Over the past 12 months LinkedIn have made huge changes to the way they distribute content and what type of content they give more air play to. As such this has caused a fair bit of confusion within the LinkedIn community as to what type of content they should focus their attention on. So in this article we’re going to lift the lid on exactly that so you can get your content in front of your target market and make more impact with your message.
A few years ago the LinkedIn newsfeed was an absolute mess – very few people took it seriously and only a small fraction were actually engaging with what was being shared. So in a effort to increase engagement in the platform and have more content being shared LinkedIn launched their publishing platform, allowing users to create their own blog articles all within LinkedIn.
At the time it was a master stroke and they gave users a lot of attention, so much so that anytime an article was published, LinkedIn would send a notification to anyone who was a connection or followed you to read the article. As a result, articles were getting ridiculous amounts of reach, engagement and a lot of people leveraged them to grow their business and personal brand.
They also ranked really well in Google search so there was a lot of positives to developing content through LinkedIn. So powerful that there was actually no need to create your own business blog, you could literally just leverage LinkedIn. However in June 2016 Microsoft purchased LinkedIn and over the coming years we’ve started noticing some interesting and very exciting changes in a bid to continue developing the platform and increase revenue through their advertising model.
These changes include improvements to their product suite, overall functionality, user experience and mobile app (just to name a few) which resulted in users spending more time on the platform and signing in more regularly. It makes sense right, the more time users spend on the platform and the greater the level of engagement within that time the more they can charge for advertising.
So they got to work and one of the very first things they improved was the newsfeed. They started giving content creators more airplay and exposure within their status updates and less for those who shared blog articles.
One of the main reasons for this was due to the fact that within the news feed they can charge for advertising, something that is just not possible within the publishing platform. And in doing so user engagement has increased beyond what anyone could have imagined.
In turn that has obviously given them an opportunity to sell more advertising and really start to monetise the increase in attention. So if you really want to build your network, right now you need to double down on status updates and go all in especially when it comes to video as that’s what LinkedIn is giving more exposure to.
Start by getting super clear on your target market and then use Sales Navigator to find, invite and connect with them. This will help you build a network of targeted contacts to position your content in front of.
Then it’s a matter of getting your message right. The key to getting reach on LinkedIn is engagement and the key to engagement is posting content that your target market will want to like, comment or share.
If you don’t know what to post on LinkedIn don’t worry, it’s normal to feel this way. But it’s equally as important to do something about it. Here’s a way to overcome this:
1) Pick the area you would like to build your influence around.
2) Break this area down into 3-5 main categories you would like to write on.
3) Once you know these topics lock yourself away for a half or full day.
And come up with 3-6 months worth of content ideas. Focus on writing stories that your target market can relate to the most.
Think about their challenges, pains and interests. Be vulnerable and raw in everything you write, don’t be afraid to express yourself. This is absolutely key to engagement and a MUST to build trust with your audience.
As you start posting on LinkedIn remember to vary your post in terms of both length and style. Mix it up so you’re sharing a combination of video, image and text posts.
Otherwise you’ll notice a big drop in your reach and the engagement within your posts. Long form text posts by themselves are somewhat dead and no longer best practise.
And be patient, so many people give up before they even start. It seems as though almost everyone we speak to these days is waiting for their BIG break.
That one post that will dramatically increase their following, make their content go viral and build their influence overnight. But the truth of the matter is not EVERY piece of content you write will go viral. In fact out of the 100’s of the status updates we’ve written only two of them have gone viral.
Earlier on in our founders journey most of the content he shared barely got any traction (less than 1000 views). What helped him throughout this process was focusing on adding value to people rather than thinking whether or not his content was going to go viral.
In turn, his message is now viewed by more than 250,000 people per month. So don’t worry about whether your post is good enough to go viral, focus on adding value to your community and fan base.
Think about how you want them to feel and what you want them to do after they have read your content. And then make it your mission to put out quality content week in week out. To help you get the structure of your updates right, here’s the exact steps we take when writing ours based on what’s been working for us over the past few months.
Start: Always start your posts with a strong emotional pull within the first two lines. This can make or break your reach. If the first two lines aren’t intriguing, interesting or engaging your audience won’t click on ‘See More’ to read the rest or watch that video.
Middle: Here you need to build out a story line around the angle you used to start the post. Think back to that particular experience and make it as emotional, heart warming or controversial as you possibly can.
Lesson Learnt: Now that you’ve finished sharing your story, you need to tie in that story with a key takeaway or lesson learnt so that anyone reading your post is able to walk away with something tangible and practical.
Inclusion: And then finally end your post with some type of call to action to entice the person reading your post to engage with you and your content. This could be them sharing their thoughts, clicking on a link you’ve provided or commenting on your post.
The time to leverage the newsfeed to build your following and influence is now. It won’t be long before the algorithm changes or the level of noise increases. Plus who knows similar to Facebook, LinkedIn might also introduce a ‘Pay To Play’ model in the future at which point organic reach will be non existent and gaining traction will be very difficult.
Developing great content that gets engagement and turns followers into raving fans takes skills that are not created overnight. Our founders content gets hundreds of thousands of views, comments and likes each and every month. This then results in hundreds of opportunities whether that’s leads, partnerships and speaking engagements that come from that content.
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