June 20, 2022
Now that you’ve learned how to create the perfect LinkedIn profile, it’s time to nail LinkedIn content marketing.
Now that you’ve learned how to create the perfect LinkedIn profile, it’s time to nail LinkedIn content marketing.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the type of content to share and how often to share it, worry not. In this article we’ll walk through the process step-by-step from choosing your niche and setting up writing templates to engagement best practices and how to stay consistent long-term.
You don’t need to be the world’s best writer to see success on LinkedIn.
You just need some simple guidelines and before you know it, you’ll be growing your reputation, demonstrating your expertise, and making invaluable connections with potential clients.
Don’t let the word ‘niche’ put you off. All this means is deciding what specific subject area you’re going to write about. The more specific you are, the better.
For example, being a CV expert is great. But being a CV expert who helps tech freelancers secure work, and who writes about the tech industry, the future of work, and start-up culture is even better.
Honing in who you uniquely help and/or how you uniquely help them - versus everyone else on LinkedIn with the same job title as yours - will ensure you stand out.
It allows you to become known for something (i.e. the ‘go to’ person in your industry) and makes crafting content easier for you. That’s because being a specialist with a few core areas to talk about beats being a generalist with everything to talk about.
For me, I’m not an Instagram strategist talking about all things Instagram. I talk specifically about content planning and creation and how this impacts social media marketing (for better or for worse).
Pro tip: If you’re really struggling to figure out your niche, start by regularly writing about your area of expertise. Keep a note of questions you receive from your audience. Recognise which topics you enjoy writing about most - and which you have an opinion on. The more you write, the sooner you’ll get comfortable with your voice and perspective. Audience engagement will also show you what topics are resonating most with your followers and which you should double down on.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the best LinkedIn content marketers are very talented writers.
They couldn’t possibly be using shortcuts like writing templates, could they?! That would be cheating… right?
Using writing templates is something LinkedIn expert Justin Welsh swears by - and that doesn’t make him a cheat, it makes him a savvy social media marketer. It’s how he’s accumulated more than 204k LinkedIn followers and 77k Twitter followers (at time of writing), and generated more than $500k in online course sales.
Here’s how he does it:
What you’ll notice with the best LinkedIn writers is that every post they publish has the following characteristics:
You can see this in action in Dickie Bush’s post:
He stops the scroll with the first polarizing line - the hook. Immediately the reader wants to understand how schools have done a ‘horrible’ job.
Then we get to the three key takeaways, and finally the call-to-action. The invitation to engage: “Hit reply with your biggest real-world writing lesson.”
Every sentence is short. No paragraph is more than one line long. This helps with skimmability and ensures that readers get to the end of the post.
So, whenever you’re writing a LinkedIn post - whether you’re using a template or not - make sure you follow these basic principles.
One of the mistakes people make when creating LinkedIn content is they write too much. Sentences are too long. The same point is made repeatedly. What could be 150 words is 500.
The easy way to fix this mistake? Edit, edit, edit.
Never write and publish your LinkedIn post on the same day (unless you really have to!). Instead, write freely without self-editing in one sitting. Then leave your words to rest before going back to edit at a later date or time.
Not only will your LinkedIn content be better but you’ll also save so much time in the creation process.
That’s because writing and editing are two different skills. Switching back and forth between the two breaks your ‘flow’ and reduces your ability to focus on the primary task at hand.
So maximize your ability to focus - ideally at the time of day when you’re most productive - and batch write your LinkedIn posts first before moving onto the edit.
LinkedIn might be the place to build your professional network but that doesn’t mean your content should be corporate in tone and all about ‘business’.
The most successful people on the platform infuse their content with personality and aren’t afraid to get personal. For example, Spanx founder Sara Blakely regularly shares her entrepreneurial journey. She talks about the history of the company, her ‘why’, highs and lows throughout her career, and glimpses into her team and #officelife.
Here’s a post she shared about Spanx HQ. Along with the photo she shares what’s unique about the space: Olivia Newton John’s original Grease pants and animal print carpets to name just two fun features.
This type of personal content humanizes a business and deepens the connection between the founder and their audience - essential for a platform that’s designed to facilitate relationships.
Creating your writing templates is one part of your system.
The rest is how, when, and what tools you’ll use to stay accountable and remain consistent with LinkedIn content creation.
This is my LinkedIn content marketing system:
The tools I use to run my system as efficiently as possible:
To develop your own system, take it one step at a time. It’s an iterative process that you can tweak and improve overtime, but the most important step is to start.
Keep those in mind and content creation will feel quicker and easier in no time.
As mentioned above, Iconosquare is my preferred tool to track LinkedIn progress.
Analytics are a goldmine. They help you understand what topics are (and aren’t) resonating with your audience so that you can continue to improve your results.
But what analytics should you measure? Here are the top 4:
This shows you how actively interested your audience is in your content.
How to calculate total engagement on LinkedIn: The number of likes, comments, and shares received for the posts published in the selected time period.
How to calculate engagement rate per post (by followers) on LinkedIn: The engagement of the posts (likes, comments, and shares) divided by the number of posts published in the selected time period.
This is the number of times your content is seen by LinkedIn users on their feed. The bigger the Reach, the more exposure your brand and business has to ideal clients.
A click tells you that rather than simply scrolling past your post, a user has actively engaged with it. On LinkedIn a click is counted when someone clicks on your post, company name or logo. It doesn’t include other interactions like comments, reactions, or shares.
CTR, or click-through rate, divides the number of clicks your post receives by the number of impressions it got. This gives you a clearer idea of how engaging it was.
As with other social media platforms, don’t obsess over your follower growth. Your engagement rate and clicks are more important than followers. With that being said, growing your audience is a worthy goal so check your progress once or twice a month to see if it’s moving in the right direction.
For advanced insights into your performance, you can use Iconosquare. Iconosquare offers advanced analytics that you can use to analyze the engagement and growth rate of your LinkedIn profile. Sign up for a free trial - no credit card required.
Now that you know which metrics to monitor, do you want to know my favorite reason to keep a close eye on your LinkedIn analytics?
Success on social media isn’t about reinventing the wheel. It’s about understanding what content resonates with your audience and giving them more of it.
In other words, don’t try to be original all of the time. It’s a waste of your time and energy, and it won’t necessarily get you the results you want.
Instead, repurpose your best-performing LinkedIn posts every 3-4 months. Many people won’t have seen the original. Most people won’t remember even if they have. You can tweak the original post slightly and re-share and/or you can use the topic as the basis for a new set of posts.
Repurposing content will soon become an integral part of your LinkedIn content planning and creation system. So, the sooner you get familiar with your analytics, the sooner you’ll be able to give your followers more of the content they love.
Remember: To be able to repurpose effectively and consistently, you’ve got to be in the habit of posting regular LinkedIn content (I’m talking 5-6x per week!).
You might be wondering how curating your LinkedIn feed relates to nailing your LinkedIn content marketing.
The reason I suggest doing this is because it helps you with step #9 (engagement), shows you what type of content does well (and why), and it will make your LinkedIn experience much more enjoyable overall.
If you’ve not yet curated your newsfeed, you’ll be seeing updates from all of your connections. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a lot of the content won’t be relevant to you nor helpful to your business. Cleaning up your LinkedIn newsfeed helps you be more strategic by commenting on topics that are relevant to your brand and the communities you serve.
To do this on your own account, first develop a clear picture of the types of people you’re trying to influence on LinkedIn. Consider their role titles, industries, geographic locations, what they read, watch, care about and whatever else may be important.
Once you’ve got that picture in your mind, make a list of 3-5 topics that you’d like to engage with that’s relevant to those communities and is also broadly connected to your service offerings and the problems you help clients solve. Now follow thought leaders and companies that post about these topics on LinkedIn.
Another great way to start following the right people is to think about complementary business owners.
What do I mean by ‘complementary’? The business owners who share the same ideal client as you, but aren’t your competition.
For example, a complementary business owner to me would be a copywriter or business coach. If I fill my feed with their content and regularly engage with them, I’m going to get exposure to their network - many of whom are my ideal clients.
Nailing your LinkedIn content marketing strategy isn’t just about posting great content. You’ve got to engage regularly too.
And now that you’ve curated your LinkedIn feed, this habit will be much easier to stick to. I recommend carving out time every morning, afternoon or evening to engage. For me, that’s 30 minutes every morning between 8.30 a.m. and 9 a.m. to post my content and interact with others in my feed.
Remember: every little helps. Even if you’ve only got 15-20 minutes a day, spend that time responding to comments on your posts and proactively starting conversations on other peoples’ content. This gets your name (and content) in front of more people, boosting your reach and increasing awareness.
And when you leave comments, don’t just say ‘love this!’ or post an emoji. That’s not memorable.
Instead, provide actionable, practical, and insightful thoughts and feedback to build trust and credibility. Even better, tag the author’s name. Most people won’t do this and it’s a small gesture that immediately personalizes the interaction.
Last but definitely not least, if you really want to nail your LinkedIn content marketing you have to be consistent. Consistent with content creation, posting, and engagement.
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, puts it perfectly:
"Most people need consistency more than they need intensity. Intensity: Run a marathon, write a book in 30 days, silent meditation retreat. Consistency: Don't miss a workout for 2 years, write every week, daily silence. Intensity makes a good story. Consistency makes progress."
No-one is a brilliant LinkedIn content marketer straight out of the gate. It takes time and practice to hone those skills. So to shorten that learning curve and get results sooner, post consistently. Ideally every single day.
The same goes for engagement. Do this consistently and you’ll ensure that your audience is exposed to your expertise and offers on a regular basis. Your relationships will strengthen, your network will expand, and your LinkedIn profile will get more traction.
The benefits are endless - but only if you’re willing to put yourself out there consistently.
Knowing how to effectively market your business on LinkedIn is more important than ever. It’s a hugely valuable tool for freelancers, online business owners, and content creators and has become a place where almost anyone can expand their network and grow their business.
Understand your niche, use templates, be a rigorous editor, repurpose your best ideas, and track analytics. Most important of all, post content and engage with your network consistently. If you can master that, you’ll quickly reap the rewards of LinkedIn content marketing. Good luck and don’t forget to follow us at @iconosquare!
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