How To Get The Most From LinkedIn With Content Marketing
The buyer’s journey is increasingly fragmented and unpredictable, with today’s highly informed customers finding their own path and engaging less with brands throughout the process.
These customers have completed up to 90 per cent of the purchasing decision before they even make contact with a salesperson. They’re seeking out information online and from peers, consuming up to 10 pieces of influencer content before initiating contact with your brand.
So how do you as a marketer move your brand back up the funnel to a place where it can have a bigger impact on purchasing decisions? If you’re working in B2B marketing, a better question might be where can you do this?
LinkedIn has long been considered the dark horse in social media but, with more than 3.1 million Australian users and 364 million globally, it’s emerged from the shadows to become a powerhouse of content marketing. It wants to be the place that puts brands back behind the steering wheel of the B2B buyer’s journey.
As a professional network, LinkedIn is a very different beast to other more consumer-focused social media sites and must be treated as such. To get the most from it for content marketing purposes, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
LinkedIn users are looking to build their personal brand and advance their careers. They are actively seeking out information that will help them do this. This presents marketers with the opportunity to reach audiences who are actually asking for content. While this sounds like a dream come true, your content must deliver value. It should answer a question, share an insight or solve a problem. Promotional material designed to sell products or services will be shunned, and runs the risk of damaging your brand.
As with all social media platforms, LinkedIn is also a great listening tool and communication should always be thought of as a two-way street. An effective content marketing strategy requires brands to initiate and take part in discussions. LinkedIn groups are a great way to connect with audiences. Engaging with prospects and responding to questions will build your brand’s credibility with target communities.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform for marketers to build relationships, progressing beyond reach and nurturing contacts into leads and brand advocates. Through its Lead Accelerator, marketers can tailor messages for individuals at different stages of the buyer’s journey. For example, you can set up a sequence of messages aimed at people who have never made it past your brand’s homepage, or run a campaign designed to help close those who’ve been poring over your product pages.
LinkedIn is essentially a huge database of professionals, which makes it a figurative gold mine for marketers. You can segment target audiences by geographic location, occupation, seniority and other demographics. Savvy users know their personal data is being collected by brands and expect it to be used for more relevant targeting. As a first-party data repository of professional profile information, LinkedIn provides the information you need to reach the people you want.
Time And Place
Today’s increasingly educated, informed and connected professionals expect to engage with brands wherever and whenever it suits them. When it comes to LinkedIn, the ideal times to post content are early lunchtime and evening rush hour on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. It seems B2B audiences aren’t as engaged when getting ready for (or recovering from) the weekend. You should also bear in mind that about half of LinkedIn’s traffic comes from mobile devices.
Many brands are still guilty of using this professional network to broadcast self-serving messages and company updates. Yet the real branding opportunity lies in using LinkedIn for content marketing. With its huge numbers of potential prospects, smart marketers who provide useful content are building valuable relationships and forcing their brands back into the buyer’s journey conversation.