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Forbes – 4 Steps To Lead Generation Through LinkedIn




May 12, 2015

By John Hall

In content marketing, your network is everything. Although publishing a brilliant article on a site with 100,000 readers is a great credibility booster, it won’t matter if you’re not speaking to the right people.

That’s where LinkedIn’s publishing platform has stepped up to the plate. Its platform has become a prime place for brands to share content. Now that anyone can publish articles to the professional networking site, it’s easier than ever for companies to target brand advocates, potential customers, and industry influencers all in one place. What was once the content domain of Richard Branson and Bill Gates now plays a significant role in any solid marketing strategy.

Some people question the value of publishing on LinkedIn when compared to well-known sites like Forbes. Others wonder whether it’s worth going after the big names at all if LinkedIn allows them to get so close to their audiences. I say it’s not an either-or situation. LinkedIn helps me stay top of mind with customers and influencers in my industry, while my Forbes articles reach tens of thousands of people and increase my company’s credibility.

Visibility is important, but engaging directly with your network will create more tangible business opportunities.



Why LinkedIn Works

B2B marketers love LinkedIn — and for good reason. The platform drives 80 percent of B2B social media leads. Companies such as HubSpot use LinkedIn to republish blog posts, maximizing the number of people reading and sharing their teams’ ideas. LinkedIn provides a perfect venue for publishing insightful, shareable content that’s tailored to your network.

You can also drive readers to other content that you or colleagues have published by linking to them in your article. LinkedIn advertising can generate qualified traffic to landing pages that invite your audience to sign up for more articles and information.

LinkedIn may play different roles in your content strategy, so consider whether you’re using it to create visibility or generate leads. I found that my LinkedIn articles didn’t perform as well as I’d like traffic-wise, but they were great at bringing in new business. One post only had 11,000 views, but my company got more than 100 qualified leads from it. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to make LinkedIn work for your company’s goals.

How to Do LinkedIn Right

Many people see LinkedIn as a place to look for jobs and little else. But companies such as Microsoft have taken the content opportunities on LinkedIn and run with them, and marketers at all levels would be wise to follow suit. Bill Gates publishes as a LinkedIn Influencer, and the company regularly shares blog posts relevant to industry insiders and the general public. Microsoft starts conversations with readers and keeps them coming back for new insights.

Follow these steps to create your own successful LinkedIn strategy and start directing qualified leads to your brand:

1. Create an editorial calendar to stay consistent. Don’t treat LinkedIn like an afterthought — a site where you publish when you have a little spare time. Use this platform to stay in front of your network by consistently publishing quality content. Because you won’t have an editor reminding you of deadlines, maintaining an editorial calendar can help you manage your LinkedIn publishing schedule.

2. Optimize your posts for conversion. You can take a few more promotional liberties on LinkedIn than you would when writing for a publication. Include calls to action by linking to relevant whitepapers and articles that help drive traffic to your company’s site. Don’t inundate readers with sales pitches, of course, but provide them with additional resources from your organization.General Electric has mastered this strategy by sharing genuinely interesting content and discussion starters on its LinkedIn page and linking back to the company’s website or other brand articles. The exciting, visually appealing posts on GE’s LinkedIn profile make readers want to stick around. Most importantly, readers don’t feel like they’re being sold something all the time.

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