The Brick and Feathers Strategy for LinkedIn
BY Bill Conn
September 19, 2016

LinkedIn is no longer just about jobs…it’s about content marketing.

According to LinkedIn, 9 billion content impression are delivered in the LinkedIn feed every week. What’s just as a remarkable about that gigantic number is that it’s also 15x greater than the number of job postings show in the feed over the same period. Clearly, there has been a shift in the way that people use LinkedIn, and what they use it for.

This shift makes sense given how we actually support our purchasing decisions. In Google’s report Zero Moment of Truth – which describes how the Internet has changed the way we buy – they report that the average buyer engages with 10 pieces of content before they make a purchase.

Sure, some of us are looking for jobs on LinkedIn, but most of us are looking for information.

If you want to get involved in this trend or improve what you’re already doing (and you should), employ a “brick and feathers” strategy for LinkedIn. It’s the best way to get the most mileage from the content you’re producing and your audience is seeking.

The Brick: Long-Form Content

The brick is the big piece of content you sink a lot of your time into creating. It may be a whitepaper, research report, or an interactive website that serves as the cornerstone for one of your marketing campaigns. It likely took a lot of time to produce and required the concentrated efforts of your entire content marketing dream team.

Long-form content is perfect for lead generation. You’ll get the word out about your long-form content on LinkedIn in a few different ways. First, include a link to it from a status update, both from your employees’ profiles and your company profile. You may want to boost your status update through LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content option.

With Sponsored Content, you can deliver the same brick content to a variety of targeted audiences by tailoring your ads with the appropriate keywords. Just make sure that the landing page you’re sending them to is also customized.

How effective is it? HubSpot claims that for their lead-gen efforts, LinkedIn produced a 2.74 percent view-to-lead conversion (compared to 0.69 percent for Facebook and 0.77 percent for Twitter).

So it’s worth trying, but there’s a caveat: according to LinkedIn, 70 percent of clicks to your content will come from a mobile device. And according to recent Hubspot research, most people just skim long-form content.

This means you need to do two things to your bricks:

  • Make the long-form content you produce inherently skimmable so people can pick up the main points while browsing on their phones, and
  • Focus on the feathers that complement it, which allow you to get more mileage out of the brick, both in the channels it can be promoted through and the length of time the content stays fresh.

The Feathers: Short-Form Content

The feathers are where your content will really start to fly. Once you have the big, heavy brick produced, you can break it up into smaller, lighter, easily consumable pieces for your audience.

Examples of feathers:

  • A whitepaper that you break into several shorter posts that you publish on LinkedIn, ideally starting 2-3 weeks after you published the original long-form version.
  • A research report that you convert into a PowerPoint presentation published on SlideShare.
  • A series of videos that you produce from these long-form pieces for publication on YouTube or Facebook video.

SlideShare (officially LinkedIn SlideShare) is an especially good way to use your feather content. More than 70 million unique visitors come to the site every month, and it’s now one of the 100 most viewed websites in the world. Just make sure you tag your content correctly and follow the 5×5 rule for your slides (no more than 5 bullets per slide, no more than 5 words per bullet).

So, keep producing those bricks. And be sure you provide them with some feathers so they can take off.

Let’s talk about growing your company.

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