There are a few different avenues for sharing information on LinkedIn, but which one is thebestmethod? And what if you're not ready to invest in paid advertising? There has to be another option, right?
The good news is that there is another option. In fact, there are a couple of ways that marketers can leverage LinkedIn's platform for content distribution without having to pay for it.
Looking to send out short, digestible content? Engage with a status update.
Have something long and poignant to say? Publish an article.
To help you get a better handle on where and how to execute a content marketing strategy on LinkedIn, keep reading. I've covered everything you need to know from tips on content you should (and shouldn't) share to how to determine the right frequency for posting.
One of LinkedIn's most underutilized features is the “LinkedIn Status Update” (also called your “Network Update”) in your LinkedIn Profile. This is one of the best ways to stay in front of your target audience on a consistent basis. And when used correctly, these little messages pack a big punch. Your status update “block” is a white box located just below your picture on your homepage. Whenever you share an update, your message is then broadcast to all of your network connections.
You can also control the visibility of your posts before sharing. This means that you can pick and choose which posts you want to share with everyone, share with just your connections, or share with both everyone and your Twitter network.
While updates serve as a great place to share your thoughts, linking in a blog post or interesting website will help you to provide an even richer source of insight.
Another powerful way to distribute content on LinkedIn is through the publishing platform. With all members now having access to the platform, it serves as a great opportunity to expand your reach in a major way.
I was first made aware of this feature when a friend of mine posted an update on Facebook mentioning how his article on LinkedIn managed to achieve over 6000 views and 550+ shares in little over 10 hours. I was intrigued, so I decided to conduct an investigation to see how it all worked. I decided to test it out by publishing one of my articles, "5 Things All Great Leaders Have In Common." Given that it was my first time publishing on the platform, I had no idea what to expect. However, what happened next totally blew me away ...
Within a matter of minutes I started receiving invitation requests and messages on LinkedIn from members who had came across my article.
Within a matter of hours the article had gone viral -- achieving over 70K views, 11K+ shares, and close to 500 comments. Over the years, I have written hundreds of business articles but none of them had achieved the exposure and interaction that this one did.
In addition to the exposure, I also managed to secure a few speaking engagements and an opportunity to coach clients for our business advisory firm.
And while the article continued to gain traction as time went on, I couldn't help but think that it was too good to be true. Unable to shake this thought, I decided to publish a few more articles over the coming weeks. Whilst none of them achieved the level of exposure my first article received, each article has now reached 10k+ views, 1000+ shares and 100+ comments on average.
If my success story wasn't enough to sell you on the value of this platform, maybe the following benefits will.
If you're a video marketer, you can alternatively publish pre-recorded or live video content on the platform. To upload a video, all you have to do is go to your status box and upload a file you've created. If you'd prefer to do something a bit more interactive, like a Q&A or a live stream, you can now use LinkedIn Live.
Here's a great example of a video recently published on the social platform:
Now that we have discussed the two main strategies you can use to distribute your content on LinkedIn, let’s discuss best practices for executing that content. Although each industry is different, keep in mind that the right frequency can make a difference.
In order to achieve optimal results, you need to plan the content you are going to share. Here are some tips for how to plan more effectively:
When you have a plan, you not only save time, but you are able to focus your energy on finding the right content for your audience.
When sharing content, the goal is to identify a frequency that allows you to stay top-of-mind without overwhelming your audience. To help you achieve this balance, here are the publishing guidelines I follow:
Keep in mind that every industry is different. While this works for me, you may need to modify this schedule as you see fit.
If your content marketing efforts are working, you're going to notice a spike in your activity. This could be anything from increased views, connection requests, or even direct messages from viewers.
With that said, now is the time to strike up a conversation. If people are viewing your LinkedIn profile or requesting to connect, consider striking up a dialogue with them. By uncovering what interested them about your profile, you can then begin to uncover potential opportunities for collaboration.
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in July 2015, but was updated for comprehensiveness in May 2020.