The LinkedIn profile is about leadership, positioning you as an authority in your niche and becoming a thought leader. The LinkedIn page, on the other hand, is positioning your business as a brand leader.
LinkedIn users are starting to understand the value in this kind of positioning, attracting the right audience which results in generating inbound leads and sales opportunities. Unfortunately, however, the minute they start to focus on content, they jump straight back to their products or services, creating salesy, spammy kind of post updates. What they don’t realize is this approach undo all their hard work in optimizing and preparing their profiles and pages, for ‘ready-to-buy’ leads.
A well-prepared LinkedIn strategy will solve this!
People buy from people; people they know, like and trust. Your content should position yourself to achieve this by introducing yourself and your business as a brand. You need to tell your target audience who you and your brand are, and what is your value statement.
The effective LinkedIn content strategy includes a detailed layout of how you to achieve this.
Here is seven foundational elements to include in your LinkedIn content strategy:
- Goals: Define clearly what you aim to achieve. You can’t measure that which you can’t manage, and you can’t manage that which you can’t measure. As an example, focus on attracting your ideal client to create earned leads that will convert into owned leads. Your main purpose for content creation and publishing on LinkedIn should be to earn a lead that you can invite to an offline conversation. To achieve this your content should focus on the three attraction steps namely awareness, consideration and decision. For more goal options include brand awareness, social engagement, traffic to your profile and page, gain email subscribers, a positive ROI, etc
- Audience: Shift your focus. The content you write and publish is not for your benefit but rather for that of your LinkedIn audience. Using the ‘right words’ is key. If I walk into a food market, I expect to hear words like tomato and potato. Therefore, use the words in your content that your audience are familiar with and would expect. This includes words specific to the industries you are targeting. The size of the companies also needs consideration as for larger companies you need to publish for specific roles. Include in your planning specific problems or solution your audience will want to see. Also consider and include their location. Note and analyze their behaviour such as whom do they follow, what posts do they like, share and comment on, will be a huge time saver.
- Competitors: Do a deep dive and analyze the content of your competitors. Take note of what they do. Focus on the content types they publish. Ask questions like:
- Do they do more video, or more text posts?
- What topics do they focus on?
- What media choices do they use?
- You want to see what they are not doing also.
- What is the frequency of their posts?
- What topics do they cover?
- Analyze their results especially the posts views and engagement.
- List the areas they did not cover but should have.
- LinkedIn Funnel vs the Buyers Journey: Plan how you will move your connections through the LinkedIn funnel (profile, page and group) while considering each step of the buyers journey (awareness, consideration and decision). Consider the ‘decision step’ in the buyers journey as an example, when you receive a comment on a post to which you respond and a conversation starts to form, is indicative of the decision phase. However, when a connection does not engage with your posts the best action will be to engage via messaging and introduce them to your posts that could be most relevant to them. Remember you still need to build the relationship even if they start engaging with your posts. Considering the LinkedIn funnel in relation to the buyers journey is very helpful to measure the performance of your content for each step in the LinkedIn funnel and implement improvements.
- Content Categories: Hashtags are used on the Internet to categorize content for purposes of finding the most relevant content quickly. Categorizing your content is more than hashtags. These are categories you need to design in such a way that you can measure and see what categories create the most interest, the most engagement and yield the best results for you. Consider including categories like entertainment, inspiration, education, conversation, connection and promotion.
- Metrics, Analyze and Report: How you are going to measure and report on the progress and success of your content strategy? As a guidance you need to measure the results in relations to the goals including the categories, as follow:
- Brand Awareness: new sessions, session length, social shares, social engagement, social media brand mentions, and brand sentiment
- Revenue Generation: conversion rates, sales qualified leads, organic search traffic, return visitor rate, and content requests
- Customer Loyalty: growth in return visitors, email subscribers, social following, and average pieces of content read per each visitor
- Use a Content Strategy Planner: Defining your content strategy is a lot easier when you map your entire content strategy in a content strategy planner. In this way you can include all the steps discussed in this article plus write your content months ahead of time, also considering your business strategy such as budget, marketing focus, events and so on. Below are some screenshots of the Content Strategy Planner I use for my business as well as for my LinkedIn Done for You clients (available in the LinkedInBuddy 5 Day LinkedIn Setup Challenge).
LinkedIn Content is more than just keywords and hashtags. To be more effective and present your brand accurately you need to understand what is required to achieve your LinkedIn marketing goals. Planning your content will save you a lot of time, effort and money!
You NEED to create a LinkedIn content strategy before creating content posts, articles or documents. A strategy will ensure that you get the results you aim for. Most importantly planning helps you focus on achieving your goals, including increasing brand awareness, finding more sales opportunities, or generating more revenue. A detailed content strategy will assist in being more productive on LinkedIn, focusing on activities that will produce results saving you time and effort on LinkedIn and ultimately growing your business.
Content is the universal language of LinkedIn, speak to your ideal clients in a language they understand.The Easy 7 Step LinkedIn Content Strategy was first explained and detailed in the LinkedInBuddy Weekly Webinar Workshops