When it comes to generating attention online, Content remains King - and LinkedIn is no exception.

In fact, the network has made a concerted effort to invest in technology to drive the creation and organization of original, member-created content, helping to make LinkedIn a one-stop shop for professionals looking to connect with industry specific news, resources and opportunities.

And it's working.

"In the first quarter of 2017, LinkedIn members published more than 100,000 articles per week on the platform," noted LinkedIn, which recently released a new, detailed report on its publishing platform.

The report offers specific insights into what member-penned posts and topics generated the most interest and engagement during the first quarter of 2017.

Here's what we learned - and how you can apply it to attract more clients and generate more sales leads on LinkedIn with your content.

LinkedIn's Big Shift = Social Media Marketing + Sales

LinkedIn's effort to diversify its reputation as a place for more than just job seekers and recruiters is working.

Consider what the most popular topics on the site were in the first quarter of 2017.

Although several top article topics were indeed focused on jobs, "Social Media Marketing" and "Sales" emerged as two of the most popular topics on the platform in terms of member-created content and articles.

"Social Media Marketing remains a complicated tactic that marketers are still trying to understand how to leverage," LinkedIn shared in its recent report. "Finding good salespeople and uncovering the mysteries of effective sales are perennial preoccupations of businesses, in good times and in bad."

Other hot articles were around topics such as creating a positive culture, work-life balance, and content to inspire and motivate business professionals.

What does the C-Suite want to read?

LinkedIn's treasure trove of user and member data allows a great opportunity to target specific audiences with your content, such as by job title.

For example, LinkedIn's report focused on what topics and articles got the most engagement by C-level executives in the first quarter.

"In the first quarter, C-level executives engaged more often than the typical LinkedIn user with article topics that dealt with finance on either a personal or business level," LinkedIn notes. "In fact, seven of the top 10 article topics engaged with by CXOs on the LinkedIn platform involved finances in some fashion: No. 1 joint ventures; No. 2 IPO; No. 4 inheritance tax planning; No. 6 hard money loans; and No. 7 venture capital."

If you aren't publishing original content on LinkedIn already, you need to be.

Below are three ways to take advantage of what's hot on the platform and generate sales leads with LinkedIn as a result.

Tip #1 - Get in the Conversation!

If any one of these hot topics or articles resonate with your personal business, you cannot afford to miss adding your value and insight into the conversation!

Creating content is an effective way to build the "Know," "Like" and "Trust" factors that are critical to any client relationship or potential sale.

For example, in my own work creating LinkedIn courses, I've been able to add to the conversation on the hot topic of "sales" on LinkedIn, including showing others how to create a sales funnel using webinars -- something I did successfully with my own business.

Remember - you must earn the time and attention of prospects by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise via the content you create and share online.

Tip #2 - Get Found!

In reality, LinkedIn has become like a B2B or professional version of Google. LinkedIn's "Search" bar lets you find more information on a specific topic from blog posts, long-form articles, online training courses and (of course) professionals based on the keywords you enter.

Before you publish a new post, spend some time on LinkedIn Search. See what hashtags and keywords are listed around these hot topics, and make sure the content you publish gets indexed along with others so you can be found!

You also need to "stop the scroll" with eye catching images and headlines. I've shared elsewhere how to write awesome LinkedIn headlines, including proven formulas for copy-and-paste headline templates and more.

Finally, make sure you comment and engage on posts that are relevant to yours and see how you can demonstrate your value to your core audience.

Tip #3 - The Riches are in the Niches

Just as LinkedIn's report demonstrated that CXO's have specific common interests when it comes to engaging with content, it's important to remember that when you target a specific niche group and audience, your content will be more effective as you become a big fish in those smaller ponds.

Final Thoughts

With nearly 500 million members in 200 countries, and adding two new members every second, LinkedIn is the world's largest platform for professionals online.

If you're not spending time there, creating content, crafting a killer profile and networking with others, you're missing a huge opportunity to grow your business with LinkedIn.