Do any members of your target audience wake up on weekdays and head into an office job? Probably. If so, your company can benefit from LinkedIn, the business-oriented networking site with more than 106 million active users.
While some may write it off as a place to brag about your job or engage in some shameless networking, it’s actually a goldmine for finding leads and customers - especially if you’re in the B2B space. Think about it: full-time workers spend more waking hours at their desks than most other places. And there, they’re probably checking LinkedIn just as much, if not more, than Facebook and Twitter.
It’s a more targeted audience than more general social networks, so if your audience is part of that group, you can reach them on LinkedIn with less competition than on a social network where every type of business is trying to get noticed. Plus, a lot of marketers overlook LinkedIn, making for even less competition for your brand.
So how can you go about creating and distributing content using LinkedIn? Here are the basics for building your presence there.
1. Ditch the clickbait
First of all, remember the tagline: this social network is professional. Your content strategy there should be so as well.
Now, you don’t need to be 100% serious, but know your audience and read the room. LinkedIn probably isn’t the best place for clickbaity blog post headlines, memes, and other things you might share on other networks.
Instead, LinkedIn is a great place to build expertise for your company and employees, recruit new team members, and connect with your audience and partners. Share and publish content there that provides educational value.
Self-help, productivity, and leadership content are very popular topics, in particular. Opinion pieces, personal stories, and how-to content also often performs well when published or shared there. You can either share content from other websites, publish new content here, or syndicate blog content, which we’ll talk about below.
Related: The Basics of Content Marketing: Twitter
2. Syndicate blog content
While on most networks, you have to share a short description and link to a new post. Because of Pulse, LinkedIn actually lets you republish the whole thing. The best way to do this is by having content creators republish things on their personal LinkedIn profiles, with a link back to where it’s hosted on your website.
This gives you the opportunity to get discovered by Pulse readers you’re not connected with. It also adds social proof to your employees’ profiles, can increase click-throughs compared to linking out to external content, drive extra traffic back to the original, and it sends a notification to their whole network when the post goes live.
For example, Sujan Patel, co-founder of WebProfits, re-publishes content from a variety of outlets on his LinkedIn profile.
By utilizing tags for each Pulse post, your content might be featured, driving a ton of viewers from outside the company’s network.
3. Create SlideShare presentations
LinkedIn also owns SlideShare, a great platform for distributing slide decks, infographics, and PDFs. If you’re already creating these types of assets - and you probably are - sharing them on LinkedIn and SlideShare lets you make more of an impact without having to come up with new content.
You can either leverage existing assets by uploading slide decks that your sales team uses, sharing team or public speaking presentations, and uploading infographics or PDFs from your blog and lead generation efforts.
For example, HubSpot’s a content marketing powerhouse. And look at how they put presentations from other projects on SlideShare to expand their reach:
You can also easily summarize larger pieces of content as slide decks and use content repurposing to fill your SlideShare profile. Creating content and sharing it on LinkedIn - in groups, on your company page, etc. gives people a somewhat unique content format, and LinkedIn features great SlideShare content prominently on the site.
4. Network in groups
One of the best ways I’ve found to distribute content and build your reputation on LinkedIn is through groups. As mentioned in the last section, you can share content like slide decks - or really, anything - in LinkedIn groups your audience is part of.
Lots of professionals come to LinkedIn for advice and reading related to their jobs, and join groups to find that as well as to connect with other people. This means you can effectively use them to distribute content to people beyond your own connections or company page followers.
To find relevant groups to join, you can either search for them by keyword or look at what groups your coworkers and customers are part of. Join a few to focus on, interact with others, start discussions, and make sure to follow any etiquette guidelines about self-promotion.
5. Leverage employees’ networks
Finally, your company’s employees make up one of your strongest assets for reaching new people on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is where employees go for work, and are connecting with colleagues, customers, and peers. Given that LinkedIn is where their professional network is strongest, it’s a great place for boosting branding through Employee Advocacy. When it comes to content marketing, this channel can be used to help promote new content. Instead of sharing things only through your company page or own profile, you can also encourage employees to share your strongest pieces of content on their profiles.
Since their connections are relevant to the piece of content and are in a professional mindset on LinkedIn, your employees will be providing a ton of value.
LinkedIn is an essential content platform for B2B audiences, and can be used for both creating and distributing content. If you’re not including it in your content strategy yet, these five ideas are just the first places to get started - the basics. Once you’ve built an audience and can drive engagement, there’s even more you can do and results you can get.