Did you know that LinkedIn allows actual blogging ON their platform?
In February 2014, numerous sources, including Search Engine Journal, announced that LinkedIn’s blog platform was now open to users, not just influencers. According to SEJ, “250,000 members [would now] have the ability to publish content on [the platform].” If you missed the news or haven’t had time to look into it, you’re not alone. We didn’t until just recently. And our conclusion is that this platform is an untapped breakthrough asset in content marketing, and too many people aren’t aware of it! What have we discovered, and what do you need to know? Let’s take a look:
Our LinkedIn Posts Case Study
Once we learned that blogging was allowed on this powerful business platform, we jumped right in. We had to first “apply” to be contributors and were successfully approved. We immediately started publishing a handful of posts, including this one about copywriting; and we kept a close eye on the provided analytics, curious to see just how large of a reach we would see. Here are the results, just 3 days after posting! Over 1,000 views, 60+ likes, and comments on our very first LinkedIn post: We also discovered that LinkedIn will FEATURE your posts publicly on your profile, like so: LinkedIn sent us some insider emails after we published some content, with these helpful tips:
Tapping Into LinkedIn as a Content Marketing Asset
Our case study indicates some solid potential. LinkedIn posts get a lot of views and shares for content, much more than a single blog would get, especially if your network is extensive. And if you’ve been a marketer for over a year with a LinkedIn presence, you probably have a decent network. Let’s face it; those of us already using LinkedIn likely have an extensive network, and growing that network is super easy using their platform and our own connections. Strengthening your profile will contribute to this, and all of this adds up to one epic revelation: you have an untapped audience at your fingertips! A few Dos, Don’ts and common sense tips are important to review before using this platform. LinkedIn has been built on a very simple concept: career growth and advancement. Therefore, it only makes sense that, according to InformationWeek, the “blogging tool [is for posting] career advice and insights to share with your connections.” How can you best use this tool? Let’s take a look at the top tips:
- Write about what you know. According to InformationWeek, your LinkedIn posts should reflect your profile. In other words, write about what you know. Consider choosing topics that range from the career challenges you’ve faced, the opportunities you’ve successfully seized, and important trends in your industry or field of expertise.
- Be professional. Obviously, you don’t want to knowingly (or unknowingly) break your company’s privacy policies. The rule of thumb when blogging on LinkedIn is to stay professional at all times. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t bring up in normal conversation with an individual you just met at a professional event or conference.
- Keep to the point. InformationWeek reports that, according to LinkedIn data, an ideal post will be approximately 700 words in length. The idea is to compose a blog long enough to cover your topic and position without running the risk of losing the reader’s interest. You can add a combination of images, videos, SlideShare presentations and external links as appropriate.
- Be a sport and comment. If you have any blogging or social media experience, you already know that audience engagement is important. Unlike some other networks, LinkedIn is closed and requires an account for complete profile viewing AND commenting. Therefore, the comments you receive on this platform are likely to be high-quality. Not only are they absolutely worth your time to respond to, but commenting will boost post engagement, thus promoting it beyond your network.
- Pay attention to your analytics. As you saw from our case study, LinkedIn isn’t shy about disclosing how many people clicked on, liked and commented on your post. Take these analytics into consideration as you prepare future blogs. What topics triggered great engagement through comments or brought in more likes? Use popularity trends to guide future content choices.
- Share your content. InformationWeek noted that people don’t have to set-up a LinkedIn account to read your posts. And once you publish, anyone—from your connections to your followers—can see it. You should share the links to your posts outside of the LinkedIn network. Before posting, you should have the option to automatically post to Twitter. Once a blog post is live, you can share it with audiences on your other social networks by using the available media buttons. This type of out-of-network sharing can assist in increasing your LinkedIn network.
Seize the Opportunity
With the rise of today’s self-publication mediums, everyone wants to be a publisher. It’s no secret that content drives marketing and sales because people flock wherever it is. It’s also no secret that building an audience is hard work. While LinkedIn’s platform offers an opportunity to seize a new, untapped audience, you should plan content with care. The last thing you want to do is alienate your audience or damage your Google ranking. What are we talking about? The dangers of duplicate content! Remember the tip to share your LinkedIn posts with your other social networks? While this is a great piece of advice, we have to stress the need for continually focusing on the creation and production of FRESH copy. In other words, don’t jump onto this platform by reposting a piece of content you’ve posted on another network. Yes, you can repost your work, but you run into two huge risks:
- Audience estrangement: “Did I see this before?” It’s the question you NEVER want a reader to ask. It’s recommended to post unique content to each of your social networks. Otherwise, readers who follow you on three different networks will see the same content three times over.
- Decreased Google ranking: Duplicate content annoys users, therefore Google frowns on it. Posting the same blog across every platform you use can result in decreased SERPs.
Instead of excitedly jumping onto LinkedIn and posting content you’ve used elsewhere, quell your excitement. Invest a little time into brainstorming and posting fresh copy. You’ll be investing in building your online presence with value. Your networks (and Google) will thank you. According to Diginomica, “LinkedIn’s decision to roll out its publishing platform to all members [was] the right one.” The platform offers you access to more “decision makers” than any other platform. If you’re looking to grow your online presence and advance your career right alongside your business, this is a blogging platform you DO NOT want to overlook.