the WHAT, WHY & HOW of LinkedIn Content
Updated: Dec 15, 2019
LinkedIn has completely changed in recent years. Historically, LinkedIn wasn't a massive content haven and only specific people had authority to actually publish, LinkedIn's signature form of content, articles. Now? Anyone and everyone can publish content assets on the LinkedIn platform. What's happened as a result? Well, weekly content impressions on the global platform sit above 10 billion and it's estimated that around 55,000 pieces of content are published on the #LinkedIn platform every minute (this includes 'shared' content).
So why is this such a significant conversation? Because you, probably much like me, have realized that the LinkedIn experience for users has become content-centric. LinkedIn, like Facebook and Instagram, has become a "news feed experience". What do you typically do when you open the LinkedIn marketplace via your smartphone app or on your browser at work when you're procrastinating? You go straight to the news feed and you scroll. Given the increasing volume of content that is being published on the LinkedIn platform, most of the super great content is being diluted from an exposure perspective. But that's nothing to worry about if you're a content creator because it's survival of the fittest and most consistent - so just keep at it.
Many people come to me and ask things like "I've been sharing all this content but nothing is happening" or "I posted this really good article that I spent 7.25 hours writing and it only got 2 likes - why?". Okay, there's a couple of things we need to address here. One: sharing content is not an effective growth strategy. Why? Because the algorithm doesn't reward the person sharing the content, it rewards the person who published the content originally. As for the second most frequent query, I'm going to pick it to shreds for a couple of minutes (anyone who has asked me this, don't take offense - I'm answering your question).
the algorithm doesn't reward the person sharing the content, it rewards the person who published the content originally
So, let's clarify the question - "I posted this really good article that I spent 7.25 hours writing and it only got 2 likes - why?". Firstly, that's great that you spent 7.25 hours writing it but unfortunately, the algorithm doesn't really know that and therefore can't care. Usually, what happens when I see a question like this and have a moment to dedicate to investigating a little, I'll discover that the author has never or at least not recently posted any content of their own. So, reasonably, the chances of the content performing really well (no matter how good it is) are shot to sh*t. Why? Because momentum is very, very important. Even look at the 'profile views' graph of any major profile on LinkedIn - it goes down when they drop the ball and lose momentum with their content efforts. Hence, consistency is vital. Second piece of the puzzle is to consider metrics beyond 'likes' or 'comments'. Look at the total content engagement rate (likes + comments + shares as a % of total views) because it provides great feedback.
For example, if you had two views of your article and you got two likes - that is great feedback about the #content itself. It simply means you got a 100% capture rate with the content from an engagement perspective. Conversely, if the article got 1,233 views and only 2 likes, the engagement rate is telling you that you only achieved a capture rate of c0.16% which is poor. BUT, the total views suggest your reach isn't too bad of a problem.
Look at the total content engagement rate (likes + comments + shares as a % of total views) because it provides great feedback.
Does this make sense?
Ultimately, what you need to do is not take one metric in isolation. You need to grab all of the data you have access to for that article and cross reference the data to truly understand what happened for it and to it. Think about it this way; if you're running a #business - you don't just look at sales and go "Yay, they went up!" or "Sh*t, they went down". You would usually go "ok what made them go up?" or "why did they go down?". As a side note, if you're not doing that (actually looking at cause and effect) then you should probably start!
Ok, next thing. Profile views and why do they matter. Profile views are indicative of your rate of discoverability on LinkedIn and further you're ability to lure people into your profile. Why does this metric matter? Because your content efforts should be aiming to drive traffic to your profile. For example, it's great to have a piece of content floating in the news feed with 20k views and a content engagement rate of 2% every day but if none of those viewers are actually looking at your profile, well you aren't really driving results for your profile and you're likely not seeing an organic conversion of viewers to followers (and hopefully people making contact / going to your website / engaging your services).
Deploying your own content is the single most effective way to organically improve your LinkedIn profile results and gain massive traction. Search appearances are great and yes you should have your profile optimized with the right keywords and such to be discovered optimally via search but at the end of the day, relying on search results discoverability is not ideal if you want massive growth. Consider this data: between the 5th September and 10th September, my followership grew by just over 1,000, my profile views increased by a little over 5,000 and were discovered in ZERO more search results. What's this tell you? It's all content baby.
Hence, content #marketing has completely changed the game for branding at both an individual and enterprise level. And when you think about 'marketing', don't think about it in the traditional sense of "I'm forcing this content down your throat because I have a massive budget so I can pay for you to have to see it". No. It's not like that anymore. You, the consumer - have the power to tell the digital landscape, what content serves you and what doesn't.
So, to cut this short because it's getting a little long and I know most of us have the attention span of a goldfish now! What types of content should you focus on? All content forms are good because they provide you with the opportunity to communicate creatively and reach different people with different consumption preferences. BUT, what's absolutely trending on LinkedIn?
Video and Documents/Slide Decks.
Don't know what a document/slide deck is? I've noticed a few bugs on LinkedIn so the way they're aggregated on a publishers profile isn't that consistent at the moment but simply put their downloadable PDFs. Want to start creating them quickly to share your knowledge/expertise? I use Canva - 800 x 800 pixels - create a multi-paged slide deck on a topic and then download as a PDF.
To get started with your content, follow this process.
1. What is my expertise/knowledge? (Should be the core of the substance in the content)
2. What message is the content asset delivering? (Should form the basis of your title - what do you want to viewer to take away?)
3. What do I want someone to do once they've consumed the content? (Include this as your call to action)
Anyway, I'll leave you to it. If you enjoyed this, please let me know in the comments! If you've got any specific questions, please also share them in the comments.
Need help with your content creation/deployment strategy? >> Sallyillingworth.com
Want to learn a little more? I wrote this article about >> How to Get More Profile Views.
Have a great week on purpose.