How LinkedIn Can Enhance Content Marketing for B2Bs
Is LinkedIn still a job-oriented site? Or, has it outgrown its original job seeker social media site to evolve into something much more powerful. The BlueGreen Digital team sees LinkedIn as a leading marketing opportunity for industry-specific companies.
LinkedIn has been a great platform for industry professionals and young job-seekers. The platform continues to be a useful tool not only for the HR industry but for B2B companies as well to identify and hire talent. It’s not a secret that LinkedIn has also rolled out its advertising features to SMEs and B2B companies which enables them to enhance their lead generation strategies and increase brand awareness for their products and services.
LinkedIn has garnered more than 430 million users as of Q1 2016. As a B2B company owner and marketer, you should be aware that LinkedIn is the de-facto platform to reach hyper targeted industry segments. LinkedIn has emerged into a proven platform to reach your target audience through content marketing. Content marketing isn’t rocket science; however, a meticulous understanding of your target audience’s avatar will determine how you will create a relevant content marketing strategy.
Here are 5 ways to jumpstart your content marketing strategy on LinkedIn.
1.) Create Your LinkedIn Company Page
Most first-time LinkedIn members intend to hire an employee or find a job. As a B2B marketer, you’re on LinkedIn to establish your company, build brand awareness, and of course, determine and reach your target audience. It’s quite simple to create a company page on LinkedIn – the primary requirement is that have a personal LinkedIn account. Once you create a company page then it’s time to draft your content marketing initiatives.
2.) Establish your Presence Using Targeted Content
Where to start? Let’s consider what the typical LinkedIn user does on LinkedIn. The top uses are: hire employees, find a new job, research a company, or simply to find relevant content that will complement their work. Now that you understand the typical user, you can further hone this down to your target audience so you can create your content. Keep in mind that LinkedIn isn’t Facebook, hence, avoid “casual sharing” or sharing content just for the sake for sharing.
Once you create a LinkedIn company page, establish a voice and set of content types that will reflect your company’s mission and vision. Remember that the buyer personas of your target audience should determine the type and velocity of content you will share using your LinkedIn company page.
If you build SaaS financial products for consumers, create stories and examples of people using your technology to solve a problem. Showcase a story, beginning with a problem, how your software provided a benefit, and the ultimate solution.
3.) Content Marketing is Storytelling
Once people connect and follow your LinkedIn page, it’s time to build out both your content plan and editorial calendar. Remember that people are following your company page because they expect to learn from you and familiarize themselves with your product or service. Content such as blog posts, infographics, DIY videos are vehicles to deliver your content to the end consumer. The key is to create branded content to reach your target customers, even if many of your followers aren’t customers, they can actually share or refer your page to their networks.
Weaving a story into each piece of content is critical for engagement. Ask yourself key questions to help create the story.
a) What is the story and narrative behind the company or product?
b) How do you connect with your customer base?
c) What type of stories appeal to your customer avatar?
d) Beyond branding – how can you use the story to generate demand?
e) How can you combine content and a story to deliver value for the user.
Identify key messages you want to span multiple pieces of content. Perhaps “value” is one of your messages. To help reinforce this message, ensure all content touches on the “value” of your solution to the buyer or to the marketplace.
4) User Generated Content
As you build your presence on LinkedIn, you can begin leveraging user-generated content to promote your brand. The customers and vendors you’ve worked with in the past can provide testimonials that make your brand and individual team members stand out. Any kind of testimonials from peers are major trust signals that can help you close deals faster and generate more leads.
5.) Create a Presence in LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is about creating new connections and sharing insights. Once your LinkedIn company page is up and running, you can explore relevant LinkedIn groups that you can share your page with. This will help you improve your visibility and awareness about what your company is selling. Always remember to present yourself to groups not as a salesman but as a thought leader and solution provider.
Example: If you’re selling a CRM software, avoid hard selling, the correct approach is to share substantial insights about how CRM software can help increase sales or enhance their business. Eventually, you can share how readers can benefit using your software.
When you target groups, it is important that you look at a group as a long-term prospect, and not a place to simply post a single piece of content and move on. Becoming a fabric of the group is critical to your success.
6.) Nurture your Leads
Content creation and group engagement will pave the way to lead generation. Every piece of content should have a purpose and benefit to your audience. As your content generates leads, it is important to nurture each lead. This will help move the lead through the funnel.
What is the key to nurturing a lead?
Nurturing requires follow-up on a consistent basis, coupled with new content to provide value for the lead. Humanize each piece of content. Drop the sales pitch, and speak like a real person. humanize your content, talk like a real person. Project an aura of approachability through your content so customers feel comfortable engaging and asking questions. An inquiry could turn into a sales opportunity, and eventually, a sale.
Brian Anderson and Daniel Wright