This week’s announcement by LinkedIn that Influencer blogs will soon be open to all users is just the latest in LinkedIn’s bid to transform itself into a powerful content marketing platform. And with nearly 300 million users worldwide and close to 30% market penetration in the United States, LinkedIn cannot be ignored by brands serious about inbound marketing – particularly in B2B and higher education markets.
Here are 5 simple rules to help your brand get the most out of content marketing opportunities on LinkedIn:
1. Optimize for Mobile — The best content marketing strategy is worthless without a user experience to match. Make sure that any content you may be incorporating or linking to in your LinkedIn updates is optimized for mobile, tablet and desktop devices. Responsive design isn’t just industry-standard; it’s what your customers expect. Learn more about the importance of responsive design: download our free white paper, “Responsive Design: Adapting to Your Mobile Audience.”
2. Share What’s Good, Promote What’s Best — A strong, cost effective content marketing strategy in many ways should be organized much like a well-executed traditional PR campaign, blending earned and paid media opportunities alike. With Sponsored Updates, a variety of pay-per-click ad formats and advanced audience targeting, there are plenty of opportunities to amplify your reach in LinkedIn. Be strategic in what you promote via paid media, however. In deciding what content to support with advertising and which to share organically, consider your audience, assets and objectives carefully. Whitepapers and webinars, for instance, are generally great for promoting via Sponsored Updates, connecting highly relevant content with strong branding and messaging. More routine content, such as videos and blog posts, may be better suited for organic promotion, particularly if optimized in a way that encourages social sharing.
3. Show and Tell (But Mostly Show) — Including images and videos is the most immediate way to make your brand’s updates stand out in the LinkedIn news feed. According to LinkedIn, updates including an image boast a 98% higher comment rate, and those including a YouTube video typically result in a 75% higher share rate. To further optimize your brands’ updates for engagement and shareability, make sure to select a relevant thumbnail image and include a link to the content in the update copy itself.
4. LinkedIn is a Team Sport — If a company’s employees are truly brand ambassadors, LinkedIn should be an embassy and content marketing a critical part of diplomacy. Few things build trust with a brand like a personal connection. Leveraging the authentic voices and expertise of your employees in your content marketing strategy on LinkedIn is a great way to introduce your brand to a wider audience, promote thought leadership and more. Consider creating an inventory of branded content for sharing by your employees, setting up employee authorship on your blog, or encouraging participation in industry-relevant Groups and discussions.
5. No Hard Selling — From “New Business Opportunity!” messages from strangers, to the seemingly ubiquitous “ Are you looking for a new CRM? Contact me for details” status update, LinkedIn sometimes feels awash in “Hello, My Name Is ____” stickers. If you sometimes feel like LinkedIn is your least favorite networking event minus the stale muffins, you’re not alone. But here’s the good news: that sales-y shtick means an effective content marketing strategy focused on nurturing relationships can truly set your brand apart.
Is your brand getting the most out of LinkedIn? Check out our SlideShare presentation, “5 Rules for Content Marketing on LinkedIn,” or contact us today to talk with us about your brand’s content marketing strategy.