I used to be a bit of a Honey Badger when it came to content publishing platforms — as in, I didn’t give a you-know-what.
I figured if the content was good enough, the people would come. But websites and blogs don’t constitute a Field of Dreams. You need to go where your audience is, and that’s why where you publish matters just as much as what you produce.
When it comes to publishing B2B posts, LinkedIn’s new Pulse content platform has potential you just can’t ignore, and here’s why.
As a business (or a marketer), you need to offer value to a specific audience. Facebook used to be great for spewing out a bunch of content to your target audience, but now they’re trying to make businesses pay for audience reach, and that’s making many businesses (especially SMBs) look elsewhere.
LinkedIn is a different matter. While promoting your product or service on the network will fail miserably, providing valuable content for those who need it will succeed, and that’s the best way to build authority within an industry. It’s what you should be doing, and LinkedIn Pulse is asking for it.
The Audience is Focused
What really sets LinkedIn Pulse apart from Facebook and Twitter is that it’s a professional network. If you scroll through Facebook or Twitter, you’re likely to see a large variant of topics, whereas in LinkedIn, you can trust that most of it is relevant to your industry. If you are publishing content on LinkedIn Pulse, this is very good news. Your audience is already looking for learning points on a subject instead of pure entertainment.
When publishing on LinkedIn Pulse, you also know your audience is more likely to comment on quality content, since this will make their profile look more well-rounded and intelligent. People want to be part of intelligent conversation, so when you provide it, you provide opportunities for colleagues and influencers in your field.
You Can Build Industry Authority
When you provide a conversation piece, you’re making connections with people in your industry (and potential clients), but you’re also providing the opportunity for others to connect, and that places your brand in a position of some power. The more you support those in your community and industry, the more people will talk about you, both online and off.
In this way, LinkedIn Pulse provides a unique opportunity to create conversations that revolve around your brand. It’s a powerful tool that can only be harnessed through providing truly valuable content. How do you do that? Simple:
1. Join the Community
Before you produce anything, you need to know who you’re writing to. Read posts in industry-specific groups and look at the comments. What questions are people asking that are relevant to your business? Who are the influencers in each group, and what are they interested in? This will give you insight into information that is already out there, conversations that are happening, and how you can be useful to the community.
2. Test a Post
Take these questions and write some relevant content that is specific to your audience and to your business. Don’t just sell — provide actionable tips and advice that isn’t obvious. The more value you provide, the more likely your content will get shared.
After you’ve written it, ask a trusted colleague if he thinks it’s too obvious, too cryptic or just right. If it’s just right, post it yourself first. If people like it, you know you’re on to something.
3. Add to the Conversation
An industry-specific group is where the action is, but you won’t be allowed to post if you’re just selling your product or service. This is why testing a post is so important. You need to know the audience’s needs and concerns so you can provide something truly valuable that they’ll want to keep coming back to. And when they come back to your post, they’ll remember your company.
So now you know how to build authority and community around your brand via LinkedIn. If you heed my advice and publish content directly on LinkedIn Pulse, remember every piece of content you create must be unique. This means you cannot publish something on your blog that you also publish via Pulse. Your Pulse content should be an insider’s guide to how your company works or answers to industry questions you have the expertise to answer.
Good luck out there, and may the Pulse be with you.