How to Create a Content Marketing Plan Using LinkedIn
Are you a B2B business looking to implement social media marketing through LinkedIn? Wondering which types of content will perform best for your company?
I’ve outlined a step-by-step process to help your business create a full LinkedIn content marketing plan.
Why More People Are Giving Content Marketing on LinkedIn a Second Look
LinkedIn is a networking community of more than 500 million members around the world, with more than 100,000 new users joining the networking channel daily. More than 20% of users are senior-level influencers and decision makers, making LinkedIn a perfect platform for B2B sales. These statistics provide ease with getting into touch with the high-profile decision makers your business is looking for. Why jump through hoops to speak to the top when you can access them directly through LinkedIn?
These high-profile decision makers do have their shields up due to the aggressive selling on LinkedIn. However, there are ways to get around these shields. By standing out, positively through a strong profile and thoughtful content marketing your business has the upper hand when trying to get into touch with these high-profile influencers.
Content marketing is not a short-term strategy but rather a long-term commitment strategy that focuses on building trust and confidence. High quality content that is highly relevant to your ideal audience provides your brand with focus and influences potential customers in their buying decisions.
By continuously sharing relevant and useful content on social media, you can create your own opportunities. These opportunities are a gateway to nurture and educate your potential clients over an extended period during their buying journey. This relationship through your content will allow you to have pre-suade them to believe you have the skills and experience necessary to solve their problem. Closing the deal with become much easier through this process.
#1: Define Your Marketing Goal
Before you can dive into your marketing strategy for LinkedIn, you have to decide on a content marketing goal. Examples of goals could be:
Increase brand awareness.
Connect with ideal customers and clients.
Build a community around your brand.
Generate more leads for your company.
Promote your products and services.
#2: Choose Your LinkedIn Content Media and Content Types
You to need be familiar with the content types available on LinkedIn, and the content media that should be published in order to interact with potential customers. As well as to have a successful LinkedIn campaign.
LinkedIn Content Media
There are so many options on the LinkedIn platform to allow you to publish different content from different media:
Your company page.
Your personal page.
Direct messages or InMails
Another person’s content
LinkedIn Content Types
LinkedIn has built into its ranking form a prioritization for native LinkedIn content. Native content is content published directly on the platform and allows users to view the material without ever leaving LinkedIn. So, create native content whenever possible to outperform external content published by your competitors.
For a long time, LinkedIn’s algorithm prioritized articles over other content. As of 2017, LinkedIn has started prioritizing text-only posts. Then in 2018, LinkedIn switched its focus again to native videos. Staying up to date on the LinkedIn algorithm through Blue Water Marketing allows you to stay ahead of the competition.
Create a content mix of all native content with an emphasis on videos to maintain a good content ratio. A good ratio includes 10%-20% promotional and 80%-90% high-quality content. By implementing this ratio, algorithm changes won’t completely change your ranking requiring a total revamp.
Currently, the following native LinkedIn content types are available:
LinkedIn Text and Photo Posts
Plain text and photo posts are still very important ranking second place for LinkedIn. To avoid punishment from the LinkedIn algorithm, avoid adding links to external websites within your post texts. Add them in the form of a comment instead.
LinkedIn rewards in the form of ranking for linking to other LinkedIn native content. This allows you to re-promote your native LinkedIn content, such as articles and videos.
You can only create articles on your personal profile, not on your company page. Do not focus too much on articles for LinkedIn due to their low priority ranking in the news feed. When you do articles, you can embed many types of multimedia such as slideshows, videos and other LinkedIn posts.
I recommend using LinkedIn articles as a stepping point between videos, texts and posts.
Each piece of content can promote one of your articles.
A LinkedIn video, text or photo can give a brief synopsis of your article content.
Each article you post can link to content upgrades and articles on your blog or website.
LinkedIn videos have the highest priority because LinkedIn is actively competing with YouTube and Facebook videos for business content.
However, not everyone has the time to watch 10-minute videos. This is especially true for the work environment. It is just not feasible to listen to the audio track to a video during those times. To combat this challenge, be sure to include subtitles in each video. You can also add a summary of your video in the video description to give users a brief overview in case they missed anything. Also use videos to promote other content previously mentioned such as LinkedIn articles.
#3: Choose Your Topics and Themes
Now to answer the question on what to publish. There are three components to great content: It demonstrates your expertise, your audience will love it, and it qualifies your audience.
The best way to avoid boring your audience into the hands of your competition you have to mix up the content. A great way to organize your content is to use a different theme for each month. Then within that theme use a sub theme for each week. Finally, use a different content type for each weekday. I know this can seem like a lot but if you use a content calendar you can both plan for the month ahead and get organized.
I know it can be hard to refrain from using ‘corporate-speech’ but you’ll want to make sure to communicate in a personal and conversational way. Corporate speech will instantly deter your audience from reading any more of your great content. Remember, you want to build trust and the best way to do that is to treat your audience like you would a friend. Here is a list of content ideas to help get you started:
Life and business lessons
Knowledge and skills
It is okay to create both educational and entertaining content to provoke emotion.
#4: Create Processes and Systems to Organize Your Editorial Workflow
As I mentioned before, content creation can quickly become overwhelming. You’ll want to make sure your team is well organized to ensure a smooth content creation flow. The same rings true if you are a team of one.
If you have a team dedicated to marketing, assign topics from your strategy to specific writers and plan each writing set carefully. Set specific content goals such as word count and backlink minimums. You will also want to establish deadlines for when the content needs to be planned, researched, written/created, reviewed, approved and published.
When planning, assign different roles to different team members including the following:
However, if you are a team of one, you will want to assign all tasks to yourself.
#5: Populate a Sales Funnel Using Your Native LinkedIn Content
Now that you’ve grasped the first four steps, it’s time to put everything into action. With your primary goal in mind to increase the number of touch points with each and every reader, viewer and listener you can now move people from LinkedIn to your website.
So, how do you do that? You will want to create as many touch points as possible across all media channels. This means for every piece of content you publish, create a content upgrade available on your site. You can include the link in every native content post. To build your email database, require people to submit their email to download content. This also allows you to qualify those email addresses.
Be sure you understand your readers and create a LinkedIn content strategy that speaks to and connects with your target audience. Keep the LinkedIn algorithm in mind at all times and don’t forget to mix it up.
Don’t wait until the last minute to create content, plan ahead and block out time to create your content and publish on a regular schedule. Keep in mind that every piece of content is an opportunity to start a conversation and build relationships. Don’t leave your followers in the dark, once you have developed a relationship nurture it!