If you haven’t heard the news, LinkedIn has updated their desktop publishing tool to include a sleeker interface, more text and font options, a new search feature, and an improved reading experience. This is great news for anyone who publishes on LinkedIn, as the new updates will make it easier to get found, and add rich, engaging multimedia to your posts, while also introducing a new reading view that eliminates distractions and noise from the page.
That being said, these new updates won’t help much if you’re still sharing boring content no one wants to read. Today, nearly 3 million LinkedIn users have published long-form articles, making the space almost as crowded as the blogosphere when it comes to getting noticed. For every truly insightful article that gets published, there are twice as many generic, rehashed articles out there, and its getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd as more people start using the platform. While the new search and tagging feature should help make it a little easier to be found by your desired audience, the best way to stand out in the crowd is simply publishing articles readers can’t ignore.
How do you do that?
By focusing on these four types of content:
Think of a news story or viral video. How long does it stay relevant? If you look at this chart showing the life of a viral video, you’ll notice that a video gets most of its shares in the first week (even first 48 hours), before slowly tapering off into irrelevancy.
So, what does this mean for you and LinkedIn publishing? It means if something happens in your industry that’s newsworthy, hop on LinkedIn and write about it! For about 1 week, people in your industry will be interested in learning more about that particular subject, and a well-written long-form post on LinkedIn is a great way to capture their attention. People already use social media to stay up-to-date on the latest news and events, so an article discussing that particular event will be a click magnet. For example, if the Presidential debates are talking healthcare and you work in the healthcare industry, try newsjacking a talking point from the debate and provide your own insights about what it means for the healthcare industry.
New Industry Reports and Information
Though writing about new industry reports and information might sometimes fall under the category of covering timely industry news, LinkedIn users have an incessant desire for new information about their industry that could potentially change the landscape. Whether it’s from a study you conducted yourself, or a report from a trusted research agency, if it can help their company create a competitive advantage, or just help them understand their customers better, they’re going to take the time to read your article and learn more.
For example, if a new consumer research study reveals that grocery shoppers are 4x more likely to buy products that are marketed with two or more health benefits as opposed to just one, an article breaking down all the important findings of the study and explaining how that information will impact food and beverage manufacturers, is a great bet to earn a ton of clicks from professionals in the food and beverage industry.
With so many users publishing long-form articles these days, there are a lot of posts out there that kind of repeat the same thing. There are countless articles like “10 Ways to Increase Your Blog’s Reach,” and the posts like that simply aren’t appealing to most readers anymore. However, if there’s one thing that’s never in short demand, it’s personal insights and opinions on hot-button topics in your industry. Readers can go to a number of places to find the basic information on a particular news story or otherwise, but they’re likely missing that inside scoop that you can provide. It’s a personal platform; don’t hesitate to use it that way.
Even before LinkedIn made it easier to add images to your articles, the ones with relevant, well-placed images always stood out more and earned more shares. Content marketing in general is seeing a shift towards more visual content, and those who can do it well are getting a lot of attention.
While this isn’t a long-form post, the article “It’s easy to become obese in America. These 7 charts explain why.” is a perfect example of the type of visual content that would do well on LinkedIn. Not only do the graphs break up the text and add more context to what you’re reading, a post like this is extra attractive, due to it covering industry reports and information as well. Whether you include graphs, images, or even videos, just make sure you aren’t hitting readers with wall after wall of text.
If you're already using LinkedIn publishing, take a look at what posts have done best for you in the past, and compare them to this list. Do you see a trend? Give a few of these tactics a try if your reach goes stagnant, and if something else is working, keep doing what you're doing!