There’s no doubt your company is on LinkedIn, but if you’re not creating buzz about your brand, driving engagement, and landing new customers, it’s time to launch—or rethink—your thought leadership strategy.
With more than 800 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is the best place for B2B healthcare technology companies to become thought leaders and post original content that establishes trust and credibility, builds brand awareness, expands their networks, and ultimately closes more deals.
In fact, according to the 2021 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, 70% of B2B decision-makers and c-suite executives say that they consume thought leadership to stay abreast of the latest sector thinking and to stimulate thinking and creativity.
What is thought leadership?
The term thought leadership is one aspect of content marketing and its goal is to create brand awareness and recognition, share big ideas, engage in larger conversations, and establish a brand as the go-to solution.
When done right, thought leadership establishes trust, credibility, and expertise—and your customers get to know you on a more personal level.
The good news about thought leadership content is that it’s not only limited to your c-suite.
Anyone at your company can become a thought leader on LinkedIn, including product leads, marketing, and sales executives, and sales and customer service representatives.
How to become a thought leader on LinkedIn
While your internal stakeholders can talk ad nauseam about their industry, marketplace trends, and your products and solutions, for example, they’re not usually content creation experts. Fortunately, becoming a thought leader on LinkedIn can be a no-brainer with a few easy steps.
1. Think about your target audience
While each person posting thought leadership content should make sure their LinkedIn profiles are optimized with a professional photo, a strong headline, and a summary section, for example, the next step is to think about your target audience and the content they need and want.
All thought leadership content should be timely, relevant, newsworthy, and created with your customers in mind.
Think: What are the questions your target audience is asking? What are their most significant challenges? What can you add to the conversation that will change their perspective or how they do business?
Also, be sure to speak their language and use the industry terms, voice, and tone they’re accustomed to.
2. Create original content—or re-purpose
Thought leadership content is all about sharing big ideas and adding to the conversation so it’s important to post original, well-researched content that provides value for your audience.
It’s also important to weave in your company’s narrative, or your “why” statement without being promotional.
Potential customers don’t care about features and benefits as much as they do about the passion you have for your brand.
Be sure to make the most of your thought leadership by posting it on LinkedIn, and sharing it on your company’s LinkedIn page, the author’s personal profile page, and LinkedIn groups.
While original content is always a good idea, if you don’t have the time or resources, you can also re-purpose blog posts, videos, webinars, or podcast interviews, for example.
3. Share news and updates
A media hit is a credibility booster, so be sure to post stories that your experts have been quoted in, clips of interviews they’ve conducted, and updates about conferences and events they’ve attended.
4. Integrate video
When you’re looking to become a thought leader on LinkedIn, don’t stop with articles because one of the best ways to drive engagement is through video.
In fact, a recent report found that 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
The key is to keep videos short—1 or 2 minutes—and home in one idea.
Also, video marketing doesn’t have to be time-consuming or costly—an iPhone, Ipad, or Zoom works well.
5. LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn Live videos get 7 times more reactions and 24 times more comments than native videos so it’s another tactic to add to your thought leadership strategy.
You can use the platform to talk about industry trends and challenges, reveal new survey data, conduct interviews with partners or customers, host a panel of other thought leaders, and interact with attendees by taking questions.
6. Engage with your community
LinkedIn prioritizes content with engagement so end each post with a question for your audience and be sure to monitor and respond to comments.
7. Show some personality
Just because LinkedIn is a community of professionals, and you’re in B2B, doesn’t mean your thought leadership content has to be boring. Every once in a while, add some personality to your posts such as personal stories, updates, and photos, or share lessons learned in business.
Bonus points if they tie back to your company’s story and “why” statement.
8. Don’t be promotional or salesy
Thought leadership isn’t lead generation so don’t promote your products and solutions, or include a CTA for your sales landing page.
Rather, provide valuable content that solves your target audience’s most significant challenges, provides a unique perspective about your industry, or creates conversation.
9. Frequently post thought leadership content
Once you’ve launched your thought leadership strategy, the key is to stay consistent.
At a minimum, you should post on your company and individual thought leaders’ pages once a day.
For original thought leadership content, think about posting on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9 am, which Hootsuite found are the ideal times.
10. Lean on experts
As previously noted, internal stakeholders who are looking to become thought leaders aren’t necessarily content marketing strategists or content creation experts.
Therefore, you may want to consider partnering with a marketing firm that can build a thought leadership program that gets results.