For many B2B marketers, creating and distributing content is a challenging and time-consuming process.

For many B2B marketers, creating and distributing content is a challenging and time-consuming process.

LinkedIn has traditionally been a very text-heavy social network for professionals, but has now evolved into a very powerful platform for hosting and distributing content.

In this post I’ll examine how LinkedIn provides a formidable commercial opportunity for content marketing via three solutions.

This information is taken from Econsultancy’s new Guide to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

1. Pulse content platform

Pulse is LinkedIn’s self-publishing platform which brands can use to post content for their subscribers.

This is a valuable platform for publishing long-form content on expert opinion and insights based on your own area of expertise.

Content written in Pulse can easily be distributed to other communities such as relevant Groups or your own Company page to maximise distribution and viewers.

To find inspiration for content ideas, in the top left-hand corner of Pulse you’ll see a tab labelled “Top Posts.”

This feature prioritises the most popular posts written within your chosen category such as “marketing and advertising”

It is also important when you publish a post on Pulse that you label your post at the bottom of the Pulse editor using the appropriate categories such as “SEO” or “digital marketing.”

These category tags will make it easier for people to find your post.

2. Slideshare

SlideShare was purchased and integrated into LinkedIn’s architecture in 2012 and has made strong progress toward LinkedIn’s goal of making it the largest repository of professional knowledge on the internet.

Slideshare users can upload files from PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or OpenDocument presentations, and slide decks can then be viewed on the site itself.

Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals can capture and demonstrate their knowledge and expertise, which in turn helps shape their professional identity.

There are two key ways Slideshare can be used to support your content marketing on Linkedin

– Adding presentations to individual profile pages

-Creating your own company page on SlideShare

As with other social networks, content on Slideshare can be ‘liked’ and shared, allowing the collective ratings to act as marketing collateral for brands and their content.

3. Company Pages

One of the best content marketing opportunities on LinkedIn for your business is setting up your own Company Page. This service is free and relatively easy to use.

Through a Company Page you can market your business to the LinkedIn network, telling your own company’s story and giving customers and potential customers a forum to learn about your business, employees and brand(s).

LinkedIn’s own research has shown that its users are 50% more likely to purchase from a company which they like and engage with.

Company pages are not just the preserve of larger brands, they can be easily resourced by smaller businesses provided there is a consistent content output.

For marketing purposes, a LinkedIn ‘Company Page’ is an opportunity for you to:

  • Display your brand vision and mission statement/purpose.
  • Engage with new advocates and followers and update them on relevant activities such as events and digital training.
  • Drive word of mouth at scale.
  • Enable followers to join debates regarding relevant industry news.
  • Use the ‘showcase page’ function to highlight products or services to a specific demographic market.
  • Segment company services into differing local geo-demographic regions.

4. Profile impression

You only have 7 seconds to create a strong first impression. The first thing prospects will see is your LinkedIn profile, so you need to make sure it’s set up for success.

Inject personality into your profile and don’t be afraid to highlight your accomplishments. LinkedIn isn’t just for recruiters – you wouldn’t hand a prospect your CV before introducing yourself, so we don’t recommend you do it here.

Add links to your company page and your business website, and don’t forget to ask for recommendations to help boost your profile. Finally, make sure that you add a profile photo as well as a catchy description that describes who you are and not just your job title.

4. Advanced Search Filter

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s advanced search and filters to define a custom audience. Hone in on your target audience by whittling down profession, location and even company.The best part about this? You can save your searches and set up email notifications – LinkedIn will deliver you a weekly digest of leads – pretty nifty.

5. Attract more leads

Use LinkedIn Pulse to keep up to date on the latest news and find out what content interests your connections. As well as highlighting opportunities, you can also develop insights based on the content that is being posted.

There are, of course, also inbound merits to using LinkedIn Pulse. You can showcase your expertise and establish yourself as a thought leader through publishing articles. Doing so can help improve the value of your opinion, increasing the likelihood of your prospects coming to you when they have a problem.

With 90% of top sales professionals using social selling tools, it’s clear to see that networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook are fast replacing previous dated and expensive methods of lead generation. Use LinkedIn to build your sales pipeline and you can qualify your own leads – for free.

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