Experiment with storytelling
LinkedIn also provides a platform for content experimentation. For example, long-form content is not only welcome there, but it also racks up considerable engagement.
LinkedIn’s Pulse is both a repository for thought leadership from community “influencers” such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates and for storytelling from “preferred” publisher partners including The Atlantic, Bloomberg and CBS Interactive.
They key phrase in that paragraph might be thought leadership. Whether you’re a nonprofit, an association or a corporation, your leaders have lessons and insight to share with interested readers.
In fact, you may already be producing content along these lines. If you are, publishing via Pulse—with its 130,000-some posts each week—is an avenue to explore. And don’t forget that a smart, holistic strategy also will tie that content back to distribution on Pages and through individual accounts, as well.
Reach the right people
I’ve talked about the tools LinkedIn provides for publishing, but the distribution possibilities are part of what make LinkedIn worth another look. And if you want to make the most of them, paid tools are essential to strategy.
Sponsored content on LinkedIn allows you to target specific audience segments. And it’s not a broad, generic use of the word targeting. It’s specific, especially if you’re interested less in quantity and more in who is qualified.
The targeting can be sharply pinpointed according to program objectives. You can reach businesses of a certain size within a specific region. You can publish a piece for C-Suite decision-makers within your industry. Targeting covers everything from company size, location and industry to position and seniority, in 20 languages across 200 countries.
Adobe uses targeting to get its thought leadership content directly in front of marketing decision-makers. This exposure, the company found, led 79 percent of marketers in its target group to agree that “Adobe can help me optimize my media spend.”
Likewise, enterprise software company NetBrain served up use cases to tech influencers who, in turn, were invited to sign up for a product demo when they clicked through. Combined with a sponsored inMail campaign—another distribution tool not to ignore—the firm attributed a $4 million revenue gain to its sponsored LinkedIn content initiatives.
These companies also reap the rewards of LinkedIn’s treasure trove of user data. The network’s paid opportunities come with the chance to gain intelligence about target audiences, their behaviors and interests and the kinds of content they find most engaging.
For our own clients, we often recommend three-month tests on a deep-dive LinkedIn strategy. Doing so is long enough to see whether your content moves the needle—and to see just how much there is to discover about your users.
In most cases, those three months are just the beginning.