LinkedIn is fast becoming the main social media channel for businesses, with 98% of B2B marketers using the platform for content marketing.
As a social network, LinkedIn helps brands promote their corporate values, establish themselves on the market, forge relationships with followers, increase website traffic, and generate leads.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you should use LinkedIn for content marketing, and a step-by-step process to map out an effective LinkedIn content marketing strategy
Let’s dive in.
Why you should use LinkedIn for content marketing
LinkedIn is a social platform that brings industry professionals together to share their expertise, and connect and collaborate with one another.
By posting relevant content and engaging in industry conversations, brands can leverage LinkedIn to market to potential customers and business partners.
Here are some stats that show just how effective LinkedIn is for content marketing:
- LinkedIn has over 740 million users, of which 35% are senior-level influencers, decision-makers and C-level executives.
- LinkedIn drives 46% of social traffic to B2B websites and is regarded as the most trustworthy source of content.
- HubSpot found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than both Twitter and Facebook.
- B2B marketers report that 80% of their social media leads come from LinkedIn.
8 tips to develop a LinkedIn content strategy
Imagine you’re preparing for a job interview.
Ideally, before the interview, you do some research to find out who the recruiter is, what the company does, and the kinds of questions you’ll be asked.
You can use the same approach with your LinkedIn content strategy. A little research and analysis can ensure that your LinkedIn content increases engagement and generates leads for your brand.
Here are eight tactics to build your LinkedIn network and position your business as an authority in your industry.
Define your target audience
Your LinkedIn content strategy can’t be effective if you don’t share content that people engage with. To create content that people relate to and interact with, you need to clearly define your target audience.
This allows you to personalize your content to get their attention, drive action, and build a great brand-customer relationship.
To achieve this, conduct thorough audience research by:
- Identifying your ideal reader profile. Who do you want to attract to your LinkedIn company page? What topics are your ideal readers most interested in?
- Researching similar accounts your target audience follows on the platform
- Analyzing the types of posts your audience interacts with the most. Do they like status updates? Which do they prefer: long-form content or video content?
- Analyzing your competitors to identify successful content creation practices. What kinds of content do they post? What hashtags do they use? What can you do better than them?
When you have compiled enough data, you can start posting content that matters to your audience. If you are an expert in a certain industry, you can create content that addresses the challenges your audience faces in that industry.
Be careful, however, to not talk about yourself or your business alone. Instead, talk about your audience’s problems and how to solve them.
As you continue posting content on LinkedIn, collect insights from your analytics to refine your target audience profile. This will help you create increasingly relevant content that attracts the right people to your business.
Set SMART goals
The ultimate goal for any business (except nonprofit organizations) is to make money.
This goal, however, is vague. While you know what you want to achieve at the end, you don’t know the steps to take to get there. That’s why you need to break down this massive goal into smaller, more manageable steps.
You can do this by setting SMART goals.
Source: Esports Nebula
Here’s a simple SMART goal framework you can use.
Specific. Ask yourself: What do you want to achieve with LinkedIn?
- Do you want to increase brand awareness?
- Do you want to build a community around your brand?
- Do you want to grow your personal network?
- Do you want to promote your products/services?
- Do you want to position your brand as a thought leader in your niche/industry?
- Do you want to drive more traffic to your website?
- Do you want to get more signups to your newsletters?
- Do you want to generate leads for your business?
Measurable. Include information that would help you measure the success of your goals.
- We want to increase our LinkedIn followers from 1,000 to 2,000.
- We want a 5% increase in newsletter signups.
- We want to get 20 high-quality leads.
Attainable. Make sure your goals are realistic based on the time and resources you’re putting into them.
Relevant. Ensure that your LinkedIn content marketing goals align with your broader business goals.
- Will increasing your newsletter signups be beneficial to your business?
- Does an increase in LinkedIn followers contribute to your business growth?
Time-bound. Assign a time-frame in which your team will achieve each goal (in 30 days, by May 1st, by next year, etc.)
Define your metrics
After setting clear goals for your LinkedIn marketing, you should define your metrics.
Metrics are a quantifiable tool to measure performance and gauge the effectiveness of a strategy. They help you analyze your results and optimize your LinkedIn strategy.
The major LinkedIn content strategy metrics are:
- Metrics that measure notoriety. These metrics analyze the number of people reached in a given period of time, such as the number of followers, impressions, page views, website visits, and more.
- Metrics that measure engagement. These metrics reflect how people interact with your content e.g. comments, reactions (like, love, support, insightful, etc.), shares, pages visited on the website, duration spent on the website and bounce rate. These metrics show you whether or not your content resonates with your target audience.
- Metrics that measure conversions. These metrics show you how many users have decided to purchase the product/service you’re offering. These metrics include click-through rate (CTR), sales, contact requests, quote requests, etc.
You don’t have to measure all these metrics. Your choice of metrics should be dependent on and align with your SMART goals.
Choose the type of content you want to publish
Knowing the pain points, interests and needs of your target audience is not enough. You also need to choose the type of content that will allow you to address those elements in the most effective way.
Fortunately, LinkedIn supports different types of content so you have a wide range of formats to choose from to reach your audience.
Depending on your ideal reader’s expectations, these content types can help you achieve your SMART goals.
LinkedIn articles are long-form posts that you can publish through LinkedIn’s publishing platforms. These can be how-to posts, list posts, case studies, and white papers into which you can embed images, videos, tweets, podcasts, etc.
LinkedIn posts are a great way to increase visibility, reach a bigger audience and promote your products/services. Publishing long-form posts allows you to position yourself as an authority in your industry, create trust and build your network.
In fact, a study by OkDork, which examined over 3,000 LinkedIn posts, found that “how-to” posts and list posts with about 2,000 words performed best.
While articles work well on LinkedIn, some users don’t have the attention span to read through a long post. Status updates solve that problem.
Status updates are the posts you see on your LinkedIn homepage feed. They are short and catchy, and they let you go straight to the point without worrying about crafting the perfect intro.
You can use the Status Update feature to do many things including create a poll, celebrate an occasion, offer help and show that you’re hiring. These extra functionalities help you target your posts better.
An example is this status update posted by Kim Rohrer, Interim Head of People at Oyster HR. Rohrer used this update to make a major company announcement and show that Oyster is hiring.
LinkedIn SlideShare is a tool that allows users to host professional presentations for your online audience. You can share slideshow presentations, videos, and infographics. You can also upload PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, PDFs, and more.
With SlideShare, your presentations can be made public so that there’ll be no limit to the number of people you can reach.
LinkedIn also allows you to upload videos, which is the most effective piece of content in marketing. Videos are so effective that 85% of businesses use them in their marketing strategy.
On LinkedIn, video is the most re-shared type of content. In fact, users are 20x more likely to reshare a video post than a static post. So if you want other LinkedIn users to spread your message, video’s your best bet.
For instance, this video posted by Devin Reed, Head of Content at Gong, has over 5,000 views, 260+ reactions, and 60+ comments.
While LinkedIn video posts get more engagement than static posts, live videos take things up a notch.
LinkedIn Live allows users to host live streams and webinars on the platform. These live streams usually have high engagement levels, especially with comments.
According to LinkedIn, brands get 7x more reactions and 24x more comments on LinkedIn Live videos than regular videos.These high comment rates indicate that people are engaged during the live stream or webinar, and are willing to engage with the brand.
You don’t have to pick just one content type; you can use multiple content types to increase your reach and performance. But whatever content types you use, ensure that they align with your goals and marketing KPIs.
Take a look at this table to see how to align your content types with your goals and metrics.
|wdt_ID||Medium||Content to share||SMART goals||Key metrics|
|1||LinkedIn Status Updates||Professional experience and expertise||Thought leadership||Post views|
|2||Industry trends||Brand awareness||Profile views|
|3||Lessons you learned||Reactions, comments and shares|
|4||Videos||Demographic of your readers|
|6||LinkedIn Company and Showcase Pages||How-to posts||Brand awareness||Post clicks|
|7||List posts||Thought leadership||Page followers|
|8||Industry articles||Lead generation||Engagement rate|
|9||Case studies||Event registration||Lead inquiries|
|13||LinkedIn SlideShare||Company videos and presentations||Brand awareness||Views|
|14||Infographics||Thought leadership||Lead inquiries|
|15||Lead generation||Embeds and link backs|
|17||LinkedIn Live||Live streams||Brand awareness||Viewers|
Find your niche
Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one.
You might think that posting content across many different topics on LinkedIn would maximize your reach and increase conversions.
The reverse is usually the case.
To do effective marketing and position yourself as an authority, you need to speak directly to individuals. Having a niche facilitates this.
The whole concept of niching down involves knowing who your ideal customer is and aligning your marketing strategy to match.
In today’s market, specialists are more trusted than generalists. Posting content that is all over the place doesn’t guarantee long-term business growth because you’re unable to create an identity as an ‘expert’.
And that’s what people are looking for–experts.
Your audience needs to know that they’re working with an authority who understands their specific needs. That’s what will make them trust you and purchase your product/service.
If you’re a personal brand, that’s what will make them want to work with you. If you’re a B2B business, that’s what will sell you to business decision-makers.
For example, Brian Dean of Backlinko talks about SEO and marketing with his network:
Similarly, Melanie Deziel talks about all things content:
Plan your content
To achieve the best results from your marketing efforts, you need to plan the content you’re going to publish. When you have a plan, you’ll be able to save time and focus on sharing the right content for your target audience.
Here are some tips to help you plan your content more effectively:
- Once you have identified your niche, list the macro-topics you want to create content on.
- Next, create topic clusters by identifying the micro-topics that exist under the macro-topics you listed. For instance, if a macro-topic is ‘content marketing’, you could list ‘Why most content marketing strategies fail’ and ‘X ways to improve your content marketing strategy’ as two micro-topics.
- Divide your topics into sections to create a schedule of weekly/monthly posts where a certain topic will be discussed extensively. This will make it easier to decide which topics you’ll cover each day and how frequently you’ll publish content.
- Determine the content formats you’ll use to publish each topic e.g. articles, status updates, infographics, videos, etc.
- Decide when you want to publish these posts.
- Organize all this information into a spreadsheet or editorial calendar. HubSpot has a free social media content calendar template for this purpose.
- Use specialized tools like CoSchedule or Sprout Social to schedule your content in advance.
Post quality content consistently
Like all other social media platforms, the LinkedIn algorithm appreciates it when users post valuable content consistently.
The number of posts you make is not as important as how consistent you are to your publication frequency. So if you want to post every day, that’s great, but it’s not a prerequisite to LinkedIn marketing success.
What can guarantee success, however, is your consistency. Posting content three times per week for months is better than posting daily for one month, and then twice weekly the next month.
For optimal results, you need to identify a frequency that allows you to stay fresh in your audience’s mind without overwhelming them. The best way to determine the most suitable days and times for publication is by assessing the insights of your audience and studying your competitors.
Analyze your results
As you post consistently on LinkedIn, you’ll see a spike in your activity. This could present as more views to your LinkedIn profile, more connection requests and even DMs from people you have reached.
Once you begin to see results, use LinkedIn analytics to analyze them. Insights such as your number of followers, the engagement rate for each post, and the site traffic generated by your LinkedIn posts helps you understand if your marketing efforts are working and if you’re publishing content that resonates with your target audience.
If your results are positive, you can start building a network. Strike up a conversation with people who are requesting to connect or are just viewing your LinkedIn profile. By engaging with them, you can forge beneficial relationships and even find potential opportunities to collaborate.
If, however, you find that your content isn’t quite working with your audience, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your strategy.
For instance, if your LinkedIn articles are getting a lot of engagements but no leads, you can take a break from writing top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content to writing more bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content.
Whatever your findings are, remember that the constant evolution of social networks means that you must frequently update and improve your LinkedIn content strategy.
Share relevant content consistently
Developing and executing a LinkedIn content strategy successfully requires a long-term commitment to publish original, relevant and helpful content that attract, inform, and engage users.
It might not be easy in the beginning, but promoting a brand never is. What matters is that you get started, you’re consistent and willing to learn.
Things will take off from there.