually containing the author's quote-and other times they were generalized. Some of the email were sent as HTML, some as plain text. Some contained attachments, some did not. For each email, we used A/B testing and analytics to track engagement and measure success.
Email marketing is the most effective way to increase sales, improve service, and keep your customers engaged. Email campaigns are best bolstered through an integrated strategy that crosses channels and meets your constituents where they congregate and in the media they prefer. “The Integrated Email” provides best practices and ideas for developing strategies and deploying email campaigns and initiatives while keeping an eye on revenue attributable to marketing.
Cyndie Shaffstall, founder, Spider Trainers, is a successful entrepreneur and prolific author, with many books, dozens of eBooks, and hundreds of articles to her credit. She is the former founder of ThePowerXChange, editor and publisher of X-Ray Magazine, and the current founder and managing member of Spider Trainers, a managed automated email services provider for companies around the world. Connect with Cyndie on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, or join her LinkedIn Group, the Marketing Resource Library for daily links to marketing-critical resources.