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For the past 10 years, I have used Google and Facebook as the sole source for my ads. Facebook is still overwhelmingly the #1 platform worldwide to get the best ROI for your ads, Google being the #2.
So, why LinkedIn?
You see Facebook has a huge problem: in the past months, the social network has been plagued by scandal after scandal. It looks like it won’t stop.
- 2016 Cambridge Analytica
- 2016 Retaining users’ deleted videos
- 2016 Andrew Bosworth Memo
- 2016 Russia meddling and “fake news”
- 2017 Public profiles being scrapped
- 2017 Secret deletion of Zuckerberg’s messages
- 2017 Photo and link scans over Messenger
- 2017 Spreading hate speech in Myanmar
- 2018 90 million user breach
Even with all those scandals, Facebook has proved to be immune with ever-increasing growth in revenue and users and an unsinkable stock price. But in October, its ability to coast on its years of success finally seemed to give out. It reported that its revenue grew to $11.97 billion for the quarter. That’s a number that’s lower than the $13.3 billion analysts expected. The slight miss sent Facebook’s stock plunging more than 23%.
On top of that, Facebook is starting to have issues with some of its metrics.
Over the past 12 months, the company’s count of daily active users in the U.S. and Canada has been fluctuating around 185 million.
That means that Facebook is no longer growing: either new would-be users, like teens, aren’t signing up to Facebook or that the social network is losing users at around the same rate, it’s gaining new ones.
In Europe, Facebook experienced a drop in daily active users, down to 279 from 282 million in the previous quarter.
Despite stagnant user growth in its biggest markets (the US), Facebook continues to rake in billions in ad revenue—mostly on mobile. Mobile ad sales accounted for 91% of the company’s ad revenue this quarter.
So far, as I said before, Facebook is still the #1 platform for social media and ads. If you plan to use social media in 2019, you NEED to have a Facebook presence. But you also need to know that they might be a shift in the future, and even if Facebook remains the #1 platform in 2019, your marketing efforts will either cost you more (work and money), and the ROI might not be as huge as it has been during the past 10 years.
Time to look elsewhere?
On the other hand, since it was launched in LinkedIn is the top site for professional and networking. LinkedIn functions as an online directory of individual professionals and organizations. The site facilitates the process of professional networking without having to leave your office.
With more than 570 million users, LinkedIn has been adding 2 new users every second for the past several years. More than 20% of Linkedin users are senior-level influencers and decision-makers. Finally, it’s incredibly easy to get in touch with high-profile decision-makers on the platform.
Linkedin has on of the most significant growth of all social media.On top of its massive professional directory, you should use LinkedIn to:
- grow and maintain your network
- establish control of your professional brand
- expand your reach online
- act as a medium for showcasing your products and services & fuel product research
- maximize your visibility in search (both organically within Google, and also within LinkedIn itself);
- attract top talent to your company
- establish your internet startup as an industry leader by sharing industry news and content via your Company Page
- generate leads, prospects, and customers
While most people use LinkedIn for professional networking, connecting, and job searching, companies use LinkedIn for recruiting and for sharing company information with prospective employees.
Linkedin has been created from the get-go for professionals and businesses.
When Facebook is used to connect with friends, family, and colleagues, LinkedIn offers professional networking rather than connecting based on interests and personal relationships.
Whether you are reading because you are looking for networking or you have a startup and want to find ways to maximize your ROI on the site, I gathered tips, tools & tricks that will put the power of LinkedIn to work for you. That’s also why in this long article, you’ll find a step-by-step strategy to help you organize the best Content Marketing on LinkedIn.
If you already use Facebook or Instagram, using LinkedIn will be a breeze.
How to use LinkedIn to improve your marketing?
Having said that, there’s an issue: most users have raised some kind of protection because black-hat marketers are actively using LinkedIn to sell their products. How to break those protections? By firmly standing out with a bold profile and genuine responsive Content Marketing.
Remember that most leads require 6 to 8 touch points with a brand to build enough trust and confidence before they make the decision to purchase your products and services. In this sense, Content Marketing should be viewed as a long-term lead-gen strategy that focuses on consistently creating high-quality content that is very much relevant to your persona.
Become the hunted, not the hunter
By sharing only awesome and pragmatic content on LinkedIn, you will create opportunities to nurture and educate your ideal audience over an extended period during their buying journey (see Funnels). Then, when customers are ready to make a buying decision, your content has pre-suaded (see Robert Cialdini) them that you have the skills and experience to solve their pain points; after that, closing the deal becomes much easier because your leads will be the one to chase you.
With LinkedIn, people will chase you.
What kind of Content Marketing
You can use various forms of Content Marketing, each with unique features and benefits, including:
- case studies
- how-to guides
- white papers
- printable templates
- checklists downloads
- and even more
All types of Content Marketing are available on LinkedIn.
Here’s how to organize your content marketing on LinkedIn.
Part One the technical stuff
#1 Consider an Upgrade
LinkedIn was primarily created as a free tool for, and it requires no payment or membership dues to set up. However, LinkedIn does have a premium business offering at a premium.
Thanks to Its paid business offering, you can:
- post regular job vacancies
- maximize your lead generation and sales potential,
- reach a much wider audience
The paid option is not for everyone: it’s a significant expense for an internet startup, but it’s definitely worth considering.
I would recommend to start with the free version first, explore it, learn how it works for you, and if you find that it’s the strongest communication channel for you, then invest in the paid version.
Linkedin offers several upgrade levels for businesses.
LinkedIn often allows users to trial the paid version for free so give it a go and see if it’s right for you.
#2 Create a LinkedIn Company page
A company page is important because customers will learn about your business:
- job opportunities
For a long time, LinkedIn Company Pages used to be viewed primarily as HR landing pages for brands. Though this is still one way a lot of people use LinkedIn, the network is also becoming the perfect place to:
- drive business results
- raise brand awareness
- promote career opportunities
- educate lads about your products and services
Rich content and compelling status updates can help to establish your brand as a leader in your industry.
To create a LinkedIn company page, you’ll first need a personal LinkedIn account in good standing.
But be aware that not everyone can set up a Company Page on LinkedIn. There are many requirements in place which serve to ensure that only genuine companies can set up a LinkedIn Company Page. They are as
- You have a verified company email address (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) added and confirmed
- You must have a personal LinkedIn profile set up with your true 1st & last name
- Your personal profile must be at least 7 days old
- Your profile strength must be listed as Intermediate or All-Star (the status of your profile strength is based on how complete your profile is. Find out your Profile Strength on your profile homepage:
- You must have several connections on your profile
- You’re a current company employee & your position is listed in the Experience section on your profile.
- Your company’s email domain is unique to the company.
Now, go to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions portal for creating a Company Pages and click the big blue Create a Company Page button.
LinkedIn requires you to include a company description. The description needs to be between 250 and 2,000 characters, including spaces. Your description should include information about your business, such as what products and services you offer, your company’s history and mission.
Warning: the first 156 characters are especially important because that’s what’s gonna show up in the Google preview of your company page.
After creating the perfect company description, fill in other company details, such as your website, where you are headquartered, company type, company size, and your company’s specialties. Be sure to upload your company logo and cover image before hitting Publish.
Share your login information with your employees (if you have some) in case you lose access to the page or leave the company. You should also let other employees know the page is active so they can edit their position on their personal account and add the company page.
Once you’ve created your page, you can start editing it.
#3 Create Showcase Pages
Do you have products and services you need to showcase? Then Company Pages may not the place to do this. Instead, you should consider building some Showcase Pages.
Showcase Pages are niche pages that are related to your main LinkedIn Company Page. Those spacial pages allow you to promote specific products or services or cater to your individual marketing personas. They provide a more personalized experience for your Company Page visitors.
LinkedIn users can follow specific Showcase Pages without following a company’s main page or its other Showcase Pages. That allows your business to tailor the page very close to the audience specific (or the persona) to the page.
The major differences between Company and Showcase Pages include:
- showcase pages have a larger hero image
- showcase pages have a two-column newspaper-like layout for content posts.
- unlike Company Pages, there is no Career tab at the top of Showcase pages
- all Showcase Pages link directly back to the business page. That means you still need to create a company page 1st because all your showcase pages will be centralized around your company.
- employee profiles cannot be associated with a Showcase Page
To create a Showcase Page, click the Edit drop-down at the top right of your Company Page and choose to Create a Showcase Page.
Promote specific products with “showcase pages.”
For more information about creating Showcase Pages, check out the
beginner’s guide. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/linkedin-showcase-pages-beginners-guide-ht
Part 2: the strategy
#1: Formalize Your Marketing Goals
Before going deeper into specific LinkedIn Content Marketing strategies, you must synthesize your marketing goals.
Your goals could be to:
- build a community around your brand
- generate increasing leads for your landing pages
- promote your services & products
- increase brand awareness
- connect with ideal leads, customers & clients
#2: Determine Your LinkedIn Content Media & Content Types
To thrive on LinkedIn, you first need to be intimate with the different content types from the platform, and then with the content media from which you can publish your content and interact with leads or prospects.
LinkedIn Content Media
Because LinkedIn is a grown-up platform it has had enough time to develop a series of media where you go publish different content types from various media.
We are talking about those supports:
- personal profile
- company page
- showcase page
- direct messages
- other people’s content
LinkedIn Content Types
Like Facebook or Instagram, LinkedIn prioritizes something called native content. It is a content that is original (has not been published elsewhere) and is consumed within LinkedIn (without to leave the platform). You don’t have to leave the platform to view it. Of course, Native Content tends to outperform outside content (for example, a link to an article on your website). So you need to have the right mix of Native Content to leverage it and links to your website.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn frequently adjusts its algorithm to prioritize different content types. For a long time, LinkedIn articles had the highest reach in views. In 2017, LinkedIn started to prioritize text-only posts. At the beginning of 2018, the focus switched yet again to native videos.
Pro Tip: Maintain a good content ratio: 10%–20% promotional and 80%–90% high-quality content. And create a content mix of all native content types with a focus on videos. That way, algorithm changes won’t wreak havoc on your marketing.
Unfortunately, you can create Articles only on your personal profile, not on your company page. Right now, Articles have a very low priority in the news feed. The upside of Articles is that you can embed many types of multimedia content such as videos, slideshows, links to your website and even other LinkedIn posts.
I recommend that you use LinkedIn articles as an intermediate step between LinkedIn videos, texts, and photos on one side and articles on your website on the other side.
- A LinkedIn video, text, or photo can give a short and concise summary of a topic.
- Each piece of content can promote one of your articles.
- Each Article can link to content upgrades and Articles on your website or blog
LinkedIn Text and Photo Posts
Text and photo posts are still critical on LinkedIn but they come in second place. Try to avoid adding links to external websites within your post text. Instead, you can add them in the form of a comment to avoid punishment by the algorithm.
You can safely link to other LinkedIn content (anything that is hosted on the linkedin.com domain). That allows you to re-promote your native LinkedIn content, such as videos and articles, in context.
LinkedIn videos have a high priority in the news feed at the moment because LinkedIn is actively trying to compete with YouTube and Facebook videos as the top video platform for business content.
Pro-tip: nowadays, nobody wants to watch a 10-minute video on social media. It’s especially true if your leds use their smartphone in a work environment where it’s not always possible to turn on the audio track of your video. To overcome this, include subtitles in each video and add a summary of your video in the video description. Also use videos to promote other content on LinkedIn, such as a LinkedIn article.
LinkedIn Showcase pages
Showcase Pages are niche pages off of a company page. They allow a company to promote specific products or market to a specific buyer persona. LinkedIn users can follow singular Showcase Pages without following the business or their other Showcase Pages.
The goal of Company Pages is to build relationships with LinkedIn members. But for more campaign-based efforts, use LinkedIn Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, or display advertising products.
#4: Choose Wisely Topics & Themes
Not sure what to post on LinkedIn?
Engaging content has 3 characteristics:
- your readers will love it
- it proves your proficiency
- it conditions & scores your audience
Do not use corporate-speak or selling techniques. That will immediately void any previous engagement with your content. Instead, communicate in a personal and conversational way, just as you would to a friend. That is true not only on LinkedIn but on Facebook and any social media platform.
Here’s a good list of good topic ideas:
- How-to (…)
- Industry news
- Life & business lessons
- Knowledge & skills
- Strategies & tactics
- Soft skills
Engaging content needs to have the following:
- be both entertaining & educational
- create “aha” moments
- speak to the emotions of your readers
#4: Set-up a Process & Systems to Organize Your Editorial Workflow
Content Marketing creation can sometimes become overwhelming. You need to make sure you have an (almost) effortless content creation flow. For that, it’s essential to plan your execution. If you have a team, everyone needs to be on the same page. They should know what’s expected from them and when it’s expected.
If you have a team of writers, assign topics from your content strategy to specific writers and plan each writing project carefully.
Be sure to set specific content goals for the following:
- featured images
- number of words
Also, establish deadlines for when the content needs to be:
To plan a good schedule of all those tasks above, assign one or more roles to various team members, including:
- Project manager
- Plan creator
- Graphic designer (pictures, infographics, graphs, diagrams…)
- Video producer
- Content writer/creator
- Content editor
- Content approver
The hustle to just get something published, instead of publishing the right thing, unintentionally leads the way. To avoid this, You can use an excel sheet to organize your work (that’s what I am doing.) The beauty of Excel is that it’s free as are Google Calendar and Google Docs.
But you can also find online eTools (fee-based) to help you,
In this article, I go over these 14 editorial tools that will help you take back the control of your content marketing strategy.
Quickly the most important are:
#5: Use Your Native LinkedIn Content to Populate your Sales Funnel
Now that you understand the different content types and media, it’s time to put everything together.
Remember that one of your primary goals is to increase the number of touch points with every reader, listener, and viewer, in order to move people away from LinkedIn to your website.
How to funnel leads to your website?
Create as many touch points as possible across all of your channels and publishing media. For each piece of content that you post on LinkedIn, publish, create a similar content upgrade and place it on your website. Include the link to your content upgrades in each native content post. Direct people to submit their name & email address through a web form so they can download the upgraded content (an eBook for example) and build an email list of the people who opt-in.
If you are unsure what to do with your email list, read this article about email marketing.
LinkedIn Content Marketing Growth Tips
To get the best from your LinkedIn Content Marketing strategy, keep these tips in mind.
Target the Right Audience
Your ideal target audience should be as similar as possible to the persona or avatar that you previously created.
There are a lot of characteristics your avatars must have, but those 3 are compulsory:
- they will benefit from using your products and services
- they lack knowledge in areas you can cover in your content marketing
- they can pay for your products and services
Engage With people on Your Content
Social media is a 2-way street. It’s not enough to publish your content on LinkedIn. Engaging with people is imperative. If someone is liking, sharing, commenting on your content; connect with them, reply to their comment, thank them for their share, and start a conversation.
Encouraging engagement with your content will help grow your network. Whenever someone likes, comments on, or shares your content, people in their network will see it in their news feed. Your content can then spread from your direct, first-level connections to second- and third-level connections and can become viral.
Engage With Other People’s Content
When you engage with other people’s content, enrich the conversation with your unique perspective. Always think about adding value, never about promoting your content when you engage with other people.
If you leave high-quality, meaningful comments, other people will notice and click through to your profile and follow you. The content creator will often connect with you and engage with your content in return. When this happens, some of their followers will receive a notification in their news feed that the content creator engaged with your post, and will hopefully check out your content and engage with it as well.
This is how you grow engaged followers on LinkedIn
Optimize Your Content for Engagement and Visibility
Structure your content in a way that maximizes engagement:
- Always include a question at the end of your content to encourage comments.
- Actively ask people to follow you and share your content, and tell them what kind of content they can expect from you in the future.
- Use the power of hashtags to get discovered by people who are interested in specific topics
Also, consider creating your own brand hashtag similar to the way HP uses #ExploreHP in the post below. People can click on your hashtag to check out more of your content and follow you.
Optimize Your Profile for Business
To get the most out of your LinkedIn content marketing strategy, think of yourself as a brand. People don’t want to connect with companies; they want to connect and form relationships with other people.
As such, it’s critical that your profile be optimized with the following:
- a professional headshot
- a header image that communicates authority.
- a great headline.
- a personalized profile URL.
- a compelling description in each section of your profile.
- summarization of all of your experiences.
- Include multimedia content for each entry.
These are the 3 most important parts you need to check
- header picture
Those elements are displayed near any content you post on LinkedIn (as you can see below) and have a significant impact on whether someone decides to follow or connect with you.
Understanding your readers, and creating a LinkedIn Content Strategy that speaks to and connects with your ideal audience must not be difficult if you follow the tips from this article.
Keep the algorithm in mind at all times and make sure you mix up all sort of content types to appeal to different consumption styles.
Save time to create content and publish on a regular schedule. Each content piece is the springboard to initiate a conversation or to deepen relationships. From there, nurture these relationships and convert them to buy from you.
What do you think? What types of content do you publish on your profile and company page? Do you regularly engage with people who comment on your content? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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