LinkedIn Content Strategy: The Ultimate Guide For B2B Marketers
LinkedIn is increasingly becoming the main social media platform for business, with 97% of B2B marketers using the tool as part of their content marketing strategy. Not only does it function as a great social networking platform but also as a fantastic sales and marketing tool.
Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of LinkedIn marketing for your business, as well as how you can map out the most effective LinkedIn content strategy. Use the links below to skip to the appropriate section:
- Why use LinkedIn for business?
- Is LinkedIn marketing actually effective?
- How to put together a LinkedIn content strategy
- Marketing best practice for B2B companies on LinkedIn
Why should you use LinkedIn for business?
- It’s a brilliant resource for B2B lead generation. LinkedIn’s search function enables users to crawl a whole database of potential connections based on criteria like industry, job role, seniority and location. This targeted social media approach is far more likely to get your brand in front of relevant prospects.
- It’s a great way to improve your brand’s reputation. Posting engaging and inspiring content that demonstrates thought leadership can help to expand your brand’s visibility and credibility of your team.
- It can be leveraged to drive more traffic to your website. Using LinkedIn as a space to share your recent case studies or blogs helps to amplify your content and make sure you’re getting visitors to spend more time on your site.
- You can make the most of their own sales management tool, Sales Navigator. The free and paid versions streamline the whole contact finding process for your sales team and make it easier for them to maintain relationships. LinkedIn reports that with the tool you’ll increase your sales pipeline by 18% and gain a 7% higher win rate - nice.
But is LinkedIn marketing actually effective?
The short answer is yes. But here are some more facts to prove it to you:
- Audience. LinkedIn has a HUGE audience with 675 million monthly users and an incredible 40% of these use it daily!
- Traffic. LinkedIn drives over 50% of all social media traffic to B2B websites and blogs! So if you’re not posting your content on the platform, you’re missing a trick (and potential conversions).
- Video views. While this may be as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown and its effects on employment, such as the furlough scheme in the UK, in March this year alone professional users watched over 4 million hours of LinkedIn Learning content. This represented almost a 50% increase over the previous month!
- Conversions. Since January 2020, 663.3 million LinkedIn users can be reached by LinkedIn Ads, and the results stand heads above the rest, with a 6.1% conversion rate for LinkedIn Ads in the US (compare this to 4.7% for ads on Facebook).
Now you know why you should be using LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy, you probably want to know what you should be posting. Let’s take a look at the types of content you should create, as well as some LinkedIn marketing best practice.
How to put together a LinkedIn content strategy
1. Define your SMART goals
First things first, you’ll need to work out what you want to achieve from your activity on LinkedIn. The best way to do this? Create SMART goals - this blog shows you how to do it. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this acronym, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. The SMART goal methodology helps you to create objectives that have a clear purpose and direction and allow you to provide actual evidence that you can analyse and improve upon.
It’s worth thinking about:
- What you are trying to achieve on your LinkedIn channel
- Where this sits within your wider content strategy
- How you’ll analyse this and what tools you’ll use
If you're interested in learning more about measuring goals and how to create a framework for the marketing strategy of your business, download the Measurement Framework resource below.
2. Conduct competitor analysis
Work out who your main competitors on LinkedIn are (note that this may differ to your industry competitors), as well as what content they post.
- What type of content does well for them?
- How often do they post?
- What is their engagement rate?
- What hashtags do they use?
- What are their strengths?
- What are their weaknesses?
- Where could you pick up their slack?
3. Conduct an audit of your previous efforts
You can get a high level overview of the answers to these questions by using LinkedIn natively, but you’ll gain a more in-depth analysis with tools such as Rival IQ.
An audit of your LinkedIn channel will help you get an idea of what’s worked, what’s failed and where there may be scope for improvement. Consider:
- What are your top performing posts?
- What kind of content performed badly?
- Can you map a trend in the performance of different types of posts? For example, are posts about the team working better than your service focused posts? Do videos perform better than photos? Do multimedia posts perform better than all text?
- Should you use emojis?
- Do you get better engagement when asking a question or inciting discussion? Take a look at the language of your posts.
- Is there a correlation between when you post and the engagement?
- Is it worth comparing your company page to the engagement of individuals in the company? If theirs is performing better, how could you tie this together?
4. Plan ahead
Suss out important days on the social media calendar for your industry to make use of engaging hashtags. For example, if you work in digital marketing, you might want to make a note that World Emoji Day is the 17th July, and create content around the #WorldEmojiDay hashtag.
Regularly meet with your marketing team to ensure that you’re aware of, and have planned content around, future campaigns. For more information on how to create a wider content strategy and build a plan, read on here.
There’s no use auditing once and using the findings as your rule of thumb forever. Social media activity changes regularly, so you’ll need to stay up to date! Embed continual analysis as part of your strategy to improve.
Take a look at:
- Your follower count. Has it increased or decreased?
- Engagement on your posts. What is your engagement rate for each post? Re-audit your posts and take note for the future about what has worked, and what didn’t work so well.
- Clicks. How does your click-through-rate compare to your posts last month?
- Impressions. Not everyone that sees your posts will “engage” with a like, comment or share. Impressions are also a great metric to measure as it monitors the number of platform users that have had the post appear on their timeline.
- Videos. Similarly, take a look at the number of video views you received - while viewers may not “react” to a post, but viewing it may still have made an impact.
Marketing best practices for B2B companies on LinkedIn
Tag your connections
When naming a company or individual in your posts, acknowledge them with a mention, as this will grab their attention and could drive engagement on your post.
As with other platforms, hashtags help users to find posts on a particular subject. Using relevant hashtags therefore will put your content in the hands of the right people (or at least in the right searches).
LinkedIn makes this easier for users. suggesting useful hashtags that may be relevant to your post, as you can see here:
Call users to action
Include a call-to-action at the end of your post to guide your audience to your desired goal. Whether this be a question to drive conversation in the comments, or you want them to click on a link to a resource.
You saw the video stat above for the LinkedIn Learning videos…. Needless to say that video is a great way to grab attention on the main feed. And let’s not forget photos! Posts with ‘rich media’ get 98% more engagement than posts without.
Understand the algorithm
LinkedIn’s algorithm ranks according to personal connections, interest relevance, and engagement probability. This means that it takes into consideration who you’ve been interacting with personally, the hashtags, pages and groups that you follow, as well as the likelihood that you will engage with the content. Sound confusing? It is. It’s worth getting to grips with how this algorithm works to embed it as part of your content strategy, and post accordingly.
Hootsuite has written a great overview of the algorithm, and how you can ‘beat’ it. Read it here.
Strategise your responses
We know that LinkedIn is driven by engagement, it’s what keeps a post high on the feed. As it ranks according to relevance rather than time posted, you’ll want to keep your engagement spread out to keep your post resurfacing. It’s recommended to respond to comments a few hours after they occur, so that it remains at the forefront of people’s feeds, as well as encourages those you have responded to, to return at a later time, so that this cycle continues.
Deep dive into analytics
It can be tough to know what types of content will work best for your audience. The best way to determine the content that they want to engage with is through your own analytics. And you can do this natively on your LinkedIn company page, under the “analytics” tab! Not only does it show clicks, reactions, comments and shares on your previous posts, it also calculates engagement and click-through rates.
Space out your text
Nobody wants to read a huge block of text! Create white space in your posts with bullets or emojis. Try using colour in your emojis to cut through the blue tones of the LinkedIn homepage for higher visibility.
In the same way that your sales team can use LinkedIn to find prospects, potential customers can use the search function to find you! Make sure to add keywords to your specialities and description on your company page to make it easier for prospects to find you in search.
Post at the right time
Do you know when the best time to post for your audience is? Sprout Social has taken a look at their own audience to guide others on the best posting times for each platform. Take a look at their findings here.
If you’d like a more specific analysis, however, you can use tools such as the Viral Post function on Sprout Social, or Rival IQ. They take a look at your audience’s patterns of engagement, so you know the optimal times to post for your own pages.
Provide valuable content
What kind of content should you post? While this depends on your specific audience (you’ll map this out in your audit and competitor analysis), continually ask yourself whether your content is adding value to your audience. Explore how-tos, thought leadership pieces and industry trends as a great way to inform your audience.
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Need more help with your wider social media marketing strategy? Download our social media management guide, or get in touch with one of the team.