Although it’s probably the most buttoned-up of the major social networks, LinkedIn is by no means static.
It counts more than 450 million users worldwide, including 130 million in the U.S., so it’s clear that LinkedIn has a sophisticated, plugged-in, and growing user base. And unlike Facebook, where you’re just as likely to run into crazy Aunt Sally as Sandra Q. CEO, LinkedIn users are professionals with receptiveness to well-packaged B2B marketing materials.
Despite LinkedIn’s advantages as a B2B marketing tool, though, content marketers have been slow to move away from a networking-centric view of the platform and accept its authority-building, lead-generating power. If you’re ready to take the leap and integrate LinkedIn into your content marketing campaign, start with these four straightforward strategies:
LinkedIn isn’t a passive medium. The platform’s most productive marketers share three to four posts per weekday, which translates to 60 to 80 posts per month.
If that sounds like a daunting goal, remember that not each of those posts needs to be a new, original post from your company. Instead, break up original and advertorial content with curated articles from trusted publishers and thought leaders.
Rely on the 4-1-1 rule. For every self-serving or promotional piece of content you post, you should share one piece of relevant content (such as a post from a competitor) and repost four pieces of original, interesting content (such as industry-related blog posts).
With frequently published, authoritative, varied content serving as the backbone of your LinkedIn marketing efforts, follow these other best practices for an active, engaging presence:
Your employees know more about what your company does than anyone else. They’re also, hopefully, its biggest fans and evangelists. So why not use their collective knowledge base and passion to build authority on LinkedIn?
Here are some efficient, painless ways to activate your employees:
LinkedIn accounts for 46 percent of all social media visits to company sites, and two in three marketers rate it the most effective platform. It’s no wonder more than 90 percent of B2B marketers prefer it to other social media platforms.
These insights loudly and clearly demonstrate that LinkedIn is an effective traffic- and lead-generation tool. So effective, in fact, that you can think of it less as another social network and more as a landing page or even extension of your main website.
In addition, LinkedIn profiles (for both individuals and companies) have a high domain authority. Typically appearing on the first search engine results page, they’re an ideal source of authority-building links to your blog or main site.
Beyond its impressive search placement, traffic, and lead-generation statistics, LinkedIn is the social media platform best suited for building thought leadership — it’s a long-form medium that naturally facilitates authoritative content production.
By opening its publishing platform to all users, LinkedIn made it easier than ever for professionals to create and distribute content to targeted audiences. Even better, that’s what the platform’s users actually want.
Whatever your feelings about whitepaper-length articles on LinkedIn, regularly publishing ungated, highly authoritative content on the platform positions you as a resource in front of audiences who are looking for your expertise. And if you follow best practices for publishing on LinkedIn, you can direct qualified traffic to your website or company blog for more insights.
To turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead generation machine, you need to make sure your prospects are actually seeing your profile. According to Pattison, the average LinkedIn status update reaches about a quarter of the poster’s follower base.
It helps to post at optimal times of day, such as during the morning and early afternoon. But there are additional steps you can take to maximize the visibility of individual posts and your profile:
While these tried-and-true strategies for building LinkedIn authority are likely to remain relevant for a long time to come, others are sure to emerge in the months and years to come. Who knows — it might be you who uncovers the next big LinkedIn marketing hack.
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