LinkedIn has evolved from the world’s largest professional networking site into an incredibly valuable marketing tool. With 128 million US active users, and 467 million users worldwide, it is not only the social platform to network with other professionals; it’s become an extraordinary marketing tool for businesses of all industries.
Linkedin is loaded with personal Linkedin profiles, business pages, professional groups, and business associations. This social media platform makes a perfect medium for organic marketing as well as paid advertising.
This guide will outline exactly how web agencies can target a local audience to gain exposure, generate leads, and showcase expertise in the field of digital marketing.
Set Up Your Web Agency Page
First impressions matter, so set up your business page to grab the audience’s attention; showcase your agency’s expertise and provide valuable content and insights into your field. Brand consistency is essential when creating a social media account for your business. Upload a cover photo that matches (or reflects and complements) your website branding. Use your company logo for the profile picture, include a detailed description of your offerings, and make your location and contact information readily accessible.
Set Up Your Personal LinkedIn Profile
If you haven’t already done so, it’s crucial to set up your personal LinkedIn page. Of course, make your title the Owner or CEO of your digital agency. Your profile helps put a face to your brand. Highlight your achievements, expertise, education and anything relevant that your audience would like to know about you. Make as many connections as possible to expand your professional network. Discussions between business owners is a common occurrence on LinkedIn, and they’re very useful for establishing trust, business relationships and expanding your brand reach further. It’s important to personally get involved in groups and discussions, as you are the living, breathing individual behind your brand!
Grow Your Network and Expand Your Reach
Begin by having your employees list your company as their place of employment. This connection will help increase exposure because all of your employees’ LinkedIn connections are notified of your new business page.
LinkedIn will often suggest groups, organizations, professionals with which to connect. Use those recommendations and then do you own digging. Search for other local businesses in your area that would make smart connections for your agency. Join any relevant groups, local and national.
The Digital Marketers LinkedIn group has 5,278 members at the time of writing this article. Join the group and take part in the discussions. Doing so will help your agency’s credibility and exposure to the LinkedIn audience. Use the search tool for local organizations that would be beneficial connections for your digital agency. Let’s say your business is in Atlanta, GA, connect with your local Chamber of Commerce, Digital Marketers of Atlanta, and small businesses of Atlanta, etc.
Connect with other local business owners by searching for businesses in your area and follow them or invite them to connect, depending on their page. These other business owners have the potential to be great networking channels and qualified client leads. Establish as many relevant connections as possible and be active on the platform. Your local LinkedIn community will certainly notice and learn about the benefits of your digital agency.
Always remember to post relevant, high-quality content to various groups. Tips are very popular, as are blog posts, white papers, and how-to guides. And then what? ENGAGE! Get in as many conversations as time allows, and always respond to users if they contact you directly. Personal engagement is about building trust, credibility, and connections, so put effort into this platform. The rewards are clearly worth it.
Define Your Customer Avatar
As stated in a previous blog about your dream client, defining your customer avatar is the first step you need to take before running any marketing campaign. You need to ensure you are targeting the correct individuals to generate leads and new customers. Defining your target audience (customer avatar) takes thought on your end, and each agency will usually define its own unique audience it is seeking.
Since we’re focusing on targeting a local audience, location is, of course, the first place to begin. Decide how local you want to target. If you’re in Atlanta, do you want to focus on the entire metro Atlanta area or only businesses in the downtown district? The wider your target location range is, the number of users reached will obviously increase.
Other things to consider are company size and industry. Is your web agency large enough to handle a huge client like Coca Cola or are you a smaller agency that is looking for smaller niche brands to reach? As far as the industry, does your agency focus and excel in the tech world, retail, or restaurants? Think about your agency’s strengths and focus your targeting on those strengths.
Another thing to consider is who to target. You want to reach the decision makers in the companies you’re seeking, so target on the marketing directors, CEOs, and any other relevant decision maker that will respond to your messaging.
Defining your customer avatar may seem like a daunting task, But Digital Marketer has put together a simple and useful guide to walk you through the steps of defining your target audience: Customer Avatar Worksheet.
Run Local Ads
Once your target audience is defined, you’re ready to start running local ads to gain new leads and new clients. As mentioned above, focus on the local area you’re targeting to get the best results and engagement with your audience. LinkedIn is all about relationship building, and running local ads will increase your presence in your local community while establishing trust and gaining business connections. Here are the steps to take to create an effective ad campaign with optimal ROI.
Define Ad Campaign
LinkedIn offers two types of ads you can run; Sponsored Content or Text Ads. Choose the one that best meets your marketing goal.
Sponsored Content Ads are usually used to gain new followers, highlight your website, or engage users with high-quality content (think white papers, guides, etc.) Text ads are just like they sound; ads that are simply text. These types of ads tend to be cheaper but can lead to higher conversion rates.
This is the simple part. You define the language (English, Spanish, etc.) for the ad and the name you’re using for the campaign (make it as specific as possible). That’s it! Now onto the details.
Define Your Ad’s Media and Format
Where do you want the ad to direct the users? Are you using an image? What headline, ad copy, and Call To Action are you promoting? Include your CTA into your copy for best results. CTAs can be anything from “Download this free how-to guide” to “”click here to find out more.” All of these decisions depend on your campaign goal and the ad format you’ve chosen.
Target Your Ad
Creating an amazing ad doesn’t help much if it’s not reaching your target audience. Looking back at your customer avatar, use those parameters to determine your targeting decisions. Choose your location, and then you can target by company, job title, groups, and demographics and any other factors that reflect your target market. There are so many options for targeting, so think wisely and creatively when you target your ad.
Determine Your Budget
You can choose to pay by CPC (cost per Click) or CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions), and set a daily budget. I suggest the CPC pricing, though it may end being a bit more costly. On the flip side, with CPC ads you are only paying for ads users are taking action. In most cases, your ROI will be higher with CPC, but not in every case.
The last step is determining the run of your ad, meaning how long do you want it displayed on LinkedIn. Again, there is no set rule for determining your ad run; work within your budget and what works for your specific agency.
Added Bonus: Email Your Locals
Once you have established first-level connections with the local community, you can send them emails through LinkedIn InMail. You can drop a note to simply see how their Monday is going, invite them to meet in person, and also send promotional emails about specials and local discounts.
Emails are a friendly and intimate approach to get to know your local audience on a personal level. One important thing to note – do not inundate your connections with InMail. An occasional email from you will suffice and will help keep you and your business in the minds of your locals. So the key is to be friendly, but never overbearing. We all know how our inboxes get overloaded with email, so use the InMail marketing wisely.
Now the Fun Happens!
A lot can be accomplished organically on Linkedin if you stay active and provide quality content, but incorporating ads will dramatically expand your audience and increase engagement and business leads. I hope you find the above guide useful for targeting your local audience and growing your client base.
As we know, all businesses are unique, so use this as a basic outline and make it your own. Still having challenges? Please reach out with any questions or comments if you need further assistance. Our closed Facebook group is also there to help you out.
Happy networking and growing your business! 🙂