Your customers are on LinkedIn. There’s a reason B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute their content in 94% of cases—and the channel generates 3X more conversions than Facebook or Twitter.
Whipping up pithy post copy and sharing content through your company’s business profile is a solid first step. But posting alone won’t yield the results you’re after. To get the best return from B2B content, tech and SaaS marketers need to cultivate a LinkedIn approach that aligns with their content strategy and business goals.
Whether your goals are to build brand loyalty, drive awareness, or generate leads, B2B marketers should create content and social strategies that work together to achieve them. Here are three moves you can make to boost your ROI from B2B content marketing on LinkedIn.
1. Validate your audience
Audience is everything. When it comes to organic LinkedIn efforts, reaching the people you intend to reach can make or break performance. Here’s an example of where companies go wrong:
A B2B Tech or SaaS marketer sees the statistic that 93% of ITDMs are using social media for business purposes.
It’s decided then and there that the company will post more often on their social media channels to reach those ITDMs.
What the company doesn’t realize is that the vast majority of their follower base is made up of peers in their industry, rather than those ITDMs.
What should the company have done instead? It comes down to asking two questions:
- Question 1: Are ITDMs part of my current follower base on LinkedIn?
- Question 2: Do the ITDMs who follow us work for companies that fit our ideal customer profile (ICP)—the specific audience I’m creating content for?
The second question is the real advanced move here. You need to define who you want to reach, engage, and convert with your B2B content. Growing your LinkedIn followers with those specific targets in mind means your content gets in front of the right people more often.
But what if the answer to both questions is no? Explore tactics to pivot and focus your follower base. For example, design a paid LinkedIn campaign to target your ICP. Or create a strategic plan to find and engage your ICP fit on LinkedIn.
Helpful hint: Not sure who your LinkedIn audience is right now? LinkedIn aggregates follower data in its analytics function. You can see breakdowns of your followers by location, job function, seniority, industry, and company size. Simply:
- Access your Page Admin view
- Click the analytics tab in the navigation bar
- Select “Followers” and then “Follower Demographics”
2. Prioritize your social goals
Boost brand awareness. Drive traffic to your website. Create customer loyalty. These are just three of many, many goals that B2B content marketing on LinkedIn can help you achieve. But reaching each goal requires a slightly different approach.
So, how do you decide where to spend your time and effort on LinkedIn? Use your content marketing and business goals as a litmus test to get your social priorities in order.
- If your priority is lead generation, focus on LinkedIn tactics that increase web traffic and specifically drive to your lead gen forms.
- If your priority is to become a thought leader, focus on expanding engagement with partners, customers, and other industry leaders with large followings.
These are general guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Your actual tactics will be much more sophisticated and tied to an understanding of your unique business and B2B customers. (What’s more, those tactics will evolve over time because social media is like a science experiment—great social marketers constantly hypothesize, test, and refine.)
But the point is, once you align your social goals with your content marketing goals, you can more easily make choices about the right social tactics to prioritize to help your B2B company succeed.
Helpful hint: Wherever you land, make sure to write down your conclusions in a social media strategy. Only 32% of B2B companies have documented their social media strategy. Those that do gain the advantage of a referenceable tool to align their teams and solidify their roadmap for how to move forward.
3. Optimize your content strategy
You’ve got the right followers. You’ve prioritized your goals. With 55% of B2B buyers searching for information on social media, it’s time to make sure the B2B content you promote covers the right bases.
Let’s talk content strategy. Which of the following describes your company?
A: I don’t have a content strategy.
You’re not alone. Sixty percent of marketers say having little to no content strategy is their biggest challenge. These companies create individual pieces of content based on individual ideas. Here’s the problem: Without a strategic plan to justify why each piece of content is created (relevance) and make sure you hit all the topics you need to (comprehensiveness), you’re likely missing out on key opportunities to engage your audience.
The good news is that social content strategy can be a springboard for your company’s overall content strategy.
B: I’ve got a content strategy in place.
Wonderful. The next step is to optimize or tailor that strategy for LinkedIn. Ask yourself questions like, “Does my broad content strategy support my specific social goals?” Or, “Should the way I approach content change based on how my audience uses LinkedIn?”
In either case, a great place to start is with social content pillars.
Content Pillars: Categories by which you organize content to help ensure the assets you share on LinkedIn are relevant, comprehensive, and balanced. Here are some general frameworks for organizing your content into three to five pillars:
- By funnel stage
- By key industry topics
- By your company’s differentiators
Ultimately, the way you decide to categorize your content should support your company’s goals on LinkedIn. For example, if your top priority is lead generation, but the majority of your posts fall into a “company culture” content category, it’s time to reassess. (If your priority for LinkedIn is recruitment, then this could be a great way to go.)
However you slice it, placing content into strategic categories through content pillars helps you understand your coverage and any existing gaps that you need additional content to fill.
Helpful hint: The beauty of LinkedIn is that it adds another dimension—analytics. B2B marketers have the ability to see how each content pillar performs with their audience and make choices about what to create next based on that data. Here’s an example scenario:
Say your company has content pillars organized by funnel stage.
In Q3, you notice that bottom-of-funnel performance has gone through the roof.
This could signal to you that your followers are close to making a purchasing decision.
So you decide to double-down on similar content or explore a LinkedIn In-Mail campaign to nurture them from MQL to customer.
Turn Strategy Into Action
Sixty-one percent of B2B companies using social media have acquired a new customer via LinkedIn. These content marketing and social strategies are just the tip of the iceberg to empower your company to achieve the same—and make it a repeat occurrence.
Whether you’re just starting your B2B content marketing efforts on LinkedIn or looking for fresh ways to improve performance, you don’t have to go it alone. PMG helps B2B companies in tech and SaaS get the most from their social media and achieve their goals with high-caliber, comprehensive social and content strategies that include LinkedIn optimization and management. To learn how we can work together, contact PMG today.