In this latest of a series of posts on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn presence, we take a look at the Publisher capabilities on this social media network and how you can take advantage of its incredible audience reach.
Having posted about how to optimise both your personal profile on LinkedIn as well as your Company Page to encourage more of the right connections, shares, engagements, eyeballs and clickthroughs, the last one applied a touch of science and data to understand what makes an article published on LinkedIn be successful. So it was a natural step to now write about creating and publishing the actual content itself.
The first thing to bear in mind when using the LinkedIn publishing platform is that you are surrounded by hordes of people creating content and competing for attention. Some of these folks are classified as a ‘LinkedIn Influencer’ and therefore get a huge number of views, thumbs-ups and comments.
But do not despair. They are in the minority – the majority will be people just like you: trying to be heard in a maelstrom of content being published on LinkedIn all day, every day.
If you are learning about LinkedIn Publisher, then you will have some kind of content marketing strategy or plan already in place. You will most likely already be creating content for your blog or your company’s blog.
Or, perhaps, you simply feel that you have some good things to say and are fed up with the self-proclaimed “experts” or “mavens” or “gurus” spewing out the same old stale content.
Whatever your motivation, you need to view LinkedIn Publisher as an additional channel to get your content out there. Unless you have a lot of time to create unique content for every single network and digital platform you want to get your messages out on, then don’t worry.
LinkedIn Publisher is an excellent content vehicle: use it to get your content in front of different eyeballs.
Ideally it should not be a case of “same content, different channels”. You should always seek to tailor your content to both your audience and the channel or platform through which you wish to publish it on. However one of the interesting things about LinkedIn Publisher is that it appears to be ‘fair game’ (and accepted practice) to repost articles or posts that you have already published on your own blog, for example.
Whichever way that you wish to approach LinkedIn Publisher, it will certainly provide your content and brand awareness with a timely boost.
Provided below are some insights, tips and advice for three key areas to help you get the most out of LinkedIn Publisher to enable your content to stand out from the crowded…erm…crowd!
It’s not rocket science
Ok, first things first…people often get put off trying out new content delivery channels because it is “new” or “different to what they are used to” or simply do not want to learn how to use a new (and simple) content publishing platform.
Now let’s be clear: LinkedIn Publisher is akin to an entry-level blog platform. It is also way easier to use than the likes of WordPress and is fairly similar to the basics of Microsoft Word. And we’ve all used that plenty of times, right? 🙂
As a result, it is therefore slightly limited in scope and flexibility, but you have all of the essential formatting options, plus hyperlinking of word(s), as well as being able to call out key points with the nifty speechmark option.
So just dive on in, have a play, and get used to it!
Make it visual
LinkedIn Publisher supports all manner of different content formats. There are very few limitations and it seems that all the typical types of visual content formats are supported.
If you have a presentation that you want to share, then you can embed content from LinkedIn-owned SlideShare.
Got a video you want to highlight? Then no problem, as you can also embed from YouTube using the embed code.
Simple images and pictures can also be incorporated into your content – you can resize them and wrap text around them too, to add a more digestible look-and-feel to your post.
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow
As with all content, you need to tell a story. And this is particularly true for long-form content that needs to immediately engage the reader, and keep them engaged. Well, if you’re still reading at this point then I guess the flow of this post is ok!! 😀
Your headline needs to be short and snappy. No brainer, right? Well, we are seeing a lot of articles put out there via LinkedIn Publisher that have long headlines.
C’mon folks – LinkedIn Publisher has four social media share buttons to get your content catapulted across the various social networks: LinkedIn (of course!) as a status update or to Groups or individuals, and also Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter has 140 characters, so aim for a title of about 40-60 characters if you can to allow for the URL shortener, your twitter handle and maybe a hashtag or two. And if the character limitation isn’t enough of an incentive, then consider the sheer volume of posts and content flying down people’s timelines on LinkedIn – none of us have time to peruse lengthy titles…in fact, we’d probably just ignore them! (I just frantically checked the headline I’ve done for this post…and it’s short enough ha!)
Likewise the opening paragraph needs to provide context, entice the readers to want to learn more, and set the tone for the rest of the article. It’s also a good idea to have an eye-catching image high up in your post – there is nothing worse than checking out an article and realising immediately (without even needing to scan the content) that it is just a wall of words with loooooong paragraphs. <sigh>
Experiment with length
Length may matter for your headline but it doesn’t too much for posts and articles these days. We are increasingly experiencing ourselves, and seeing with other successful long-form content pieces from third parties, that the longer the post then the more eyeballs, shares and comments they receive.
There is, however, no hard-and-fast rule. It is all totally dependent on the topic and, specifically, the flow of the content.
Perceived wisdom on LinkedIn is to generate around 500 words per article, yet the data analysis conducted for the infographic in our previous post in this series highlighted that a whopping 1,900-2,000 words is optimal. Go figure!
So experiment, learn and vary your posts. Publish, test, measure, change, test, measure, repeat.
Don’t perceive LinkedIn Publisher as daunting. It’s pretty easy to use and once you get into the swing of things then there is no reason why you can’t start at one post a month, then one every other week, then one per week. Don’t stress about having to create totally unique content each time either – if you haven’t time, then re-purpose or even re-post fairly recent content from your blog. (But be mindful of Google if you do!)
To summarise the best approach then…snappy titles, a few striking images, embed a video now and again, and write on topics that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Make sure you use the right keywords and that you tag your article at the bottom (you get three tags, so use them wisely!). Be sure to share your post via the social media share buttons, and tell your peers and trusted contacts about the post too.
Oh, and cross your fingers…your article may get on the radar of LinkedIn’s newsreader and be highlighted on Pulse. That is the mecca of LinkedIn Publisher!
Hope you found this useful and can apply some of the tips – let us know in the comments!
Dan Purvis is Founder & Director at Comms Axis, a fast-growth, full-service marketing agency specialising in content marketing, social media and digital marketing for businesses of all sizes.
Ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing and Social Media influencers, Dan Purvis is passionate about the philosophy behind Comms Axis: we bring content, marketing and sales together to connect businesses with their audiences.
We pride ourselves on delivering tangible business value and ROI alongside excellent customer service. We work with a broad range of clients and industries, from B2B to B2C, from technology to cosmetics, from start-ups / SoHos to pan-European and global brands.
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