Creating (and sharing) valuable, free content with a targeted, niche audience is the price you must pay in order to buy a prospect's time, attention and interest online.
LinkedIn has long encouraged its members to create and share original content on the platform, and millions do each week. Recently, LinkedIn revealed some new enhancements to the platform that help ensure your hard work gets you noticed by the right audience.
That old adage "a picture's worth 1,000 words" is backed up by research that says articles with images generate 94% more total views. LinkedIn has made it easier than ever to enhance your posts. All you have to do is click on the "Add Multimedia" icon, and you can drag and drop images, videos, add links and embed content directly inside your LinkedIn blog posts.
It's a good practice to break up the text in your articles with a few images as well as subheads, as readers often scan through articles.
What Type of Multimedia Works Well on LinkedIn
In my own work as someone who teaches others how to use LinkedIn to generate business for themselves, I often utilize screen shots or screen recordings to demonstrate an approach or tactic you can use on LinkedIn.
Also, at the end of each LinkedIn blog post, you'll want to include a Call To Action - be it inviting someone to a free webinar, embedding a video that introduces readers to you or your company, inviting comments on the post or whatever else. (Note: When you add links to landing pages or videos, LinkedIn automatically populates the link with a clickable image or video thumbnail.)
Hashing it Out
Hashtags are so often misused and misunderstood. They can be quippy and comical, but hashtags actually help people discover your content, and LinkedIn's new enhancements make it necessary to get these right if you want the right audience for your posts. The platform has made it clear that posts and content including hashtags gets "surfaced" more easily on LinkedIn and is more easily accessed and indexed inside LinkedIn's giant internal search engine as well.
To discover the best hashtags for your content, think of what keywords or phrases someone would type into Google to get more information on your topics.
Some ideas might be:
You can also "draft" off of specific hashtags LinkedIn might be promoting during a given week or month, such as when the platform kept using "AlwaysBeLearning" to promote the launch of LinkedIn Learning on the site.
Bottom line: You can't skip hashtags and survive on LinkedIn. They're here to stay, so include them on every piece of content you publish or share on the site!
Engagement = Opportunity
It's in our nature that when we slave away creating good content, we want immediate feedback on how our work is being received.
LinkedIn recently rolled out enhanced reader analytics on its mobile site, and promises to include them on the new desktop edition of the platform once it goes live in the coming weeks or months.
A quick glance at the new reader analytics on LinkedIn mobile helps you better realize who has liked and commented on your posts -- what companies they work for, their job titles, where they live, and how they found your post. (This enhancement is also coming to desktop soon.)
To use the insights feature, simply tap on "Me" in the LinkedIn mobile app, and you will find real-time information on the posts you've shared the articles you've written.
Content Marketing is all about the engagement factor, so make sure you respond to comments and reach out to connect with people who have liked and shared your posts. In my mind, anyone who takes the time to read and engage my content on LinkedIn is a warm lead.
Using the information available on LinkedIn, I can immediately reach out to that person with context to begin a conversation.
It's the way of the world in today's online business space, and it's good to see LinkedIn making it easier for members to utilize content to generate sales leads and win new business.