Building a LinkedIn content marketing strategy is one of my favourite ways to be in touch with the audience I am writing for.
We can choose from a large social network variety, but LinkedIn is, by far, one of my favourites, if you consider LinkedIn a social network.
Let’s see how you can use this in the same way to reach real customers, get noticed, and build an authority profile in your industry using LinkedIn.
Ok, this is basic, but I have to say it.
You need to optimise your LinkedIn profile and do it well. This is not just about changing a few things from your personal data, adding a nice picture, and done.[Tweet “#1 reason you are failing on LinkedIn: You are using it as an online CV. “]
We will not talk about how to optimise your LinkedIn profile. You have a tonne of videos on YouTube, and this is not the purpose of this post. So, let’s focus on your LinkedIn content marketing strategy on this post.
So, if you don’t have your profile optimised, go to YouTube, check out a few videos, and apply that to your profile. Otherwise, you will see no results with any of these techniques.
If we assume you have an optimised profile (It’s not that complicated! Do it!), then let’s focus on your LinkedIn content marketing strategy and how your profile should be aligned with this strategy.
Important sections like your headline.
A good headline structure would respond these questions: Which problem do you solve? Who do you help? Where do you do that?
Example: “I help elite athletes manage their future financial resources in the future at Your Company Ltd.” You need to be as specific as you can, getting to the point and attracting the right people.
You need to create a laser focus for your LinkedIn content marketing strategy.
Here is a very important point in your strategy. LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the world and is growing every year.
But if you understand LinkedIn as any other social network, you are lost. LinkedIn is not just a social network; it is a professional directory with social features.
That’s very different!
We can identify potential clients in different ways, and this is an important previous step on your content strategy.
This is obvious, but your first step should identify all those contacts you have made offline. Think of interesting people you met in past sales meetings, old clients, rescue old business cards from trade shows and conferences…
This is a good starting point.
This is one of the most important tools in LinkedIn, and it’s free. By joining groups, you have the possibility to post content in front of many people related to your target audience and, of course, potential clients.
An unknown feature from LinkedIn Groups is you can send a message (free, not an inMail) to 15 people each month! Even if they are not connected with you!
Now, tell me; are you contacting 15 new potential clients from groups for free every month?
Once you have done the previous 2 steps, you will need a constant new source of fresh contacts. Very targeted contacts. You can do this from the advanced search options, but sadly, you will need to pay for any of LinkedIn’s premium plans. Otherwise, you will be limited to a few searches.
I highly recommend you have an optimised profile before considering to pay for any premium plan, and once you are ready, I would start with one-month payment (not the annual payment).
If you do well, you will have a lot of new contacts in the next month, and if you do something wrong in your strategy, you can use the next month to fix the issues in your campaign before starting again.
Use the advance search to identify your ideal buyer persona, then you can develop a LinkedIn content marketing strategy laser focus to the right target.
What do you want to achieve in this step?: Create your own database inside LinkedIn with the most targeted contacts you can. This will be your starting point, so do it well.
NOTE: if you are worried about creating a database on a third party platform, like LinkedIn (which is normal and wise), you should know you can download your contact list (included emails) from here.
Ok, now you have a consistent base of contacts on your LinkedIn database; now you need to show your credibility and gain authority in your industry.
Sharing high-valuable own and third-party content. Doing it consistently and for a long time.
If you do this, people eventually will pay attention to you, and you will be associated as a credible professional in your industry. This is the first step to build your authority.
You should be active in 3 important parts of LinkedIn to create a good foundation:
You can create your own group on LinkedIn, manage your content, invite your connections, and everybody on LinkedIn can join to your group.
This is a powerful tool. Some groups have over 100,000 members! That’s crazy; it is a massive audience! Imagine, if you can position yourself leading a group like this, it will give you
Imagine, if you can position yourself leading a group like this, it will give you the authority in front of your industry.
Here is something very important. You can find a lot of groups in almost any industry in LinkedIn. Most have thousands of members, and that means they can see anything published in the group.
The interesting thing here is to keep your name (and profile) as visible as possible in front all those members. All of them are part of your industry.
If you can share great content, relevant to this audience, they will associate your name with great content. If you do this consistently, they will remember your name.
But also, you have to be active with your comments and participate in the discussions, contributing with relevant and helpful information (not SPAM redirecting to your website, please).
Pulse is a big blogging platform inside LinkedIn. Do you know Medium? It is like they integrated Medium inside LinkedIn, which is awesome for building your LinkedIn content marketing strategy.
If you have a LinkedIn profile, even the free version, you have full access to Pulse (at the moment I am writing this, it is fully free).
The thing is you can create your own content here, and somehow, that gives you huge exposure to your network and to people outside your contacts (this is second and third-degree contacts in LinkedIn).
This is a powerful tool inside LinkedIn.
I recommend creating new and fresh content, not just a copy paste of your last posts from your blog.
I have another business, a B2B business consultancy business. LinkedIn is a great place to be if you are looking for new clients for that kind of business.
And to be honest, about the 80% of my new leads are from LinkedIn. So, when I listen (often) to somebody saying something like: “LinkedIn is a bluff. I never got any business from there,” I ask myself, “Well, what are you doing on LinkedIn, then?”
This is very simple, LinkedIn doesn’t work like a social network, because it is not a social network, just a huge B2B professional directory.
And because they are using LinkedIn like Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram, they get no results.
“Oh, I sent a tonne of invitations, most of them accepted, and… a few months later, I don’t have a single client!”
Were you expecting a massive response asking to do business with you? You are not Richard Branson.
LinkedIn is about reaching the right people actively, offering a SPECIFIC BUSINESS PROPOSITION, and building a real connection.
But please, never send an invitation on LinkedIn just to increase your number of contacts; otherwise, you will be part of those who never got any business from there.[Tweet “Please never send an invitation on LinkedIn that contains the word “synergy.” Seriously, NEVER. “]
Is it enough to be proactive and reach the right people? Of course, not.
There is a lot of noise. You need to stand out from all this clutter. And this is key in your LinkedIn content marketing strategy: share your high valuable content with your connections, offer free advice, free help, free connection to an interesting person in your network…
Don’t sell anything initially. Build the relationship.
If I am offering international business services to companies that export to Latin America, I can’t ask if they are interested in my services in my first email. I don’t know if they are interested in that market yet!
Maybe it is not their moment, because they are launching a new product… or a lot of other good reasons! But they could be my clients in the future.
Sales are about timing.
So build the relationship, show your “power” and knowledge about the service you offer, and when it is the right time, they will ask you for your services.
Building a LinkedIn content strategy is a powerful weapon for your marketing, especially if you are in a B2B sector. The problem is it takes time to build something meaningful, and people want immediate results.
Sales on LinkedIn are medium-term goals, so be patient, build your reputation and your connection base.
It’ll work! It’ll work!