I get asked the question of how to make Content Marketing more effective on LinkedIn quite regularly. In fact, people ask me about it a lot.
The truth is there are SO many variables.
But there is a common theme you cannot escape from, and it is this:
“The more importance a consumer (of your content) places on the relationship, the more effective LinkedIn will be as a strategy for business engagement.”
With the kind help and inspiration from Management Consultant Paul Kelly on this topic, I tried to map it.
I think that targeted content that matches your customers’ interests accurately has to be at the root of successful engagement. Not having a strategy for your engagement means at best you are wasting your time, and at worst, you confuse OR PUT OFF your desired audience.
Of course, having a Content Marketing strategy (or any strategy at all for that matter) prompts you to give your goals and objectives some serious thought and explore issues like what does ‘effectiveness’ mean to you?
What would need to happen for you to deem your Content Marketing effective? Your content generating a lot of engagement expressed via Comments, Shares and Likes on social media? Your content positioning you as a knowledgeable ‘thought-leader’ in your industry and therefore generating your referrals, or sales even? If your content helps, inspires, informs or educates your network in some way do you deem it effective?
Once you have established how you would measure or know if your Content Marketing was effective you can then set about striving for successful and effective content.
But how do you find out what your customers’ interests are to make sure that what you produce is targeted content that matches those interests?
If you have a brick and mortar store, then determining your customers’ interests could be as simple as listening to the questions they often ask when they make a purchase in-store. If your business centres on an eCommerce site, consider the queries customers’ often email you. These regularly asked questions may have already populated a FAQs section on your website. Why not flesh some of the answers to these questions out by expanding on them in detailed blog posts that can be shared on LinkedIn? – it’s information at your fingertips waiting to be transformed into helpful content!
As well as actively listening to what customers say and the questions they ask in store, be perceptive and alert to the problems they face on social media; difficulties and challenges they are likely to discuss in comments on articles or posts either you or others in your field have published.
You might find people are still asking a lot of questions or remain confused about a topic another expert in your field tried to address in an article or post – perhaps you could put your own spin on answering their questions or explain the solutions they are seeking in a more dynamic way?
In last week’s blog post I shared how tools like Buzzsumo.com and Storybase.com can reveal a wealth of information, such as what content has already been published on a particular topic, which content was the most effective (in terms of achieving the most social media engagement) and what questions certain audiences are asking online.
If you can successfully identify what your customers’ interests are, what questions they are asking and what they would like to know, you can then create targeted content that can help, inspire or educate them. If you hit the nail on the head with your content, you’re likely to see a spike in your content’s engagement and there you have it – the recipe for effectiveness in Content Marketing!
Interestingly, when I posted about this topic on LinkedIn last week, Paul commented:
“I have no doubt in the correlation shown here [in the above diagram] and interestingly the importance of relationships in business has never been greater despite (or because of?) the increasing use of digital platforms to communicate with each other.”
With one of the main purposes of LinkedIn being for professionals to network, share ideas and Connect, should you find that your customers are placing a high value on their relationship with you then it goes without saying that LinkedIn is the ideal platform to showcase and promote your content – especially if it is targeted content that matches your customers’ interests.
What do you think? Could your content be more targeted and effective? Is LinkedIn relevant for effective business engagement? Let me know your thoughts on LinkedIn!
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