Content That Helps You Stay Credible, Connected, and Converting
Before you start reading this article, I challenge you to reflect on this question: “Why am I reading this?” The answer probably has something to do with your curiosity or desire to learn and grow. Next, you may ask yourself, “why is LinkedIn the place that I went to learn?” And the answer is that you’re not alone. According to Demandbase, 52% of buyers list LinkedIn as the most influential channel in the research process.
We all know that our ideal clients aren’t always ready to buy when we reach out to them, but they are almost always ready to learn. If you can educate them and stay top of mind, they’ll come to you first when they’re ready. One of the first rules of marketing is to be where your ideal clients are. Today, I’m going to show you why LinkedIn is the place to be, how articles will help you grow, and I’ll share a few tips to get you started.
Why LinkedIn matters
LinkedIn is one of the world’s largest social media sites, but it is very different to the other big boys of social media. It’s more professional, and the content on it is more formal. You won’t get a deep dive into subject matter on Facebook or Twitter, only an intro and a link to read more. Read a LinkedIn article, and you get the full story – like you would on a post on your website.
So, you might ask, why post articles to LinkedIn at all if you could simply post to your website? The answer is reach and audience.
LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft, and has more than 660 million users in more than 200 countries around the globe. It’s a huge network of professionals. Almost half of these are active users and according to LinkedIn statistics more than two new LinkedIn members sign up every second.
So, that’s a huge and rapidly growing potential audience of professionals – the sort of clients your coaching or consultancy business is aiming for.
Now, let’s look at a few demographic statistics:
So, a high proportion of LinkedIn users are highly educated, professional, and affluent with high disposable income. They are also in the age bracket where they are seeking to learn and improve in their professional and personal lives. It really is starting to sound like your ideal client base, isn’t it?
And if you want to advertise on LinkedIn, you’ll have a reach of 150 million users in the United States alone. What’s more, according to Demandbase, 52% of buyers list LinkedIn as the most influential channel in the research process (versus 42% of buyers who list blogs as the most influential).
OK, so the statistics are impressive, but I can hear you asking, what does this really mean? It means that LinkedIn has an audience that’s willing to listen to your message. So share your story and engage with your audience!
The question isn’t “Should I post articles on LinkedIn as part of my content marketing strategy?” it’s “How many should I be posting?”
Why does publishing on LinkedIn help to grow your business?
The advantages of publishing articles on LinkedIn are similar to publishing on your own blog, with the key difference that the audience is much larger. Providing you publish quality content that resonates with your target audience, and that you publish regularly, your LinkedIn articles should achieve a number of objectives, including:
Reaching a new and receptive audience
When you publish on your website, you are responsible for ‘marketing’ your content. You might post excerpts on social media (including LinkedIn), use Facebook ads, share by emailing to your contacts, and so on. That’s a lot of extra effort.
When you publish an article on LinkedIn, LinkedIn markets that article for you – to your connections and anyone who follows you. You can also add hashtags to make it easier for others to find.
A big tip is to increase your connections on LinkedIn and be hyper-selective about the hashtags you choose – once you’ve selected them and published your article, you cannot change them.
Positioning yourself as a subject authority
Sharing your knowledge with well-written articles will improve your position as a subject authority. You are your message and the story that you tell. Your articles are the entry to an authentic dialogue with your connections and followers. That dialogue builds your trust, credibility, and authority. What’s more is that a good core audience can become your growth agent, sharing your content and helping you grow your audience even further.
People will seek you out, connect and interact with you – so not only are all who connect with you potential clients, but more importantly their 2nd degree connections are as well. When they start interacting, they’ve moved along the customer journey and you are several steps closer to landing a new client.
You can also compose articles for LinkedIn specifically aimed at people at different stages of the customer journey:
Content that is focused on pain points and explains challenges draw people to you at the start of their journey – often these are pillar posts that share industry secrets that help to develop trust in your brand.
Content that helps readers to understand possible solutions to their problems are aimed at people in the middle of their personal customer journey.
Finally, content that seeks to convert by offering the solution, explaining why your brand offers the best solution (though you must still be careful to avoid obvious marketing, instead offering free trials and assessments, etc.).
Developing a continuous stream of leads
When done right, your LinkedIn articles can help to produce a stream of leads. You spend a few hours writing an article and it gets, say, 1000 views. From these, you get 10 leads. 50 people share your article with their connections. This develops into more connections and more leads, and so on, and so on. Plus, there are always new LinkedIn users searching for your valuable content.
Stay Credible, Connected, and Converting
Publishing articles on LinkedIn is an excellent first step towards building a powerful content marketing strategy. It offers a new and relevant audience, and helps you to remain credible and trusted. It’s an effective strategy to stay top of mind, confirms your authority, and increases the number of connections you have on LinkedIn.
By posting regularly, you remind your audience that you are there for them, and that you have the knowledge and experience to offer them the solution they are seeking (even if they aren’t yet ready for your solution).
Before I sign off, I want to share a few brief tips to help your gain the most benefit from writing and publishing LinkedIn articles:
Be patient – as with all content strategies, success takes time to build.
Write articles that are relevant to your audience. Do this by thinking first about your client, then the questions that they have, and finally how you can help them.
Post when it suits LinkedIn users best. Generally, this is Tuesday through Thursday between 10am and 11am. (The Monday rush is out of the way and you don’t get lost in the stampede to clear desks before the weekend.) This time isn’t right for all target audiences (CEOs tend to check LinkedIn late in the evening), but it is the best time for most. I strongly encourage you to test different times though and find what works best for you and your audience.
Do you need help creating your content marketing strategy? Sign up here for a free course on everything you need to know about content marketing on LinkedIn.
What’s been holding you back from marketing on LinkedIn? What has or hasn’t work for you so far? Leave a comment below, I read every one.
Originally posted on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-linkedin-articles-grow-your-business-shawn-souto/