As an advocate for doing everything you can to increase your presence in the all-mighty search engines, I often encourage clients to write multiple blog posts each month, focusing on keywords in their niche, quality of content, and truly answering the questions that their readers are asking. Lost in the shuffle of maintaining, managing, and cultivating great content for your site is the importance of discovering new avenues in which to spread your wings and gain page views, user engagement, and website traffic. Many of our clients are major players with LinkedIn profiles. While Linked in used to be considered a glorified network of impressive resumes, it has become a social networking site with real content opportunities. Let’s figure out how to leverage LinkedIn’s place among the tech giants to our website’s advantage. Let’s start writing articles on LinkedIn.
Writing LinkedIn Articles: The Statistics Show You the ‘Why’
Sometimes research is shocking. This was the case in my research for why LinkedIn articles are a ‘buy now’ stock in the content market. Check this out.
- LinkedIn is the number one business-to-business channel that marketers use to promote and distribute their content with 94% in this category. That even beats Twitter! (B2B marketers only selected Twitter 89% of the time, so while there is overlap, and you should also be on Twitter, LinkedIn reigns supreme.)
- Impressions of content (how much content on LinkedIn is viewed) stands at 36 Billion impressions per month. That’s nearly half a Trillion per year.
- Of the 250 million active LinkedIn users, only 3 million write articles. That means that those 3 million people are garnering billions of views each month. Be one of the few and attract the eyes of the billions.
- LinkedIn, amongst all social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) accounts for 50% of all business to business website traffic
Viewing these statistics from a holistic perspective tells us that LinkedIn is so much more than a resume site that connects professionals to one another. It is, in fact, a powerful tool to drive targeted traffic to your website. While many of you already promote your latest blog post from your website on LinkedIn in small notifications and posts, I feel as though there is a greater opportunity within the platform itself that too many clients are ignoring. Writing articles specifically for LinkedIn.
Imagine, you have a captive audience of professionals that you regularly target on your website. Now, realize that these same professionals have their profiles on LinkedIn. Millions of them. Are you seeing the picture? This is the difference between discovering your audience and knowing where they live. It is paramount to direct marketing to the people you most want to reach. In the case of the insurance industry, for example, the agents, brokers, advisors, and consultants that your B2B caters to are all on LinkedIn and are all going to be exposed by LinkedIn’s algorithm to the content you have to share.
This is what opportunity looks like. So let’s move from asking why we should bother with writing articles on LinkedIn and onto how we should go about writing effective articles on the platform.
Writing Articles on LinkedIn: The Rules and the Not-So-Much-Rules
There is one rule that should govern any blog post or article you write, whether it be for your website or on a social media platform:
Don’t Lie. Always tell your readers the truth and make it your own.
The same, of course, is true for writing an article on LinkedIn. Keep in mind that these are readers who are already close, if not in, your target audience. They want information that they can use. They want facts and opportunities. They also are in a hurry to get to the point. Keep it simple and follow these basic guidelines to keep their interest.
- Keep the article to less than 1000 words. 500 to 700 is ideal.
- If you can add an image, do so. There is not a lot of creative freedom in LinkedIn’s word processor but do your best.
- Add hashtags relevant to your audience so that they can find your post.
- Don’t just duplicate content you’ve written on your website (more on this in the next section). It is important that your content for LinkedIn is unique.
- Be real. Speak colloquially, this is, after all, your audience that you are accustomed to marketing to. They know the lingo and they expect your expertise.
How to Actually Post an Article on LinkedIn
This part is pretty straightforward. You can look here to see how. After following those simple steps, however, it is important that you make sure that your article is available to the public. You’ll need to go to your profile settings to make sure that your posts are not hidden from the very people you are trying to reach. Go here to find your profile settings. Check that your visibility is set to public for posts. That’s the nuts and bolts of what you need to do. There are other considerations, however, that you should take into account. Let’s talk about those.
Never Duplicate Content!
This cannot be overstated. Duplicate content on the internet, as far as the search engines are concerned, is akin to plagiarism. If you have a blog on your website and you republish that blog on a social media site (word for word) then you risk the wrath of Google. Just don’t do it. Period. If you want to promote a new blog post on your website on a social media platform it is important to link to the blog but do not, under any circumstances, re-print the blog on that platform.
Search engines are constantly looking for plagiarism on the web. They do this to safeguard your precious, original, content. The problem lies in the fact that algorithms are not human and therefore cannot know that your duplicate content on LinkedIn or any other platform originated from your website. As smart as the algorithm is…it is still dumber than us. Thank goodness.
But we must account for the search-bot’s ignorance and never duplicate content from our site to another platform. Period. You can, however, paraphrase or restructure your content from your website blog post to your social media platforms without risking your search rankings. We’ll dive deeper into this in a following article but for the time being, suffice to say, do not just copy and paste content from one part of the internet to another.
Post Articles on LinkedIn? Yes, Do It Yesterday
According to the stats, there have been little over 1 million people to post articles to LinkedIn. Taking into account the number of people who read those articles compared to the number of people on the platform it is obvious that writing articles on LinkedIn is a win-win exercise. Follow the rules. Don’t duplicate. Leverage your expertise. LinkedIn is more than just a portal for resumes or a quasi-networking shenanigan. LinkedIn is a bonafide Social Network and it is waiting for you to take advantage of its endless possibilities.