If you’re on LinkedIn, you may think of it as a social network for job hunters and professionals looking to network online.
But marketers have known for some time now that it’s also a place to share good content – apparently, content posted on LinkedIn gets six times the engagement of job postings, said Selin Tyler, senior product manager of marketing solutions at LinkedIn.
There are a lot of ways marketers can get on-side with posting content on LinkedIn, and a lot of them get a solid amount of reads. In fact, some of the most popular sponsored pieces garner tens of thousands of page views. In a webinar held Aug. 27, Tyler shared some tips and tricks for marketers seeking to improve their content marketing tactics on the social platform.
1. Choose the content you’ll be posting based on the audience you want to reach.
When it comes to using LinkedIn to reach people, not all sponsored content is created equal. Content marketers need to think about their intentions behind sharing specific pieces of content, Tyler said.
For example, are you trying to get people to become aware of your brand? Are you trying to get people to consider you as a stronger thought leader in your space? Or are you hoping people will evaluate your product and then make a purchase? It all depends on where you are in your marketing funnel – yet marketers still need to focus on making their content readable and shareable, Tyler said.
“Professionals are always looking to engage, so always think about, why would [LinkedIn] members read that?” she said.
2. Use LinkedIn as a testing ground.
These days, LinkedIn seems to be as much a publishing platform as it is a hunting ground for job seekers. That means it’s a good way for marketers to be able to test out content and see if it will catch on.
“Content marketing is an art as well as a science. So what will really resonate with your target audience may not be what you think,” Tyler said. “The beauty of A/B testing is that it’s the easiest way to learn. Change only one thing at a time, and make really simple changes, so you can find out what works and replicate your success.”
She listed a slate of ways marketers can try using LinkedIn’s direct sponsored content feature – for example, personalizing messages so they fit every targeted audience. However, only the audiences chosen will see the message, not necessarily all of a brand’s followers or visitors.
“We recommend starting [testing] with your intro message. Test your call to action, the length of your intro, or calling out your audience. For instance, if you’re targeting IT decision makers, explicitly call them out in your intro and see if it catches their attention. You can pose a question or make a statement – see which one engages your target audience,” Tyler said. She added there’s also room to test headlines, teaser text, and images to see what sticks.
3. Structure your posts and address your readers directly to build a connection.
While writing useful content is really important, it can be intimidating for LinkedIn users to see a wall of text in your post. Tyler recommended using strong thumbnail images, numbered lists, statistics, figures, and so on to break things up. It also helps to attract readers through name-dropping people your audience will want to hear from – say, a well-known CEO or entrepreneur if you are catering to business leaders.
Another handy tip is to try to sound more approachable and to create a “one-to-one connection” by addressing the audience directly. For example, by addressing an audience as “you,” marketers can try to show they’re reaching out to the people reading their posts, Tyler said.