90 million senior-level professionals and 63 million decision makers now use LinkedIn, yet only 1% of LinkedIn users share content on a regular basis. Clearly, they don’t have a solid LinkedIn engagement strategy.
But here’s the thing…
Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn isn’t saturated with content. There’s still time for professionals to take advantage of this platform. There’s still an opportunity to build your brand, establish digital thought leadership, and develop your audience.
Let’s unpack this a bit with a recent client example. In just 2 weeks, we implemented an integrated content and audience development strategy that led to a 20% increase in audience growth and an 86% increase in engagement for our client.
Let’s see how.
How to Get More Buyer Engagement on LinkedIn
As the Director of Digital Presence at Skaled, I spend the majority of my time empowering clients to take charge of their reputation and online brand. Ultimately the goal is to drive business impact on LinkedIn.
Our clients come to us because they have trouble connecting with and engaging their target buyers online. They want to use social media to drive new business, but they don’t know where to start or how to approach it.
We work with clients across a range of industries and company sizes that face this same problem, yet the solution is always the same.
We create a meaningful dialogue with buyers and connect them to a network of potential business. We do this through a connected content and audience development strategy.
What does that look like? Here’s a case study that will show you how it’s done in a real life situation.
Evolved Media is a content marketing and technology publishing agency that serves B2B technology businesses. They use deep technology expertise to create content that generates leads and increases awareness.
Their research and consulting division is a reliable source of news, analysis, research, and knowledge for IT and business professionals.
The platform solves difficult business problems by engaging in dialogue with its audience to capture and communicate technology trends in a sophisticated way.
Evolved Media looked to us to develop a digital presence strategy to drive brand awareness with its partners and buyers.
The company’s long-term vision was two-fold.
- Create a repeatable sales process driven by content marketing.
- Establish an authentic voice that would engage their target buyers on social media.
Identifying Goals & Objectives:
After several meetings with Evolved Media’s leadership team and CEO, Dan Woods, we identified three objectives for their LinkedIn engagement strategy:
1. Establish Thought Leadership
As a growing agency, Dan serves as both the CEO and de facto sales leader for the company. As such, Dan needed to be positioned as a thought leader on the subjects of technology, cyber security, and modern data.
This would help drive brand awareness for himself and his company brands, Early Adopter Research and Evolved Media.
2. Leverage Thought Leadership as a Lead Generation Funnel
Once we utilized Dan’s knowledge to establish thought leadership in his respective areas of expertise, Dan would need to leverage his personal brand to reach new buyers, and drive organic traffic and inbound leads to the company website.
Ultimately this would serve as a lead gen funnel for new business opportunities.
3. Audience Development & Growth
Lastly, we needed to create a human-to-human connection between Evolved Media and buyers within their key verticals. We planned to do this through value-driven content and a connection strategy to grow their audience.
This would give us the groundwork to build out audiences that are reflective of Evolved Media’s ideal client. It would also allow them to foster deeper relationships with potential buyers.
Our Approach (How to Win on Social)
With our objectives clearly defined, we crafted a custom LinkedIn engagement strategy based on a foundation of content and audience development. Primarily utilizing Linkedin, this 5-step approach included:
- Discovery & Strategic Planning
- Content Development
- Content Delivery & Activation
- Audience Development and Engagement
- Evolution and Optimization
1. Discovery & Strategic Planning
Our first step in our social media strategy was to do a deep dive into the business.
This step involves studying both the company and CEO’s brand to understand what is working and what is not. This is when we review existing content and aim to understand the company’s tone and voice.
During the discovery phase, we also work to define the company’s core audiences based on areas of expertise and job function (e.g., C-Suite, CMOs, VP of Marketing). We use this information to determine the content strategy and the categories we will use to develop thought leadership.
In this case, for Evolved Media, we created and grouped content around four categories:
- Data science
- Data engineering
This stage is arguably the most important. It sets the tone and direction for the content that is developed and distributed to your audience.
No two companies are the same. So, it’s crucial to have a laser sharp understanding of your audience to get the most ROI from your content.
2. Content Development
Often, B2B companies like Evolved Media have tons of content that isn’t being utilized.
We evaluate and rework this content, repurposing it into blog posts, social media posts, videos, etc. The content categories that we defined in the discovery and strategic planning phase serve as a guide for this stage of the content strategy.
Each piece of content is optimized to reach Evolved Media’s target audience and buyers.
How do you repurpose content?
We took Evolved Media’s long-form content (e.g., white papers) and reformatted it into a variety of social posts on LinkedIn and other company pages.
For instance, we took this:
and turned it into this…
3. Content Delivery & Optimization
You can have the best content ever, but if it’s not adapted to the right platform, it won’t work.
Once we figure out the best channels, we adapt every piece of content to fit that channel. This is done through keywords, hashtags, “social seo,” formatting, etc.
For Evolved Media, we focused on optimizing content for LinkedIn.
After the content is created and distributed, we measure what is performing well (and not well). Then, monthly, we can adjust our strategy based on LinkedIn’s algorithm.
4. Audience Development & Engagement
Even if your content is amazing, it will not make an impact if the right audience does not see it. We made sure Evolved Media’s content was seen by tracking two KPIs:
Each month we connected Evolved Media and the CEO with 100s of new people every week. We grew a following that reflected their target audience to make sure potential buyers were seeing their content.
Each week, we completed the following tasks:
- Created lists with LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Sent LinkedIn requests via Evolved Media and the CEO’s LinkedIn account
- Aimed to make 200 connections per week
- Kept a weekly log and measured follower count each week
We engaged with their audience in real time. But we didn’t just talk to their audience. We had a conversation and meaningful dialogue.
Engagement is the heartbeat of an effective content and audience development strategy. While posting high-quality content is key, engaging with likes and comments is equally important (if not more so) than what you post.
As Evolved Media’s CEO and thought leader, this step required Dan to up his LinkedIn presence. He needed to engage his audience with likes and comments to build relationships and wake up his network.
5. Evolution & Optimization
The final part of our strategy is optimization. We use the data gathered from monitoring their content performance to inform and improve our holistic strategy — data like LinkedIn engagement rate, comments, shares, preferred medium, etc.
Analyzing data in real time helps to ensure that your actions are optimized to have maximum impact. The data also provides the insight needed to explore new tactics to get through to buyers in new ways.
We use the first month of engagement data to establish baselines that everything is judged from.
Two Week Results
Within the first two weeks of working our LinkedIn engagement strategy, Evolved Media achieved the following:
- Post views doubled
- 20% audience increase
- 86% engagement increase
- 15 new leads
- 4 new deals
- $45,000 in closed deals
Evolved Media was able to get more engagement on LinkedIn — as well as boosting brand awareness, lead generation, and their audience size. Best of all, it was accomplished in a remarkably short period of time because of the strategy we established.
This success allowed for a repeatable sales process — fueled by a comprehensive content and audience development strategy — that effectively engaged and nurtured their target buyers on LinkedIn.
If you want to grow your business and effectively engage your target audience, follow our 5 step LinkedIn engagement strategy.
- Go through the discovery process so you can develop a strategic plan.
- Create content from assets you already have.
- Deliver that content and optimize it to perform well.
- Develop and engage your target audience.
- Gather your metrics and optimize your strategy.
Before you know it you’ll see massive improvements on your LinkedIn page and other social networking platforms.