B2B buyers are hungry for content to inform purchasing decisions. On average, buyers consume 13 pieces of content before making a purchase. Content marketing has the potential to build credibility, generate leads and position brands as thought leaders. However, content without the right promotion will fall flat.
A new outlet for companies to promote thought leadership content is the LinkedIn article. While individuals have been able to post articles directly to LinkedIn for a few years, LinkedIn added the feature for companies to post LinkedIn blogs earlier in 2021. Posting directly on the platform can enhance the reach of your content and increase audience engagement.
LinkedIn articles, formerly a feature on LinkedIn Pulse, are blogs posted directly on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Pulse was an aggregate feed of native LinkedIn articles. Now, LinkedIn Pulse articles are completely integrated into the platform and show up in your News Feed. These articles are longer than typical posts and provide a method of sharing extended content with your followers and connections.
Just this year, LinkedIn added the feature to post articles from company pages in addition to personal accounts. To share an article on LinkedIn, you simply click “write an article” under the text box at the top of your News Feed. It will give you an option to post from your personal account or a company page.
The main difference between LinkedIn posts and articles is length. While posts are limited to 1,300 characters, articles offer space for up to 125,000 characters. The feature allows companies to post directly to LinkedIn, sharing similar content to what they would on their website’s blog or in a publication.
Why post a blog directly on LinkedIn instead of just sharing a link to your website? The answer is two-fold. First, LinkedIn articles always perform better than posts sharing links to another site. LinkedIn has incentive to prioritise content that it hosts above links that take users to another website. For one content creator, reposting blogs natively on LinkedIn generated an extra 500+ views per article.
Second, posting one article on both LinkedIn and your blog reaches a wider audience without harming search engine optimization (SEO). Google appears to recognise the website version as the original and doesn’t penalise having a copy on a social network. Having valuable content for prospects and customers on both sites can increase your brand’s credibility and follower count.
To maximise the potential reach and impact of your LinkedIn article, consider the following strategies:
Your article won’t gain any traction if it’s not useful to your audience. Consider sharing company news and updates, highlighting your company expertise or answering frequently asked questions from customers. You can also build the piece based on a previous LinkedIn post that received high engagement from your followers. For instance, if an article you shared on an industry trend or research report performed well, expand on the information to give readers a closer look at the topic.
Although LinkedIn articles are longer than LinkedIn posts, they are not ideal for long-form content like white papers or multi-page articles. Aim to post articles no longer than 1,000 words and format the article with short paragraphs and clear subheadings for easy reading. Bullets or numbered lists can help readers quickly skim and identify key points.
LinkedIn’s article feature includes several ways to add visuals. First, don’t forget to add a cover image from Shutterstock, Pexels or another stock image site to draw readers in. To embed an image or video in the body, click the icon to the left of the text. The pop-up window includes options to add pictures, videos, slides, links or even snippets of code. You can use the link feature to embed Tweets or social media posts. Make sure your images are relevant and consider visuals like charts and infographics to further illustrate your copy.
End your article with a call to action to drive traffic to your website or another resource, and encourage engagement. Ask readers to share thoughts in the comments, get in touch with a subject matter expert via an email address, visit a website or follow another link. You can also post a thought-provoking question at the end to get the conversation flowing.
When you hit “Publish,” LinkedIn gives you an option to write a post and share with your followers. Be sure to write a post with appropriate hashtags to maximise the article’s reach. Over time, you can reshare important points or statistics from the article to obtain even more value out from the content. Additionally, encourage employees to reshare the article to their personal pages to encourage engagement.
The same way that you include keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) on your website, optimise your LinkedIn articles to achieve higher rankings with targeted keywords. Strike a balance so that your content is not overflowing with keywords that make your article difficult to read.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for companies to build credibility and showcase their expertise to B2B buyers. LinkedIn articles, when used correctly, are a simple tool to enhance your content marketing strategy and reach your target audience.
For more information on creating a LinkedIn marketing strategy, contact us today.
Theresa Colston is an Account Executive at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing creative marketing ideas and building connections to drive results for clients.