Recently, I had the chance to participate in a Google On Air Hangout hosted by LinkedIn fellow Greg Cooper on the topic of LinkedIn Publishing platform Pulse and, specifically, what marketers can do to make the most of it as a blogging platform. On the call with me were LinkedIn heavyweights Marc Miller and Paul Shapiro.
In case you’re just looking for the highlights, however, I wanted to share a few tips and takeaways from the session that I thought were particularly insightful.
1. LinkedIn Pulse is Perfect for Syndicating Great Content
As I’ve noted in the past, I love using LinkedIn Pulse as a channel for re-purposing great pieces of content that I think deserve another look. My fellow guests took the same view, suggesting that you post “winners” to your LinkedIn blog where they can find a wider audience.
2. To Get a Huge Response, Tap Into What's Popular or Trending
Marc notes that his most popular posts – which have garnered massive views – were based on ideas that his audience “thought about but didn’t talk about.” If you can tap into something powerful that connects emotionally with your readers, they’ll pay attention and share your ideas.
3. For Maximum Exposure, You Have to Choose the Right Channel
To get wider LinkedIn Pulse distribution, you need an editor to notice your post. For that reason, it’s important that you have yours categorized correctly. Otherwise, editors simply won’t pay attention, no matter how good your posts are.
4. LinkedIn Pulse is About Sharing
Although views and comments are as valuable as ever, don’t forget that when someone likes your article it shows up in their feed. In other words, if you can get a few well-connected individuals or INfluencers to like your ideas, you can multiply your readership in a matter of seconds.
5. There is Such a Thing as Too Many Images
Fellow hangout guest Paul did something extraordinary and analyzed thousands of posts to see what made them popular on LinkedIn. One of his most eye-catching conclusions was that posts with more than four images tended to be overlooked. His advice? Choose a few (no more than four) visuals that help tell your story, but don't turn it into a flip book.
6. Lists and Guides Still Attract Big Attention
This won’t be a big surprise to veteran marketers, but Paul also found that “how-to” articles and numbered lists are still big attention-getters. People like to know ahead of time what they are going to learn from your content if they invest the time needed to read and digest it. While the vets lament listicles, a reality is that people still respond to them.
7. Share Big Ideas, Not Teasers
Speaking of time, the conventional wisdom in a lot of circles is that shorter posts are better because readers won’t have the time to dig into something deeper. Paul’s research showed the opposite – if someone is interested enough to read your ideas, you should give them the information. Articles approaching 2,000 words actually do best on LinkedIn, so don’t be afraid to give detailed answers.
On the other hand, readers don’t appreciate teaser content that leads them elsewhere to “learn more.” This is a common tactic marketers use to try to lead viewers elsewhere (like, to their own blog), but readers don’t always appreciate it. That doesn’t mean you can’t take some of that Pulse traffic with you outside of LinkedIn, as we’ll see in the next - bonus - tip.
BONUS: Know Your Goal For LinkedIn Pulse
While I’m still jealous of the gajillions of views Marc’s posts have gotten him, the panelists agreed with me that it’s results (in terms of engagement or visits to your website) that matter most because these lead to developing real relationships. One great way to encourage this is to include links to your other blog posts – on your own website – at the end of your Pulse post.
LinkedIn Pulse is growing all the time. That means the opportunities to get exposure are there, but so are your competitors. The best way to stand out? Share your best content, tap into waves of thought, and structure your post in a way that’s more likely to get you noticed.