With 467 million LinkedIn users worldwide, LinkedIn is the key network for B2B sellers to engage prospects and buyers. Its built-in publishing platform provides a unique opportunity to leverage content marketing to drive traffic to your website and generate more leads. But what kind of content works best on LinkedIn?
Viveka von Rosen, Cofounder and Chief Visibility Officer at Vengreso, is a contributing expert to LinkedIn's official Sales and Marketing blog. During her breakout session at HubSpot’s INBOUND conference, von Rosen discussed how to maximize LinkedIn for content marketing success. Here are her top tips for B2B technology marketers who want to create more and better content on Linkedin Publisher.
Why Publish on LinkedIn
The benefits of publishing directly to LinkedIn are numerous. Content on LinkedIn is sticky, meaning that, if it is good, it will stick around in people’s feeds via shares, likes, and comments. Content published on LinkedIn is also SEO searchable, it positions you as a thought leader among your connections (and their connections), and it can drive traffic to your website to promote lead generation.
Ultimately, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for amplifying your content marketing presence to drive more traffic and business to your own media platforms: blog, podcast, website, resources and more.
LinkedIn Publishing Basics
LinkedIn isn’t the most intuitive platform for publishing and sharing your own content. One reason why is because they use “Posts” to refer to two different content types:
- Posts/Articles are long-form blog-like content you create
- Posts/Updates are short-form tweet-like updates you share
One more clarification for those who haven’t published to LinkedIn before: Publisher is the feature you use to create these Posts; Pulse is LinkedIn’s newsreader that top content (possibly including yours) gets featured in.
Publisher itself offers very basic formatting options for your article including Header Settings, Font Formatting (Quotes, Title), Bullets, Quotes, Links, and Visuals. To keep track of all of LinkedIn’s tools, von Rosen suggested creating a bookmarks folder called LinkedIn to save the links you regularly use in publishing content to the platform: new article, your drafts, your activity, etc.
LinkedIn Publishing Best Practices
LinkedIn is a flexible platform that accommodates a wide range of content types, lengths, and formats. To curate content effectively it is useful to understand the type of content that engages people on LinkedIn. A study by Anders Pink analyzed 100,000 of the most shared posts published on LinkedIn Pulse last year and discovered trends in the data about what made those pieces so successful.
The study found that the most successful articles on LinkedIn are between 500 to 10k words — and the most shared articles are between 3k and 10k words. It is perhaps the only social network where more is actually better. The takeaway for B2B marketers? Put your eBooks, case studies, and white papers on LinkedIn! These long-form content marketing assets can be published in full or excerpted with CTAs throughout that prompt readers to download the full piece via a landing page.
Headlines & Format
The study found that the three-word phrases in headlines gained the most social shares included: We need to, The role of, How to avoid, You can do, Why you should. The most engaging content formats included: How To Posts, Posts with Tips in the Title, Guides, Top Ten Lists, Research-Focused Posts, and Infographics. Finally, the most successful topics generally fell into the following categories: industry trends; case studies; productivity tips; and career development. If you can tailor these content ideas to your specific audience, research shows that people will be eager to read and share.
As mentioned above, CTAs are a powerful way to take your engagement from LinkedIn to the media properties you own, like your blog or website. Use prospect magnets within the copy of your article. These can include links to other resources on your website, images that are hyperlinked, CTAs for gated content, and more. Add a visual call-to-share link (button) throughout your article. Leverage text-based calls to action such as, "If you like this post, if you have friends or clients who might benefit from it, please share it!” to promote engagement and increase the reach of your content.
Contact & Calendar
One of the best pieces of advice from von Rosen was to add your contact info and a calendar link to every LinkedIn article you write. This gives people a quick overview of who you are and an easy way to set up a meeting. Include a blurb such as, "If you liked this article and you have any questions for me, [phone number] and [calend.ly].” If you don’t already have a Calend.ly account, you can set one up for free here. Make sure to include your bio at the bottom of your long-form content, including your photo, to help readers associate a real person with the piece they just read.
If you are hoping to drive readers to learn more about your company or product, make sure that your company’s LinkedIn homepage is an accurate and compelling representation of your brand. Remember that LinkedIn users are 82% more likely to go to your LinkedIn homepage than to your company website. It should function as a landing page for people interested in learning more.
What to Publish on LinkedIn
Now that you know the best practices around content type and format, consider some of these topic ideas when you are brainstorming content for LinkedIn Publisher:
Original content, created exclusively for the LinkedIn platform, gives you a chance to flex your creative muscle and cover topics that might not be a fit for your company blog — things such as career development or productivity tips, for example. These topics still serve important lead generation purpose because they provide an outlet for reaching out to industry leaders and top prospects. For example, you can write compilation or round-up posts such as "Leadership Tips from the Top 10 CEOs in the Cybersecurity Industry.” As part of your research, reach out to these leaders on LinkedIn and ask for a quote or, better yet, an interview. Once the post is written, tag them and ask if they’d be willing to publish it to their network.
Creating original content for LinkedIn readers is great, but repurposingcontent you have already created on LinkedIn is an easy way to begin gaining traction on the platform. Audit your existing content to see what assets you have to work with. This goes beyond previously published blog posts. Google your content, audit computer files, gather sent newsletters and determine which of these could be repurposed or refreshed to appeal to your LinkedIn audience.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for topical, time-sensitive content, as well as connecting with other attendees from an industry event. For example, after you attend a conference or training, see if you can find three things you learned that your network might find interesting. Answer the question ‘What did I learn from this?’ You can also tag the expert who gave the talk or add the conference hashtag to increase your content’s reach.
Generate New Ideas
Because LinkedIn is a social network, you are able to experiment with less formal, more conversational formats. One of the best parts of LinkedIn is that you can have a back-and-forth with your readers that serves as market research. For example, you can also use Publisher to test content ideas. Ask your audience what they want and let that inform your content marketing strategy on LinkedIn and other marketing channels.
These tips and best practices should give you a sense of what content is a good fit on LinkedIn. Users are eager to read and share insightful, compelling content that speaks to their specific industry and helps them get a leg up in their career.
As long as you deliver value, your content will enhance both you and your company's reputation as a thought leader. It takes time to learn how to build traction on LinkedIn, but it is well worth the investment to help your company maximize LinkedIn as a valuable tool for content marketing.