If you’re using LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy, you need to seriously consider your content strategy. Especially since the best practices are vastly different if not opposite than other social media platforms. So I set out to write you this guide to get you started, but I’ll warn you I found a lot of conflicting advice, some from LinkedIn itself. I’ve done my best to weed through it and determine why some of the results people got may be incorrect, but I’ll present you all of the information so you can make your own decisions. By the end of the article, you should have some good jumping-off points and some things you might just need to test for yourself.
So first thing to consider is what are your goals on LinkedIn?
- Promoting/driving traffic to your blog/website
- Being seen as authoritative, a thought leader
- Generating Leads/Sales
- Improving Brand Awareness
- Driving sales/Creating Revenue
Combine your current goals, with your understanding of your target audience, or buyer personas, and you should now have an understanding of what your content should address and you now need to determine in what way you want to share information on LinkedIn (and be prepared to test and be wrong about some things).
Long Form Content
Some of the content you should share on LinkedIn is very much the same as other social media platforms, while there’s other content that’s different. For example, long-form articles do well on LinkedIn, it’s a good place to share your blog posts. In fact articles with of length of about 2,000 words do the best! With that said, don’t make an article longer than it needs to be, as that really will just have adverse effects. While some say you should aim to post 1 piece of long-form content a week, LinkedIn’s recommendation is biweekly or monthly. Ultimately it depends on what you have to say, and what helps your overall engagement.
Then again I’ve seen people claim they get much better engagement and claim that LinkedIn favors long form status updates over blog posts. Status updates (1,300 characters or 300-500 words max) mean a lot less work.
My advice? Blog once a week but keep don’t slack on your status updates. Also maybe run some tests and see what works for you.
Blogging Tips to Keep in Mind
- Keep it an easy read, with a readability score of 80-89 (considered the reading level of an 11 year old). I
- It’s recommended to start your post with a picture and use another 7 images throughout the post, or a total of 8.
- You can also curate content in your industry to reshare such as industry news and reports.
- It’s also been found that “How To” posts perform significantly better than other posts.
The above data and charts from length of post to readability to the “How to” post can all be found within this Top Dog Social Media Post which I recommend reading because it has other useful insights as well.
The Right and Wrong Way to do Questions
So what content doesn’t actually don’t perform well? Paul Shapiro (of the blog, Search Wilderness) evaluated 3,000 LinkedIn posts, and found that headlines with questions and multimedia posts such as videos were associated with fewer views. At the same time, letting your followers ask YOU questions has been said to be a valuable strategy that gets engagement, demonstrates your authority in the industry, and gives you ideas for future blog articles.
The Video Debate
But, Alex Rynne of LinkedIn claims the very opposite about videos in her post in LinkedIn’s own Marketing Solutions Blog. This could be because Shapiro was looking at all embedded multimedia content as a whole (like slideshows). Studies have shown that attaching slideshows does decrease your content reach. It could also be that he was comparing posts to the completion of the video while Rynne had just claimed that the amount of videos being watched is rising, which makes sense with the recent trend to bring video content marketing to the forefront.
Either way, further Google searches show numerous other sources touting the benefits of video on LinkedIn.
I do believe that like facebook, LinkedIn rewards you natively uploading video (compared to sharing youtube videos, which kinda sucks for your views!)
But anyways, another article from LinkedIn claims that:
- Video is 5x more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members.
- LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content.
And LinkedIn has expanded the use of video on their platform, with the addition of the LinkedIn Marketing Minute aiming at providing quick actionable advice.
They also released video case studies, although they are apparently supposed to be limited to 30 seconds.
As far as content that may have more of an overlap of what you are sharing to other social sites, pictures are still recommended. Images with stats are one of the forms of visual assets that perform well, as they demonstrate authority and provide the readers with valuable stats from case studies and external research/surveys that make allows for easily understandable takeaways, helping the audience feel up to date in the industry.
Alex Rynne also cited the human element being important meaning other visual company updates could include your employees, a symposium, a booth your company had set up, etc. Here are some of the examples Rynne gave:
The LinkedIn blog post, also shared numerous other types of content to share on their platform, like company and personal milestones, product launches, and suggests that its a good place to get event registrations, noting,
“Our Showcase Page consistently drives high registration numbers for our webcasts and our (award-winning!) Live with Marketers episodes.”
Of course another part of your strategy should also include sharing the love and sharing third=party content that can give value to your audience, and have the added bonus of getting you noticed by the writer.
But people have also claimed huge rises in reach when inserting the link in the first comment instead (and informing your readers). James Carbary founder of Sweet Fish Media, which produces podcasts for B2B companies, claims that simply moving links from the post to the first comment immediately caused his posts to go from 100-200 views to 5,000! This is likely because LinkedIn doesn’t want you exiting their platform to look at other content. This is obviously also important to remember with your own content.
For even more assistance on setting up and/or optimizing your pages and posts, offers a very thorough guide that says it all better than I could at the end of her post: The LinkedIn Pages Playbook. Please feel free to follow that link and check it out for even more in-depth information including information about different types of pages, building a content strategy, a “checklist for success,” how to increase engagement, and more.
Penalized for Duplicate Content?
Bonus tip: A frequent question is about whether you can post your blog articles on LinkedIn without getting penalized for duplicate content. The good news is that as long as you posted the article to your site first, you don’t need to worry about that. After posting to your site, share it through LinkedIn Publisher. As an added bonus you can add a link to the article on your site, giving you a backlink! And if you break your post up into pieces or also share visuals, statistics, and/or quotes from the article, you can create multiple backlinks to your site per article!
I’ve NEVER seen so much contradictory information about advice for sites. And a lot of those contradictions I saw were between LinkedIn’s own advice and what other people experienced. It’s a little reminiscent of when I found out that Google taught it’s employees (unbeknownst to them) false information about bid strategies and suggest to recommend because they knew particular options would make them money even though they had proof that it actually wasn’t actually effective.
But, based on my experience with social, I know a lot of it can depend on the industry too, or just your follower base. I strongly recommended choosing a few things based on what you post already and test them (and report on your findings!)
A final tip
There’s an extra reason than you think to engage on other people’s posts. Did you know that your comments show up in the news feeds of your first-degree connections? Regardless of whether there are other comments, it will show them your comment as the first one. It’s another big chance to remind people about you and show your expertise, without it being just extra content you’ve posted that ehh maybe they don’t care about.
Now to you (seriously, we obviously need these answers)
What have you noticed about what content performs well for you?
Have you A/B tested anything?
Do you have a schedule to your posting?
What types of content does best for you?
What have you noticed that drastically increases or decreases your reach or engagement?