4 Ways to Use Content Marketing to Influence Buying Decisions on LinkedIn


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LinkedIn has become a valuable content channel. It presents a tremendous opportunity for B2B businesses to influence buying decisions. A recent study shows that 85% of LinkedIn users say that LinkedIn is the most valuable social network to deliver content.

Using this slide deck, Bernie Borges of Find and Convert and GetLinkedInHelp.com's Kristina Jaramillo co-hosted a recent webinar for marketers, business development professionals and business executives interested in learning how to combine content marketing with LinkedIn to influence buying decisions.

In this webinar, attendees learned:
1. How to integrate conversation-based content marketing into your LinkedIn marketing strategy.
2. Easy ways to add content to your LinkedIn profile to attract decision-makers and influencers.
3. What it means to be an influencer - and why most B2B companies are not!
4. How to become an influencer to attract the type of business opportunities you seek.

Contact information for Bernie and Kristina is featured within this presentation for you to connect and follow them to learn more.

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  • Content marketing is widely used by B2B organizations to build awareness, engage and generate leads. As this report from the Content Marketing Institute shows, in 2014 B2B companies plan to use many content channels.----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:11) -----
  • The topic we'll address today is how you can integrate content marketing in your LinkedIn strategy. If you don't have a LinkedIn strategy, our hope is that you will be inspired to launch one after Kristina and reveal powerful content strategies on LinkedIn.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:16) -----This is an important topic for any business because we are well on our way to being an inbound eco system.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:16) -----And, LinkedIn understands this very well. LinkedIn has been in the content marketing business for several years now. If you didn't know that already, we'll make that very clear today.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:24) -----Some of us can remember the old days when sellers were in the driver's seat. Today, the roles are reversed. The buyer is in control with information on any topic just a click or two away. It's no surprise that buyers navigate as much as 70% of their buying process on their own before they engage in a sales conversation.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:24) -----With that back story, I'll turn it over to Kristina to reveal ways to integrate conversation based content marketing into your LinkedIn strategy.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:24) -----If you're not familiar with Slideshare, it's a social presentation tool. You upload PPT, PDF, documents, audio and video files and Slideshare converts it to a standalone URL. LinkedIn acquired Slideshare a couple of years ago…Todd Wheatland has become recognized as the guy who wrote the book on Slideshare. In Todd's book, he explains how easy it is and how valuabel it is to display your Slideshare presentations on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Joe Chernov is a great example of a how to display Slideshare presentations on your profile. Think of each Slideshare as a statement of your professional credentials. Give people a chance to consume your valuable content right on your profile. If they like it, you might inspire them to want to engage with you further.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:42) -----Just yesterday, LinkedIn launched a new feature available on Company Pages called Showcase. This feature allows a company with multiple products to build separate pages for specific products. This is ideal for large companies, or any company with a lot of products so customers can easily find and consume content of a specific product.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:42) -----Did you know that LinkedIn offers 5 mobile apps? These apps really make it easy to use LinkedIn anywhere. The LinkedIn app is nearly identical to the desktop version of LinkedIn, just on your iPhone or Android device. Pulse is a content curation app that you configure to get content such as news and articles on your favorite topics, consume the content on your phone and of course share it with your LinkedIn network. In the interest of time, I'll only discuss these two mobile apps. Visit linkedin.com/mobile to learn about the others. You'll be amazed at how these apps can take your LinkedIn experience to a whole new level.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:42) -----So, how can you influence buying decisions on LinkedIn through content marketing?
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:50) -----First, you might need to change the way you think. It's not just a numbers game. You shouldn't aim to have a gzillion connections.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:50) -----Rather, to be influential on LinkedIn you need to make connections that are meaningful to you. And, rather than having a passive relationship with your connections, you want them to take action. Now, let's be realistic, taking action is not always about a sales conversation.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:50) -----With all the opportunities to engage with content on LinkedIn, taking action can occur in many ways. For example, when you post a status update on your profile with a link to an article and others "like" it or comment on it or share it, that is action. When you visit a group and you comment on someone's conversation thread, or you start a new conversation thread in a group and others participate, those are actions. And, as insignificant as it may sound, these actions can create influence within your network.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 20:50) -----If your company is not creating influence on LinkedIn my prediction is that there aren't enough people engaging through content and with relevant connections. A social enterprise, or a social business embraces employee branding and actually encourages employees to spend productive time on Linkedin engaging with others through content marketing. Sometimes, a little training is all it takes to get a jump start on becoming influential on LinkedIn.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:04) -----The rewards are plenty. In fact, if more CEOs saw this data that proves the importance of building trust through social media engagement, we'd see more of them on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. And, we'd see more committment and budget to making the transition to becoming a social business, because customers want to interact with a social business.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:04) -----Another reason businesses are not influential on LinkedIn is because there is a gap between thought leadership and thought leadership….Too often I receive emails from people on LinkedIn promoting a product. That's called spam. I delete them and often remove them as a connection on LinkedIn. That's not the way to do lead generation on LinkedIn. The way to generate sales opportunities on LinkedIn is by building trust, credibility, thought leadership and relationships. And, you do that through content and real and authentic engagement with people.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:04) -----It simply boils down to being an authentic communicator on LinkedIn. Think about it, how else can you communicate in LinkedIn if it's not through content? Even when you send a message (email) to someone, if you're not sharing relevant content about something that might interest the recipient, you're spamming them!
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:04) -----Need more proof. Okay, here's more evidence that what buyers want from sellers is trust more than any other attribute. And, the path to building trust is by providing buyers highly relevant content that helps them in some way.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:04) -----Another reason you may not be building influence is because your connections are not engaging with you. Either they are the wrong connections, or you are not particpating on LinkedIn with content that can interest your connections to engage with you.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:19) -----Yet another reason you may not be building influence on LinkedIn (and this is a big one) is that you're sharing cat videos or something silly and totally irrelevant. Honestly, I've never seen anyone share cat videos on LinkedIn. But, I have seen people share content that is not relevant to me. I just ignore those connections. If you want your prospective buyers to engage with you, BE RELEVANT!
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:19) -----A huge missed opportunity for many businesses is not bloggging. It's amazing to me that less than half of the Inc. 500 have a blog.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:19) -----The data proves that businesses with a blog generate more leads than non-blogging firms. And, since LinkedIn is a content channel, it's a natural place to share your blog content. But, don't sell with your blog content. Don't post it saying "read my blog.." or something silly like this. Rather, inspire people with a key point about your blog content and share the link. Don't hesitate to share the same blog post 2 or 3 times spread out over 2 or 3 weeks. You might emphasize a different point each time you share the post.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:19) -----Another key factor in influencing buyers on LinkedIn is sharing content that is relevant to buyers in different stages of the buying cycle. The content at the awareness stage is very different than content that addresses "how to solve a problem" in the implementing stage. Consider that your content should not be a "one size fits all" approach.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:19) -----The mix of the content you share on LinkedIn should be a mix of content you curate and your original content. Even if you are not the author of the content, sharing content authored by subject matter experts in your business is an important part of the trust building process with buyers. So, mix it up. Don't be too heavy with curated content or originally authored content.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:19) -----Focus on building thought leadership to build trust for your brand. Use case studies, best practice and address each stage of the buying cycle. Be strategic in your approach to using LinkedIn. Do it everyday. Have a content plan. Use the built in Pulse content. Share your own content. Test to see what gets results. Measure results. Don't be afraid to experiment but err on the side of authenticity, not sales. This is a situation where selling less can produce more sales.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (11/19/13 21:19) -----I invite you to tune into my new digital TV show Social Business Engine. I interview people on their social business journey. They share their wins and lessons learned. You'll learn a lot. Just go to our YouTube channel on the screen.
  • 4 Ways to Use Content Marketing to Influence Buying Decisions on LinkedIn

    1. 4 Ways to Use Content Marketing to Influence Buying Decisions on LinkedIn content
    2. #licontent
    3. Bernie Borges Kristina Jaramillo @BernieBorges LinkedIn.com/In/BernieBorges @B2BRadioShow LinkedIn.com/In/KristinaJaramillo
    4. Here’s What We’ll Cover Today:  How LinkedIn has become a content channel and the opportunity it presents to B2B companies  How to integrate conversation based content marketing into your LinkedIn marketing strategy – We’ll show you real case studies and examples  Easy ways to add content to your LinkedIn profile so you can attract decision makers and influencers – You’ll learn the biggest LinkedIn profile mistakes that 98% of business leaders, small business owners and B2B marketers are making  What it means to be an influencer – and why most B2B companies are failing to influence buying decisions using LinkedIn
    5. How LinkedIn Has Become a Content Channel and the Opportunity it Presents to B2B Companies
    6. Success… Successful B2B organizations are implementing at least 13 different content marketing tactics. http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/CMI/b2b-content-marketing-2014-benchmarks-budgets-trends-north-america-bycontent-marketing-institute-and-marketingprofs/3
    7. Now, the question is… How many of these content marketing tactics did you integrate into your LinkedIn marketing strategy?
    8. Change Ahead… ”Analyst firm SiriusDecisions predicts that by 2015, more than 75% of leads will be sourced through inbound channels.” Eloqua Social Media Playbook http://www.sparkinboundmarketing.com/blog/2011/09/content-marketing-b2b-buying-cycle/
    9. LinkedIn Keeps Their Inbound Content Engine Running at High Speed! …According to Dell’s Digital Marketing Director at the 2013 B2B Digital Conference 2013 in New York
    10. Your Buyers Have the Power …In fact, 70% of the buying decision is made before Speaking to a Sales Exec. http://www.chiefmarketer.com/b2b/connect-with-b2b-buyers-before-theyre-too-far-down-the-funnel-13092012
    11. How to Integrate ConversationBased Content Marketing Into Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy.
    12. Reach Prospects Before They Need You… When your prospects are self-nurturing & looking for information to solve a specific challenge, you want them in YOUR eco-system.
    13. Case Study #1 AT&T gains $47M through a blog-centered social sales strategy 18 Months Later
    14. Case Study #2 MPi gains 20% increase in webinar registrations  Profile Makeover to Showcase Thought Leadership  Relevant LinkedIn Discussions  Targeted LinkedIn Lead Generation Emails  Provocative Blog Content  Educational Videos  Slideshare Presentations  Follow Up LinkedIn Strategy & Ongoing Promotion Thought Leadership Education
    15. Case Study #3 B2B video content marketing firm re-attracts previous client & submits $36K proposal
    16. Case Study #4 Todd Wheatland writes the book on Slideshare integration  Demonstrate thought leadership with Slideshare content  Repurpose existing content into Slideshare format  Drag and drop editing on your profile
    17. Case Study #5 Joe Chernov wins awards for thought leadership  Demonstrate thought leadership with Slideshare content  Repurpose existing content into Slideshare format  Drag and drop editing on your profile
    18. Case Study #6 How I mixed PR, Content Marketing, & LinkedIn 90 New Connections + 30 New Group Members Ongoing Exposure Increased Exposure Increased Credibility
    19. Case Study #6 continued How I used my radio show with LinkedIn to attract new clients & partners Using LinkedIn to Find & Connect w/ Influencers Through Our Community, We Were Able to Strengthen Relationships & Show Our Value Leading to… Through LinkedIn Discussions We Built Awareness to Get 1000+ Downloads Within 1 Week 4 New White Label Partners
    20. Easy Ways to Add Content to Your LinkedIn Profile to Attract Decision-Makers and Influencers
    21. Your LinkedIn Profile is a Marketing Tool Most B2B marketers’ LinkedIn profiles are resume-based rather than Results and case-studydriven featuring accomplishments & results
    22. Case Studies Tell Your Story A Content Marketing Institute Study shows that 64% of B2B marketers rate case studies as the most effective content marketing tactic! So we need to add it to our LinkedIn Profiles! http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/CMI/b2b-content-marketing-2014-benchmarks-budgets-trends-north-america-bycontent-marketing-institute-and-marketingprofs/3
    23. Show Decision Makers Why They Need to Connect with You
    24. Achievements in Your Headline
    25. Clickable Link to Landing Page from Profile
    26. Notice the story-telling elements in this snapshot – and the rest of Randy Kobat’s LinkedIn profile
    27. Do You See the Difference? Compare Your Resume-Based Profile to to Randy’s Case Study-Driven Profile
    28. Another Great Example… Profile views increased by 400% when this one phrase was added!
    29. …More ways WebAttract CEO, Mike Agron, attracted decision makers and gained more downloads through his LinkedIn profile… 1. Use of Case Studies 2. Use of Videos to Support the Content Offered in Profile 3. Content Relevant to Specific Audiences
    30. Direct Prospects to Your Content Chris Goward from WiderFunnel.com drives prospects from his LinkedIn Profile to his website where he demonstrates his thought leadership… Live, clickable link to case study on website
    31. Actively Sharing Thought Leadership Content on Company Pages
    32. LinkedIn Company Pages Filled with Content
    33. Use LinkedIn Mobile Apps http://www.linkedin.com/mobile
    34. What Does it Mean to Be an Influencer?
    35. To Be a Real Influencer on LinkedIn, You Must Think Beyond the Numbers
    36. Make the Right Connections LinkedIn influencers connect with the right people, inspire change and get them to TAKE ACTION.
    37. And Remember…
    38. Why is Your Organization Not an Influencer on LinkedIn? You’re Not a Social Enterprise! Your Whole Organization is Not Involved!
    39. http://www.brandfog.com/CEOSocialMediaSurvey/BRANDfog_2012_CEO_Survey.pdf http://www.brandfog.com/CEOSocialMediaSurvey/BRANDfog_2012_CEO_Survey.pdf
    40. Your Organization is Not Influencing Business Decisions on LinkedIn Because… There is a strong disconnect between lead generation and thought leadership content.
    41. Find New Ways to Communicate A recent LinkedIn report shows, the old ways of communicating: Static Editorial Calendars, Gating Content with Lead Generation Forms, etc. …Don’t Work in Social Media.
    42. Buyers are looking for…. http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/b1eda72b#/b1eda72b/1
    43. Your Organization is Not Influencing Business Decisions on LinkedIn Because… Here Lies Your Connections…If there is no initial interest, your connections become dead connections; you have no engagement process.
    44. Your Organization is Not Influencing Business Decisions on LinkedIn Because… Your leadership, sales, marketing and business teams are failing to show decision makers their relevance.
    45. Your Organization is Not Influencing Business Decisions on LinkedIn Because… …You’re not mixing blogging with LinkedIn marketing. 90% of Inc. 500 companies use at least one major social media platform. But just 44% of Inc. 500 companies maintain a blog. http://heidicohen.com/social-media-small-business-facts-you-need-now/
    46. Your Blog is the Backbone to Your LinkedIn Marketing B2B companies that maintain blogs generate, on average, 67% more leads per month than non-blogging firms. http://www.slideshare.net/toprank/war-of-words-mythbusting-social-media-seo-content-marketing
    47. Your Organization is Not Influencing Buying Decisions on LinkedIn Because… …You’re not creating content for the different buying stages. http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/b1eda72b#/b1eda72b/1
    48. Your Organization is Not Influencing Buying Decisions on LinkedIn Because… You are curating industry news and acting as a resource instead of creating and sharing the content that decision makers engage with 11.5X more!
    49. Key Takeaways 1. Revise your LinkedIn profile to emphasize results and case studies. Show decision makers, influencers and the media why they should to connect with you. 2. Create your own LinkedIn group and community to avoid having “dead connections,” heighten engagement with prospects, generate demand and increase the lifetime value of your clients 3. Provide thought leadership content, case studies and best practices so you have content for prospects in different stages of the buying cycle. 4. Most importantly, take a strategic approach. Create your LinkedIn content plan and test and measure everything.
    50. Tune Into The Social Business Engine! https://www.youtube.com/user/socialbusinessengine Watch the full episode at thesocialbusinessengine.com.
    51. Bernie Borges Kristina Jaramillo @BernieBorges LinkedIn.com/In/BernieBorges 727-234-0952 bernie@findandconvert.com @B2BRadioShow LinkedIn.com/In/KristinaJaramillo 609-306-6205 kristina@getlinkedinhelp.com