You’ll be left out if you aren’t LinkedIn. At minimum, it is a great tool if you are looking for a job or for good candidates for an open position you are trying to fill, but it is also an effective communications channel for content marketing. Whether you are promoting yourself as a thought leader or your company as the solution, LinkedIn content marketing can help you stay top of mind with your customers.
According to Statista.com, more than 467 million business professionals have a LinkedIn profile and 40 percent access their accounts daily via one of the four devices they own. From smartphones and tablets to streaming sticks and watches, GlobalWebIndex reports that digital consumers own an average of 3.64 devices. They are using those devices to research you and/or your company, so you need to be there if you want them to find you. But you need to do more than just be there. You need to be relevant.
To be relevant you need a strategy. Determine what you want to accomplish with your LinkedIn content marketing by setting specific, quantifiable goals. Do you want to grow your community or convert your current connections to customers? If you don’t know where you want to go, it is impossible to know when you get there.
The key to effective content marketing is to feed your audience as well as attract them. Make it pay off to engage with your content, whether by offering something of value or acknowledging them with interaction. Share useful information that makes you a resource to your customers. In original content, demonstrate your thought process to show your level of expertise and what you have to offer.
Be careful not to over publish and not to push out too much sales content. That could push them away instead of pull them in. Plan out your editorial calendar by week, month, or year, and break it in to thirds — a third of the content should be interesting information from other sources, a third should be a celebration of your community or industry, and another third should be original content.
If you are already creating valuable content in the form of blog posts, email, or columns, it can be repurposed for LinkedIn. “How to” posts, guides, white papers, and case studies are all great ways to promote your thought leadership and position you or your company as a solution to a problem. Share relevant content from a third party like articles that you are featured, mentioned or quoted in, as well as other industry news.
You can write your own articles in LinkedIn and share them with your connections directly. Keep them 500 to 700 words and support them with strong photos or infographics. Titles are important and should not be overlooked. It is the title that makes someone click on your post or not. They should be intriguing but not misleading as to what the article is about. Click-bait titles are a guaranteed opt-out. You can also compile the work of others’ content, with credit, to share different perspectives. If you found it interesting, chances are your customers will too.
In addition to posting your content, share it directly with relevant connections to be sure they see it, rather than leaving it up to chance. Mention and tag them in posts and/or send them a link of your content in a direct message. If it is meaningful to them, they will share it too, which will increase your visibility.
Content marketing on LinkedIn can be an effective sales tool if you strategically work it from the start, with specific goals, targeting specific connections with relevant information that positions you and/or your company as an industry expert.
Andrea Wiley is director of account management at DCA Creative Communications Consulting, and is an adjunct professor teaching advertising at the University of Memphis. She was the 2015-2016 president of the American Advertising Federation, Memphis Chapter, and can be reached at [email protected]