How to Use LinkedIn for Content Marketing
Social media has drastically changed the online marketing landscape over the last decade or so, with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram becoming invaluable tools for marketers to promote brands. But not all social networks work well for every kind of business. If you’re a B2B marketer then LinkedIn is where the real action is. With its 675 million monthly users, this vast network of business professionals is a virtual gold mine for content marketers. Why? Because LinkedIn is a niche and near-captive audience of people looking for information. So how can you use LinkedIn for content marketing?
In this article, we take a look at how you can use LinkedIn to reach your marketing goals, but first let’s look at what sets LinkedIn apart from other social media platforms, and why LinkedIn works so well.
News, not entertainment
One of the most important distinctions that have to be made between LinkedIn and other social media platforms is that LinkedIn means business, literally. While people use platforms like Facebook and Twitter for business, they’re also used for entertainment, Users on LinkedIn, on the other hand, are looking for information that can help them in business and their careers.
This doesn’t mean that content must be drab and dreary, it has to be engaging enough to keep readers’ attention, after all, it’s just not the kind of place where you post cat videos or Top 5 Steve Buscemi movies.
Why does LinkedIn work?
LinkedIn works because of, well, LinkedIn. It works as an amazing content marketing platform because of the amazing content that gets published on it and the type of audience that the content attracts and who consumes it.
LinkedIn has 46 million B2B decision-makers, 6 million IT decision-makers, and 17 million opinion leaders, all of whom use the platform as their first choice for industry news, expert advice, peer insights and recommendation, and content published by its members.
These are very valuable eyeballs to have on your content, and marketers recognize this. The result is that a reported 94% of marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, more than 80% of B2B marketings indicate that they achieve their greatest success on the network, and it is considered the number one social network for lead generation.
Simply put, the content on LinkedIn is valuable because it is valuable content.
So how can you use content on LinkedIn to achieve your business goals? Here’s a look at some of the ways that you can use to use LinkedIn effectively as a content marketing tool.
1. PUBLISH ORIGINAL CONTENT
Your goal with content on LinkedIn is to become a thought leader, and one of the most important ways to achieve this is to publish original, high-quality content. You should create content around industry-related topics, like industry trends and news, topics that your customers and colleagues might find useful, or something related to your business that you are passionate about.
To be a thought-leader means to have an opinion, so don’t be afraid to express yours in the content that you create, even if it challenges people. Just remember that you should always keep comments and opinions strictly professional and within a business context.
So what types of original content work well on LinkedIn? The three main types include long-form articles, shorter status updates, and video content. Here’s a look:
i. Long form is the best form (of content)
Arguably the most effective type of content is long-form articles. In the past, most content creators believed that the ideal length of articles online should be between 300 and 500 words long, but that’s no longer the case. Long-form articles (anything over 1,000 words long) have shown to be far more effective than their shorter-form siblings, with articles typically around 1,800 words generating a lot more engagement like views, likes, shares, and comments. This is especially true on LinkedIn where the audience is looking for more information than the typical 500-word article can provide.
ii. Short statuses sell
That doesn’t mean that longer articles are the be-all and end-all. Shorter status updates still have their place. Status updates let you share information like links or documents, or to promote events and share company updates. Not every bit of information worth sharing can justify a 2,000-word article.
iii. Video for the win
Video is the most shared (and shareable) type of content on social media, but don’t think it’s just for Facebook and Instagram, it’s also very popular (and effective) on LinkedIn. Video can be great for things like interviews, industry-specific tips and how-to’s, live Q&A sessions and discussions, or collaborations with other thought-leaders. When you produce video content, remember to make it look as professional as possible. These days quality video equipment is fairly affordable and basic editing tools are very easy to use, so there’s no excuse for poor quality video content.
TIP: Although it might not always be obvious, most professional content creators use scripts. This not only ensures that they hit the points they want to bring across, but it also makes the video look more professional.
iv. Infographics are the business
Infographics are some of the most popular types of content due to their ability to visually display data in an easily digestible manner. They look good, are easy to understand, and are super easy to share. Infographics are also very easy to make. While there are many infographic templates available online, the ideal is to design infographics in a certain style that fits your brand, then use that style whenever you create an infographic.
2. CURATED CONTENT
But it’s not ALL about your own content. Part of being a thought leader is the ability to pick out relevant content from sources that you respect. You want to be the person that people turn to when they want information on a certain topic, and since you’re the expert, they rely on you to provide them with quality content, whether you created it or not. By linking to other people’s content you show that you are engaging with the community, you take part in the conversation and you are willing to share ideas of others. This can have a huge impact on your credibility as a thought leader.
NOTE: You are judged by the company you keep, even online, so make sure that the content you share is always from credible sources. The more credible the sources you share, the more your credibility will increase.
3. MIX UP CONTENT LENGTH
Different topics are suited to different types of content. For instance, when you want to announce an event, you’re not going to write a 2,000-word article about it, a status update will do the trick, while an in-depth article exploring a technical topic might lend itself more to longer-form articles, and how-to topics to video.
The best way to get the most out of content marketing is to produce a mix of different types of content. Longer articles interspersed with shorter status updates and/or videos ensure that your content stays fresh and that your business stays top-of-mind with your audience. In the same breath, do your research and determine which types of content work best for your target market, then focus on that.
4. INCLUDE CALLS TO ACTION
The ultimate goal of all marketing activities is to drive sales and conversions. Content is no different, even if it uses indirect drivers like engagement. This is why having a call to action in your content is so important. You want readers to DO something, you want them to engage, become an active participant in the brand. What your call-to-action is will depend on the goal of the specific piece of content, whether it be asking for a like, share or follow, to fill out an application form or call an agent for a quote. The call-to-action must flow naturally out of the content, it mustn’t be a hard sell.
5. RE-OPTIMIZE OLD POSTS
Building a following and an audience takes time, which means that it’s highly likely that very few people saw your earlier content. If the content is great and still relevant, give it an update and post it again. For instance, take an article you wrote in 2017 and update it with the latest facts and figures. Check the keywords you used, see if they are still relevant, then make adjustments. This re-optimization of older posts is a great way to keep a steady stream of fresh content.
6. TIME YOUR CONTENT
Traffic on social media platforms like LinkedIn fluctuates over the course of a day, week, month, or even a year. Daily usage largely depends on timezones and when people get a chance to use social media. This makes timing your content very important because you want the maximum amount of exposure. Determine the peak times of your specific audience and use platforms like Hootsuite to strategically time content to target those times.
LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful platform for sharing business news and ideas and has proven to be an extremely effective marketing tool. By providing users with the content they are looking for, when they are looking for, in a format that is easiest for them to consume and engage with, you are on your path to content marketing success.
Last Updated on November 29, 2021 by Gregor Blair