7 Content Marketing Tips
Posted by Bernie Borges on Jun 29 2013
Don’t get creeped out at the thought of content marketing on LinkedIn. With more than 200 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is getting a little noisy. So, a brand and individuals who represent a brand must have a strategy to get noticed. Relevant, quality and compelling content is a must-have to get noticed on LinkedIn. And, remember that your prospects are doing due diligence on you and your competitors, in part, on LinkedIn. So, if you want to rise above the noise consider these seven ways to get your content noticed on LinkedIn.
I advocate having a daily presence on LinkedIn to get the noticed. Depending on the demands on your schedule, this may be difficult. One not-so-time-consuming way to get noticed with good content is to share content you curate. Here are two ways you can curate content on LinkedIn.
Use LinkedIn Today to find relevant content. Whether you’re on your desktop or using LinkedIn on a mobile device, it’s easy to locate an article that aligns with your professional interests. All you need to do is share an article with your network as a status update. However, don’t just say “check out this article about ____.” Make a comment about the article. Get creative and say something that might inspire a conversation thread. That’s what gets noticed by your network and contributes to you and your brand’s reputation.
When you’re on the go, use a mobile app like Flipboard or TechCrunch to find articles and share them on your LinkedIn profile as a status update. Remember to make a comment about the article to stimulate a response.
As described above, a status update is an easy way to share content whether you’ve curated the content from other sources, or it’s your own content. I recommend posting status updates daily. While each of us is unique in how we use LinkedIn, generally speaking I recommend not posting more than 5 to 7 status updates per day spread throughout the day. Post your first status update early in the morning between 5:30am and 7:30am. If you prefer, you can schedule an update the night before through a scheduling tool such as HootSuite. If you’re wondering who is on LinkedIn that early in the morning, the answer is A LOT OF PEOPLE! Once you try it, you’ll discover how many people engage with your status updates during these early morning hours provided you share interesting status updates.
I recommend you go with the 80/20 rule for your status updates. About 80% of the content you share through your updates should not be your content. This is a guideline. If you blog everyday, and you have a following, by all means flip this to 20/80. Even when you share other people’s content, you support your brand when you post intelligent thoughts that result in digital conversation threads. Additionally, others will share your updates with their network.
Company Page Updates
Each company should employ someone who is responsible for posting status updates to your LinkedIn company page, whether the person is an employee or an outside agency. The content should be interesting and relevant to those who follow your company page. People expect company page content to be about your business. Depending on your brand’s equity, consider sharing as much content as you want, provided it offers value to your followers. If your company page has a large enough following, segment your posts using the audience targeting option provided by LinkedIn.
Employee Content Sharing
The social employee largely influences content marketing effectiveness on LinkedIn. I’ve written before that marketing is not a department. Train your employees how they can share your brand’s content using the best practice principles described in this post. When your employees add intelligent perspective to your content in a professional demeanor, they are acting as a brand ambassador. Conversely, if they blatantly promote your brand’s content as an advertisement, they can give your brand a black eye. Training is very important to create brand ambassadors on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn offers an email feature called Messages. I urge you to be very selective about how you share content through Messages. Unfortunately, many people use it poorly and it often results in creating a spammy impression of your brand. Use common sense. For example, if your company has an event coming up, it’s generally considered acceptable to send a brief message to a select group of people who would consider the event relevant to them. I prefer to see the marketing team write the message to ensure it delivers the proper message. Be sure to include a link to the event. Keep it short. Don’t over do it. And again, use good judgment with LinkedIn Messages.
Don’t Be Boring
There are generally two types of content any individual or brand should share on LinkedIn.
1) Content that addresses common industry problems with creative ways they are addressed. Don’t be too narrowly focused on the topic your brand addresses. For example, if you sell software in the CRM segment, include content that addresses sales best practices, not just content about CRM.
2) Content that has emotional connectors people can identify with. If you can cause people to smile or laugh or feel compassion about a topic, that emotional connection is positive. An example might be sharing a story about your employees volunteering to support victims of a natural disaster. Be sure this story is authentic. Another example, if you are so inclined is to use humor. Supply chain software maker Kinaxis creates humorous videos, which have an entertainment factor.
In addition to the guidance provided above, be careful how you share content in Groups. Use a simple guideline. If you have content that sincerely adds value to a discussion in a Group, share it. But, use good judgment when doing this. Don’t post self promotional content that will cause you to look like you’re spamming the members of the group. When you share content that isn’t yours and it serves a Group discussion well, that demonstrates sincerity in your participation in that group discussion.
The way the social employee and the corporate brand use LinkedIn in content marketing can be very effective if you follow these common sense guidelines. It truly boils down to reach and relevance. Your employees can provide reach when they participate intelligently. The content you share must be relevant to your audience in order to be received as credible and trustworthy.