Feeling overwhelmed trying to create strategic, top-notch content for your LinkedIn marketing platform? You’re not alone.
LinkedIn is the obvious go-to marketing platform for B2B marketers looking to elevate their brand and connect with other professionals. But how do you stand out and truly engage your audience amidst all the noise?
A whopping 94 percent of B2B (business-to-business) marketers use LinkedIn as a channel to distribute their content.
Additionally, LinkedIn accommodates a vast network of publishers, encompassing 2 million people who regularly share new content through various avenues. Peer posts in the feed. Long-form articles. LinkedIn Groups. And 7 million brand-managed company pages.
It’s a lot but don’t worry — we’ve got just the guide you need, from decoding your potential buyer’s needs to harnessing LinkedIn’s tools and encouraging user-generated content.
Ready to evolve your presence on one of the best platforms for B2B Businesses?
WHY LINKEDIN IS THE PREFERRED MARKETING PLATFORM FOR B2B BUSINESSES
With so much competition, it’s worth asking why? LinkedIn recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, so you might think people were moving on. However, it is more relevant than ever. And for good reason. With more than 930 million members, it is not just a social network but a powerhouse for creating business connections, leads, and more.
Why LinkedIn Dominates B2B Marketing
The 2023 Global B2B Marketing Benchmark Report by LinkedIn highlights the platform’s strengths:
- Lead Generation — It stands out as a highly effective platform to reach prospects. In fact, 82% of businesses report their greatest success comes by capitalizing on B2B lead generation.
- Organic Social Marketing — 93% of marketers used this platform for organic marketing in the year leading up to October 2021, according to sprout social. 77% of them reported their best organic results on LinkedIn.
- Paid Social Media — Among marketing professionals who used paid social media platforms, 75% chose LinkedIn, citing it as the platform that produced the best results.
- Audience Reach — It has a vast user base, boasting 199 million users in the US alone.
- Content Marketing — 97% of marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Identifying key senior-level LinkedIn members and understanding your audience’s needs are vital steps to ensure your B2B content marketing strategy content resonates with the right people. It’s important to start with audience research.
Identifying Your Target Market on LinkedIn
Creating a strategic approach to identify your target market on LinkedIn. Start by outlining the characteristics of your ideal client. You’ll want to define their job titles, roles, industries, and the challenges they face.
- Advanced Search — This is the most powerful tool for finding your audience. You can search by job title, company, industry, location, skills, and more.
- Company Pages — LinkedIn’s Company Pages are a great way to find people who work for a specific business. You can view their employee directory, see who’s recently joined, and follow the company’s news and updates.
- LinkedIn Group — Groups relevant to your industry are a great way to connect with people who share your interests.
- Recommendations — LinkedIn’s Recommendations feature can help you identify people who are likely to be interested in your products or services.
Remember, the goal is not just to find the most relevant consumers but to understand them at each stage of the customer journey.
Regularly Research Industry Trends
Staying on top of industry trends lets you position your brand as a thought leader.
Keeping pace with the latest developments, like AI or cryptocurrency, is key to creating timely, relevant content that resonates.
LinkedIn’s Trending in Your Network and What People Are Talking About Now features are also valuable resources for identifying hot topics relevant to your industry. Monitoring these sections can help you create content that speaks to emerging conversations.
Social Listening Tools
Social listening tools, such as those listed below, can help you identify emerging trends, understand the challenges your audience is facing, and provide content suggestions.
- Sprout Social
THE ART OF CREATING VALUABLE CONTENT
Almost 4/5 of businesses say their company sees content as a business objective, according to HubSpot. Meaning your customers are inundated with information. Prioritizing quality over quantity ensures your LinkedIn content stands out.
The Importance of Quality Over Quantity
In truth, quantity and quality require balance.
- A LinkedIn page that publishes at least weekly grows its followers faster than less frequent posters.
- Longer posts see higher engagement.
- Pages that use storytelling and compelling narratives in posts get more engagement.
Clearly, a social media plan that focuses on quality, in-depth content can help you rapidly earn more engaged followers and reach qualified leads.
Whether you’re a business with an exciting story or one that could put a crying infant to sleep, wrapping your message up in a relatable and entertaining format lets you sidestep around the uncomfortable hard sell.
A good story features conflict, characters, and resolution — it should resonate with your customer’s needs and offer them a solution.
IBM, for example, has a series of blog posts called The Future of Work, which explores the impact of technology on the workplace.
Crafting Engaging B2B Content on LinkedIn: A How-To Guide
Here are some insider tips for creating relevant content that resonates with your audience.
- Focus on value. Providing your B2B audience on LinkedIn with actionable insights, tips, or tactical advice they can immediately apply to improve their business will demonstrate you understand their needs.
- Be specific. Understand your customer’s needs and pain points and create content that helps.
- Use visuals. Visuals can help to break up your text and make your content more engaging.
- Track your results. This will help you to determine what type of content is resonating with your fans and what you need to do to improve.
The following content types tend to do well with people on LinkedIn.
- Thought leadership content — Share your expertise and insights on a particular topic.
- How-to content — Educate your audience by providing practical advice or instructions on how to help your audience solve problems or achieve their goals.
- Case studies — Show how your products or services have helped other businesses achieve success instead of telling.
- Testimonials — Testimonials from satisfied customers can be a great way to build trust with your audience and persuade them to try your products or services.
USING LINKEDIN FOR LEAD GENERATION
If you’re focusing on Linkedin for lead generation, you are onto something. LinkedIn provides a goldmine for generating leads and marketing programs through its vast professional network and targeting capabilities. But you need a strategic approach to convert those connections into leads and sales.
First, ensure your LinkedIn presence attracts your ideal personas. Optimize your company and personal profiles by showcasing thought leadership content.
Follow this LinkedIn optimization checklist:
- Include your primary keyword in the headline
- Use your target keywords throughout the summary section
- Highlight achievements and results in the background section
- Ensure the experience section emphasizes skills and impact
- Add rich media like videos, presentations, infographics
- Customize your public profile URL
Profiles with completed sections see a lot more profile views. But avoid mistakes like incomplete sections, generic text, and focusing too much on responsibilities rather than achievements.
Engage Your Audience
Actively engage your connections by:
- Commenting on their content with insights, questions, and value
- Sharing posts and articles tailored specifically to their interests
- Using InMail for personalized outreach when relevant
Example comment: “Great tips John! Have you found success with video marketing on LinkedIn? It could be a great way to showcase your thought leadership.”
Next, amplify your content’s reach through promotion across organic and paid channels.
Amplify Content Reach
- Share natively on LinkedIn using relevant hashtags
- Post on social channels like Twitter and Facebook
- Use sponsored posts and send targeted InMail campaigns
- Send your best content via Direct Messages
- Schedule employee shares with tools like Elevate
Sponsored posts boost exposure. But organic tactics like employee shares help build authenticity. Find the right mix for your goals.
LINKEDIN ARTICLES VS. POSTS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY
Linkedin has become the ultimate platform for your B2B marketing efforts and for B2B lead generation. There are two distinct content formats — articles and posts for your marketing efforts.
The Differences Between LinkedIn Articles and Posts
Articles offer an expansive platform for in-depth content, while posts cater to short, timely updates.
Articles, with a generous 125,000 character limit, are perfect for sharing comprehensive insights, detailed reports, or thought leadership pieces. Articles should be insightful and follow a formal structure with a title, introduction, body, and conclusion. They are distributed to your connections and followers in their feed and are also discoverable in search results, giving them a wider reach and longer shelf life.
However, they don’t automatically appear in your newsfeed, so proactive promotion, such as sharing them as a post or directly inviting your connections to read them, is necessary for visibility.
Optimizing LinkedIn Articles
An easy way to save time creating articles by using this ChatGPT prompt:
“As a LinkedIn marketing expert, please provide a detailed outline for a 1000–2000 word LinkedIn article about B2B content marketing using the following keywords “B2B marketing strategies” in the headline and content. Include approximately 5–7 optimized headings with a short description of engaging, actionable advice and tips that would go under each heading. Focus on providing valuable insights our readers can apply related to the topic, and suggest relevant hashtags to include. This will serve as a starting point for me to customize with my own voice, insights, and examples based on my in-depth knowledge of engaging LinkedIn audiences.”
Then, attract a wider audience for your articles by:
- Using keywords in the headline and content
- Including relevant hashtags
- Embedding eye-catching visuals
- Promoting directly to your connections
Drive engagement by hosting virtual launch parties using LinkedIn Live to discuss new articles.
Posts, on the other hand, are capped at 1,300 characters and are more casual and flexible. They are ideal for quick updates, announcements, or sharing interesting links, images, or videos. Like articles, they are distributed to your connections and followers in their newsfeeds, but unlike articles, they are not indexed by search engines. The advantage of posts is that they automatically appear in your newsfeed, reducing the need for additional promotion.
Unique to LinkedIn, document posts let you upload documents like PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, Word files, and eye-catching imagery, providing another way to share valuable content with your audience.
Optimizing LinkedIn Posts
An easy way to save time in creating posts would be by using this ChatGPT prompt:
“As a LinkedIn marketing expert, please provide five eye-catching and clear headline options and strong opening lines for a LinkedIn post about [insert topic]. Focus the headlines and openings on providing value to the reader. Also, suggest 1–2 relevant hashtags to improve discovery, ideas for visuals and links to include, and a question to engage followers. Recommend optimal times to post this.”
Then, make your posts stand out in followers’ feeds by:
- Writing clear, eye-catching headlines
- Leading with strong openings that grab attention
- Using relevant hashtags to improve discovery
- Embedding links to landing pages and gated content
- Including visuals like images, videos, presentations, a viral meme, or gif
- Promoting posts by sharing on other channels
- Engaging followers by asking questions
- Monitoring the best times to post for your audience
The flexibility of posts makes them ideal for real-time updates, but optimizing elements like headlines, visuals, and promotion can boost their reach and engagement.
Articles vs. Posts for B2B Content: A Pros and Cons Comparison
Both articles and posts have their place, but what’s better for in-depth B2B content? Weighing the pros and cons helps compare.
- 125,000 character limit allows comprehensive insights
- Formal structure suits long-form thought leadership
- Indexed by search engines for wider reach and shelf life
- Discoverability fits the informative intent of B2B content and is more targeted toward your demographic audience needs
- Don’t automatically appear in followers’ feeds or is targeted toward your user’s fanbase
- Require proactive promotion for visibility
- Appear directly in followers’ feeds
- Flexibility suits real-time updates and conversations
- Frequent posting keeps audiences engaged
- 1,300 character limit restricts in-depth B2B topics
- Not indexed by search engines
For B2B Content, Articles Have the Edge
With room for depth, credibility, and discoverability in your specific niche, LinkedIn Articles may be better suited for B2B content marketing strategies. But posts complement by driving engagement. Using both maximizes reach and impact.
Repurpose Top Articles into Posts
Increase your reach by turning popular and valuable articles into bite-sized posts with a teaser and link back to the full article.
HOW TO USE LINKEDIN FOR PAID B2B MARKETING
To reach a wider audience rapidly, you will want to create an Ads account and set up a campaign. You will then need to choose the type of advertisement you want to create, the type of content (including blog posts, landing pages, and videos), and define your audience. Then, set a budget and what metric you would like to hit.
Get familiar with the most basic type of ad, displayed at the top of search results pages and in the sidebar. They typically include a headline, a brief description, and a small image. The content for these ads should be concise, clear, and compelling.
This is a type of media that appears in the newsfeed and looks like a regular piece of content, but it has a “sponsored” label. The content here should be high-quality and valuable to your specific audience. The goal is to provide content that is so valuable that users don’t mind it being sponsored.
InMail notices are sent directly to the inboxes of users. These paid messages should be personalized and relevant to the recipient. It’s often used for sending personalized invitations to webinars or other events, offering exclusive content downloads, or promoting job opportunities.
This is graphical content that appears on the LinkedIn website and in the mobile app and should be visually appealing and immediately convey your message or offer.
THE IMPACT OF INFLUENCER MARKETING ON LINKEDIN
Partnering with popular content creators is quickly becoming a central strategic focus in B2B marketing, and LinkedIn is no exception. 86% of marketers say these strategies can boost your B2B objectives.
To identify the third-party content creator, start by researching your industry and clientele. Look for thought leaders, industry experts, and influencers who have a large following on the platform. Once you have identified potential accounts, reach out to them and spark up a relationship. Eventually, you’ll be able to engage them naturally in the content you’re creating.
Social media agencies have developed these relationships already, so working with one allows you to get started with a manager who knows how to keep things on track.
SEO STRATEGIES FOR LINKEDIN
By optimizing your company profile and content with the right keywords, leveraging hashtags, and crafting mobile-optimized content, you can increase your visibility on LinkedIn and attract more traffic and opportunities for interaction. This is one of the best Linkedin marketing strategies that can overarch your entire online presence.
SEO Best Practices for LinkedIn Content
Here’s a pocket guide to optimizing content for LinkedIn:
Here’s a pocket guide to optimizing content for LinkedIn:
- Incorporate Relevant Keywords — Use industry-specific keywords throughout your content to enhance discoverability.
- Optimize Your Headline and Title — Include primary keywords in clear, concise headlines and titles.
- Embrace Long-Form Content — Write a detailed, in-depth Linkedin post or other long-form articles to rank higher in search engine results.
- Utilize Images and Videos — Add visual content to make your posts engaging.
- Share Your Content on Social Media — Boost visibility by sharing your content on other platforms with relevant keywords.
- Leverage LinkedIn Analytics — Use analytics to track performance and guide your content strategy.
- Use keywords in visual assets — Include keywords in image file names and alt text.
- Link to references — Include hyperlinks to sources as references in articles.
- Check LinkedIn’s suggestions — Use their keyword and SEO tools to optimize.
- Analyze performance — Review analytics to double down on what works best.
- Share across platforms — Post your top content on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Engage your network — Comment on and share relevant industry content.
- Post new content regularly — Establish yourself as a thought leader.
- Read the post — Carefully review the content before publishing.
- Experiment — Try different headlines, keywords, and styles.
- Endorsement — Ask connections to endorse your skills.
LINKEDIN TOOLS FOR MARKETING
Utilize powerful tools like Sales Navigator to enhance your efforts and reach your ideal buyers more effectively.
Exploring LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator
Sales Navigator is a social selling tool that facilitates LinkedIn outreach, lead nurturing, and sales pipeline development.
With Sales Navigator, you can accurately sell to buyers, gain key insights, and engage with personalized outreach. It expedites the search for relevant prospects, enhancing your marketing effectiveness by merging sales and advertising, thereby maximizing ROI.
Other Important Tools:
- Pages allow you to build communities, showcase your brand past your company page, and engage with your community.
- Groups provide a platform to connect with potential customers, share content, and establish industry leadership.
- Analytics helps track campaign performance, including conversions, reach, and demographics, enabling campaign optimization for maximum impact.
And, of course, InMail and Ads, discussed above.
The Power of Free Trials, Tools, and Services
Unlock the full potential of good content strategy on LinkedIn with the following tools, which can help you build brand recognition and engage with senior-level professionals.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator — A premium tool that allows you to find and connect with leads, research your competitors, and track your sales activity. You can get a free 14-day trial, which I recommend before purchasing.
LinkedIn Pulse — This is a blog platform that allows you to share your thoughts and ideas with your network. You can use Pulse for free, but you can also upgrade to a premium subscription to get access to more features.
Canva — A go-to for free graphic design that you can use to create infographics, presentations, and other visual content easily. The subscription is worth the expanded options.
Hemingway Editor — Hemingway Editor is a free writing editor that you can use to improve the readability of your writing on any platform.
BOOSTING COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION ON LINKEDIN
Boosting LinkedIn engagement involves a mix of strategies. You can create highly targeted campaigns that drive conversions and generate leads simply by leveraging the latest features and strategies on the platform.
On LinkedIn, it’s easy to keep an eye on what people are saying about your organization. You can track @ mentions in your Page’s activity tab and then leverage your best content in this area.
But make sure to always ask for explicit permission before reusing anyone else’s original materials. This approach ensures alignment in your messaging and maintains a cohesive brand image across all your LinkedIn activities.
Strategies to Engage on LinkedIn
Here are some proven strategies to help give you content and a company page with a competitive edge.
- Content Balance — Strike the right balance between promotional and educational content.
- Hashtags — These are not just for Twitter or Instagram. On LinkedIn, they can increase the visibility of your posts, making them more discoverable to your audience.
- Video Content — Videos can convey complex messages in an easily digestible format.
- Consistent Publishing — Regularly publishing content keeps your followers engaged and your brand top-of-mind. Consistency is key sporadic updates do little to establish your professionalism, while regular posts position you as an authoritative and active organization that gets things done.
- Employee Activation: Encourage your employees to engage with and share your content.
- Showcase Pages: These pages allow you to highlight specific products or services.
- LinkedIn Groups: Engage with potential customers by joining relevant groups or creating your own. This can help build a community around your brand.
- Work with influencers: Engage them in content creation, such as guest blogging and social media.
THE POWER OF VIDEO ON LINKEDIN
LinkedIn data also reveals that users are 20x more likely to share video content than other post types on the platform. No wonder 73% of marketing pros report a positive impact on their marketing ROI due to video content.
LinkedIn videos get:
- 5X more interaction than other content
- 3X longer engagement on ads
- 20X higher sharing rates
Plus, viewers tend to engage with video advertisements almost 3x times longer than with other ad formats.
Best Practices For Creating Engaging B2B Video Content
Video content generates as much as five times as many interactions as image or text-based content, and live video generates a whopping 24x more.
To create engaging videos:
- Keep it short and sweet. Buyers are busy, so keep your videos short and to the point.
- Focus on value. Provide value to your audience by sharing insights and tips.
- Use storytelling. Use storytelling to make your videos more engaging and memorable.
- Use subtitles. Many users watch videos with the sound off, so use subtitles to make your videos more accessible.
Discovery-Optimizing Your Videos for LinkedIn’s Algorithm
Many of the same SEO principles that apply to copy also apply to video.
- Use relevant keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags.
- Use hashtags to make your videos more discoverable.
- Post at the right time when your community is most active.
- Encourage participation by asking questions or providing a clear call to action.
EMPLOYEE ADVOCACY AND LINKEDIN: LET’S WORK TOGETHER
A company’s greatest asset is its most naturally inspiring employees, and on LinkedIn, they can be transformed into powerful brand advocates — and you even have specific tools to measure the impact.
Turning Employees into Advocates
Employee advocacy significantly boosts brand messaging. Messages shared by employees are re-shared 24 times more often and receive eight times more engagement than those shared by the brand itself. And leads generated through employee social marketing have a conversion rate seven times higher than other leads.
Start by identifying the right people. Who are the employees in your company who are already active on LinkedIn and who have a large following? These are the people you want to focus on.
Best Practices for Employee Advocacy
To maximize the impact of employee advocacy on LinkedIn, follow these guidelines.
- Provide them with the tools and resources they need. This includes training on how to create and share content, as well as access to industry-leading research and data.
- Give them a platform to share their expertise. This could involve creating a company blog, launching a podcast, or even just encouraging them to share their thoughts and experiences on their personal profiles.
- Celebrate their successes. When your employees share great content or reach new milestones, be sure to celebrate their successes. This will help to motivate them to continue sharing their knowledge and expertise.
- Make it easy for them to share content. Create a library of pre-written content like industry reports, profiles of internal experts, leadership advice articles, and company milestone announcements that employees can easily share with their networks. You can also use a social media management tool to help them schedule and track their posts.
- Reward them for their efforts. This could involve giving them recognition in company newsletters, awarding them bonuses, or even just giving them a pat on the back.
Encourage employees to share authentic, genuine content that promotes your brand. Provide training on effective communication and guidelines on acceptable content. Set goals and KPIs that focus on brand awareness, reach, and conversions.
With a deep understanding of your target audience, the power of storytelling, and the right tools and strategies, your Linkedin strategy can really pay off. Seize the opportunity and unlock the full potential of one of the best social media channels for B2B businesses online to reach your target audience.