For B2B companies, LinkedIn Publishing is a must for those people who want to become thought leaders in their industries. However, many B2C companies – and non-profits – should also use LinkedIn Publishing as their social fulcrum in their content strategy.
Note that I said “social” fulcrum. We haven’t changed our minds about owned content. Your overall content marketing strategy should still revolve around your owned content, such as your blog, your website, and any offline publications.
That way, if you run afoul of a third-party site’s ever-changing rules, you still can get your message out. And, if another social platform eclipses your preferred third-party channel (remember MySpace?), you can maintain a firm online presence while you pivot to the new channel.
That being said, let’s look at the case for making LinkedIn the hub around which your social content revolves.
A Platform to Showcase Your Expertise
Whether you’re providing products and services to other businesses or directly to consumers, today’s customers want to know two things:
- Do you know what you’re doing?
- Can you deliver the goods to help me conquer MY challenges?
For B2B customers: Thought leaders give them peace of mind about your knowledge and experience. After all, their decisions often involve huge investments of time and money.
For B2C customers: Thought leaders provide customers with the assurance that they aren’t just another scam. Today’s customers want to hire experts with both comprehensive knowledge and a successful track record.
Publishing content on LinkedIn can do both. As Marketing Insider Group’s Michael Brenner put it,
“Thought leadership is all about having the best answers to the biggest questions on the minds of your buyers.”
Demonstrating that you have a wealth of experience dealing with your customers’ problems – and the chops to solve them – positions you as a thought leader. One with a practical side.
And LinkedIn is the perfect platform to do just that. Three words: trust, endorsements, and recommendations.
Not only can posting content demonstrate your expertise in your field through well-researched articles, but other experts can validate your expertise – and your problem-solving ability – in your industry. That’s a game-changer for both B2B and B2C customers.
A Platform Practically Everyone Uses
LinkedIn isn’t only for executives anymore. Practically every job seeker has a profile on LinkedIn. And as they check their profile, they discover articles that can help them:
- Extend their knowledge about their field
- Help them move up the corporate ladder
- Solve problems outside of work that block their rise to success
A few years ago, LinkedIn boosted its reach when it allowed all its members to post articles and updates on its platform. Suddenly, it became the mecca for all industry-related content.
A LinkedIn Publishing Quick Guide to Success
There are two types of content you can publish on LinkedIn:
- Long-form content (articles)
- Uber-short content (updates – think a more professional version of Twitter)
We would advise you to take advantage of both. It’s simple to use. And, it will give your content a whole new audience – primed to buy – so long as you can provide them with a solution to their problems.
Read the Roadmap
Doing so can help streamline the content collaboration process. It allows contributors to see LinkedIn’s publishing guidelines before they suggest a topic or start editing.
Having the guidelines available to everyone working on a potential LinkedIn content topic is especially helpful when you include subject matter experts in the process (and we advise that you do). Since these people’s jobs revolve around engineering, construction, medicine – or whatever their specialty – they’re not used to writing content as part of their daily routine.
Create Your LinkedIn Content Strategy
As Content Marketing Institute’s Chuck Hester points out, a good mix of longer-form posts and quick updates is an easy way to keep content coming without taking too much time from your other content production. You can even use some of your short updates to alert your followers about a new piece of longer content. Or, you can use them to give your followers a quick tip to help them solve a problem.
You’ll only need to post on LinkedIn three to five times a well. Keep even your longer articles fairly short. 350-500 words is a good number to shoot for. Remember, most people read LinkedIn at work and can’t waste time reading anything longer than that.
If you want to elaborate on a topic, create a link to your website’s blog for those who want to learn more. In fact, we’d highly recommend this specific tactic. Taking them from LinkedIn to your owned content can turn curiosity into commitment for those who find your insights valuable.
Follow Up with a Deeper Dive
Once they’re on your own site, that’s when you can steer them on to the next step along their buyer’s journey. A deeper dive into the topic, followed by a call to action that, if they accept it, provides them with even more information, whether that be a white paper, a useful tool, an eBook, a consultation, or a free trial.
Test Your Results; Tweak and Repeat
Several years ago, we interviewed Megan Golden from LinkedIn. It’s no surprise that she was a huge proponent of testing how your LinkedIn posts perform.
But she also had some insightful advice on how to sift through follower data to find what your customers likely need from you. Not all data are relevant to your business.
Although you can use your followers’ common outside interests as a springboard for examples or to add color to your posts, it pays to stick with what Golden called your “north star.” Always bring the content back to your mission – to meet your company’s needs.
Once you get that focus – and content that circles back to that – it’s time to test your results. For instance, if a piece of content that converts well to sales doesn’t rank as well as it should in search results, it pays to tweak that article until it does. Here are some questions to help your analysis:
- Does it need updating to keep it relevant?
- Is its SEO optimization badly in need of refurbishing?
- Can you turn it into evergreen content?
- Can you add an extra section to help it to appeal to new customer segments?
- Do I need to change the headline to grab my followers’ attention?
- Would it perform better as a video or infographic?
- Is it too salesy for today’s skeptical audience?
If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” then make those changes. All those little tweaks can reap big results in search rankings.
Finally, Expand Your Network
With LinkedIn, you’re not only looking for followers that could become customers – although that’s a priority. You need to reach out to people in your own industry and in complementary industries to build a reputation among your peers as a thought leader as well.
You do that by creating content that helps them in their businesses. The more helpful your advice is, the more likely they are to recommend you. And, in turn, these recommendations build your reputation among customers as well as colleagues.
The better your reputation, the better chance you have of:
- Getting an invitation to write a guest blog post on related businesses’ websites
- Being invited to speak at an industry event or be a guest on an industry podcast
- Convincing complementary businesses to work on joint projects
All of which position you as an industry leader – one with whom your customers will be proud to do business. That’s the power of LinkedIn – and it’s time to put it to work for your business.
From planning to creation to automation to testing, you can add LinkedIn articles to your workload without a hitch. With a central hub to manage all your social media and owned content, it’s a breeze.