The Rise of the LinkedIn Influencer
When you think about influencer marketing, you might think of peppy individuals dancing on TikTok. Or maybe enthusiastic brand ambassadors touting products on Instagram or Amazon Live. Even YouTube might come to mind as a home for many influencers.
It may be surprising to learn that there’s a new stakeholder in the social media influencer world, and they are on the rise: The LinkedIn Influencer.
The audience on LinkedIn is, in general, different than that of, say, TikTok. There are more working professionals, of course, more business place-specific information being shared, and likely more interaction with people whose roles require them to make important decisions.
Professional influencers present authenticity for the brands they represent, which can lead to impactful conversions from these “business decision makers.” For that reason, influencer marketing on LinkedIn is a tool best suited for B2B brands.
What Kind of Person is a LinkedIn Influencer?
Successful LinkedIn influencers are trusted in their industry. They may even be considered “thought leaders” by their social followers. These people have a large audience that is comfortable engaging with the influencer’s frequent updates on LinkedIn. They rarely stray from posting about topics outside of their industry and share content that is both timely and uplifting.
The top LinkedIn influencers have anywhere from 400,000 to 35.9 million (hi, Bill Gates) followers.
Some of the most common industries LinkedIn influencers are involved with are:
- Business Analysis
- Customer Service
- Human Resources
And some of the common roles LinkedIn influencers hold are:
- CEO/company founders
Should Brands Partner With LinkedIn Influencers?
Brands from all industries have the potential to increase awareness and conversions by incorporating influencer campaigns into their marketing strategies, and partnerships with LinkedIn influencers are no different.
At a time when authenticity is so important for social media marketing efforts to be successful, enlisting the help of a LinkedIn influencer could be just what your brand needs. Influencers on LinkedIn have a built-in audience that both trusts and respects the content they share. When they market your product or service, their audience is more likely to believe in what they’re saying than they are to believe messages that come straight from the brand.
And don’t worry, you won’t have to enlist the help of Bill Gates to see results. There are LinkedIn influencers of all different sizes, which means influencer marketing is attainable for large and small businesses.
LinkedIn’s Built-In Influencer Platform
In Spring 2021, LinkedIn announced “Creator Mode,” a feature for members who regularly share content with their professional community to “demonstrate their expertise, ignite conversations about ideas and experiences, and build communities around common interests.”
LinkedIn members with Creator Mode enabled get the advantage of having their content be more prominently displayed. These members are also able to create LinkedIn Newsletters and will appear in other users’ “who to follow” sections more frequently
How to Use LinkedIn Creator Mode to Create Internal Influencers
Creator Mode offers brands an opportunity to turn an employee into an influencer. Choose a thought leader at your company – an executive, the founder, or someone else who can represent the brand and provide content.
Have this person enable Create Mode in their LinkedIn settings. Doing so will give them access to Creator Tools, a Creator Hub, and LinkedIn Newsletter access, and opens them up to be eligible to be featured as a Suggested Creator to follow.
Begin sharing content through this person’s page that is relevant to the brand’s industry as a whole, while still being educational, inspirational, and occasionally brand-specific. Though it may go against every marketing bone in your body, shifting to a strategy that educates rather than focuses on selling can lead to better influencer campaign performance.
Finding External LinkedIn Influencers
Not sure Creator Mode is the best option for your company? You can instead try to form a brand partnership with LinkedIn influencers externally instead. Finding these influencers will take some digging, and more is involved than looking for someone with a large following. Remember, the credibility of nano and micro-influencers is often higher than that of influencers with massive followings.
Identifying the thought leaders in your industry who fly a bit more under the radar could be a great avenue. That way, you’ll connect with someone more willing to collaborate and more likely than bigger influencers to put extra effort into their promotions.
Look out for these green flags in a potential LinkedIn influencer partner:
- High engagement. The person you collaborate with should receive many comments and other engagements with the posts they share – and you should see them responding to these comments. After all, the key part of influencer marketing is influencing, so if the person doesn’t seem to have a pull on their following, it’s probably not the best fit.
- Good-quality content. Is the content that this person shares consistently relevant to their industry? Is it professionally written and well received? Or is it content that’s shared for the sake of sharing something? We’re looking for consistency and relevancy in brand partners.
- Responsiveness. When you reach out to a prospective partner, they should respond clearly and with some speed. You will be working very closely with this person and want them to be someone who isn’t going to ghost you mid-campaign.
Could LinkedIn Influencers Be The Best-Kept Secret?
Out of all the social networks, LinkedIn is the one known with an audience that is reliably made up of professionals and decision-makers.
As of 2020, there are 61 million senior-level influencers and 65 million decision-makers on LinkedIn.
If it’s a goal of your brand to engage with other businesses and drive awareness and generate sales, using LinkedIn influencers could be the secret tool your marketing strategy needs!
Request a consultation from our team today to get started!
Frequently Asked Questions
How many followers does it take to be an influencer on LinkedIn?
The general consensus for becoming a LinkedIn influencer is to accrue at least 1,000 followers. It's also important to post regular content on your LinkedIn profile, sharing ideas and thoughts on a regular basis.
How do you work with LinkedIn influencers for marketing?
Start by defining the influencers in your niche, then connect with these influencers by frequently engaging with their content. If you are struggling to find the best influencers in your niche, perform a simple keyword research and analyze the engagement on the posts that come up.