Social media. Marketing strategy. Content distribution. Any of these sound familiar to you? Yeah – me too. From day one in our field, these are the concepts you are taught to eat, sleep and breathe, and rightfully so. Intertwining social media with marketing efforts plays a key role in the work you do, but the burning question is – are you understanding how to effectively leverage channels and create content in a way that makes sense for your company? Each social platform offers various advertising options, but the B2B-specific focus of the healthcare IT space requires more than just boosting a post to increase visibility, or tacking ads onto a page’s sidebar. In the healthcare realm especially, engaging the right audience, building the right relationships and reaching the right decision makers is crucial in establishing an industry presence. I’ve experienced this need first-hand with one of my clients, as we’ve pursued LinkedIn’s marketing capabilities as the primary avenue for positioning their content and establishing their voice, so that it’s heard by audiences that matter to them. LinkedIn’s display ads and sponsored content are two avenues offered for content-based marketing. Once you create your campaign, these options effectively push out content to targeted audiences, obtaining both quantity and quality of B2B prospects, as LinkedIn engages over 100 million professionals as part of its network. In fact, Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends surveyshowed that 94% of B2B marketers identified LinkedIn as the number one channel to distribute content. The same survey revealed that LinkedIn drove 45% of companies’ website and blog traffic. So you’ve seen the facts, but let’s talk about the “why.” The right audience. It’s important to keep in mind your audience and the social space you’re in as you consider channels for content marketing. One of LinkedIn’s unique capabilities is its niche audience of professionals, who are already using the platform to connect with companies. Leveraging its network allows you to target your message to healthcare-specific industry leaders and decision makers, selecting audiences by company size, seniority, job function, geographical location and occupation. The right approach. The people you’re reaching are more likely to respond to content that they feel they stumbled upon organically. LinkedIn’s native advertising, via its sponsored content offering, streamlines brands’ messages directly into users’ newsfeeds. This less intrusive approach to distributing materials like webinars, eBooks and how-to-guides runs a greater chance of improving users’ reception to your company’s messages. One case study even shows that its sponsored content service increased an organization’s leads within their target audience by 400% more than efforts on other platforms. Quick caveat here. Keep in mind, as with any other campaign, LinkedIn ads and sponsored updates come with a cost. Given the convenience of creating your own content and the ability to select a specific professional audience, you’re looking at higher minimum budgets than other platforms, like Facebook. All of the above considered, as you sift through all of the social media buzz and content marketing strategies floating around the market, think about your end goal. At the end of the day, it’s not about quantity of clicks or leads, it’s about who’s heard your message and who’s engaging with your campaign. Leveraging a professional-centric platform, like LinkedIn, that enables smarter, targeted content distribution will fair you well in the long run in seeing greater results from your social marketing efforts.