How to Create Good Thought Leadership Content on LinkedIn
Thought leadership marketing is not new in the Business-to-Business (B2B) world. So why is it so hard to do? And better yet, why is it so hard to do well?
Understanding the Problem
Content marketing in B2B is vital. It builds trust in a very risk-averse marketplace, by implying that the publishing company knows what they are doing. Content marketing can showcase knowledge, talent and expertise. The problem is that the way marketers are attempting to churn out their thought leadership content is ultimately shallow and counter productive. We are going foot wide and an inch deep instead of the other way around! Instead, a radically different approach to thought leadership content is required. Where do you start? How do you produce stellar B2B content sustainably? What to include in your topic universe? Let’s get these questions answered.
Less is More
We are not talking about word count here — we are talking about your content production model. Think of any multi-billion marketing blockbuster — you’ll notice a few products that are done to perfection, instead of a lacklustre variety. Lesson 1 — do less, but do it well. Choose one report, whitepaper or ebook and turn it into its best version. Go in-depth and offer indisputable value. Provide analysis, insight and a tangible ‘so what?’ factor. Craft your cornerstone content pieces to make them truly stand out. Your clients are looking to extinguish their anxiety when choosing their B2B vendors and partners. Provide security through education. After all, 92% of B2B buyers choose a vendor who has provided meaningful educational content throughout the buying cycle.
Make Everything Happen for a Reason
How do you choose which service or product to use as the backbone of your thought-leadership content piece? After all, we are asking you to invest hours into building cornerstone content, so a lot is riding on the topic choice. Before you anxiously pick a topic out of a hat, pause to consider what is performing well already. If you have any social media presence, look at the analytics to understand which posts are performing well — these are the topics that are already getting traction with your audience. If the social insights are not inspiring confidence, talk to your sales manager first. What are the most common questions they get from customers? Which products or services are the toughest to sell? Which are the most popular? Which are a business priority? Harness and data and then test. If you have a lot of information, you will likely find your ‘hit’ content right away. If you don’t have a lot to go on, some experimentation may be in order. Track downloads, engagement and conversion around your thought-leadership content — prospect behaviour will tell you if you are getting closer.
Milk Your Hits
I see this happen all the time — people will find a piece of content that works tremendously well with their target audience, they will brag about the download/share/read numbers and then move on to a different topic hoping for similar success. More often then not, they can’t replicate the same success and are left frustrated and confused. What happened? Has my audience fallen off the wagon? This is how you bore your audience and encourage content burn out. Instead, milk your hit.
Once you find content that is performing exceptionally well, build on it. Repurpose the main points in an infographic. Publish an e-book. Offer a webinar. Make a video. Transcribe the video and write a blog post, or a series of blog posts. In other words, continue using the original content to drive prospect conversion with topics that you know work. This is the sustainable way to creating thought-leadership content that resonates again and again. We help our clients optimize and reframe their content to reach more people without putting in more work — we can help you, too.
How does LinkedIn fit into this? Because it is the perfect home for your thought leadership content. Your prospects and their decision makers are on LinkedIn. Your employees have 10x more connections than your company (on average) so encourage them to share your LinkedIn content for maximum reach. Use your content to contribute to discussions that matter to your prospects. If your content is well-done, in-depth and on-point, you will stand out. And if you stand out, your leads will convert faster.