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Generating Leads is Cheap When You Use LinkedIn Effectively for Content Marketing

Are your LinkedIn connections like a stack of business cards, or are you using them to target specific prospects or specific market niches?

Writing for the Content Marketing Institute, blogger Joshua Rodriguez outlines five steps to use LinkedIn to extend your digital marketing – without being a spammer. A reasonably standard content marketing campaign as part of your overall digital marketing plan can leverage what you know, and LinkedIn becomes an ideal outlet for your thoughts.

We all know that LinkedIn stops displaying your number of connections after you reach 500, so it’s easy to imagine active networkers getting their numbers into the thousands. No matter how many you have, the opportunity is what you do with them. Aside from identifying potential clients, customers and strategic partners – and using your network to get introductions or referrals – you can reach your network and beyond with a strategic content marketing program.

“LinkedIn groups frequently send notifications about new posts, meaning you’re not only sharing your blog post with people who immediately see it; you’re effectively using the group’s email list to share it with its full audience,” Rodriguez writes.“ Like most social networking groups, the primary goal of a LinkedIn group is to build a hub for quality discussions and feedback.

“LinkedIn is a professional network, focusing on B2B interactions,” he continues. “That means the quality of the contacts you’ll get for any business-related content is much higher than those from Facebook or Twitter. Naturally, the more questions and content you share that’s relevant to the interests of the group, the more quickly you’ll move up on the influencer scale.”

Unfortunately, he notes, not all groups are well run. They concentrate on growth and not on moderating the content, and that can push down the good posts, effectively making the group a haven for spammers. He lists five steps for using LinkedIn strategically for content marketing:

1. Create a spreadsheet of all your team members who can create content, and the LinkedIn groups that are most relevant to your content.
2. Mark down the LinkedIn groups that could benefit from each new piece of content you publish on your blog, your website or anywhere else. Avoid sending everything you write to everybody.
3. Encourage your team members to get involved in the existing discussions on the group page and generate buzz around your post, specifically. By becoming active members of the community, your team will help your own content remain at the top of the group for much longer and raise their rankings as top influencers in the group.
4. Make it a part of your strategy to respond to feedback but make sure you focus on creating a dialogue — not on promoting your products/services.
5. Offer very helpful responses if you see certain people consistently posting relevant discussions in your groups or consider the following to expand on your inbound marketing efforts:
a. Connect with them privately on LinkedIn and build a personal relationship.
b. Interview them for a guest blog post on your website.
c. Ask them to become a beta user or tester for your product or service.

Ann Gynn, who edits the CMI blog, cited five more steps from Todd Wheatland, head of content strategy at King Content, in a presentation at Content Marketing World 2014:

1. Get rid of the garbage content. Promote the insight of contributing members and encourage greater engagement within the group environment.
2. Don’t be afraid to create a Group that might be a bit “off brand” for your business — as long as you identify it with a name that resonates with the interests of your targeted members.
3. Showcase your brand benefits through LinkedIn’s Showcase Pages. Nested under a Company Page, you can develop them for diverse purposes to meet specific business and operational goals.
4. Connect to LinkedIn’s Connected app, which can function as a personalized researcher, boss, assistant, and marketer. Connected delves into users’ LinkedIn profile and activity, and can be synced with their calendar and contacts.
5. Don’t forget the tried and true. Use LinkedIn to help you find new connections, valuable content and more to help you in business.

Need some help in using your LinkedIn connections? Niche Labs can help you design and launch an effective content marking program to help you increase your SEO ranking and online presence. We are a full-service agency for businesses that don’t have a CMO or VP of Marketing or that don’t have the people or time to develop websites, manage SEO and digital/ direct marketing campaigns. As part of your team, we can create the channels for pushing out your content and work with you to get the information out to your targeted market.

Once we build and launch your content marketing campaign, we can help you work more effectively with LinkedIn or other channels for a more robust digital marketing program.

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