Often when scrolling through LinkedIn, there’s so much content that a large portion of it gets buried in our lengthy news feeds. However, our feed also houses the remarkable content that grabs our attention and instantly makes us stop scrolling.
You probably recognize that this is the type of thumb-stopping content you want to put in front of your audience, but may be struggling to publish for your business on a regular basis. Understanding how remarkable content is created and strategically placed online can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s a comprehensive guide with 10 strategies to determine how and when to publish content, what type of content will resonate with your readers, and how to further engage them past the LinkedIn platform.
1. Don’t Be Selling, Be Helping
Before diving into possible platform placements or strategies for the content you want to publish, make a switch in how you approach the content itself. Instead of simply talking about your products and services, become a go-to resource for your followers. The information you share with them should be valuable by identifying their pain points - and then providing knowledge and insight as a solution to their pain.
Shifting from publishing content that centralizes around your company, to putting-out helpful articles and blogs on social-networks that will add value to the reader is a slow-play strategy that allows you to cultivate a knowledge-hungry online following who are more likely to view your subsequent posts. You have helped solve the reader’s problems time and time again, making your business a go-to source.
An easy way to think about this is the “Give and Get” mentality. Make it your goal to consistently give information, resources, tips, and guides. This helpful content you’re passing to your readers can be a lead generation tool to get more leads from viewers who are hungry for more thorough information, such as gated content offers, buying guides, and trend reports. Giving is receiving!
2. Pick Your Platform
When thinking about posting content on LinkedIn, consider whether you should be posting the article as un-linked content (a quick tip or fact, for example), or if the content should be shared as a high-level piece, such as an article or blog that links back to your website (a more robust platform for the visitors to take a deeper dive into the topic).
Let’s say you’ve decided to share 5 industry insights on LinkedIn. Is your content more likely to capture the reader’s attention if you post all 5 insights on the platform in 5 separate posts? Or is it a better practice to post just 1 insight as a teaser while simultaneously sharing a link to a blog on the entire 5 insights, directing the reader back to your website?
In this scenario, your best bet would be to link the viewer back to your website where they can consume the entire piece of content. Why? This tactic allows you to encompass your brand voice, enables more cross-linking, allows for a Call-To-Action, and provides you additional insights into if, and when the user returns to your site.
The data that you gather from directing the reader back to your website will tell you what content resonates best, how it compares to your other content, and provide insights into the navigation path for that user - enabling your future posts to have even higher engagement rates.
3. Use Your Entire Team
The saying, “It takes a village” rings true when it comes to content creation. A team effort is necessary in order to publish exceptional content. To generate high quality content, you should evaluate each piece as a hub and spoke model. The writer of the content is just one of the many “spokes” in the “hub” (your marketing team and those responsible for the editorial calendar).
Quality content should be in sync with the overall message of your company. For example, if your reader is not only a connection of yours, but also follows the updates from your company and you’re publishing content that doesn’t support or build upon the company messaging, your content could potentially fall on deaf ears.
One important “spoke” in your hub is your graphics and media team. Plain text in content should almost always be accompanied by a creative and compelling shareable graphic. Crafting a well thought out design piece or graphic not only catches the reader’s attention in a sea of posts, but allows for a better user experience by breaking up the text and making it easier to digest.
A third, and often overlooked spoke is a proofreader. A fresh set of eyes, particularly when the proofreader is unbiased, will ensure that the content flows naturally, provides value, and doesn’t contain errors that could create credibility issues with your content and company.
Starting the process a few days or weeks prior to posting your content will ensure your content fits within the editorial calendar, has appropriate graphics, and is ready to be devoured by your eager readers.
4. Be Provocative
Each salesperson's journey will be different on the provocative spectrum. You must first determine whether you will be writing from the first, second, or third person, as this will determine the voice of your content. In addition, if you are writing as yourself, your perspective and voice may be more conversational, however; if you are writing content as your company, you will need to align your tone with your established brand voice, recognizing the company’s values and guidelines.
If you are being provocative…
- Would you be willing to reference a competitor within your content?
- Would you be willing to say the industry association conference you just attended was a bust? How about if your company is a member of the association?
- Would you be willing to publish how your team errored in delivering a project or a piece of work?
While all of these examples may seem controversial, they’re setting the framework for you to be a positive, approachable, and transparent resource. Can we all agree that honesty is refreshing?!
Providing people with HONEST and informative content will add a humanizing element, make it relatable to the reader, and allow for pieces that truly stand out from the rest.
5. Content is Still King
When publishing content, are you playing the role of a biased 24 hour news network? Or, are you providing reliable, truth-bearing content that leaves the reader wanting more?
The content you’re publishing should be relevant, timely, helpful, and add value to reader. Ask yourself these questions when creating content:
- How can your content encourage the reader by elevating them?
- Are you willing to spend time creating content the reader can immediately share with their boss?
- Can you explain how the reader can save time and money (aside from your company’s services)?
- Does the reader have to buy your product or service to walk away from your content with helpful information? (The answer to this should be, “No!”)
If you’re scratching your head trying to come up with relevant content, look at Google Trends to see what people are searching for, and answer their questions with your content. Evaluate the questions you get on every sales call and proactively answer them with future content (crowdsource your topics). Get ahead of the game by answering the questions your readers aren’t even aware they have yet.
6. Headlines and Layout Structure are Queen
If Content is King, Headlines and Layouts are Queen. Formatting content correctly for your reader on a computer, tablet, or mobile device will help them stay on the page and digest the content in its entirety. We’ve all read an article that’s merely a block of text. The content could be amazing - but we quit reading because it wasn’t formatted in an easily digestible layout.
Use appropriate spacing, bolding, italics, call outs, bullets, numeric lists, and infographics that allow the reader to scroll through the content with ease. By using proper SEO methodologies (like H1 tags, meta tags, and searchable content titles), you give the information a longer shelf life when future viewers (who may not be your LinkedIn contacts) use search engines (like Google) to find solutions to their problems.
Write for the web, not a scientific journal.
7. Create a Path to Other Resources
One of the main reasons salespeople should use their website as the platform to host their entire piece of content (as opposed to LinkedIn) is the ability to give the user a simple and effective path to engage further with other pieces of content that you want them to digest.
This could be done via inter-linking within your content to other articles (this can be done in LinkedIn too), by inviting the reader to download a piece of highly valuable gated content, read other top pieces of content from your website, subscribe to your newsletters, request a demo, or to subscribe to a 30-day trial.
Even if the reader isn’t ready to buy now, they may be in the “Awareness” stage of the Buyer’s Journey and will now be primed to view your additional content that will convert them in later stages.
8. Create Calls to Action (CTA)
When you’re producing the right content, you’re giving it away. The reader sees value in your free content, and they may see even more value in furthering their relationship with your company because of the cost-free resources you have provided them. You can create these Calls-To-Action to encourage the reader to download a case study, request a sample of content, or even initiate conversation with your company about a potential deal. That’s exciting news!
Here are some CTA examples that have been successful in creating next steps for our readers:
These Calls-To-Action, if hosted on your website, should include a graphic to catch the reader's eye as opposed to simple text. You can appropriately use CTA’s 1 to 3 times within your content before it looks overly advertised. A low-risk graphic offer may be in the middle of your text (ex: “Subscribe to our Newsletter”) or a direct-business offer may be at the end (ex: “Request a demo”) since they have read through all of the content and may be more likely to engage.
Since we are a HubSpot Platinum Agency, the Calls-To-Action we use are easy to create and embed within the content.
Note: For HubSpot users looking to create Calls-To-Action: Click “Marketing” in the top Navigation, then “Lead Capture”, followed by “CTAs”.
If you’re stuck trying to create successful CTAs, schedule some time to chat with our team of digital marketing experts.
9. Make it Personable
Just like any successful podcast or book you’ve read, creating personable content will help put readers at ease and make the information relatable. Consider starting your introductory content with a story or a conversation you were part of that will resonate with your target market.
-What happened in that exchange?
-What pains did the customer have?
-What snafus did you have and how did you overcome them?
It’s okay to admit failure. Divulge your short-comings and explain what steps you took rise back up. Mistakes happen everywhere (we’re all human!), and showcasing how you or your company has learned from those mistakes will not only help to make your readers aware of pitfalls, but will also build both trust and empathy.
10. Feedback, Both Qualitative and Quantitative
Creating and refining content for future posts is an important step in cultivating the best content possible. Take a look at your qualitative digital metrics to see which articles and content get the most engagement. If you are posting the content on your website (using a teaser in LinkedIn), you can see how much time your visitors are spending on your site, how often they return, what other pages they visit from the post (this can be done through Behavior Flow on Google Analytics), and similar pieces of data.
Google Analytics Behavior Flow Example
In LinkedIn, it’s easy to see who shared, liked, and commented on your content. This data will give you insights as to what parts of your content resonates best with your readers.
From a qualitative perspective, reach out to people who viewed your piece and inquire if the content was enjoyable to digest, if it was relevant, and what stood out to them while reading (crowdsourcing future content).
You might learn that your content is too technical or advanced for the reader, too basic, or the publishing time was off. All of these pieces of qualitative data will guide you down the path to continually tweaking and creating a stream of quality content that will keep readers coming back for more!