Even if you’re not an “official” Baby Boomer, you’re likely familiar with that classic ‘70’s show (or its ‘90’s movie spinoff), "The Brady Bunch." Throughout, poor Jan Brady repeatedly laments, “It’s always Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”
As brand marketers, you may well relate: “It’s always content, content, content!” Indeed it is, and for good reason.
Just as Marsha was the undisputed queen of the Brady brood, so is content the irrefutable king of search and social media – and will remain so for the foreseeable future. And when it comes to using content to build your professional brand on social media, using LinkedIn marketing ideas remains the sovereign option.
LinkedIn: The Content Publisher’s Professional Platform
In a bold move that distinguished itself from the other major social media channels of the time, LinkedIn introduced a content publishing platform in 2012, “LinkedIn Influencer,” whereby it invited the top 150 industry thought leaders to share their original content.
Fast forwarding to February of this year, the company announced that it would open its publishing venue to all of its users, beginning with 25,000 (still relatively exclusive) members. Today, LinkedIn continues to democratize its publishing platform with a slow but steady roll out to all of its nearly 300 million users. (Note: As of the date of its announcement, LinkedIn states that it is offering access to its publishing platform only to English language users, but stipulates it will be expanding access to accommodate multiple languages). What does this mean for your brand? Nothing short of a huge opportunity to position yourself as the go-to resource in your industry’s vertical! Publishing solid, optimized content on LinkedIn allows you the opportunity to showcase your brand, and reach a significant amount of qualified potential customers, not only through LinkedIn’s own site search, but also via the search engines themselves.
LinkedIn Marketing Ideas for the Content Publishing Fast Track
So how do you maneuver onto the fast track for leveraging LinkedIn’s content publishing platform? First of all, if you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to start publishing exceptional content, be it on your own blog or a secondary online forum.
Once you've published a few good quality pieces, follow these 4 LinkedIn marketing ideas:
- Flesh out your brand’s LinkedIn company page
- Incorporate search-specific keywords and phrases into your brand’s profile and shared content
- Create a LinkedIn group relevant to your industry
- Integrate visual media to accompany your shared content
1. Flesh out your brand’s LinkedIn company page. Meaning, REALLY flesh it out by satisfying any and every field LinkedIn deems relevant, and then some. This can range from detailing your brand’s track record (think of this as the “professional experience” part of your personal resume) to having a minimum number of industry connections.
If you haven’t yet crafted your brand’s story, or connected with other brands that are related to your vertical, now is the time to start!
Connecting with others is a relatively easy process, and you may be surprised how readily your “invites to connect” are accepted. Given that your brand’s “colleagues” also need to make connections, it usually amounts to a clear win-win transaction … and perhaps even a possible client or potential business partner!
2. Incorporate search-specific keywords and phrases into your brand’s profile and shared content. Think of this task just as you would if you were optimizing your brand’s website content. LinkedIn has a search function, and by integrating search-savvy terms into your company’s tagline (or headline), summary, and updates, your brand will be more readily found on the platform.
When it comes to your brand’s published updates, informed keyword optimization could also serve to boost your company’s overall search engine ranking.
3. Create a LinkedIn group relevant to your industry. Be it pet care, virtual assistance or massage therapy -- each brand has its own audience. From both search and usability standpoints, your job is to make your brand’s company page, updates, and content as finely-tuned and targeted as they can possibly be for its given vertical. How efficient, then, to accomplish both search and usability goals by creating and sharing your best content (as well as that of complimentary brands) with your highly-qualified brand base.
A quick but important word of caution about forming a LinkedIn group: you’ll want to appoint a social media manager or team member to moderate your group.
This is necessary not only to keep it clean of the spammers that dilute and pollute a company’s group page, but also to act as your brand’s “voice” while engaging with its core audience.
4. Integrate visual media to accompany your shared content. Research clearly shows that people tend to respond more to “rich media,” so keep this in mind when posting your ongoing company updates as well as when sharing content: integrate images and photos whenever possible! Also note that LinkedIn is rather fond of SlideShare presentations, having bought the visual platform in 2012, about the same time it introduced company pages. And of course, you can also supercharge your content by adding video!
Happy content publishing!