Optimizing Your B2B Content Marketing On LinkedIn
If you’re a B2B company, ask yourself whether you’re using LinkedIn as much as you should be. As of this writing, the social media network for professionals has about 58 million companies on it.Whether you’re a somewhat-known public figure or just another CEO of a small company trying to make your way in the world, if you have 58 million businesses available to you, what are you waiting for?
LinkedIn is great for your B2B content marketing because the platform is friendly to content creation and obviously exists to connect business owners with potential customers and partners.
But, as with any social media platform, standing out from the crowd presents unique challenges. Here are three ways to optimize your B2B content marketing strategy on LinkedIn.
1. Know Your ‘Why’
If you’re going to publish on LinkedIn, you need to know what you’re going after, meaning how your content will align with your business’s philosophy and objectives. If you’re a medical supplies wholesaler looking on LinkedIn for more partnerships, then your content needs to express why retailers should buy from you.
In your content, show what makes your business special. Why are your products superior? What is it about your business model that will make things easier for your customers? How do you handle after-sales issues?
Only when you identify your “why” — your reason for marketing your business on LinkedIn — can you begin to devise the content topics for this channel.
2. Don’t Hard-Sell Your Business
A logical follow-up to knowing your why is the suggestion that you not play the salesperson on LinkedIn. I can’t tell you how many times a month I get unsolicited sales pitches and other content in my LinkedIn inbox from people who don’t know me or my businesses and who don’t seem to care about what I want. They seem to care only about casting that net far and wide to see what they catch. And on my end, I’m turned off and end up deleting those messages from my inbox.
Now, the approach is different for those who are composing original articles on LinkedIn. You have the space in an article to write what is essentially an SEO blog post for your business. You can brainstorm with your team what the best topics for these articles will be, but whatever you do, make it your purpose to educate your readers, not to sell things to them.
SEO professionals know well that being a salesperson doesn’t work in content marketing. Consumers come to you to see whether you’d be a good fit for them. They’re in the process of thinking through whatever problem they’re having and want to know how you can help.
Your content is the place to explain your business practices, philosophy and history to give people a sense of who you are, what you do and how you can benefit them rather than why they should give you their money. In the process of doing this, the reasons why they should buy from you will be made clear to them. You don’t have to beat people over the head about it.
Content that avoids direct sales tactics tends to convert much better for you, so keep this point in mind.
3. Acknowledge Your Competitors
Finally, when strategizing your LinkedIn content marketing, be aware of your competitors and what they’re doing. I read a lot of business content where the company seems afraid even to acknowledge the existence of competitors at all.
Consumers know they have choices; you can’t fool them by presenting yourself as their one and only option. Sure, you don’t want to go around name-dropping all these other companies, but you do want readers to know what makes you different.
Study your competitors’ content to identify gaps in your own. Then, close those gaps in ways that make you the most attractive business to your readers.
By doing this, you stand to capture not only new customers but also those who have tried your competitors and are not satisfied. If they’re looking for something different, you can come along to be what they’ve been wanting.
As with most things, navigating yourself around B2B content marketing on LinkedIn takes research, time and lots of patience. You’ve got to stand out amid hundreds or thousands of other businesses doing almost exactly what you’re doing.
But if you know why you’re doing it and how you’re going to emphasize your company’s uniqueness, you stand the best chance of succeeding.
This article is written by Forbes and originally published here