Content is so important to your marketing and social selling programs on LinkedIn that we have fired clients because they failed to provide us with unique, thought leadership content on a consistent basis. Done right, when you mix LinkedIn with content marketing, you’re able to communicate your value, position yourself as a thought leader, demonstrate your relevance and move prospects down the sales funnel.
Unfortunately, many B2B sales and marketing leaders are making these “social” content mistakes and as a result they’re failing to generate leads and sales.
LinkedIn Content Mistake #1: Failing to Turn Your LinkedIn Profile into a Marketing Tool Filled with Content
Most sales and marketing professionals’ LinkedIn profiles are nothing more than a list of their current and past jobs and achievements. As LinkedIn expert Kristina Jaramillo shares in her Salesforce.com article, “How to Communicate Your Value on LinkedIn”, B2B buyers are looking to connect with sales and marketing leaders who demonstrate that they understand their specific business issues. They are looking for insights on how to solve a business problem and they’re looking for insights that were not considered before or shared.
When you look at Kristina Jaramillo’s profile, you’ll see her articles that are published on Forbes, SalesForce.com, MarketingProfs, Profit Magazine, Website Magazine and many others. She’s sharing her value before a relationship is even born.
WebAttract President Michael Agron, turned his LinkedIn profile’s experience section into an area where he shares his case studies. Underneath the case studies, you’ll find video testimonials to support his claims. Click here to see Mike Agron’s profile makeover video.
LinkedIn Content Mistake #2: Using LinkedIn’s Content Platform as Another Place to Post Your Blogs
Now, that LinkedIn has opened the gates to their LinkedIn content platform to everyone, my newsfeeds are filled with regurgitated garbage. For example, a social media firm posted a LinkedIn mistakes article on the platform. These mistakes included failing to personalize your invitation to connect messages. How does information that is already all over the web going to make you stand out? Why would you want content that is not going to position you as a thought leader linked to your profile? Why would you want your prospects’ first impression of you to be “just another X”?
The content you publish on LinkedIn’s content platform should start a debate, take a stance or discuss changes or emerging industry trends that they foresee.
For example, we had one of our clients create a post that shares how an inevitable fall of third party cookies, introduction of new technologies, rise of 1st party architecture and higher standards for digital campaigns will change everything that digital marketers know about display advertising. Joe Pulizzi, the founder of Content Marketing Institute publishes content like: “The State of Content Marketing: We Are Witnessing a Market Correction.”
LinkedIn Content Mistake #3 – Emailing All of Your Connections Your Content Without Demonstrating Its Relevance
One of my connections, a PR firm owner, messaged me on LinkedIn one of his articles. The message was not addressed to me personally, as he didn’t use my name in the greeting. In his message he included the complete article, which showed me that he didn’t care about my time. And, most importantly, right away in the beginning of the article, he talked about a widget company. And, even though, there was a chance that the information could have been adapted to fit a professional service firm’s needs, I was completely turned off. He didn’t show me how the article was relevant to me and my firm. He didn’t show me that he took the time to read my profile, view my website and understand my specific needs.
I emailed this PR firm owner and asked about his results. I shared with him why his tactic is ineffective. His response was that he gets very few complaints. He seems to have forgotten that an “ignored response” is a “negative response.” You want your prospects to take next step actions that move them through the buyer’s journey.
LinkedIn Content Mistake #4: Creating Discussions That Support Your Blog Posts
Most discussions on LinkedIn are either newsfeeds with the latest blog posts or they’re blog post teasers. There is no standalone value. One of our clients gained a 3000% increase in website traffic from LinkedIn by changing his content distribution approach. Now, his discussions offer real value that prospects can use without even going to his blog post for more info. But because of the value he offers in his discussions, prospects want more and they’re checking out his blog. Your blog posts should support your discussion, not the other way around.
These are just a few of the LinkedIn content mistakes that sales and marketing executives are making. For example, I didn’t cover the fact that most people on LinkedIn is creating and sharing content with the wrong selling objective. They’re focused on selling their products, solutions or programs instead of change. Add to my list by commenting below.
Inside our LinkedIn group, Get Help with Linked Strategies, B2B sales and marketing leaders are exchanging ideas on how they can effectively mix content with LinkedIn to develop customer relationships. Click here to join our LinkedIn community. And don’t forget that we have a Free LinkedIn Marketing Training which includes an interview with LinkedIn’s senior content marketing manager. Download this free interview now.