How Brands Can Reach New Audiences Through LinkedIn Content Creators

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With trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt and capabilities like Instagram Shopping, it’s easy to see how social commerce has had a significant impact on marketing. And while LinkedIn is a part of the creator economy, it’s rarely the first platform marketers think of.

But it’s time we rethink this. 

LinkedIn is booming, and LinkedIn content creator partnerships on the platform are leading to significant gains for brands establishing their presence. 

But is LinkedIn influencer marketing right for your brand? 

Why should a brand consider marketing on LinkedIn? 

LinkedIn is one of the most trusted social platforms. 

As privacy concerns and online scams abound, social media users are more cautious than ever. In fact, trust in a social network’s practices can impact a user’s likelihood of engaging with ads and sponsored content (including influencer posts). 

Bar chart of "What Most Affects US Social Media Users' Decision to Engage* with Ads or Sponsored Content on Social Media Platforms?"
Image via eMarketer 

Transcript:

A bar graph showing what most affects U.S. social media users’ decision to engage with ads or sponsored continent on social media platforms. 

  • “The platform protects my data and privacy.”
    • Extremely impactful: 52%
    • Very impactful: 25%
    • Moderately impactful: 13%
    • Slightly impactful: 6%
    • Not at all impactful: 5%
  • “The platform shows me deceptive content (e.g., disinformation, fake news, scams, or clickbait).” 
    • Extremely impactful: 41%
    • Very impactful: 23%
    • Moderately impactful: 17% 
    • Slightly impactful: 8%
    • Not at all impactful: 12%
  • “The platform offers me a safe environment to participate and post (e.g., to read, write, watch, comment on, or like posts).” 
    • Extremely impactful: 38%
    • Very impactful: 29%
    • Moderately impactful: 19% 
    • Slightly impactful: 9%
    • Not at all impactful: 6%
  • “The platform shows me annoying ads.”
    • Extremely impactful: 24%
    • Very impactful: 24%
    • Moderately impactful: 22%
    • Slightly impactful: 16%
    • Not at all impactful: 16%
  • “The platform shows me relevant ads.” 
    • Extremely impactful: 16%
    • Very impactful: 19%
    • Moderately impactful: 32%
    • Slightly impactful: 20%
    • Not at all impactful: 12% 

And when your brand has so much to gain from social media and influencer marketing, it’s essential to work within the platforms people trust. 

According to research from eMarketer, LinkedIn is the number one most trusted social platform, earning high scores in security, legitimacy, community, and ad experience. 

LinkedIn is creating new ways for influencers to share their knowledge.

LinkedIn is staking its claim in the creator economy by releasing new creator tools to help users produce high-quality content and connect with their audiences. 

To access creator mode, users must have at least 150 followers or connections, a history of abiding by LinkedIn policies, and have recently shared original content on the platform. 

Once in creator mode, users have access to: 

  • LinkedIn Live: This tool enables users to share live videos with their communities. 
  • LinkedIn Newsletters: Creators can use this tool to allow followers to receive push, in-app, and email notifications whenever they post a new article. Creators can also see profile details for every person who subscribes. 

There’s a variety of creators, so you can reach niche industries or the general public. 

Just like any social platform, you’re going to encounter different levels of influencers, from nano to mega. 

And while it’s not always the case, in general, creators with smaller followings post about more niche, industry-specific topics. In contrast, those with massive followings often post about more broad subject matters. 

Brands offering a small range of products can definitely benefit from partnering with nano and micro influencers, while those with goods or services that serve a wide range of industries should consider working with macro and mega influencers. 

LinkedIn ad spending is increasing. 

More and more brands are turning to LinkedIn to reach new audiences. In fact, experts predict that ad spending will reach $6.09 billion by 2024. 

Bar & line graph of "LinkedIn Ad Revenues"
Image via eMarketer 

Transcript:

LinkedIn Ad Revenues in the US from 2020-2024

  • 2020: $2.08 billion, 31.3% change
  • 2021: $3.13 billion, 50.4% change
  • 2022: $4.02 billion, 28.4% change
  • 2023: $4.99 billion, 24.2% change
  • 2024: $6.09 billion, 22.2% change 

And with higher ad spending comes more competition. Brands with smaller budgets need to find cost-effective ways to stand out from the crowd, and partnering with LinkedIn creators is one surefire way to do just that. 

Creators add a layer of authenticity and trust that ads lack by nature. And while it has become human nature to scroll right past an ad, we do tune in to the real people we follow, making it more likely someone will listen to your brand message when a trusted creator is sharing it. 

LinkedIn has a significant impact on shopping behaviors. 

While LinkedIn may not seem like the most obvious social platform for partnering with creators, research shows nearly one-third of LinkedIn users have purchased an item or service after seeing a celebrity or influencer advertise it. 

LinkedIn on a tablet, where people can find LinkedIn content creators

Things a brand should consider before partnering with LinkedIn influencers 

LinkedIn is very different from other social platforms. 

While TikTok is popular for sharing unfiltered views and Instagram is full of aspirational lifestyle content, LinkedIn users typically share posts that establish them as professional, innovative, and competent. 

Brands looking to market to LinkedIn users should take note of this unique tone and alter their language to reflect it.  

LinkedIn has a unique demographic compared to other social platforms. 

In a dive into LinkedIn’s demographics, researchers discovered a few key pieces of information about the platform’s audience: 

  • Gender – LinkedIn has more male users than female users, which is abnormal for the average social media site. 
  • Education – Of LinkedIn’s users, 65% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. 
  • Income – About 53% of LinkedIn users fall into the high-income category. 

Put this data into action: Brands with higher-cost products may benefit from reaching people with more disposable income, marking LinkedIn an attractive place to advertise. 

LinkedIn partnerships require creativity. 

Since most users view LinkedIn as a networking and professional development platform, the average person would likely expect the ads on the site to reflect professional needs. And from a surface-level view, many picture a corporate setting when determining this standard. 

But advertising products that aren’t necessarily corporate-friendly isn’t impossible. It just takes a little ingenuity. 

For example, a fashion brand may automatically think that the only clothing they should promote on LinkedIn would be business-appropriate apparel. But partnering with pro fitness instructors can allow athletic-wear companies to shine, and creators who post about hybrid work environments may enjoy promoting leisure wear. 

LinkedIn influencer content trends 

Thought pieces on world news 

Just as with any social platform, when something major happens, people want to discuss it. While the tone they take on LinkedIn may be vastly different than the language they’d use on Instagram or Twitter, these posts are still a staple of LinkedIn. 

Discussions on common industry and workplace issues 

As much as managers strive to create the best workplace for their employees, there’s no such thing as perfect. As such, creators love to share their takes on trending workplace and industry concerns and offer their insights and advice. 

If your brand offers a product or service to help mitigate a workplace issue, consider partnering with a creator to help promote your solution. 

Looks into their leadership styles

Many creators on LinkedIn are a manager of some sort, whether they have a few employees to look after or over a thousand. Sharing their favorite management tips is one of the ways in which they develop credibility as a thought leader and help others transform their work cultures. 

Prediction posts 

As much as we’d love to predict the future, we know that it’s simply not possible. However, many creators like to dive into the data and study trends to make predictions within their industry and the general workforce. 

How brands can partner with LinkedIn content creators

1. Choose KPIs. 

Before trying out any new marketing medium, it’s essential to set measurable and specific goals so you can determine the success of your efforts. Not sure where to start? Check out some influencer marketing goals and their corresponding key performance indicators (KPIs) for inspiration: 

  • Increase brand awareness – Post reach, impressions, and engagement 
  • Increase conversions – Uses of affiliate links or discount codes 
  • Increase audience – Number of new social followers or newsletter subscribers 

2. Find the right creators.

Now that you know what you’d like to achieve, it’s time to hone in on the right creators. 

Use your goals to guide your picks. For example, if you’re looking to build brand awareness, you’d probably want to partner with a creator with a large following. But if you’re looking for more conversions, you might want to consider a creator with a very engaged audience. 

Once you’ve found a few creators you want to work with, reach out and broach the topic of a partnership. Since LinkedIn is a professional network, consider using a more formal tone than you would in a message on Instagram or TikTok. 

3. Provide a creator brief. 

Once you’ve found creators interested in working with you, it’s time to put together a creator brief. Here are a few things to consider when building one: 

  • Discuss posting requirements. Write down any and all requirements you discussed with the creator, including the number and type of posts (text, image, video, poll, etc.).
  • Share language to use and avoid. If there is a certain phrasing you’d like the creator to use or words you want them to avoid, make note of them. 
  • Give the creator as much freedom as possible. While the brief’s goal is to provide structure, keep it, well, brief. The creator’s posts may seem fake or inauthentic when you set too many requirements. Remember: You’re partnering with this person because they are an expert in communicating with their audience, so trust their judgment. 
  • Include any links or codes you want them to share. If you’re using discount codes or affiliate links to track conversions, be sure to provide these in the brief.

4. Analyze results, and adjust efforts. 

It’s time to revisit the goals and KPIs you set in step one and evaluate how your partnerships are performing. If they’re not quite reaching your desired numbers, that’s ok! Consider partnering with other creators, asking for a different type of post, or even just giving them a little more creative freedom. 

If the creator’s post performance exceeds your goals, keep the momentum going. You can negotiate even more posts with them, partner with other creators who are similar, or even test out a new strategy to see how that compares to your current success. The sky really is the limit! 

Key takeaway: LinkedIn may just be the ideal place for brands to build awareness and trust with professionals. 

If your brand is trying to reach an audience that isn’t so easily captured within the general social media landscape (think: people with master’s degrees, people in higher income brackets, etc.), LinkedIn may be the place to go. 

And as more brands flock to the platform, standing out is more crucial than ever. Creators can provide credibility and authenticity to your brand, and people’s trust in LinkedIn as a whole can lead to better brand awareness and higher sales for your company.

Frequently Asked Questions

In September 2021, LinkedIn announced they were starting a $25 million Creator Accelerator Program. However, this isn’t like other social media platforms’ creator payment funds. Instead, LinkedIn offers $15,000 grants and other benefits to selected creators. 

If you’re looking to determine if someone is an official LinkedIn Influencer, check their profile. They will have a small LinkedIn logo in the top right corner of their bio. Think of these logos as the verified check marks on other social media platforms. 

However, many content creators on the platform aren’t official LinkedIn Influencers.

You can tell if someone is a content creator on LinkedIn by checking their profile page and seeing if the button under their profile picture reads “Follow” or “Connect.” People with the “Follow” button are typically content creators. 

According to LinkedIn, there were over 500 official LinkedIn Influencers as of December 2021. 

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