There are millions of blog posts on LinkedIn Pulse, tens of thousands of new content is published every single week. Clearly, some are just noise, but some are getting read, really read. So how do you get your posts front and center, offer content that has a significant impact and gets your target market to engage with you?
Begin with defining your goal of the post. If you are in business development, the number outcome of your post should be to get engagement from a targeted buyer. And, when done correctly, you can influence your blog post’s outcome by taking control of who you attract, what you teach them when they get there and what inspires them to engage with you. In order to be successful, your blog post must do these three things:
- Get the right people to show up– Attracting your target market is essential to leveraging your content for business development. No matter how many views you get, if your reader is not your target market it will not be effective. There are a few moving parts to attracting the right readers.
- First, having a graphic that is interesting and tells the story around your post will get the attention of people interested in your topic.
- Choose your title wisely. It is vital that your potential audience knows what they are going to get when they click through, it is your title that will ultimately be the factor on the number views your post gets.
- Make sure you are delivering on that promise, if you bait and switch, pitch vs. add value, they won’t ever click through to another one of your posts again, and they most certainly won’t be sharing this one with their network.
- Which leads us to offer content that is share worthy. Encourage your readers to share your blog post with other people in their organization, in fact, consider guiding them to the exact people they should be sharing it with. For example; If your initial target market is Marketing but you know you want it shared with Human Resources as well – include a section that is focused on “The Five Communication Gaps Between Marketing and HR” or “Three Ways Marketing and HR will Come Together in 2016”. These are topics that are screaming to be shared. You don’t have to do all the attracting yourself, get your initial readers to pass it on to their network. In addition to getting your content in the hands of other decision makers and influencers internally, you are helping to develop a common perspective and even consensus around your ideas.
- Once you have it published, be sure to have a consistent sharing routine that includes, tweeting, sharing on Facebook, email campaigns and other social platforms. Obviously getting it out on LinkedIn in a multiple of ways is vital for driving traffic, so be sure to share in groups, your newsfeed with @mentions, position to get it picked up by Pulse channels and even send it directly to people in your network that would benefit from the information.
- Get them thinking differently – Be careful that your blog post isn’t just noise. If your blog post is a simple, “I agree with that” or “That is interesting” it isn’t enough to get the audience engagement that you are looking for or even need for business development. Your blog post has to add value to your readers world, it needs to make them think differently about their business and how they are currently doing things. In fact, I often say your blog post needs to create an Aha or Uh ho moment for your “teach” to have an impact.
- Engage Them Your Way– This is focusing on the outcome you are looking for. Do you want them to download an eBook, schedule a call, comment on your post or share it with other stakeholders inside of their organization? There is no right or wrong call-to-action, as long as you have a plan around how it ultimately converts to your expected or desired outcome. In fact, even if you do a great job of attracting and your “teach” is outstanding, without engagement, it will never be as effective in your business development efforts as if you take the time to guide your audience to your planned next step.
Being a Thought Leader and Subject Matter Expert is vital due to the way that people buy today. Having content that gets your prospective buyers thinking differently, looking at their business or even industry from a new perspective is one of the most powerful ways to position you as the vendor of choice. Be sure to focus equally on the attract, teach and engage to get the most out of your blog posts and content.
This post is inspired by the ground breaking look at how customers buy – The Challenger Customer a must read for anyone who is involved in a complex sale.