How to use LinkedIn as an IT Company operating in a channel environment?

There are so many ways that you can get value from a tool like LinkedIn for your business. I will stick to the main four that I think that you should be using today. It isn’t just a channel for you to build an audience through the content that you post. Though this is an effective way to build your brand, it is only one part of a holistic LinkedIn approach that can help you to stand out as a reseller or an agent working in the IT channel environment.

Building your audience

This may seem obvious but it is vital to start by knowing that you have the right audience. This will include potential customers for your business, it may also include your future employees and interested parties that may interact with your posts. In order to build the right audience on LinkedIn it is vital to use and engage with others on the platform. Without using the platform yourself it will be hard to find others that are posting or interacting with posts in your specific area of business.

It is a good practice before you start posting to start engaging with others that are doing similar things and watching the way that they are speaking and the people that are interacting with your posts. The amount of people that you can add depends on the amount of followers that you have and the amount that you engage on the platform. It gives you warnings about the amount of people that you add and it will ask you to start messaging the contacts that you want to add. Which leads on to the next point….

Interacting with your audience via direct messages (DMs)

Direct messages are a great place to build relationships with your audience. They are not a good place to pitch to your prospects cold. They are also not a good place to send one message saying “Hi do you want to connect?” then sending them a pitch straight away. The quicker that people get this idea out of their head the better.

Ask people about them, about the products that they sell, about the solutions that they provide, the market that they work in. If they are posting content you can ask them about the content that they are posting and the reactions that they may be getting? Be friendly, act like a human that is interacting with another human for the first time. If you are asking about what they do you are able to offer any insight that you have on their situation at the moment. Once you have started to get to know them you can tell them what you do and you can offer advice to them.

Messaging people regularly has the added benefit of making your content appear in the feed for the people that you are messaging. This nicely leads onto the next point….

Posting content on LinkedIn

To come up with a posting strategy you need to first know how your company is positioned. This means gaining insight into your prospects’ behaviour and their areas of interest that relate to your business. A strong strategy involves becoming the expert in the problems that your potential customers may face. If you are recognised as the expert in the problem then it makes sense that you should talk about the solution.

Speaking about the problems will get more attention to your posts. Speaking about your solution is likely to get less interactions but it is good to give people regular reminders about what you do. Start to get comfortable speaking about the services that you offer and making 15-20% of your content based on your services.

Once you have a clear positioning in the market the goal is to be a thought leader by posting content that displays your expertise in your area of business. Consistency is key with your posting strategy but I would recommend at least 3 posts per week if you really want to have an impact with your content and grow your following through LinkedIn. Once you get posting it is important to analyse the performance of your posts and know the sorts of posts gain more reach, get more likes and generate more comments. Knowing this information is important for the next part of the strategy…..

LinkedIn Ads

Once you get a feel for the types of content that is working well with your audience you can use paid advertising to guarantee distribution to your target audience; extending the reach of your organic posts. This can be done through the LinkedIn ads audience builder (which is fairly intuitive, I’d recommend using this method for most campaigns) or can also be done from target lists that you upload (though this isn’t always terribly effective in terms of matching the contacts in your list) or you can target specific companies.

I don’t think that the best strategy to employ while using paid LinkedIn ads is to promote more sales/product/service related posts. Remember it is the start of a relationship. Use a post that has performed well in terms of interactions with your organic audience and use the call to action to follow or connect with you.

Once they follow you they will start to find out about what your business does through the 15-20% of posts that are focussed on your offerings. The goal on LinkedIn is to build relationships. Strong relationships will help you to make sales in the future.

These are the four main ways that I would look to use my LinkedIn account to promote an IT Company operating in a channel environment. If there is anything that you think that I should add or that you would like me to explain feel free to get in touch.

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

John is a data driven marketing specialist and website manager who lives in South East London. When he isn't blogging for us he manages Revenue and Marketing Operations for corporate clients.

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