By Yanni Kyriacos, Content Strategist, King Content.
With almost 8 million Australians on the platform (accounting for an almost 100% penetration into the white collar workforce) you are likely considering LinkedIn (if you have not already) as a channel for your marketing strategy.
According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), Australian marketers plan to commit more marketing budget to content marketing efforts this year (30% in 2016, vs. 27% last year). The same report showed LinkedIn is perceived as the most effective for those same marketers (60% saying that LinkedIn is an effective platform for their marketing efforts). So what you ask? These facts underscore the importance and increasing effectiveness of using LinkedIn not simply as a professional development platform, but more importantly as a content distribution platform.
This in combination with the fact that LinkedIn’s marketing products will increasingly focus on the newsfeed means Marketer’s attentions will be fixed squarely on company and sponsored updates, LinkedIn’s in feed native product.
Despite this bullishness, Marketers are still concerned with ensuring that their content is up to scratch. For example, CMI’s 2016 report on Content Marketing in Australia showed the most cited challenge (69%) Marketers expected to face in 2016 was producing engaging content.
So, let’s consider four ways you can you tailor your company updates (sponsored or organic) to produce more engagement on LinkedIn, and more traffic to your website.
1. Bigger is better
Company Updates typically come in three forms: video, link sharing and large image.
In congruence with the rise of infographics, large image updates are becoming increasingly popular on LinkedIn. With intelligent and creative design, these update types can help ensure your brand stands out in the newsfeed.
By portraying a familiar scene (the workplace), the above update from Resilium does a great job of storytelling through the image alone.
A simple exercise to test the appropriateness (and therefore effectiveness) of your image is to place your hand over copy. Does the image alone tell the story of the update? If yes, you have an effective image.
It is important to note that large image updates’ functionality changes when media budget supports it. When the update is organic (i.e. there is no media budget) and a user clicks on the image, it simply expands. While this can be effective in creating interest and awareness in a campaign, it does not effectively drive traffic. On the other hand, if media budget supports this post type, a single click on the image will drive your audience to your website landing page. As such, LinkedIn is increasingly seeing this update type used to drive traffic and produce leads for its clients.
A technical point for consideration, the best practice image size for producing updates currently is 1200x627px. However, there is a propensity for part of the image to be cut off on particular mobile devices, as such, ensure that no important content (e.g. brand logo) sits outside of 1000x586px.
2. Slice and dice
Content is hard. From hosting and creating the content to tracking and measuring success, the tendency for Marketers to want to create a 300×250 MREC (banner ad) and spray it across the web is understandable (to an extent). For this reason, brands should emphasise the distribution of their content, as much as its creation. Brands should be asking: how can we get content bang for our buck? A simple answer is to create multiple updates for each piece of content produced.
Lenovo has done a great job of producing two LinkedIn posts to A/B test (each a different type) to drive audiences from LinkedIn to their ThinkFWD content hub. Ian Moss from Lenovo discussed with us the value of testing and learning:
“Creating great content is only half the challenge. We focus just as much on distribution and optimising. By doing this, not only do we produce greater reach, but by measuring each of the updates performance we can infer what update type our target audience prefers”
A staunchly member’s first platform, LinkedIn has strict frequency caps ensuring no single Company Update can reach a particular audience with overwhelming regularity. As such it is important to produce multiple updates to promote individual pieces of content on your website. For example, for every blog post you create, ensure you produce at least two updates on LinkedIn (preferably each of the two would be of varying update types).
An added bonus of creating multiple updates for every piece of content you promote are the insights you will be able to assume about your audience. For example, you may learn that large image updates produce more social actions (likes, comments, shares) but fewer clicks to the website. I strongly encourage you to test, learn and optimise.
3. Less is more (copy, that is)
A whopping (and growing) 55%+ of LinkedIn’s audience is visiting the platform from mobile devices. Perhaps more pertinently, a majority of engagement with company updates is coming from your mobile phones. It is therefore imperative to have a “mobile first” mindset when creating your company updates. This primarily comes into play when forming your Intro Text, Headline and Description Text.
Resilium gets straight to the point when crafting their Introductions and Headlines. In the above example they have clearly and immediately established why you should click the company update (and learn more on the website), all while ensuring their copy is within the best practice character limits
Make sure you adhere to the above best practice character limits as regularly as possible when forming your updates. Danger can lie in not doing so. For example, when your Introductions are longer than 150 characters, there is a possibility much of the copy will be cut off, producing a “read more” button. Every click is precious, and with many of your updates’ purpose being to drive traffic to your website, you want to ensure you are making this as easy as possible for your audience.
4. Align your content with why audiences flock to LinkedIn
The majority of the 8 million Australians on LinkedIn are there to be more productive and successful. LinkedIn’s mission is to help this want become a reality. The imperative for brands is to therefore align its content purpose with these same drivers: ensure your content makes audiences more productive and successful. There are some simple ways of ensuring you do this:
i. Call out audience pain points, and address them in your posts’ copy
Notice how Resilium calls out the target audience (small business owners), their pain points, and then uses the Headline to tease them into clicking onto the landing page
ii. Ask “yes questions” (e.g. “Are you looking to improve the ROI of your social media campaigns?”), and let the audience know the answers can be found on your website (e.g. “Learn 5 key hacks to LinkedIn Sponsored Updates”)
iii. Lead with insights – what statistics can you use to engage your audience?
iv. Tell stories, provide case studies and interview experts
Resilium has established itself as a trusted business partner by profiling Karen Gately, an expert in people management
So when planning for your next LinkedIn post, be sure to ask yourself: is my content making my audience more productive and successful? Tick this box and everyone wins.
What has worked for you on LinkedIn? What does your audience tend to engage with? Be sure to share your thoughts below.