If you are serious about using LinkedIn in your business or professional career, then quality content needs to be a key part of your strategy. But there are so many content options, features, tools, misinformation and algorithm challenges which can be overwhelming. This article unpacks the when, how, why and what of LinkedIn content and how to maximise reach and success.
Why publish content
Content that engages, educates and encourages conversations is the juice of LinkedIn’s promise in building networks and brands. The purpose of content marketing on LinkedIn is to essentially to raise visibility, influence and impact ideal target market/s. Traction derives from relevant networks, quality content, organic reach and engagement. This applies to every business sector or profession.
But there is are no silver bullet for quick success. It’s essential to stay away from dodgy marketing services that are against LinkedIn’s User Agreement.
The keys are persistence, consistency and creative strategies backed by the latest research and tools.
Whatever your industry or level the purpose of publishing will be to attract meaningful new business, careers or networks. But whatever the focus, there are fundamental elements to maximise ROE (return on effort)
Get these elements right and success is a shorter road. Get them wrong and organic reach and success can be compromised. Some tools and elements are like salt and must be used sparingly. Others are like pepper to be used liberally for spicy impact.
And whilst high engagement metrics are valuable (likes, comments) they do not paint a full picture of success as large numbers of members lurk and read without engaging. The length of time spent on content is an important algorithm trigger to distribute further. This is the algorithm process filtering system known as Dwell Time which analyses value and a fairer weightage and feed ranking of content.
Mixing up content topics is important for a healthy and vibrant content strategy on both personal profiles and company pages.
- Expertise & thought leadership: Insights, opinion pieces, education, new ideas
- News & Trends: Current affairs, industry news, statistics, insights, commentary
- Promotion/PR: Announcements, events, updates, hiring, promoting services
- Celebration: Staff updates, awards, stories of success, fun stuff
- Feedback: Calls for industry feedback and advice, questions
We are both content consumers and creators. Factoring in LinkedIn’s brand positioning and members predilections is vital. It’s illogical to assume that 100% of any industry, gender or age demographic will 100% favour a specific format.
This was evident from the LinkedIn Poll I ran in 2020 asking ‘what member’s content format preference was – as a consumer’. Respondents were mid to senior professionals and business owners from most professional sectors Ages ranged from 35 to 55 with 285 men and 226 women. Similar global polls since all deliver similar findings.
Results as below with further detailed analysis and information here LInkedIn Content Preferences Revealed
All options are now available from both personal profiles and company pages.
Whilst they get little algorithm reach and love they hold unique value. Indexed on Google (only format that is) their SEO juice is exceptional. A permanent body of work of your best content the value is a tool of marketing reference and value versus ephemeral newsfeed eyeballs. Recommend at least 3 articles per year utilising multimedia. Example here
PDF Document Carousel
Excellent visual option publishing PDF documents in an easy UX downloadable carousel (up to 300 pages).
The algorithm and reach is quite high as the creative impact and information engages members for longer and is boosted. A case of pepper to spice content reach here. Example here
Posts: Text, Image & Text
LinkedIn have just increased character limits from 1300 to 3000. Sometimes less is more and other times more is required. Research shows that posts with a good image gets 94% more views, Note that posts which contain one URL link are no longer penalised as previously. Example here
External Articles as Posts
Posting an external article directly has fair to very good reach. Some media and websites have a high domain authority which can often translate to greater reach and AI triggers when tagged correctly. Example here
Note that re-sharing of original LinkedIn posts and articles rarely delivers as original posts are the king and queen of engagement.
Polls require a salt approach: use sparingly and strategically. The algorithm gives a good boost especially with a solid introduction. Example here
Videos & Podcasts
Best to upload organic native videos directly. But still worthwhile sharing from other channels. Example here
Podcasts don’t always get huge reach and views due to time limits. There are clever ways share podcasts for brand augmentation.
A 20 second ephemeral Instagram video/animation visible only on the mobile app for 24 hours. Hasn’t delivered despite all the hype (which I predicted) – don’t bother.
Hashtags are essential
All formats must use the right hashtags. LinkedIn place great significance on their value as is evident in updates and the roll out of Creator Mode options. Hashtags are tools for search, classification, and identification. The first 3 hashtags form part of the content URL which is important. Use no more than 4 (3 is optimal) as hashtags work very differently on LinkedIn.
Hashtag traction is not a spray and pray, make one up from your head on the fly. It’s important to research follower numbers as many will be virtually useless.
Using the right hashtags correctly expands organic reach and value.
Download my FREE Ultimate Guide -Top 400 Hashtags with the tips and tricks to use effectively here
Top 7 Tips
1. Posting more than once a day significantly decreases reach on subsequent posts. Ideally no more than 5 pieces of content a week from your personal profile. Company pages posts and articles are in addition.
2. Don’t hashtag stuff like Instagram. It looks desperate and unfocussed. No more than 3 or 4. Excessive hashtags can trigger a SPAM classification.
3. Minimise tagging people in posts and only when they have direct relevance to the content. Excessive tagging can create a SPAM trigger if people do not engage. Best to tag in comments.
4. Scheduling tools are not advised as they have been proven to reduce distribution. Most software don’t transfer hashtag links.
5. Keep growing a quality network of relevant connections to increase eyeballs.
6. Don’t use Unicode or fancy bold fonts to try and stand out. They can be garbled and unreadable on many Android devices.
7. Invest time and genuine engagement in your networks and ideal target markets content. This will trigger the algorithm to share more of your content and tailor your unique AI and reciprocity reach.
Final word on success
Using these tips, tools and knowledge will maximise a successful LinkedIn content strategy and reach. Of course having a excellent optimised personal profile that backs up your brand and goals increases the overall success and value. But don’t expect everything will run smoothly and every post and article will have the same results. Some posts will bomb and others fly. Measure, test and be creative.
It is expected there will be many new updates and additions to content and AI reach over the next 12 months. But what will not change is the value of quality content that encourages and inspires conversations and trust.