A Sophisticated Marketer’s Perspective: Robert Rose’s Tips for LinkedIn Content that Delights
June 19, 2019
Few people are more respected or accomplished than Robert Rose when it comes to content marketing. He has co-authored three books on the subject, most recently Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit. He serves as Chief Strategy Advisor for Content Marketing Institute and runs The Content Advisory, CMI’s training and consultation branch. When Content Marketing World gets underway in September, he’ll be one of the ringleaders on stage as usual.
Given his wealth of knowledge and insight, of course we asked Robert to contribute for our revamped Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide, and he was kind enough to answer the call. Specifically, we wanted to get his views on what it takes for content to stand out and succeed on LinkedIn. He shared some great advice with us for the guide, and also in our extended expert Q&A series.
You can find his sophisticated takes below. In this interview, Robert goes in-depth on incentivizing employee advocacy, overlooked essentials for engaging social media content, key differences between LinkedIn and other platforms, and more.
Tips for Show-stopping LinkedIn Content from Robert Rose
What’s something interesting about you that’s not on your LinkedIn profile?
I was the Musical Director for a cabaret show that used to tour through Las Vegas, Reno, and Los Angeles. It was a comedy musical murder mystery show.
How can B2B brands better activate their employees on LinkedIn and incentivize advocacy?
We’ve actually worked with a few clients on this. The best way we’ve found is to establish a training and activation program. So, we recommend structuring this as both an introduction to how to better use LinkedIn for themselves, but also the best practices for how they can leverage the platform for advocacy.
This gives the employee a WIFM (What’s In It For Me) angle, and also inherently helps the teams to develop better LinkedIn advocacy. For ongoing participation, we recommend varying degrees of gamification, and also highlighting the adopters (e.g., an award program).
Which fundamentals of content marketing apply most to a LinkedIn strategy?
The two fundamentals that come to mind are consistency – developing a plan to produce content consistently over a long period of time, and delivery of value – ensuring that each post actually delivers some kind of value (entertainment, utility, education, etc.).
What would you recommend to marketers looking to connect with their target audiences on LinkedIn?
Certainly the core principles apply (be interesting, authentic, connect with like-minded people, etc.), but there are few things that maybe aren’t as obvious. One of the simplest is, of course, to utilize the tools that LinkedIn provides, so you can see who’s viewing your profile. This can help you determine whether you are attracting the target audience that you intend to attract.
Also, don’t overlook the power of paid promotion on LinkedIn – especially if you are looking to specifically target and connect with a niche audience. I especially like the power of the InMail tool, which allows me to specifically target an individual that I don’t currently know, but with whom I’d like to connect.
How can brands make their content more engaging and shareable on social media?
Well, the simple answer is: create good content — but that’s probably not terribly useful. One of the keys to creating content that is engaging and shareable is to ask how you can start a discussion. Content that simply states a trivial “fact,” or is a dead-end stop, isn’t as likely to get shared as content that is a firestarter to a discussion. Employ the improv skill of “yes, and” in your content, so that the discussion has some place to go.
What are the best ways to learn about your customers and prospects on LinkedIn?
The research tools on LinkedIn are really great. My favorite tools are looking at what people have been looking at me, and then looking at their profiles to see what they are interested in, and talking about it. Also, joining some of the more industry- or topic-focused groups can be a great way to see what the conversation is like in a particular niche audience.
What are the key differences between LinkedIn and other social networks when it comes to marketing approach?
Well I think the key one for me is that LinkedIn is the place where I talk about business at any depth. Other social networks (for me, anyway) are much more for sharing pictures of my vacation, keeping up with my friends’ families, and complaining about my sports teams.
Others are for small snippets of thoughts, and of course for promoting our business content. But LinkedIn is the one I go to exclusively if I’m looking for or creating quality, business-oriented content. Now, I don’t always find it there – and certainly, there are a lot of people who put business content on other social media sites – but this is how I approach the primary differences.
Where do you see LinkedIn in five years?
I see LinkedIn as one of the few social media platforms that will still have the trust of most of its audience. I would envision the introduction of new tools to help marketers develop audiences, and the expansion of content publishing platforms. This will help LinkedIn become one of the trusted business platforms for content.
Upstage Your Competition with The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide
Since his days orchestrating cabaret shows, Robert has always known how to delight his audience. He recognizes that the same elements of putting on a great show — producing something that is interesting, connective, and interactive — apply for creating great content, on LinkedIn and elsewhere.
Follow his tips to boost engagement and reach new levels of sophistication. You’ll find plenty more guidance in the pages of our freshly updated Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn, featuring insights from Robert and many other stars of the modern marketing world.