Generate more B2B training leads on LinkedIn by creating long-form posts
Written by Lucy Jones
Nov 17 2014
What are long-form posts on LinkedIn?
You may have been on LinkedIn recently and noticed some of your connections are publishing what looks like a blog to their professional profile.
These are known as long-form posts, and access to the publishing tool is gradually being rolled out across all members. Allowing members with access to share their content with connections as part of their professional profile, what are the benefits of doing so? Should you be creating long-form posts? And how can they help those in the training niche specifically generate more leads?
Why should I create long-form posts? What are the benefits?
The basic key points you need to know about long-form LinkedIn posts are that they:
Are shared with/send notifications to all of your connections and followers each time they are published - a good way to promote thought leadership, brand awareness and trust.
Can include images and campaign tagged hyperlinks - so you can direct traffic towards your site and track it.
Are suggested to relevant LinkedIn users not currently in your network - increasing your reach, following, potential traffic and leads.
Can be seen in search results both on and off of LinkedIn.
Are easy to share and promote - every long-form post has a unique URL, meaning you can promote posts to drive traffic back to them (and again, back to your site).
When you publish a long-form post, it will feature at the top of your LinkedIn profile in the ‘posts’ section.
From a lead generation perspective, a relevant long-form post will refer a small number of visits to your site. For this reason, it’s crucial that your posts are well-targeted: you want relevant people to find your posts, visit your site and convert. For users in the training niche for example, your target persona might be HR Manager/Directors. By creating a long-form post centred around their pain points (for example ‘5 ways training will improve staff productivity and futureproof your business’) you’ll appeal to them, encourage discussion and promotion between current connections - and via LinkedIn suggestions, forge relationships with relevant potential B2B connections and leads.
But posts aren’t only about lead generation. Contributing to long-form posts, and linking to further supporting content on your site will support your position as a thought leader, and your brand’s value and authority. Because of this, you may want to consider who your brand ‘figurehead’ is, and who long-form posts should be published under.
How do I create a long-form post?
If you have publishing access to the long-form post feature, you’ll see a pencil icon next to the paperclip in your ‘share an update box’ on the homepage. Click the pencil, and you’ll be taken through to draft your post, format it, add your hyperlinks and more.
After previewing and publishing, you’ll be able to find your most recent three posts on your profile under the post section. Click ‘see more’, and you’ll be able to access some basic engagement performance metrics - useful to see just how well targeted (or not) your post titles are.
What should I write?
Typically you should treat your long-form posts as you would your professional blog.
Your topics should be persona focused, and cover your area of professional expertise. For professionals in the training niche looking to generate more B2B leads, posts should be typically targeting towards personas like supervisors, managers, HR directors, or training company buyers; though staff trainers, graduates, and other niche professionals may feature. Example pain points might include the ability to secure training budget, ensure staff are sufficiently trained, enhancing team productivity.
Your LinkedIn connections will all receive a notification of your post’s publication, so if you can create a well-targeted post that resonates, you’re likely to generate good traction.
Remember; because long-form posts are searchable on and off LinkedIn, your posts have lead generation potential beyond the confines of LinkedIn itself.
A few tips to aid LinkedIn promotion include:
Creating persona focused, targeted posts that are NOT overly promotional or organisation focussed. Those posts tend to suffer when it comes to community sharing and distribution.
Dedicate time to connecting with relevant groups and individuals on LinkedIn - those who match a targeted training persona such as Training Managers. If you’ve already connected with a large number of professionals in your persona niche, perfect! If not, dedicate a few minutes each day to connecting with persona relevant individuals, and engaging/sharing within groups and discussions.
Promote your long-form post on other social networks as you would any other piece of content. For an idea of how often and where you should be promoting your content, see our social posting guide.