Linkedin Marketing; Why You Need A Specific Linkedin Content Strategy

linkedin training

Linkedin boasts 875 million users, accounting for people working across 58 million registered companies.  Impressive isn’t it?  In many sectors Linkedin has proved to be the most powerful tool for generating leads, in others, it’s making its presence more keenly felt.

However, one area that many brands are challenged with when it comes to using Linkedin for business is that they’re not quite sure how best to implement a strategy that’s right for their business, one that is focused on where their potential audience is in their distinct customer journey as opposed to generating leads for what it is that they’ve got to sell.

Every social platform warrants a specific approach, none more so than Linkedin. And, in this post, we’re going to look at just why a strategy that allows you to cross-post content across some of your social media platforms needs an adjustment when it comes to Linkedin – even where ultimately you’ve got the same end goal.

Your Linkedin Objectives Need Definition

Why as a business are you using Linkedin?

Are you looking to grow your connections?  Drive traffic to your website?  Raise awareness of your brand?  Recruit team members? Or is it purely to make as many sales as possible?

You may well answer that you’re actually hoping to do more than one, perhaps even all of these. And, that’s all fantastic but how can you achieve this without looking at the entire customer journey?  This, as somebody who receives more direct messages on Linkedin than any other platform, is where many brands get their potential relationship with you off on the wrong foot completely.

What’s the common error many Linkedin users see? 

The same approach whether we’ve never connected before or whether we’ve been acquainted, or even worked together in the past.  And, very little effort to determine whether I might be a fit for your business at all!

As a user it’s not unusual to get approaches from somebody who has done a search and found you? They may also have spotted your profile on another thread and decided you’re potentially somebody who may need their services. Occasionally, such an approach might get my attention but more often than I’d like to see it happen, I look at a message and realise very quickly that other than the different name on the message I’ve just received, there are likely many others who got exactly the same direct message at some point too.

I’ve worked in sales, I absolutely appreciate and respect what’s involved in reaching out to a cold potential lead but rather than aiming for a particular target number of messages sent, shouldn’t quality matter? If you’ve just wasted your InMail credits on me to offer me a service you could have discovered from looking at my profile or my website, wouldn’t relate to my business isn’t that a waste of your time? Or, your employees’ time?

You may well have made a decision to reach out to X number of potential customers but when I see a message that’s a full-on sales pitch from somebody I’m not connected with who barely draws breath before telling me with links to examples and case studies just why I need them, well it’s along the lines of walking into a networking event in real life and having somebody press their business card into your hand before you’ve even said hello!

Let’s dig deeper…

When it comes to marketing, there’s a distinct process that a potential customer must pass through and one that’s likely amplified the higher value of the potential sale as is frequently the case when it comes to those looking for business on Linkedin.

In marketing terms we refer to it as a ‘funnel’, in years gone by it might have been known as the sales process with the acronym AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action).  In simple terms, whichever way we look at it, the customer is on a journey to potentially buy whatever it is they need – and remember, it’s about what the customer needs, not what you want to sell them – and you either learn to respect what part of that journey they’re on or risk losing sight of them completely.

Brands that rely on LinkedIn for business growth and lead generation often focus on conversion-based content, without realising that creating content that resonates with customers is a process that starts at the top of the funnel where they may not yet even appreciate that they may need your product or service and this continues throughout the customer journey. In other words, businesses need to create content for every stage of the funnel to ensure that when their ideal customer is looking around them for potential suppliers, your content is available in the right format at the right time for THEM.

Let’s explore the customer journey or marketing funnel further and the types of content that you need to consider when it comes to creating a strategy for your business on Linkedin.

Top of the funnel (TOFU)

The top of the funnel, also known as the awareness stage, is where potential customers are introduced to your brand for the first time. The main objective of TOFU content is to attract visitors to your website or LinkedIn page and generate brand awareness. Content at this stage should be informative and educational, rather than promotional. Remember, this is likely a customer who has probably just acknowledged that they need to invest in whatever it is you’re offering, they may have to seek approval or have a process for purchasing so to have you arrive in front of them encouraging them to ‘buy now’ is completely misplaced content.

For example, you could create LinkedIn posts that address common industry pain points and offer valuable advice. You could also share informative blog posts or infographics that help solve common problems or cover frequently asked questions in that space. In providing valuable content at this stage, you can establish your brand as a trusted source of information, which can help attract potential customers to your brand.

Customers in need of TOFU content may well quickly become purchasers but you don’t have any input on how quickly if at all that happens, your goal at this point is to become an option when the time is right for them.

Middle of the funnel (MOFU)

The middle of the funnel, also known as the consideration stage, potential customers are considering your brand as a solution to their problem. The main objective of MOFU content is to educate potential customers about your product or service and how it can solve their problems, as it relates to how they see their needs.

Whilst your team or your automated systems even are trying to push past this stage to make the sale, the ball is very much still in the court of the purchaser, who may in many instances depending on the scale of the project at hand, be a team or committee as opposed to one person. And, haven’t many of us felt we were over the line on a project until somebody with a completely different perspective came on board the buying team?

At this stage of the customer journey, you might create LinkedIn posts that highlight the unique features of your product or service and how they differentiate you from your competitors. And, you don’t need to go all out supermarket or airline style in knocking the competition, the better approach in most industries is a focus on how you will benefit their business, not on you telling them why you’re better than everybody else!

You could also share customer testimonials or case studies that demonstrate how your product or service has helped solve similar problems for other customers, this allows a potential customer to appreciate how they might feel in the same situation and reinforces that others who were at one point where they are now made the decision for whatever reason to go with you as opposed to the competition.

In providing this type of content, you can build trust with potential customers and help them make an informed decision about whether to engage with your brand. At this point of the journey, while cost may well be a factor it’s likely not the only factor because getting the right solution will be a priority, particularly where there’s a large sum at stake.

Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

The bottom of the funnel, also known as the decision stage, is where potential customers are ready to make a purchase or engage with your brand. The main objective of BOFU content is to provide a clear call-to-action (CTA) and help potential customers make a decision.

Linkedin state that 95% of the decision is made before a customer picks up the phone or sends that email to seal the deal, if you’ve got them to this point you’re on a shortlist even if you don’t even know they’re considering you yet! All of that top-of-funnel and middle-of-funnel content can bring them right to the decision point of their journey without you even knowing they exist!

At this stage of your customer’s journey, you could create LinkedIn posts that offer a limited-time promotion or discount for your product or service. You could also share a whitepaper or eBook that provides in-depth information about your product or service, along with a CTA that encourages potential customers to get in touch. By providing a clear CTA and incentive, you can help potential customers take the next step in their journey and engage with your brand.

At the bottom of the funnel, make no mistake that you can still lose a customer so until an agreement is in place nothing is ever definite. However, at this point, if you’ve got the right strategy in place (supported by ads, we’ll address this in a future post), you’re far more likely to close the sale after you’ve educated and informed them so that they’re less likely to run for cover when you ask them for a sale in whatever means is appropriate for the product or service at hand.

Why it’s important to consider the full funnel

Creating different content that’s appropriate for each stage of the funnel is important because it helps to build trust with potential customers as they are at that particular point of their journey – something which may be weeks for one business, and months for others.

You are attempting to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, as the brand that’s top of mind when the need for your offering comes up at their business.

By providing valuable and appropriate content at the top of the funnel, you can attract potential customers to your brand and establish a relationship with them. In providing educational content at the middle of the funnel, you can help potential customers make an informed decision about whether to engage with your brand. And, by providing a clear CTA and incentive at the bottom of the funnel, you can help potential customers take the next step in their journey and engage with your brand.

When you create content that is focused purely on conversion, businesses miss the opportunity to build trust and establish relationships with potential customers and it’s commonly known that when you’re planning for the future, it’s always more cost-effective to keep customers on your radar as advocates for your brand or to bring in referrals too – it’s also easier than starting at the awareness stage all over again.

Creating content that is overly focused on getting the sale at all costs will result in lower-than-expected conversion rates, missed opportunities to engage with potential customers, spending in the wrong place on ads, and potentially losing out on what might be long-term working relationships for the future.

And what about the employee side of the business?

Generally, when we’re creating a strategy focused on the funnel for our marketing, we’re doing this with the end user in mind whether that’s a direct customer or another business.

Where Linkedin differs completely from other marketing channels be they social media networks or other channels, in this respect is that for this platform aside from the more usual B2B or B2C audience you have identified, you may well be recruiting talent on the platform where people spend more time than any other looking for a new job.

We are going to address this in a separate post (which we’ll link to at that point!), but for now, it’s important to remember that when you’re implementing a strategy for Linkedin, your ideal audience may well be more than just somebody who you are hoping will purchase from you, they may well be the next shining star for your organisation. 

As a business, you’ll want to ensure that at some point, alongside the traditional customer journey, those looking on from the outside might see enough of your company culture, as to warrant your business being a consideration for their next career move!

An ideal strategy for Linkedin combines a mix of both paid and organic content, but I would hope that in this post you’ve gained an understanding of the many facets that make up a Linkedin Content Strategy and that, you’ll review your approach if it’s quite similar to how you approach other platforms.

At The Marketing Shop, Debbie Ringwood is a Linkedin Certified Marketing Insider and holds Certifications from Linkedin in Strategy, Content, and Design, not to mention that she’s a Marketing Professional with over 20 years of experience who also holds certifications from META, The Marketing Institute, The Digital Marketing Institute and is an official Canva Champion.  If you’d like to speak to Debbie about developing and implementing a strategy specific to Linkedin, or how you might make the most of your presence on any social media platform, pop an email to or schedule a call here.