Creating content that is of value to your ideal audience can be part of your LinkedIn strategy. You can share your blogs or publish direct on the LinkedIn platform, but there is so much more to publishing an article on LinkedIn than writing and hitting Publish. To get maximum leverage, there is a whole process to follow;
1. Plan the quarter or year. This removes the decision making which can slow you down.
2. Write with a frame work. You may find while in the ‘zone’, you can write multiple articles in one session to maximise your creative energy.
3. Publish your content, which includes formatting, layout, creating graphics, embedding media and links.
4. Promote your content, through a content marketing plan.
5. Respond to any comments and shares – engage.
6. Measure what worked well? Who engaged, how they engaged, and what did they do next?
Let’s go through each step of the process in more detail….
Part 1 – Planning
To make your content creation and marketing easier, start with a plan.
- First, be clear on your WHY… why you do what you do. All content should support your bigger why. (Refer to Simon Sinek’s Gold Circle model and Start With Why TED Talk).
- Then get clear on who your audience is, who your ideal clients are that you wish to connect with.
- Next think about the themes for your content. First brainstorm your themes (categories) on a white board, large sheet of paper, or post-it notes. Think about problems you solve for your ideal clients. Are some related? Group them together and see how many overarching themes you have. Will you work with a monthly theme or quarterly theme?
- Now within each of those themes are topics. Brainstorm more problems you solve within each theme. Think about the questions you are often asked, or ask your network what they really want to learn more about. Think about the common mistakes you see and the trends in your industry that may impact your clients. Considering sharing strategies or definitions in your subject matter expertise. Also consider creating resources lists, from curated content, where you bring together the best to save your clients time, such as a top 10, top 40 list or 101 recommended things. Use social media tools to research the questions your audience have, and use tools such as Quora, or forums to see what questions are being asked.
- Within your topics, create dot points for each article. One article could be “The 10 Biggest Mistakes Made By …”, with further articles about each point in more detail with a step by step plan to deal with the issue. Think about the story you wish to tell in each article. Jot down the characters, the conflict and the resolution. Some topics could be split into smaller articles or be part of a series (collectively they could be part of an ebook).
- Also consider scalability of the content. It may start as a blog article, but may also become a SlideShare presentation, a white paper, part of an ebook or a webinar.
Ensure the topics and theme align with your values and vision, and stick to what you want to be known for. But most importantly, always start with your why.
Part 2 – Writing
Schedule time to create your articles as per your plan. Be sure to connect with your why before writing. For each piece of content, consider the story your content is telling and the purpose. Is it to educate, entertain, inform or inspire?
- Who is the ideal reader? Write with them in mind.
- Be clear on the characters in the story and how you will tell it. 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person or a combination of all three?
- Introduce the article. What is the conflict? How will you express this?
- What is the solution and call to action?
- Does it connect with your why, your vision, your mission and your values?
Part 3 – Structure
1. Keep Your Titles Short but Engaging
Make your headline as concise as possible, while incorporating keywords, a hook and promise to capture attention. Use numbers, such as “The 3 Step Guide to …” or “The Top 10 Mistakes Made…” or “ 5 Questions to ask before…”, or “How to…”.
LinkedIn may truncate your long title.
2. Use an Eye-Catching Image
A high quality, vibrant image can persuade readers to click. Avoid, blurry, dark images, company logos and boring ‘done’ stock images (you know the ones!
3. Embed Engaging Media
Use video, images, or sound bites to enhance your message.
4. Embrace White Space
Make your article scanable. Use headings and white space to break up the text into readable chunks.
5. Embed links to other content
Use your article to drive traffic to other LinkedIn articles and / or your website. You could use custom links using tools such as Bit.ly which creates short custom links and provides metrics.
6. Use Click to Tweet, to create tweetable quotes within your article.
7. Include a call to action to encourage the reader to take action.
Part 4 – Engagement
1. Build Your LinkedIn Network
Connect to people you meet, people you haven’t seen in a while or people you want to get to know. Do it in a personable way by introducing yourself, in a friendly and non-salesy manner. Why are connections important in publishing? When you publish a post on LinkedIn, your connections may see an alert in their notifications, or may see your update in their homefeed. If they engage with your post, they are exposing your article to their network, so the more people you are connected to who may be interested in your content, the more exposure and engagemet you could have.
2. Publish Often
Share valuable articles on a regular basis for visibility and engagement. Commit to a realistic and sustainable publishing schedule, working to the resources, time and budget available. It doesn’t have to be brand new content, but can be repurposed content, with links to your original work. Or you may do list posts, linking to articles.
3. Review Article Engagement
Respond to comments and thank those who share your articles. This may encourage more engagement, connection and referrals.
Part 5 – Promotion
Once you have created and shared an article on LinkedIn. Create an article marketing plan to share with your network various times, via LinkedIn and other mediums.
1. Ask to be Featured
Send a friendly tweet with your post link to @LinkedInEditors
2. Boost Your Post
Share your article to your Company Page, then set up a Sponsored Post. Share via Facebook or Twitter and run promoted posts to drive traffic to LinkedIn.
3. Repurpose for Other Platforms
Create different versions for BeBee, Facebook Notes, Medium, Tumblr, published at different times, linking to each other.
4. Share via Other Social Media
- Share the link via your Facebook Page
- Create and schedule a batch of tweets
- Create a graphic to share on Instagram with link
- Create content boards and pin your images on Pinterest
- Turn your article into slides and share with a link to SlideShare (Bonus embed in the article).
5. Share via other marketing channels
- Include 1-3 articles, previews with links in your regular enewsletter
- Link to your latest post or article library in your email signature
- Create a video to go with the content. This could be slides with voice over, you talking to camera, an interview on the topic. Be creative.Share to YouTube with a link to the article. Bonus – embed the video in the article.
- Create an audio version of the article, then embed in the article with a tool such as Soundcloud.
- Run a webinar based on the content.
Part 6 – Metrics
Look at each article every month or other period and capture the metrics to see what worked best. Look at Views, Likes, Comments and Shares.
Measure traffic from links in the article.
- Which could use more promoting?
- Which were well received?
- Which received the most engagement?
- What else could you create to complement your success content?
“If you want to use your content as currency to buy the time and attention of potential customers on LinkedIn, you must publish status updates and posts in the newsfeed that offer value and are highly relevant to your target audience.” – John Nemo
So as you see, publishing articles on LinkedIn, isn’t just a case of pulling together an blog. Start with a plan, connected to your goals and bigger vision, and provide value to your audience.
If you need help pulling your plan together, get in touch. Book a LinkedIn training session.
For LinkedIn Training and LinkedIn Workshops contact Jo Saunders of Wildfire Social Marketing, on 0422 431 039 to review and map out your LinkedIn strategy, navigate the network and train your team.