LinkedIn is about to become the world’s biggest publishing platform. What does that mean for your content marketing strategy?
Starting today, LinkedIn will open up its publishing platform to the entire user base. Your employees won’t need to be Richard Branson or Bill Gates to publish their insights to LinkedIn. Once the feature is fully rolled out, any LinkedIn member will be able to publish long-form content. In short order, LinkedIn is going to be the world’s biggest professional publishing platform.
It’s a content marketer’s dream. LinkedIn is offering free real estate for professionals to publicize their ideas, goals, learnings, dreams, values, and accomplishments to the world’s largest professional network.
This may be the biggest real estate giveaway since the Homestead Act of 1862.
Better yet, as the world’s biggest professional social network, LinkedIn is in a unique position to match content to readers who will find it professionally relevant and valuable. It’s a targeting opportunity you can’t get with other publishing platforms.
Is it time to shutter the corporate blog and migrate your publishing to LinkedIn? Not exactly.
LinkedIn’s expanded publishing platform differs from your company blog in two important ways. First, LinkedIn owns the branding, syndication, traffic and lead flow. Second, the authors on LinkedIn are individual members, whereas your company blog is more of a corporate voice.
Content marketers should use LinkedIn publishing to complement, not to replace, the company’s proprietary blog.
Here are my top 6 tips on how to integrate LinkedIn publishing into your overall content marketing strategy:
- Invest in a few strong voices to represent your company. Although LinkedIn is opening up its publishing to everyone, not all your employees should represent the company in that forum. Focus on a few individuals who have unique expertise, perspectives, or personal stories. Help them post truly exceptional content that reflects well on themselves and your company. Integrate their posts with other reputation-building activities such as public speaking, tweeting, and video blogging.
- Speak with a personal voice.
Authors should post in their own voices. Keep those voices consistent and authentic across multiple posts. It’s OK to help employees write their posts, especially if they’re not trained as writers. Help them find their own voices, and resist the urge to make them sound corporate and generic.
- Post insights, not announcements. If you want to post a press release, send it to PR Newswire. Like the Influencers program that inspired it, LinkedIn publishing is a forum for ideas and learnings, not company announcements. Your employees’ posts should only mention the company to illustrate trends, ideas, and concepts with broad appeal.
- Link from posts to your company website. Top-of-the-funnel awareness-building is awesome, but at the end of the day marketing is all about leads. If want LinkedIn traffic to convert, you need to drive it back to your real estate.
- Keep using LinkedIn status forbite-size content updates.
LinkedIn publishing doesn’t replace the short, Twitter-like status updates and links you post today. You and your employees should keep using those to draw attention to company news, analyst perspective, upcoming webinars, etc.
- Don’t copy and paste from your company blog. I’m not going to spill ink over this. Just trust me, it’s a bad idea.