LinkedIn is well-known as the social media site for business professionals. From easy recruiting to shared experiences about work, industry and events, the platform is a niche developed to cater to the specific needs of business people.
Creating an effective content strategy that gains attention on LinkedIn is not difficult. The platform has many features that make sharing your content intuitive and easy.
B2B Content Marketing
As you know, your content marketing is about sharing your knowledge, skills, insights and other features of business without selling. When you peruse LinkedIn, you will find many sales pitches disguised as anecdotes. Some marketers use the platform to tell long stories that finish with a hard sell. That is not ideal.
B2B content marketing is about the creation and distribution of professionally-oriented content. The idea is to help people solve business problems while guiding them towards your brand and solution.
The real aim of content marketing is to develop relationships. You establish your brand as a trusted source of valuable insight and share knowledge with others. This is what engages audiences and generates quality leads. You can use the platform to bolster your position as an industry guru.
Why is a B2B Content Marketing Strategy Important?
According to B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 93% of the most successful B2B marketers say their organization is extremely/very committed to content marketing, compared with just 35% of the least successful. This data also suggests that documenting your B2B content marketing strategy is of great importance.
Your strategy needs to be a guideline. While you will have an editorial calendar and plans for creating a narrative to ensure continued audience engagement, you also need to allow space for flexibility. When major international events change the course of your strategy, such as the pandemic has, it is important that you have flexibility structured into your plans to allow for your brand to respond.
The campaign that you devise should focus on the promotion of your brand and your business personality. LinkedIn is not the place to sell, it is the place to network. You can use this realm to introduce yourself, allow interested leads to understanding your values, your goals and your business so that they can decide if you are the right fit for them.
For your LinkedIn campaign to be successful, your strategy needs to be deliberate, coordinated, and comprehensive. There are six components you need to consider carefully:
- Customer journey
Relationships and Trust
Emotion plays a major role in B2B decision-making. Part of influencing that emotion is building trust. You need to be transparent and honest in your business dealings so that you develop a reputation for trustworthy dealings. Once this has been established you can leverage that emotion to secure business relationships.
You need to define your goals to create a structured and well-organised marketing strategy. These goals need to be measurable so that you can calculate the effectiveness of your campaign.
- Increased LinkedIn Page following
- Expanded branded content reach
- Driving qualified leads
- Growing awareness/connections within targeted buying committees
- Driving traffic to your organization’s website
Know Your Audience
This insight will become the basis for everything you do. The more detailed and holistic your audience research – who are they, what are their needs and aspirations, what makes them tick – the better you will be able to align every piece of your content strategy accordingly.
LinkedIn makes that easy with some questionnaires that you can fill in to ensure that your content is targeted towards the most desirable audience, as well as using hashtags to connect with trending subjects.
The Customer Journey
The way in which you deliver your content to your established audience matters. For maximum impact, B2B content needs to reach the right people in the proper context. Mapping out your customer’s journey makes it possible to deliver the right content at the right time so that they are further down the funnel to purchase.
Understand Your Competitors
You should monitor your competitors’ content to understand what their approach is, what do they deliver better, how do they differ from your business and in what ways are you too similar for audiences to differentiate?
You need to periodically assess your campaign to see what is working and what is costing you time. LinkedIn provides analytics so that you can easily see the results of your content, including reach, shares, comments and engagements.
Implementing Your Strategy
Your content program should be customized to the needs of your business and audience, however, there are common traits among top performers.
- Create documentation: 65% of the most successful organizations have a documented content marketing strategy, compared with just 14% of the least successful.
- Be consistent: It’s important to maintain a regular presence and tell people about your content calendar.
- Integrate multimedia: Images and video, specifically, can increase engagement up to 5 times.
- Follow the 3-2-1 formula: This formula can help you strike the right balance between brand promotion and informative content sharing. The 3-2-1 model calls for a weekly breakdown of three pieces of industry-related content, two pieces of “proud” content (positivity for your employees or community), and one piece promoting your brand or solutions.
Generating Content Ideas
Developing a consistent and substantive editorial calendar takes time and adjustment. The following is a list of 10 guidelines that can be used to inform your content creation.
LinkedIn makes it easy to see what people are saying about your organization. You can track @ mentions in your Page’s activity tab, and then leverage your best content in this area.
The Content Suggestions tool helps you find long-form articles written by your employees, which you can reshare from your Page for amplification. Members of your team, speaking from their own personal viewpoints, are very influential sources for content.
Featuring content from other reputed sources is a way to provide an external perspective for your audience, while still supporting your narrative. It can improve your credibility if the content supports your views and it can help you build relationships with other business owners.
The Content Suggestions tool comes in handy here because it can help you identify third-party content your audience is already engaging with on LinkedIn. You need to be considerate about what you share as it will reflect on your brand.
You can improve your original content with:
- Infographics: Turn data and information into compelling visuals.
- Videos: They don’t need to be professional visual quality, just informative and engaging.
- Webinars/Podcasts: Remember to include a subscription option for people if you intend to make this format a regular part of your content strategy.
Measure and Track Success
Page admins can dive into a comprehensive suite of insights through LinkedIn Page Analytics. This will help you gauge the effectiveness of your updates and shares. You can also tap into aggregated data around your followers and their professional demographics. This enables you to continually refine your content strategy in alignment with audience demand.
How to Use LinkedIn’s New, Free Content Suggestions Tool
This feature was added to the LinkedIn Page suite to make it faster and easier for organizations to identify content topics and articles that were uniquely relevant to a certain audience on LinkedIn. Here’s a quick guide to getting started with Content Suggestions:
- Log into LinkedIn and select the Page to manage
- Click “Content Suggestions” on the top navigation bar
- Define your target audience with parameters like industry, location, and seniority
- In the Content Suggestions, select from a list of topics (at the top) and articles (below) based on the criteria you selected
- You can alter the list of articles in real-time by clicking variables
- Review the suggested content and if the piece fits within your strategy, click the “Share” button
- Add a customized message to accompany the link, and publish it directly to your LinkedIn Page