Working with Influencers on LinkedIn

September 17th, 2021 Mathias Lehnhoff

Nowadays one of the biggest marketing strategies is influencer marketing, a strategy that was virtually unheard of a decade ago. It is the process of forging a relationship between your brand and a social media user with an abundant following. Typically, influencer partnerships provide something to the influencer in exchange for them promoting your brand to their social media platform, usually Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or (yes) LinkedIn. 

For many companies, this traditional style of influencer marketing will not work for their industry or niche. Especially for companies who are in the B2B field, influencer marketing does not make very much sense for their products and services.

So, is LinkedIn influencer marketing out of the picture?

Luckily, no.

There are a wealth of individuals who share viral content and try to dictate trends on LinkedIn. These business influencers are perfect for B2B companies to forge partnerships with since they will likely be interested in your business and eager to produce more content.

Let’s dive more into what LinkedIn influencer marketing is. 

Why Use LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has been gradually increasing in popularity since its launch in 2003. It boasts over 770 million users and 330 million active users. Although these numbers aren’t as impressive as other social media giants, the platform’s specific mission and unique features make it an incredible tool for marketing.

Makes the Most Sense for Your Brand

When you are not selling products to individuals, but rather selling services to other businesses, it makes the most sense for your brand. For many B2B companies, it is difficult to find a space on social media that accommodates your needs. Posting a value proposition and clearly defining your mission statement is perfectly suited for a social network of business professionals. Start generating leads with a drastically higher success rate than other social media platforms.

LinkedIn Influencers Matter

Attract the right people by making partnerships with the right people. Many LinkedIn influencers are followed by and connected with some of the most influential people you want to interact with your business. This includes upper-level managers, team leaders, and C-suite executives. 

Just like with regular influencers, Linkedin influencers have the ability to get your name and content out there. This will increase your engagement and create leads. In the best-case scenario, you might get noticed by a key player in your industry. 

Starting Your Influencer Search

Where do you start when looking for Linkedin influencers? There are several different approaches, but some might make more sense for your business than others.

Aim For The Big Hitters

Of course, everyone’s dream is to get noticed by and work with the biggest influencers out there. LinkedIn creates an annual list of the top influencers on the social media network, and it’s usually topped by household names: the Gates, Shark Tank entrepreneurs, Arianna Huffington. 

It probably won’t go anywhere to reach out to these big names with a cold email. But if you consistently create viral content and have a well-defined mission statement, you might happen to attract their attention. 

Join Relevant Groups

Joining groups on LinkedIn is one of the best ways to connect with influential people. Popular groups in your field will help you identify who the key influencers are. Being a part of them and being active in them will increase your chances of making partnerships.

To find relevant groups to join, go to the search bar and type in relevant keywords for your business. These might be terms like “e-Commerce” or “B2B marketing.” Then, make sure to have the search filter set to “Groups.”

Perform Specialized Searches

LinkedIn has an advanced search feature that is very intuitive. It can help you find the right people in many situations, including finding influencers. This feature can be difficult to find, however.

Search your keyword, such as “marketing strategist.” Then, in the results section, click the filters to search for “People” and then select “All filters.” Under this advanced filtering section, you can filter by location, company, level of connection, and more. This can be a great way to find influencers in your field if you are willing to troubleshoot searches. 

How To Contact Influencers

LinkedIn has its own messaging system for Premium users, called InMail. This allows you to message people outside of your network and better build your business. The regular version does have a messaging option, but it is limited. Consider investing in the service and use it effectively to grow your opportunities. 

Reaching Out to Influencers

When you have identified influencers that you may be interested in working with, it is time to contact them. What is the right way to go about it? There are a few considerations that you should keep in mind before reaching out to LinkedIn influencers.

If you cold email someone (reaching out to them first with no prior engagement), make sure to be polite and considerate. On social media networks, there is no obligation for people to respond or work with you. Make sure to communicate your message clearly and reel them in with an engaging statement. 

Be Mindful of Your Content

If you reach out to someone hoping that they share your content, ensure that it is the content that they are looking for. On social media networks like Instagram and Twitter, content is very image-based. Whereas on LinkedIn, content is generally article-based.

If you already have a good LinkedIn presence where you are generating engaging content, this will be easy. If not, evaluate your content strategy. Create compelling content to attract the attention of the right audience, i.e. matching the style of the influencer’s current content.

A Collaboration, Not a Transaction

When reaching out to an influencer, you will need to be careful of how you communicate. People do not want to be approached as if it is a transaction: “would you share this and we will pay you X?”

Instead, you will want to frame it as a collaborative endeavor, a partnership. Most LinkedIn influencers go on the social media site in their free time, so they might want to be more casual and friendly. Still, keep things professional since you probably do not know them personally. 

Keep Trying

Just like with networking and job applications, creating a relationship with influencers is a matter of persistence. You might not get responses from a lot of influencers. This is okay, you just need to keep trying! Especially if you have a strong message and a well-realized brand, some influencers will be happy to work with you.

Start Using LinkedIn Influencer Marketing Today

The influencer market is bigger than ever. Now, it isn’t even limited to TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. LinkedIn poses a unique opportunity for B2B companies especially, given that influencer marketing is possible on the platform. By joining relevant groups, reaching out to influencers in your industry, and solidifying your communications strategies, LinkedIn can be advantageous. Start working with influencers on LinkedIn.