You’re a professional, your digital publication is professionally made, and you want to market it to over 450 million other professionals worldwide. So where do you turn? Easy, you turn to LinkedIn– the largest professional networking channel around.
The #1 Rule for Marketing Your Publication on LinkedIn
LinkedIn users are primarily on the site to connect with businesses, find jobs, and gain professional connections. Accordingly, your marketing strategy needs to be highly focused so users can leverage your content to grow their own networks. LinkedIn has numerous ways you can accomplish this task. Here are some of them:
1. Get onboard with LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups comprise people in similar industries with similar interests. They can share content and forge new business connections at the same time. They’re promotional goldmines for digital publishers, but there’s also a catch. Many refrain from marketing their publications in groups due to promotional spamming. Members can leave a group out of sheer annoyance, so you have to be careful. But don’t worry– we won’t leave you twisting in the wind. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about promoting your content in a LinkedIn Group:
- Don’t post too frequently. Once a week should be just fine.
- Before marketing your publication, read and understand your group’s guidelines posted by the group manager! You can find them under the “Group rules” link near the top-right corner of the page.
- Try to avoid using personal pronouns such as “I,” “me,” or “my” in your posts. Many LinkedIn Groups auto-filter posts containing excessive amounts of these words and shove them into the dreaded “Promotions” section.
Here’s how to optimally market your publication in a group: find a group conversation that pertains to your content’s subject matter -> type in a thoughtful comment and link your publication to it -> don’t make the aforementioned link look like a shoehorned sell. The idea is to make it sound more like a recommendation.
2. Publish on LinkedIn Pulse. It’s LinkedIn’s very own publishing platform and it works best when your content is highly focused. Pulse works a little differently than your standard blog or another publishing outlet. Paul Shapiro, Director of Strategy and Innovation in Catalyst’s Data Science department, conducted a very interesting study to identify the characteristics of a winning Pulse post. The following are some key takeaways:
- Successful marketing posts do NOT need videos or other multimedia assets such as YouTube and Vimeo.
- They do need images, however. 8 seems to be the magic number required to maximize shares, likes, views, and comments (as the graph below shows). There should at least be an image at the very top of each post.
- 5, 7, or 9 headings are optimal, as the numbers below illustrate.
3. Take advantage of status updates. LinkedIn updates are unique because they can include a ton of supplementary information like names, photos, job positions, and images. Couple that with the fact that a status update can occupy up to 80% of a user’s screen, and you have a recipe for marketing success.
Don’t take our word for it. LinkedIn’s own studies have shown that 60% of your target audience will be reached if you update your status with relevant content every weekday (which amounts to 20 posts per month). Binding your marketing strategy to your status updates is essential for improving your publication’s exposure.
There’s more good news. The second quarter of 2015 saw 380 million users on LinkedIn, but less than half of them were active. Surprisingly, even less were updating their LinkedIn statuses. What does this mean? It means many people are downplaying the marketing importance of status updates. If you coalesce your marketing strategy with updates, more users will see the latter because not many others are using them.
Your LinkedIn status update should…
- Include a link to the publication you are marketing. Attractive, striking language is effective for garnering clicks.
- Reference industry highlights that relate to your content. LinkedIn users love reading about the industry they are in or are interested in. Mentioning industry highlights in your update is a surefire way to get users to view your publication.
- Contain videos, images and infographics. Videos get 75% more shares and images result in 98% more comments, according to Anything to help users digest information more easily is always a good thing.
- Sound like a sales pitch. Abusing updates and constantly trying to sell your publications to LinkedIn users will never work. If your content brings value to the table, the results will speak for themselves.
- Lose its professional image. It’s the top-rated professional networking site for a reason. LinkedIn status updates always perform better when they (1) relate to the content at hand and (2) avoid delving into unrelated, random topics.
At its core, LinkedIn is and will always be a professional social platform. But hidden beneath its outer shell are layers and layers of valuable marketing resources. Digital marketers and publishers alike should use them all to present their content in the most professional ways possible.