“Whatever you post on LinkedIn, make sure you are adding value!”
Marketing successfully on LinkedIn revolves around adding value. It’s an integral part of social selling, and essential in building a customer-centric business. Your customers, prospects, and everyone who engages with your content and you engage with on the platform should be left with a useful or practical takeaway.
But what does “value” actually mean, and how do you integrate it into your content and engagement strategy?
What is value?
First off, value is not money off or discounts. Though these things can be valuable to your customers, it’s not what we mean when we talk about value on social media.
Value refers to anything that adds something positive to the customer experience.
As such, though discounts can add value to your customer's experience, they are not the only way to achieve this.
Your customers and prospects alike will find many things valuable as they will have many needs and wants.
It’s your job to identify these things and produce content that meets those needs and addresses those wants.
If you’re doing this correctly, every time someone engages with your content, or you engage with theirs, they will leave the interaction with something of use to them. If this isn’t happening, and you’re not leaving your prospects with something useful, you’re missing out.
“Me me me” content is a sure-fire way to alienate your customers and drive them into the arms of competitors.
KYC - Know Your Customer
Deep knowledge and understanding of your customer are fundamental when producing content that will add value to their experience.
You need to know your customer at least as well as they know themselves, and fully appreciate the problems and issues that they encounter on a day-to-day basis.
Marketing on LinkedIn is B2B focused, so you need to understand your customer on a personal level as well as the common problems that they face in their industry.
The great thing about LinkedIn is that doing this necessary research incredibly easy.
As mentioned in this article, the profile page is a potential goldmine of information. By analyzing the profiles and content of your target customers, you’ll be able to identify their pain points and tailor your content strategy to provide solutions.
The 3 ways to engage
Once you’ve understood your customer and the issues they face, you can begin to produce content and engage with them in a way that will be uniquely valuable to them. This content will be providing a solution to their problems.
The solution you provide and engagement you give, then, can be grouped into one of three types.
You’ve probably heard the expression “if you’re good at something, never do it for free.” This is absolutely terrible advice if you’re looking to leverage the power of LinkedIn to grow your business.
Social selling is at the heart of LinkedIn, with one of the key metrics being how effective you are at building relationships.
The most effective way to build relationships, both online and offline, is to give freely.
If your prospects are looking for help, then help them in whatever way you can.
If someone in your network is looking for someone with a specific skill set, and you know someone that fits the bill, connect them.
With time you’ll build a reputation within your network of being someone that helps which will mean that people will be that much more likely to help you in return.
The content you post on LinkedIn, though it should be professional in nature, doesn’t have to be just professional content.
When scouting for new partners and vendors, people buy people, not just products.
Sharing content that allows your prospects to get to know the real you, then, is invaluable.
One thing that LinkedIn loves is sharing in the journey. Building a business is fraught with highs and lows, successes, and failures.
All of these experiences will have taught you something, so why not share what you’ve learned?
The lessons you share could be personal realizations you’ve had, or more directly related to your professional journey.
This type of content will add a face to a name and allow your prospects to connect with you on a deeper level.
Part of what makes LinkedIn such a unique social network is the nature of the content that is posted.
As the world’s largest professional network, the style of this content is unique, which means the algorithm that sorts the content in your feed is also unique.
According to Pete Davies, LinkedIn’s senior director of product management, the feed follows this mantra:
“People you know talking about things you care about.”
As such, if your content contributes to or stimulates discussion, the algorithm will prioritize it accordingly.
This feeds back into the importance of knowing your customer, as with a deep understanding of them and their needs, you’ll already know what they’re talking about, and be able to contribute to the conversation.
The valuable takeaway
Successful marketing on LinkedIn revolves around the concept of adding value to your customers and prospects experience. Understanding your target customers on a deep level will enable you to cater to their needs and wants, and deliver what is uniquely valuable to them.
This can be done in the form of a gift, a lesson, or as a contribution to the discussion on LinkedIn as a whole.
Leave your network with something useful every time they engage with you, or you engage with them, and you’ll be well on your way to providing value with every post!