Among the various activities that a company in the twenty-first century carries out, one cannot fail to consider social networks, which have become an essential communication tool for raising awareness of the brand and for cultivating relationships with followers and potential consumers. However, to create an effective brand presence on social networks it’s not enough to simply open an account and publish a post. To be successful here, you’ll need to create a content marketing strategy.
In this post, we’ll talk about content marketing and we’ll dig into how you can implement a content strategy on LinkedIn step by step, starting from defining the target audience and the objectives you want to achieve, creating an editorial calendar and choosing the right content, all the way up to measuring results.
Before getting to the heart of the topic, let’s start by defining a content strategy, looking at the main concepts of content marketing, and showing how you can use them on LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn content strategy: a definition
In a previous post, we talked about how to implement a corporate social media strategy through a content strategy. Content marketing is based on the creation of valuable content in order to attract, engage, and create a relationship with your target audience. Offering content that is always new and in line with users’ expectations not only increases conversions, but also builds customer loyalty.
Starting from this concept, it is necessary to develop a content strategy. The content strategy represents the set of the activities of analysis, planning, and development of content and their dissemination. There are several factors to consider when creating a strategy, and among these factors, one that is especially important is not underestimating social channels for content distribution.
For a brand, the choice of whether or not to utilize a social channel depends mainly on the type of company (B2B or B2C) and its target audience. We speak of choice precisely because there are different channels that are better suited to different types of companies. In the specific case of LinkedIn, what are the characteristics that could make it the right choice for your brand?
As a social platform, LinkedIn is a showcase, an opportunity to present a brand, promote its corporate values, cultivate relationships with followers, acquire new ones, and increase traffic on the company website.
If we consider a B2B company, LinkedIn is the most suitable channel for creating content strategy and the reason is attributable to the fact that it is the second most used social platform by B2B marketers, where about 15% of users hold decision maker roles like CEO or senior manager (oberlo.com).
Another reason concerns the behavior of users on LinkedIn and their attitude toward the use of content. When creating a content strategy, it is important to take into account that the majority of users on LinkedIn (and not only) are always looking for new content through which to inform and compare themselves. This attitude also influences the type of content to publish (purely educational and informative), the length of the content, and the most appropriate topics to cover.
From these assumptions, we can begin to outline the steps to follow to build an effective corporate content strategy.
How to build a content strategy on LinkedIn in 6 steps
It’s a good idea to have an effective content strategy, and this takes time for creation and planning. As we have already mentioned, it is not enough to simply create content and publish it on social media. The creation of content requires creativity and constant innovation in order to feed a virtual community that is always looking for new stimuli.
For all these reasons, we can divide the process of creating a content strategy on LinkedIn into 6 steps.
1. Outline the ideal reader profile
The first step is about defining the target audience: who do you want to attract on the company page? What are the topics that the ideal user is most interested in?
To define your target audience, it is essential to think of the recipient not only as a marketing subject, classified according to demographic and lifestyle data, but also as a reader. On social networks, if a user finds content of value, they may choose to interact with your brand by commending, liking or sharing the content with others.
In this first phase, it could be helpful to use tools to monitor social groups in the same business sector and the behavior of competitors towards their respective audiences to better understand the needs of users and meet them by creating original content that is in line with their expectations.
Other steps in the process can then be outlined once you’ve identified your target audience.
2. Identify the objectives
The second step in creating a content strategy on LinkedIn is to establish the goals you want to achieve. Each objective, whether it is one of notoriety, consideration, or conversion, corresponds to specific content and messages that make a communication strategy effective.
Inbound marketing perfectly represents this concept and could be the best strategy to follow even on social channels. Creating ad hoc content for different types of users allows you to capture the attention of new possible followers and at the same time to strengthen relationships with those already acquired. So, in order to outline your strategy, the question you need to ask is: what do you want to achieve by creating a LinkedIn business page?
Once the objectives have been set, we can move on to the third step of planning: defining metrics.
3. Define metrics
What are metrics for? Which ones should be taken into account? Everything varies according to the objectives to be achieved. This phase is very important because it will serve, at a later stage, to analyze the results achieved and improve the performance of the marketing strategy. In this perspective, we can identify some main metrics:
- metrics to measure notoriety, aimed at analyzing the number of users reached in a given period, such as the number of followers, page views, reach, impressions, website visits, and much more. The number of followers, for example, depends not only on social activity, but also on how much a brand is exposed through other means (e.g. advertising, SEO, public relations);
- metrics to measure engagement, i.e. how much users are involved in the published content. Some metrics to be considered are: comments, reactions, and sharing of posts, pages visited on the website, time spent on the site, and bounce rate. The time spent on the site and the frequency of bounce can show whether or not a piece of content is effective. A long time spent on the site equates to a high rate of user involvement;
- metrics to measure conversions, to understand how many users have reached the final stage of the funnel, i.e. the decision to purchase the product or service offered. Such metrics could include sales, requests for quotes, or contact requests.
As we have already said, the choice of objectives and metrics to be monitored is necessary for the final analysis of the results obtained. All that remains is to set the editorial strategy and choose the type of content to be published.
4. Outline the editorial strategy
When we talk about editorial strategy, we refer to two main concepts, which are similar but identify two different activities:
- the editorial plan is the social communication plan that includes the objectives, definition of organic and sponsored posts, graphic mood, and the roles and resources employed (i.e. who is in charge of the editorial plan and content creation);
- the editorial calendar, the list of content to be published and the frequency of publication.
Once the objectives have been defined, it would be useful to identify macro-topics for the content and divide them into sections in order to create a schedule of weekly or monthly posts where a specific topic will be discussed in depth. This will make it easier for you to decide the frequency of publication and the topics to be covered for each day of the week.
As for the frequency of publication, there are no predefined rules or a precise number of posts, although publishing too frequently could be counterproductive.
The most suitable times and days for publication should be determined by evaluating the insights of your target audience. In the specific case of LinkedIn, users tend to be more active during typical working hours (oberlo.com).
5. Type of content
Let’s get to the heart of the content strategy: the choice of content to publish. Content is what attracts users and brings them closer to the brand. Whether it is organic or sponsored content, the choice of types and their creation must be meticulous, with the aim of offering relevant and quality information.
In the world of social networks where so many different types of content are used, creativity is a key element for standing out. You can publish a video, a case study, a company blog post, a survey, company news, host a Live LinkedIn session where you discuss and go deeper into a specific topic or present a new project. Regardless of what you choose, it’s important that you’re able to capture the attention of users.
How to reach them?
Everything (or almost everything) depends on images. Although text remains an important element, images play a key role in communication, especially on social media. What jumps out first at the eye when reading a post on social media is the image, and this is nothing more than the manifestation of a phenomenon called “image superiority effect”, according to which the view prevails over all the other senses, and skimming allows the user to understand if he is interested in going deeper into a topic or not.
However, in terms of visual stimuli, the type of content that is currently most powerful and effective is video. Video captures the user’s attention, and it also involves, informs, and excites him, allowing the brand to create strong personal and human connections.
6. Measure results
After having defined the calendar and editorial plan, created and published the contents, all that remains is to measure the results obtained by analyzing the metrics we mentioned above.
Insights such as the demographic profile and the number of followers of the page, the engagement rate for each post, and the website traffic generated by LinkedIn posts allow us to understand if the content strategy is effective, and the topics that viewers are most interested in. Based on the results, of course, you will need to make changes to your strategy.
Finally, we must remember that the constant need for information and news from users and the continuous evolution of the world of social networks means that a company content strategy must be frequently updated and improved upon.
Creating a successful content strategy therefore requires a long-term commitment to deliver original and relevant quality content to attract, inform, and engage users.