Brand Strategy Social Media Marketing

LinkedIn and StashAway on getting healthier results by blending organic and paid content

By Charlotte McEleny, digital editor

March 17, 2022 | 5 min read

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Finding the right blend of paid and organic activity on LinkedIn is the key to getting the healthiest results. To dive into this insight, The Drum speaks to LinkedIn and StashAway, uncovering how brands can make the best out of an integrated strategy.


The main challenge is if they choose organic growth, it needs to be fresh and to be very relevant

According to LinkedIn’s recent report ‘The Perfect Blend: Organic and Paid’ in APAC, business outcomes are improved when brands use both paid and organic on LinkedIn. Specifically, the report says organic audiences are ripe to be converted with paid media as it found ‘Page Followers’ exposed to organic and paid media are 61% more likely to convert towards a paid action compared to those only exposed to paid media.

Similarly, an organic and paid strategy can lift conversions by 14% compared to a paid-only strategy. While, unlike a paid-only strategy, LinkedIn members who are exposed to organic and paid media can be converted at up to 12% lower cost per conversion.

Despite these clear benefits, often the conversation about paid and social can pit the two against each other, but Filippo Stefanelli, chief marketing officer at StashAway, says this should not be the case.

“It is not organic versus paid, it's organic and paid because those are very complementary. The main challenge is if they choose organic growth, it needs to be fresh and to be very relevant,” he says, adding that layering paid can then drive more of an evergreen impact on content.

This sentiment is shared by Prue Cox, director of enterprise SEA, KR & ANZ, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, “Our most successful customers use organic strategies to build communities on LinkedIn combined with paid strategies to build the brand, product awareness, and lead generation. Having an integrated strategy ensures that the brand and messaging are consistent and complementary.”

“Within the financial services sector, we see customers using organic to test messaging engagement. They will then boost high-performing organic posts extending the reach with paid activity.,” she adds.

Another key element in success is targeting and reach, according to Cox. While organic content can deepen relationships and build communities, paid enables a targeted approach to engaging audiences.

“Buying committees are becoming more complex and with longer buying cycles. Paid Marketing campaigns enable customers to target messaging to specific roles within the buying committee (eg. End-user vs finance) and at different stages in the buying cycle,” he adds.

To be able to do this, Stefanelli says the ‘secret sauce’ is talent and how you set up teams, to ensure there are no silos.

“​​The magic sauce is that all the team members need to speak with each other, they need to speak in a room and it has to be a good relationship. If not, they will go into silos and you miss opportunities. You need to have the capabilities for every channel, both paid and organic, but at the core of it is a very, very good relationship between content, community management, and data teams,” he says.

Collaboration is also needed between marketing teams and platforms, such as LinkedIn, particularly as the measurement of the success of the integrated activity is tougher to do.

“On the technical side of integrated marketing, it’s the attribution side that we struggle with. So, we assume there will be better tools to understand the impact of organic stuff and tools that can pinpoint, with more precision, the ripple effect of an organic post on paid campaigns, on different channels, and different devices and link it to a lifetime value,” he adds.

As the focus on driving business results progresses, LinkedIn recognizes these needs as marketers will be looking for both organic and paid activity to build on long-term goals.

“We are seeing a shift to paid activity to drive upper-funnel brand strategies. Marketers are moving away from just using paid for short-term results and organic for brand building as this means that are not focused on many future customers who are not currently in the market. To drive long-term business growth, companies should think beyond just targeting in-market customers; they must also build strong brand awareness and mental availability with future customers who are not currently in the market,” explains Cox.

The proof is clear, paid, and organic activities work better together, but how to draw the most value out of an integrated strategy requires teamwork between marketing teams, as well as with a platform, such as LinkedIn.

To find out more, download the full report here.

Brand Strategy Social Media Marketing

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