Many B2B companies are missing an opportunity to be a “thought leader” in their respective industries while subtly and tactfully promoting themselves and their products or services. As mentioned in previous blog postings, LinkedIn now allows individuals (company executives, marketing folks, etc.) to begin publishing articles on their LinkedIn profiles. Although this publishing service was originally limited to a few, it is now open to everyone.
According to Viveka von Rosen, a LinkedIn expert and author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day, some of the key benefits of publishing articles on LinkedIn include the following:
- Published content on LinkedIn can give you and your company’s content and reputation a boost.
- Because LinkedIn is so search-engine friendly, the content can become very searchable, giving you and your brand greater exposure.
- It’s a way to showcase your and your brand’s expertise in a given area, turning LinkedIn into a content marketing platform.
- If the posts get viewed enough times, “It’ll get picked up by LinkedIn’s newsreader, Pulse. At this point, you’ll get exponential views, comments, and shares.”
- Something she did not mention is that publishing articles on LinkedIn can be one of the most cost-effective marketing techniques available. Whether written in-house or by an outside agency, these posts can be very cost effective, especially when they prove successful.
For instance, when entrepreneur and author Wendy McClelland wrote and published Why I Say NO to Coffee Meetings, von Rosen says the article resulted in:
- More than 10,000 views in two hours
- 60 other sites and blogs republishing the article
- More than 150 new connections for the author
- Two new clients and numerous joint venture business offers
- Two speaking engagements for the author
For those individuals and organizations wanting to get started in the LinkedIn publishing world, one thing they must know right off the bat is that one or two posts will not do the trick. As with any form of PR/communications, view publishing on LinkedIn similar to an old steam engine pulling out of the train station. It starts slowly, but with time, it can really get moving. Translation: Have a set schedule of publishing, at least once per week, and stick with it.
The following are some additional suggestions from von Rosen:
- Write posts about influential people in your industry
- Have a catchy title, use attractive images, have keywords, and keep it brief—no more than 600 words
- Find ways to repurpose your posts
This final suggestion is very important. Just because a post has been published once does not mean it can’t be repackaged and repurposed. Add it to other social media sites and your own company website, and alter it enough (which is what repackaging and repurposing is all about) so that it can be reused again and again.
If the content is good, valuable, well-written, repackaged, and repurposed, it will find more and more readers who will view you and your firm as thought leaders, which is the first step in making words lead to sales.