If you look at the changes that Microsoft has made in LinkedIn over the few years, you’ll realize that their main goal is to increase LinkedIn’s use as a content marketing platform. Make sense. The Internet itself is run on content, why shouldn’t LinkedIn be powered by good content? And, a lot of people are getting hip to this idea that content is the way to go with LinkedIn marketing. Unfortunately, most folks are doing this all wrong. Of course, you want to be doing things right! To that end, let’s look at how your average LinkedIn content marketer screws up their marketing on that platform.
Most content marketing done online is “me too” marketing. Nothing unique. You just figure that something worked for someone else, it might work for you. The problem here is that…you might be plagiarizing…and that’s definitely a real problem, but from a marketing point of view, the bigger problem is that just because you used someone else’s idea doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.
Other bloggers, other content marketers have spent time, often a lot of time, building an audience. People who read their blog posts have a certain level of preconceived expectation. They’re a “warm” audience, so to speak. When you’re just starting out, or when you haven’t really been consistent with your content marketing, you don’t have an audience. Virtually everyone who reads your posts is new to you, and you to them! So, the blogging idea that worked so well for someone else on their blog or on their account at Inc magazine might not work too well for you! The content isn’t the answer here. Consistency and audience building is.
So, what’s an audience?
Well, an audience is just that, an audience. It’s a group of people who habitually read your stuff. All writers and marketers build audiences. Hopefully, they build fans! Online, though, we have a better name than just calling this amorphous thing an audience. We call it a list!
If you want to succeed at content marketing, you must build a list. You publish. You get people to click through something to go to your squeeze page. You get them on your list. Then, when you publish again, you let your list know where to go to read or look at your content. You encourage your readers or viewers to share and like your content. You get the viral aspect going to broaden your reach. The only way to really do this, though is through consistency. And, right there is where most folks fall flat on their faces. They talk a good game. They even actually work hard at this…for about a week. Then they quit. This makes about as much sense as pouring the concrete for the foundation for a building, then scraping the whole thing five minutes later because the concrete hasn’t set yet!
Bottom line…use content that actually works for you and your audience. This presupposes that you actually have an audience. If you don’t, build one! Do everything consistently and you’ll win over time!
Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A.
President and Managing Partner
Ed can be reached at