We all know distributing your content is essential as part of your content marketing strategy, yet it’s often the part that gets a little neglected – it’s too easy to get distracted by that shiny new project. Well, as with most things, it’s worth pushing it hard as it will pay off – and one of the best ways to drive your content hard is through LinkedIn.
In this post, we look at seven ways you can maximise LinkedIn as part of your content distribution strategy. We’ll mainly focus on the original content and assume that it’s in a format that will easily publish on LinkedIn. It’s important though that you don’t stop there – shatter the content you’ve created into lots of different formats and you’ll suddenly see reams of posts, blogs and longer format pieces that are indispensable as part of your content marketing strategy.
So, with no further ado, here’s how LinkedIn can support your strategy:
1. Company Page
This one is the most obvious and most people have it nailed. With out a shadow of a doubt, you’ve got to post your content to your Company page to be shared with all those that follow the company.
The most effective way to do this is through sharing a web link to the landing page where the content is downloaded from – whether that’s your own website, SlideShare or other hosting platform.
Then, don’t forget to comment on it and get the team to comment too – and to like it.
2. Status updates of employees
Your employees are a valuable resource to share your content. The great thing about LinkedIn is that it’s a professional network, and yes, it can sometimes be a little bit spammy, but on the whole there’s plenty of good content and stories going around – yours can too.
Ask a number of select employees to share the content. Don’t just select anyone, think carefully about who in your business has the most relevant network – it’s probably your sales team or account managers – the people that deal day in, day out with your customers and prospects, and are connected to them.
Sharing the content on an employee’s status update shouldn’t just be a one-off either. You should ask them to repost it every 3-4 weeks. You should also think about when they post – you don’t want them posting it all on the same day. Eke out the distribution for maximum effect, so that your brand and your content gets a bit of exposure every day (and you’ll get a nice trickle of traffic and downloads every day).
Again, ask a few key employees to also like the content intermittently to ensure that you’re always pushing a little message out there.
3. Add to employees’ profile pages
Building on the fact that your key sales people come into contact with customers and prospects regularly, it makes sense to ensure that your content is accessible from their profile pages.
Profile pages are fantastic as you can add pretty much any kind of content you want – images, videos, PDFs, documents or presentations – which means you can add case studies, video showcases, testimonials and white papers. The content is given a reasonable amount of real estate and you can click through from them, or view them right there in their entirety.
Brands should audit and improve employee LinkedIn profiles for brand promotion. Effective employee advocacy requires branding.
4. Email the content to key employees’ networks
There’s also the opportunity to capitalise on your employees networks. LinkedIn allows you to email your connections, so you can send content directly to the inboxes of your key prospects. Quite a valuable little tool.
5. LinkedIn Publisher Network
With most content, you’ve probably written a few teaser blog posts. It’s always worth writing two or three more so that you can share them on the LinkedIn Publisher Network. This is a publishing tool, similar to a blog, but within LinkedIn. Any published posts are shared on your personal timeline where they’re seen by connections, and automatically added to your profile page. The post may also get picked up by LinkedIn and shared with the wider community.
Like before, get some of your other team members to like and comment on the post – the discussion will filter through their timelines drawing in more traffic.
This is something that you should prepare for use by key personnel in your business. Don’t duplicate the same post across employees – make sure they have a personal twist on the content and link to the download page within the body and at the bottom of the post.
6. Sponsored posts
From your Company page, you can sponsor any post. This is a paid post pushing your content out further than your followers. With the targeting on LinkedIn, this is a powerful way to grow your followers, but more importantly showcase your content and drive traffic to the landing page.
With LinkedIn, the targeting is pretty awesome too, so you can get really specific in terms of audience ensuring that you minimise wasted budget.
7. Group discussions
Now, I have this one last for a reason – it’s my least favourite. There is way too much spam within the groups, so unless you’re going to do this well, don’t bother – you’ll get no traction and worse, you may even damage your brand.
LinkedIn members are scathing to those that spam and so if you’re not going to think carefully about how you can use Groups to distribute your content then please don’t bother. And if I see any of you…
If you’re keen to make this work, then the best advice is ‘be genuine’. Use your content as the basis for a discussion, but don’t just post a link to the content. Ask a question that relates to the content – and start a discussion around your content. You’ll need to think carefully about the questions you ask, and remember, the last thing you want to do is look vaguely like a lazy marketer.
For me, LinkedIn is a powerful tool and should be front and centre in your content marketing strategy. What will really make it work is a systematic approach to sharing and good old-fashioned teamwork – you’re going to need your employees on board if you’re going to make it work.