Comprehensive Analysis of LinkedIn’s Marketing Strategy (Including Digital Marketing Presence)

Updated on: May 21, 2021
LinkedIn Marketing Strategy & Competitors Case Study | IIDE

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

Practical assignments, case studies & simulations from Harvard Business Review helped the students from this course present this analysis.

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Linkedin is an employment-oriented online service that operates through its website and mobile app. This platform is primarily used for professional networking.

It allows job seekers to post resumes and employers to post job openings. And it is thus, a mutually beneficial platform for both parties i.e. the employers looking to hire the best-suited candidates, and the aspiring employees looking to get their desired opportunity.

This case study will educate you more about the Linkedin Marketing Strategy. As you read on, you will learn about the company’s marketing mix, SWOT analysis, competitors, marketing strategy, and digital marketing presence. Let us first get to know the company a little better.

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About LinkedIn

Linkedin is a networking service that was founded in 2002 and launched in 2003 by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly, and Jean-Luc Vaillant. With nearly 740 million members in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. 

Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn in December 2016, putting together the world’s leading professional cloud and network. LinkedIn has a diverse stream of revenue that includes membership subscriptions, advertising, and recruiting services. Now that we understand the services offered by the company, let’s begin breaking down their marketing, starting with their marketing mix.




Marketing mix of Linkedin

The marketing mix is the set of actions taken by a company to promote its brand or product. It comprises of the 7Ps namely Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, and Physical Evidence. Each strategy is devised by the company to achieve its goals to the maximum in marketing the service to the target audience. Let’s deep dive into Linkedin’s marketing mix.



  • LinkedIn is a popular global networking platform that brings together working professionals from all over the world. LinkedIn is a career-focused social networking site that focuses on building a network of these professionals from different industries who can network with one another
  • Linkedin helps businesses promote themselves by posting about their activities and insights since a lot of people interested in their business follow them here
  • LinkedIn makes it easier for recruiters to hire employees by allowing users to create profiles on the website and apply directly on the platform
  • Similarly, job seekers can view each other‚Äôs profiles, meet people working in different organizations in their field, look for jobs and build connections



  • In terms of downloading the app or accessing the website, LinkedIn is a free service.¬†

  • However, there is a premium account option available, that offers a lot of perks to the users. For example, premium user profiles‚Äô are visible to key decision-makers and recruiters. Also, the users can search for unlimited people and also know who viewed their profile. These options are not available on the free versions.
  • LinkedIn has approximately 200 million monthly active users, with around 50-60% paying for premium services
  • The premium membership fee is charged monthly and the first month is free of cost, available as a free trial


Place & Distribution

  • LinkedIn is headquartered in California, with offices in London, Mumbai, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, New York, Canada, Dublin, Amsterdam, Milan, Paris, Munich, Madrid, and a few other cities
  • The services can be accessed via the website or the app, as it is a completely online platform that anyone possessing a device and an internet connection can use it



  • LinkedIn‚Äôs promotion strategy does not involve advertising on conventional media such as television, radio, newspapers, or magazines
  • It expands its customer base through word-of-mouth marketing, in which users recommend it to their peers, and the network grows as a result
  • LinkedIn also has an influencer marketing program in which renowned leaders such as Satya Nadella, Bill Gates, Tim Cook, and Narendra Modi are invited to talk about their respective industries of expertise

  • LinkedIn promotes itself by forming collaborations with companies‚Äô websites, allowing job seekers to share their LinkedIn CVs and apply directly via LinkedIn Easy Apply. This increases brand awareness amongst people who previously might not have known about LinkedIn and its advantages.
  • People may also follow opinion leaders to read about their perspectives on different market developments and, at the same time, write on their own experiences and opinions on the current business environment. This facilitates engagement on the platform and gets the users to spend more time there.



  • LinkedIn has about 10000 employees
  • These employees are extremely knowledgeable in their respective fields and are recruited from top universities and companies
  • The company operations are thus handled by various experts
  • The users of the service are people from all walks of life and all over the world, looking for or providing professional guidance



  • The core user process begins with people creating a profile on the website, where they must enter information about their education, work experience, skills, languages, and projects, as well as their personal information, which includes a profile photo, name, age, gender, email address, and location.¬†
  • They are then given a list of potential contacts derived from Facebook, Gmail, or other social profiles, with whom they can begin connecting.
  • Following that, they can follow thought leaders, companies, and begin looking for jobs after uploading their CVs. LinkedIn users can also write a few lines in recommendations for others or endorse the skills of their friends.
  • They can also upgrade to the premium membership if they find the service useful and there is a pressing need to find work.


Physical Evidence

  • LinkedIn‚Äôs service is web-based and thus entirely online
  • The physical evidence includes aspects such as the website‚Äôs user interface, which allows users to easily find contacts, relevant jobs, follow relevant people, and get a good news feed through recommendations
  • It also includes aspects such as communication through this platform, which must be easy for a recruiter to conduct when they want to contact a potential candidate
  • Through Linkedin, people can upload their job applications and other required documents for their employment
  • Similarly, the job recruiters can also make their announcements and share job information through Linkedin with their clients like any other social media platform

That sums up the marketing mix, which showed us all the core business and marketing strategies carried out by the company. But even for an established company like LinkedIn, there exist many competitors providing similar services, in the next segment of this blog we look at some of LinkedIn’s competitors.


LinkedIn’s Competitors’ Analysis 


Linkedin is undoubtedly the leading service in its segment on a global scale. LinkedIn has evolved into a hub for professionals to access high-quality content from professional publishers such as The Wall Street Journal and The Economist, as well as content from their peers who post to their feeds. It is a must-have app when considering a professional social media presence. And is hence, presently undefeated and unthreatened by far globally. But it does have competitors with very similar business models. We shall be briefly discussing those in this section.



This platform is similar to Linkedin where it also allows users to seek out their interests along with hiring and recruiting candidates. Meetup is basically a service providing online communities that host in-person and virtual activities for people who share common interests.



Opportunity is an online business network that finds business prospects all over the world using a matching algorithm. Opportunity matches you with people who can provide you with immediate sales opportunities, jobs, and more based on the details you enter into your profile and enabled location services. This network strives to connect people based on their needs. 



Xing is the German version of Linkedin in a nutshell. It’s an online business networking site that connects you with like-minded professionals, helps you find new jobs, and allows you to share information and perspectives in interest groups and on your feed. This platform has more than 13 million users and is thus extremely popular in Germany.

To sum it up, Linkedin’s major presence in over 200 countries is a major competitive advantage in today’s times. It is the number one app considered amongst the public in its industry unanimously. This may differ locally, as discussed.

For example, Xing has about 17 million users mainly in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) as compared to LinkedIn’s 14 million users there. But LinkedIn is way bigger in terms of a global presence as it has over 660 million users. So LinkedIn must focus on these competitors geographically and adapt its services accordingly.

After thoroughly studying LinkedIn’s core business and market position, let’s finally discuss its marketing strategy.


LinkedIn’s Marketing Strategy


LinkedIn changed the way people kept in touch with their professional contacts. The concept of a communication network has become more available. Let’s understand LinkedIn’s marketing strategy by way of the STP (Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning) study.



Linkedin segments demographically, as visible above, targeting the youth. in the age group of 25-34. Basically meaning young professionals that are inclined towards business networking and are active on social media comprise LinkedIn’s major target audience. 

Following are some intriguing demographics of LinkedIn users: 

  • LinkedIn is used by 29% of all online adults
  • Males account for 56% of users, while females account for 44%
  • A college degree is held by 51% of consumers
  • LinkedIn is used by 13% of millennials (15 to 34 years old)
  • A whopping 44% of users earn more than $75,000 per year
  • LinkedIn is used by 41% of millionaires

LinkedIn rapidly positioned itself as a necessary tool in the professional world. LinkedIn allowed people to take control of their professional identities. With the aim of being the most sought-after inter-company tool, LinkedIn made a significant leap forward to become a global technical reference. It did so by relying on a user base that had established close bonds with one another.

t has almost become a regular gathering place for people looking for high-quality professional knowledge. This is due to the expansion of its editing capabilities, the addition of news to the home page, the introduction of SlideShare presentations, and the strengthening of engagement classes. 

LinkedIn has now spawned a whole industry dedicated to finding passive applicants, i.e people who aren’t actively searching for work but are interested in the right opportunity. LinkedIn now has a commanding lead in the market for passive applicants. 

This is how LinkedIn gauged and targeted its audience while positioning itself very accurately to become the giant it is today.

As a social networking platform that is entirely online, it is imperative for LinkedIn to maintain a satisfactory digital presence. Let’s take a look at how LinkedIn manages to achieve this.


LinkedIn’s Digital Marketing Presence 


A company’s digital marketing presence is simply how it appears online and manages its brand across various social media platforms. The following is a summary of Linkedin’s social media marketing:

  • LinkedIn has 15,695,151 followers on its own platform, 530K on Instagram, 1.5M on Twitter, and 2.3M likes on Facebook.
  • LinkedIn is very active on all social media platforms and posts regularly and consistently.
  • On their Instagram they currently mainly post stories of LinkedIn employees and members, talking about their professional journeys.
  • They also talk about current social justice issues, for example, they have an entire highlight dedicated to voicing and demanding change against racism, specifically against the Black community. They also speak of the importance of diversity amongst professional spaces.
  • During the ongoing global pandemic, they decided to help in ways they could, by actively assisting employers looking for healthcare and COVID-related volunteers. They offered free job posts to these critical organizations.

  • Linkedin also carried out engaging campaigns on its social media. One example would be the #PlusOnePledge where it encourages established professionals to reach outside their networks and help other aspiring professionals.

  • LinkedIn posts engaging content in the form of questions, polls prompt, and memes on its platforms as well, especially Twitter.¬†

  • On its own platform, LinkedIn posts motivational quotes, professionals‚Äô stories, marketing campaigns, and informative articles about their upcoming features and business plans.

Lastly, with all the research that we conducted, we carried out a SWOT analysis, to sum up, the major strengths and areas of improvement.


LinkedIn’s SWOT Analysis 


SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique. The acronym SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and it is a formal preparation process for evaluating those four elements of an entity or business. A SWOT analysis is a basic but effective framework for maximizing an organization’s strengths and improving its weaknesses. Following is LinkedIn’s SWOT analysis:


LinkedIn’s Strengths

  • Strong market reputation with 87% customer retention
  • Easily accessible
  • It offers a free version
  • Allows for personal branding
  • Existing network of over 500 million people
  • Clear and informative profile information


LinkedIn’s Weaknesses

  • Prone to unverified or fake profiles
  • Alleged data leaks hampering the brand image


LinkedIn’s Opportunities

  • With a growing number of users, global penetration is possible at an even larger scale
  • Integration with voice and audio call tools will aid in the platform‚Äôs ability to grow professional connections and enhance user experience


LinkedIn’s Threats

  • Global competitions like new upcoming professional networking websites, especially local ones
  • Fake accounts
  • Hacking instances
  • User hesitancy in sharing their personal information publicly for fear of misuse¬†

The SWOT analysis shows us the many strengths and benefits LinkedIn has, but also the issues it needs to work on to improve user experience and grow its brand to newer heights.

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From all the analysis conducted and information compiled by us, we can clearly conclude that LinkedIn is doing well for itself on all fronts. Their service is current and relevant, steadily garnering millions of users. And they do a great job at delivering to these users consistently.

Their free version is a major competitive advantage and selling point for consumers. The company wins all points for ease of access and user experience. Overall, their marketing and business strategies have been successful in pushing their growth to new levels constantly, while continuing to innovate. 

That brings us to the end of this case study! Please share this case study with your friends if you found it useful. And also share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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