LinkedIn recently took the community by a pleasant surprise. Guess What? Content creation and sharing tools that were previously reserved for certain influencers and members have now been made available to all. This update is true game changer since it will allow marketers to leverage their content marketing programs by publishing their own persuasive and platform-friendly content on the world’s biggest social media network for professionals.
With LinkedIn Publishing Platform, you can publish your own marketing content and target it to specific audience thus allowing you to build a professional brand. It allows you to showcase your expertise to relevant audience and thus win its trust over time. Your content and articles are posted on top of your LinkedIn profile along with other articles that you posted recently, making it easy for others to read and share.
LinkedIn has played a role of an evangelist by putting everyone on a level playing field. So, what makes your content stand out from the crowd? Is it just about the right content? To help you understand, we have prepared an easy to comprehend cheat sheet that will get you started. The initial steps in creating content strategy for LinkedIn require you to answer the following questions.
What type of content works best for your audience?
Determine whether it is an article, whitepaper, info-graph, short video or content in some other format. Remember, most people access their LinkedIn profile while at work. That means they do not have much time to go through long posts. Make an informed decision by putting yourself in your audience’s shoes.
What is the timeline/schedule your posts will be read the most?
Publish your post at a time you believe your target audience is most likely to read it or else, your posts will simply go into oblivion. We know how much effort goes into creating a quality post; however, if nobody is aware of it, the entire effort goes in vain.
What shall you do to increase your following?
This is exactly why you are reading this, right? Do not worry, like a few creaking terminators we would not befool and waste your time. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the read!
Cheat Sheet for LinkedIn Content Strategy
Identify key focus points
Content marketing is about keeping your audience engaged and delighted through educating and yet entertaining content. If you can provide them with information that is not available anywhere, they will definitely come and read it and if that information is what they had been looking for so long, it will attract shares and likes. If your objective is to carry out a lead-nurturing campaign on LinkedIn, then here are some specific tips to keep in mind:
Identify the niche that you want to serve and define the drives and motivations of your target audience
To begin with, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are your prospective customers?
- What is their decision making cycle or how do they go about making buying decisions?
- What are their common interests, desires and pain points?
- What are the gaps in information they have and how those gaps can be filled in an effective manner?
Create content for each stage of the buying journey and promote it regularly so it serves its purpose. A typical buying cycle is – need, learn, evaluate, negotiate, purchase, implement, and advocate.
Maintain a record of content published
Create a record of the content you have published so far. Define as many attributes as you can for your content. For instance, buying cycle stage the content addresses, type of content – white paper, video, demo, webinar etc , the time it was published, theme of the content at large, shares, likes and so on. Some other important metrics that you may want to consider are as follows:
Audience: In LinkedIn, you can choose to display your updates to certain categories of your followers. You can also filter your target audience profiles by various metrics such as company size, industry, function, seniority and geography. LinkedIn also tells you the number of people that your updates would reach.
Impressions: The number of times that the update was shown to LinkedIn members
Clicks: Number of clicks on the update
CTR: CTR is Clicks divided by impressions
Interactions: Likes, comments and shares
Engagement: The sum of number of interactions, clicks, and followers attained divided by the impressions. It’s always higher than CTR.
Once you have decent number of records, it is the time to start analyzing the data for insights. If you know certain analytic tools and techniques such as regression and clustering, then most probably you know what to do. Even if you do not know such techniques try to analyse parameters in the manner described.
Sort the data by engagement rate/Impressions/Interactions in descending order and look for communities in your top performing updates. Are they all addressing the same stage of buying cycle? Are they all targeted to specific community of professionals? Were they all images or info-graphs? By looking at the parameters mentioned, you can get a fair idea of the factors that influence the performance of your posts.
Create a separate record of different attributes of people who have shown interest in your posts and analyse this data to further determine the nature of audience that is interested in your posts. This will allow you to identify the most engaged audience so that you could market to them directly.
Use content creation tools
Content creation tools such as “twitternomy.com”, “Swayy” and “BuzzSumo” crawl the web and find what is being shared, suggests relevant topics for your industry domain. You can use such tools to check out the profiles of key influencers on major social media platforms and use this information for future decisions. Simply type relevant keywords in the search box to get the list of articles, blogs, posts, info-graphs and videos that are being shared the most. You can also export this data to sort the content that gets shared the most in general as well as LinkedIn. Now, segregate this content into those that get shared mostly in general and specifically on LinkedIn. This will give you an idea of what people consider suitable to share on a professional networks such as LinkedIn.
In the entire scheme of things, you need to understand the importance of patience and that the above flow of work is iterative in nature. What may work for you today might not be relevant in future. However, if you keep focus on the above mentioned process, it is guaranteed to keep you on the right track.
While analyzing data, you can go to any lengths and come up with insights that may help you in your future endeavors.