You’ve got the followers, but how do you keep them interested in your brand? Creating and posting engaging content on a regular basis is key.
Think about your personal newsfeed on LinkedIn. Of the brands you follow, do any stick out in your mind? If so, that’s probably because you see their content regularly in your feed. Brands who have a good amount of followers (and retain them) post once a day. According to this article on LinkedIn, posting 20 times per month (about once per weekday) leads to about a 60% audience reach. That’s a pretty solid reach. With social media, it’s all about staying in front of your audience without annoying them.
Now that you know how much to post, let’s talk about when to post. The general thought is to post when people aren’t busy with work. Usually, this means early in the morning, right around lunch or early evening. When considering LinkedIn, you also need to remember that people check LinkedIn more often during the week than on the weekends. HubSpot conducted a study which found that content shared on Tuesday-Thursday does better than content shared on Monday or Friday. Content does not perform as well on Mondays and Fridays for the same general reason — people aren’t’ spending time on social media on those days. Mondays are used for catch up and meetings, and Fridays are often days people head out of the office early.
Phew. That’s a lot to take in. Knowing when and how much to post is only half of what makes a successful LinkedIn strategy. Now it’s time to move on to WHAT to post. We first need to explore the question, what is content? Content marketing involves creating valuable pieces of information that create value in your customers’ and potential customers’ lives. Individual pieces of content can take many forms. In fact, a simple google search of “types of content” brings up dozens of articles listing different types of content. Here are a few common types of content that brands often use.
- Blog posts — a longer article-type post that can be about any topic related to your industry. These should be educational, semi-informal and help the reader better understand a topic.
- Infographics — illustrations that cover a topic with images instead of lengthy paragraphs
- Whitepapers — these can be used to explain complex topics that an infographic can’t cover with words, pictures and graphics. They’re also used as customer tools that can be downloaded from your website
- Videos — videos are often underused and undervalued. However, who doesn’t like watching a video instead of reading a long article about a topic? Videos can be a good way to make a topic interesting.
- Ebooks — have a topic you’re really passionate about? Considering writing an ebook! Ebooks are longer pieces of content that dive deep into a topic in book form — but digital. These can help increase your authority about a topic.
When posting content, there’s an easy formula to remember that will make sure your content stays valuable and relevant. You should try to stick to the 70-20-10 rule for content. We’ll explore that rule in more detail, but first, let’s talk about an important thing to nail down — who is your customer?
As a retail agent, your customer is ultimately the end insured. We’ve found the end insured to be one of two people:
- A private person insuring their home, life, automobile, personal articles, etc.
- A business owner getting coverage for their vehicle.
These two people have one thing in common — they’re not usually insurance professionals. It’s important when creating content that you write to your customer. This means you need to steer clear of industry jargon that a non-insurance industry professional may not know. For instance, instead of using the acronym BOP, say business owners’ insurance. Those are simple words that any person can understand without any knowledge of insurance. Your goal is always to educate the customer. If wording becomes confusing and full of jargon, customers will stop reading and looking at your content. That’s a lost customer.
70% of your content should add value and build brand recognition.
The biggest chunk of your content should always help strengthen your brand. Your brand is what people think when they hear/see your business name. Do they associate your name with a trustworthy, customer-service oriented company? Are you strictly business? The majority of your content should be focused on reinforcing what you want customer’s to think when they hear/see your name. The second part of this is content that adds values to the customer’s life. If every single thing you post is advertising a lower rate on a product, will people keep listening? Probably not. People don’t want to be sold anymore. They want content that improves their lives. Don’t believe us? Check out this article by Forbes on why you should stop selling. Let’s say you are trying to sell cyber liability insurance to a small business owner. There are two ways you can go about it.
- You can post on your Facebook page saying “ABC Insurance can help protect your business in the event of a data breach. Contact us today for a quote!”
- You can share an infographic about recent data breaches, their effect on revenue and how a cyber policy could have helped
Which sounds more appealing? Which adds more value? You telling the customer you have this product and you want their money, or you educating the customer on the effects of real world data breached? Chances are the latter is more appealing to almost any customer. You have proven your worth as an educational source for customers, shown you want to help them (not just take their money) and not once asked for something from them in return.
20% of your content should be shared from others.
The ultimate goal for your company’s LinkedIn should be to make it a valuable resource for your customers (and potential customers). Consumers want to see value-added content, not constant selling. A good way to liven up your page and keep content fresh is sharing content from other sources. There’s no rigid rule for what to share. You can share articles, videos, infographics, e-books — basically whatever will be a beneficial resource for your customers (refer to the top of this blog for an overview of what exactly those content types are). Follow relevant companies and news sources so that you always have content to share.
10% of your content should be promotional.
You may be asking yourself when promotional content/selling comes in. Often, people see LinkedIn as a way to sell, sell, sell. However, it’s the age of inbound marketing (read all about inbound marketing here and people don’t want to be sold all the time. That’s why promotional content should only be a mere ten percent of what you post. This is when it’s okay to alert customers about sales you’re running or new products you have.
So, now you know what type of content to create. It may seem overwhelming to have all this content to create and share. Fear not, a content calendar can save your day. Content calendars are the secret weapon of any digital marketing guru. A content calendar is a calendar that lays out when, where and what you post. Every marketer has their own way of laying out a content calendar, but here’s a handy list of a few templates you can use to get started. If you stick to content calendar, your posting will stay consistent and customers will know exactly what to expect.
Sticking to the 70-20-10 principle will keep people coming back to your page. When customers know they can turn to you for content that is educational, interesting, and maybe even fun, they’ll keep coming back for more.