By Marilyn Heywood Paige
If you’re not using a LinkedIn content strategy to help you expand your network and build your business, you’re missing a huge marketing opportunity (and probably working too hard to get more leads). Here’s how to use LinkedIn to get in front of your target audience and bring in more leads. These steps can apply to any content distribution channel, but here we’ll focus on LinkedIn.
Before you begin posting haphazardly on LinkedIn, think about your target audiences. Who are they? What’s their job function? You may have several target markets you need to reach. For example, if you are an enterprise solution SaaS company, you might have three (or more) audience segments.
● Corporate Purchasing Agents
● IT Managers
● IT Software Consultants
Each of these segments has very different paths to purchase which may depend on how much they already know about available software options, their timeline, who else is involved in the decision-making process, and other considerations. (We discussed how to examine your target markets in our previous blog, How To Create a Content Marketing Strategy.)
A purchasing agent may start by reviewing which solutions the company has used in the past and then doing a Google search. An IT manager may first talk with the user community to gather information about the problems they are trying to solve. The IT consultant may confer with other consultants or look at vendor websites for specific capabilities. You have to think through their role in the organization, what needs they have, and how they go about solving problems.
A person’s path to purchase is how they go about solving their problem. At each stage of their path, buyers have particular questions and concerns.
For example, the IT manager who is first polling users for their pain points will need the means to ask questions and capture the data. If your company can provide an easy way for him or her to do that, you are already making yourself part of his solution.
Think through the buyers’ processes and come up with the answers and solutions they need along the way. Become a resource for them in their journey. When you supply the information they need, you earn their trust. Keep it up, and you’ll build a relationship that leads to purchase from you.
You may be thinking, “But there are a hundred different pathways someone could take to solve a software problem.” That’s right. You have to think through each one and figure out what questions and concerns a buyer has at each stage of each of those paths.
#3 Package Your Message
Once you have a map of your target markets’ paths to purchase, you can drill down into the specific questions and concerns they have at each stage. Then you can create content for each of those stages.
Sometimes the information you need to transmit is simple. A few paragraphs in a blog is all you need to convey it. Other times, it is complex and demands a visual delivery so an infographic or video is really best. Package the information the prospect needs in the way that’s easiest for them to understand it. Put it on your website and use SEO and keywords to make it easy for them to find in a Google search.
#4 Use LinkedIn to Distribute Content
Make this process easier for yourself by building a monthly content calendar that outlines exactly the messages you will deliver and when. You can read our blog on how to create a content calendar here. It explains how to organize your content into a spreadsheet that will help you stay on track. Once you start a LinkedIn content campaign, stick with it. Posting just once or twice will not build trust with your target markets. Consistency will get results. Post at least three times per week.
#5 Build Your List of People and Companies to Follow
LinkedIn works best in two-way communications, so don’t just post your content. Go through LinkedIn’s social stream three times a week and comment on other people’s posts. Curate a list of people and companies that are relevant to your business and follow them. Comment on and share their posts. The more you engage with others on Linkedin, the more the algorithm will respond to you. You will build your network and more people will see your posts.
Sound like a lot of work? It is. But so is cold calling and prospecting. When you use LinkedIn content marketing, you facilitate people finding you so that they call you when they are ready to buy.
Paige Black Corporate Content Marketing Services
Good content builds trust with your audience and lets them know you are an expert in your field. If you need help creating a content strategy to reach your target audiences, contact us.
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