LinkedIn content marketing is an often-overlooked part of a successful B2B marketing strategy. LinkedIn is a great networking platform to connect with other professionals, but can also be used as an evergreen content platform. By posting content to LinkedIn, you can reach your immediate connections and over 575 million other professionals.
How exactly does LinkedIn content marketing work? Let’s take a look…
Step 1: Write useful articles on industry topics targeted to a specific niche
In our previous article, we talked about choosing the best topics for LinkedIn content marketing. When writing for a LinkedIn audience you want to stick to an industry topic a) you have deep knowledge about, and b) your target market will find interesting.
You should lay out the key ideas, give a high-level perspective and answer any burning questions on the topic you choose. Help your target market understand the fundamendals of the topic. Raise and answer any key questions. Address decision points and controversies. This will create value with your LinkedIn audience.
Here’s a good example we produced for a client:
In the article above, the author is a pricing expert we interviewed on a trending niche technology topic (IoT pricing). The topic reflected his expertise and was aimed squarely at his target readers (CFOs, heads of product management, chief innovation officers, and heads of sales at IoT firms). Instead of focusing on a broad idea, such as general pricing, he narrowed the topic down to a specific area (IoT pricing) that was highly relevant to his ideal clients and the services he offers.
Writing content like this consistently can be very challenging. You have to run your business — how can you also become an industry journalist?
The solution is to hire somebody to interview you. The interview process extracts the years of expertise and knowledge locked in your head. The content comes out naturally without any significant time or effort, and you can freely elaborate on interesting sub-topics. This is far more efficient and effective than writing content for LinkedIn on your own.
We highly recommend that you have someone interview you and transcribe it into a LinkedIn article. Then you can simply edit and post the article on LinkedIn where it will generate value for you.
Step 2: Insert relevant links, case studies and photos in your articles
For LinkedIn content marketing to produce the best results, you want your articles to be full of helpful information for readers.
So, once your LinkedIn article is written up, it’s time to add more value to it.
You can include any of these article elements to increase readability and impact:
- Unique photos or diagrams
- External links referencing relevant statistics and source can help back up your point.
- Real-life case studies to explain complex points.
- Bolding or italicizing important numbers or points to capture attention while the reader skims through your article.
- Graphs and charts
- Screenshots of company presentations
- Videos uploaded to LinkedIn or embedded from YouTube
- Hand-written notes and “back of the napkin” photos
The longer the LinkedIn article, the more visual elements you’ll want to break it up as shown in this example. However, you don’t want to insert unnecessary “filler” content or generic stock photos. You want your content to be unique and any creative elements to have a specific purpose.
Below is a great example of a useful chart from one of our client’s LinkedIin articles on complex price optimization. This image gets the message across and keeps the reader engaged far better than a block of text.
On thing to keep in mind: You want to keep readers focused on the content of your LinkedIn article, rather than drifting off to another site. So don’t overdo it with external links. We recommend one to three links to external sources, max.
Remember, with LinkedIn content marketing, you don’t want to be too promotional. You want to show your expertise, but you don’t want your readers to feel like you’re trying to sell them something. Having a short call-to-action (CTA) at the bottom of your article is perfectly appropriate if someone is interested in contacting you to learn more.
Step 3: Share your LinkedIn content with your connections
The final step of LinkedIn content marketing is to publish and share your article with your connections.
When your LinkedIn article is first published, LinkedIn will notify your network in your followers’ streams. However, this is only a one-time impression and disappears quickly.
To get your content read by your ideal business prospects, you need to promote and share it. Without sharing your article, you may gather a few views or likes, but it generally won’t get much traction on LinkedIn.
You want to take your content and send it by direct LinkedIn message to your network connections. By sending it via LinkedIn direct message, it won’t get lost in the social stream along with thousands of other updates and posts. If they have email notifications turned on, they’ll get an email from LinkedIn about it.
It’s helpful to A/B test your direct messages depending on your industry and who you’re sending it to. Keep it short and to the point so they know what it’s about.
After sending it to prospects, you can look back at the likes, comments, and shares and see who has engaged with your content. You’ll also notice many people will reply with a “Thank you” or similar response to your direct message. LinkedIn provides some nice analytics and feedback mechanisms to track engagement and sharing.
Writing useful LinkedIn articles, then sharing them with your target readers directly is a great way to start a relationship. It provides value up-front, creates goodwill and generates credibility and authority on your part. You will notice a substantial difference in responses from the typical “Thanks for connecting, would you be interested in speaking?” type message.
Take the Next Step With LinkedIn Content Marketing
Content marketing on LinkedIn as we’ve described is a fairly straightforward process once you have a well-written article. The key is consistently creating useful content for your target readers and actively promoting it.
This process creates ever-growing content marketing platform on LinkedIn that educates, nurtures and sells for you. After you’ve published and sent out several articles, new readers can refer back to previously written pieces. With LinkedIn content marketing, you are not only delivering value to your current connections, but your content continuously invites people to start a business conversation with you.