I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there’s a problem with B2B digital marketing. A deep imbalance — an injustice, if you will. And that problem is this:
B2B brands think that Content Marketing is not for them.
Content marketing is a relatively new buzz word for something that has existed for a much longer time. In its simplest form, content marketing is the use of content that isn’t directly selling or promoting anything in order to connect with potential customers.
Content marketing offers solutions, insights, advice and information to position a brand as a thought leader in their field and build trust with consumers. In the digital marketing world, this content marketing usually comes in the form of blogs, emails, web pages, downloadable pdfs, videos and even podcasts.
So why do B2B brands let B2C brands have all the fun when it comes to content marketing?
B2B brands often think that the glamorous world of content marketing is reserved for their consumer-facing counterparts, while B2B marketing should be strictly limited to sales calls and promotional offers. However, considering that 62% of B2B buyers make their purchasing decisions based on digital content alone, it’s clear that B2B brands should pay more attention to their content strategy.
B2B brands are just as welcome to create and post content on blogs, in magazines (even non-trade publications, honestly!) and on social media, too. In fact, there’s a social network that’s created just for businesses and those who work for them – and it doesn’t discriminate between B2B and B2C companies.
LinkedIn is the social networking site for professionals, with a whopping 706 million members worldwide, and 50 million registered businesses. So if you’re not sharing (good) content on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on a tonne of engagement with your brand.
B2B Brands and LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the one social media platform where B2B companies feel at ease, and yet most of them are still uncomfortable taking a content marketing-led strategy for the platform. Instead, they connect with others – and then shout their promotional offers and case studies into the void, getting little to no traction.
If this sounds like you, worry not – at Bubbl we’re here to help you start your content marketing strategy by concentrating just on LinkedIn (for now) and to show you how to begin creating content that encourages real engagement with your audience. (We are a B2B brand ourselves, after all.)
So here are our top 5 types of content for B2B brands to use on Linkedin:
Capitalise on the now
When all your customers are talking about a current event, you should talk about it too. Putting your own spin on current events helps your brand connect with what your audience cares about right now.
The current events you can focus on for your LinkedIn content strategy could be sports tournaments, scientific discoveries, national holidays or political news. Any topic that’s trending right now can be used – simply find your angle and start writing.
Here’s Xerox using the US Open to discuss their scientific approach to colour by settling the argument of whether a tennis ball is yellow or green.
Using images on LinkedIn – and any social media platform – will result in increased engagement with your brand’s content. However, LinkedIn is saturated with inauthentic stock images, which makes brands look cold at best and suspiciously anonymous at worst.
So instead of reaching for a stock image next time you post on LinkedIn, instead go for an authentic image from your brand. Some ideas include:
- Behind-the-scenes images at your workplace
- Photographs of your team at work
- Images of the work you’ve completed or products you stock
- Original, branded animations and illustrations created by an in-house digital designer
- Images of you or your team with your customers
Share your wins – and your struggles
Just as your audience wants you to show authenticity through your choice of images, they yearn for authenticity from the content itself too. At Bubbl, we often talk about storytelling and its effects on SEO and engagement, but the same also goes for the content you share on LinkedIn.
Use LinkedIn to share your journey with your audience. This includes sharing your achievements and your struggles. Let your readers know how hard it was for you to accomplish your goals and the hurdles you overcame along the way.
Proving to your audience that you don’t shy away from a challenge will help these potential customers to learn that you are a trustworthy brand.
Start a conversation
You’ll be happy to learn that not everything you post has to be a long-form story with lots of images. In fact, short form posts are a great way to start a stimulating conversation with your audience.
Ask an insightful question, or even tell a joke or riddle. See how many of your followers will interact with you when you stimulate their social side.
Some ideas for your short-form content include:
- Asking for recommendations or advice
- Ask an insightful question
- Tell a joke (an appropriate one!)
- Respond to industry news with a short comment
- Try LinkedIn’s poll feature
Record a video
While you might be a workaholic robot who works every minute you sit in front of your computer, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that lots of professionals use LinkedIn for procrastination. And what better way to procrastinate than watching videos?
We’re mere humans, and we’re distracted by bright, shiny, moving objects – so we’re naturally drawn to videos more than text alone. Including video content in your LinkedIn posts will help increase the amount of engagement you get from your LinkedIn efforts.
Be Friendly on LinkedIn
As a final tip, I’m gonna let you in on a secret – LinkedIn is a social network. Okay, maybe it’s not so much of a secret but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the way most B2B business folk manage their LinkedIn presence.
So whatever you post on LinkedIn, use it to authentically connect with other users. No one will interact with you if you don’t interact with them. In business, and in marketing, there is no substitute for real conversation.
If you’re looking for a content marketing agency to help you get your message across on LinkedIn, or any other platform for that matter, get in touch with us here at Bubbl and we’ll sort you out in no time at all.