(Jeff Young, my special guest, adds an important item too!)
Back in March 2018 I wrote an Article you can still find on my LinkedIn feed called:
In this (old) article, I explain why I chose NOT to write many articles on LinkedIn.
I was reflecting on that Article as a consequence of the question always being raised in my LinkedIn Training program in which the question is asked:
Things have changed a lot on LinkedIn recently and I have changed my mind and opinion about the importance of publishing Articles on the platform. So, here’s an explanation of why:
(for those of you short on time!)
A LinkedIn Post, when done well, establishes your regular presence on LinkedIn. People who enjoy and benefit from your shared content can interact with you, and your audience, creating valuable conversations and insights which can lead to new opportunities.
The regularity of posting can often be a topic of a deeper conversation, but I find two or three Posts a week is sufficient for me to remain active and present on LinkedIn. It also gives me the time to engage with my own and other people’s content – a very important factor which leads to success on LinkedIn.
However, there are downsides to a Post:
On the upside, posts do have the opportunity to be distributed as text-only, text with image, document or video. This means you can mix and match your content, which I also recommend.
A LinkedIn Article, on the other hand, does not engage your audience to anything like the same extent. In my experience, they are ten times LESS likely to attract the number of views that a post does. Given that they may well take ten times the time to write, a ratio of one to a hundred doesn’t seem like a good return on your time, does it?
If you want to be considered an expert in your field, you have to demonstrate a certain depth to your knowledge. Only creating short, bite-sized, content will not do this for you. Adding some weight to an argument as demonstrated in this Article, is why it becomes necessary to write the occasional Article.
Article content is referenced by the search engines. That means that Google and other search engines such as Bing are able to reference Article content on LinkedIn and serve it through a Google search – great news! Some of my LinkedIn posts, for example, have become the default search engine result on both Google and Bing.
Whilst writing this article I found this content of mine coming up on Google’s home page, written over three years ago! Somewhat ironic really as for two years I had suggested NOT writing LinkedIn Articles much at all!
Article content can have up to 125,000 characters, but I’m not sure I’d ever suggest writing that amount of content here – I’d turn that into a book instead!
LinkedIn Articles can be formatted just like any other blog post. Multiple text sizes, bold, italics, etc. And you can add multiple rich-media options such as external links, images and graphics. Altogether giving your content much greater visual appeal.
Article content has a significantly higher engagement percentage rate. Yes, the numbers are much lower, but the number of people interacting with your content as a proportion is hugely higher. I might typically expect an engagement rate of 3-5% on my Posts but can achieve 20-30% on my Articles. Not a bad return, eh?
Okay, you spotted it, my cop-out of the use of the word ‘occasional’. To be honest, I don’t know the right frequency, but I’ve recently felt the need to produce more Articles, so perhaps one a month might be a starting point to consider?
But I’m also careful with my time, knowledge and experience. I’d like to spend it where it has the greatest return. So, the bulk of my time will still be spent producing and engaging in posted content where I still think I have the greatest return.
LinkedIn is rolling out this feature but cannot tell me when I will have it. Believe me, I have tried to jump the queue, but to no avail!
Here is where I resort to asking my good friend Jeff Young for his opinion of LinkedIn Newsletters.
Jeff, over to you!
“A LinkedIn Newsletter is a special form of Article that has special capabilities. The capabilities are not related to formatting, but to reach and traction.”
(My ears picked up at ‘reach’ – that’s what we all strive for – a greater audience reach…)
“LinkedIn originally only offered this to certain people by invitation. They say that now they are rolling it out to all LinkedIn members.”
(LinkedIn, when oh, when? I ask!)
“The major difference in a Newsletter is:
(Wow, that really is amazing. Being able to guarantee that ALL my subscribers get to see my content – I’ve wanted that since having a LinkedIn account!)
“I discovered this feature at the beginning of August of 2020. If you want to check to see if you have it yet, all you have to do is click on “Write an article” at the top of your home page feed under “Start a post”. If it is available, it will ask you to set the parameters (frequency, name, logo, etc.) of your newsletter.”
(LinkedIn told me when I enquired that they would send me an email, but Jeff isn’t the first person to tell me they only realised they had this feature by chance, so it’s worth checking out Jeff’s suggestion regularly as you may have it and not know!)
“Newsletters have given me another channel to establish and build my brand. It has breathed life into my new and even my old “articles”. It has greatly increased my reach by allowing me to build a following of subscribers that is interested in what I publish. I currently have nearly 12,500 subscribers and the number continues to grow!”
(Jeff, that is amazing, 12,500 subscribers in a couple of months! I am in awe, my friend!)
“For me personally, I have found that newsletters get the highest number of views and engagement – more than any other type of post (text, text and picture(s), video and even document posts). It has become a monthly part (I choose to publish monthly) of my content strategy and plan.”
(We all seek higher engagement Jeff, so that sounds brilliant!)
“You SHOULD have it, Nigel. Your content is top drawer and having a newsletter would only increase the reach of your excellent content. I firmly hope they do roll this out to everyone who is interested because it is better than an old (long gone) feature called “Pulse”. I believe it can breathe new life into ALL articles (not just the ones published as newsletters)!”
What can I say but ‘pretty please’, LinkedIn? May I have an early Christmas present?
So, in conclusion, each of us needs to work out for ourselves which form of content will work best for us. But I, for one, will be bringing LinkedIn Articles back much more into my strategy in 2021 and I can’t wait to have LinkedIn Newsletters!
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