Blogging on LinkedIn to supercharge engagement & reach
If you feel like you have valuable insights to offer your professional connections, blogging on LinkedIn can be the outlet that sets your voice free. It certainly has been for me! I’ve found blogging to be a fundamental tool for establishing an engaging online presence.
It’s usually a given that those who share authentic and valuable content lead the conversation. But since LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, the content shared on it usually misses this point. I often come across traditional corporate content that reads like a rigid and uninspiring branding monologue.
I’ve come to learn that this is a massive, and all too common engagement pitfall: On LinkedIn people follow HUMANS, not companies.
According to a recent article by LinkedIn, sharing your own helpful, human, and heartfelt content has a significant positive impact on others’ opinions of you. But it can be difficult to share and stay relevant in such a busy landscape.
Personally, I’ve really struggled with finding my voice as a blogger. Sometimes it’s due to a lack of fresh ideas, the difficulties of writing in English as a Latina, the pressure of posting quality content consistently, or plain old insecurity. But I wasn’t going to let these obstacles keep me from sharing my ideas.
To help me better understand how to make blogging work for me, I reached out to David Azar, CEO of Outsmart Labs, elected Top Rising Digital Agency in the US by Google. David is an expert in brand growth in the digisphere, and his concise and effective tips have helped me overcome my ‘writer’s block’.
The tips I’m about to share with you are tried and true by yours truly! Since we had this interview, I’ve applied this knowledge in my articles and have seen huge, quantifiable results. Read on to see how they can do the same for you!
Before blogging on Linkedin, understand the benefits of posting engaging content to the site
Let’s be honest, the effort of blogging only pays off if you’re reaching a quality business audience that wants to engage.
In this sense, David was pretty blunt: “Those decision makers are on LinkedIn, and they are in the mindset of learning something new from someone they believe is an expert in their field. If you have an angle on your topic, they will likely enjoy reading about it.”
And he’s right, because the outreach opportunity LinkedIn offers is pretty special. LinkedIn says more than 90% of B2B marketers leverage LinkedIn over all other platforms. When it comes to sharing cornerstone content on LinkedIn, David firmly believes in blogging. He said, “Blogging is amazing, and I pitch blogging for my clients all the time.”
David talked about what blogging on LinkedIn demonstrates, saying “By sharing your knowledge, you showcase all the work that goes into what you do. This is a great way to persuade clients to appreciate how things get done.”
Which takes me to the essence of meaningful content: value.
Content featuring thought leadership drives demand
When I started my blog, my mission was to share the functional marketing knowledge I’ve picked up in my years of experience in the industry. I knew what I had to say could make a difference, but I was unsure about how much people would actually care to read about what I had to say.
I had specific theories and informed opinions about marketing content which aren’t necessarily “establishment”. Though I know my perspective has been valuable to me and my clients, what if a purist didn’t like my methods?
By blogging on LinkedIn, I was putting my own experience and thoughts out there for my entire professional network to see! Calling it intimidating would be an understatement.
David was very candid about this: “When writing articles, experts are scared of revealing their secret sauce. My advice is: Share everything you know. Be the source people go to!” To me, this concept was extremely liberating!
What he meant was that as a thought leader, you need to offer value through your unique knowledge and opinions. Your perspective IS the value… So, make that bold statement! Ask that thought-provoking question. People may not agree with what you say, but if it sparks interest, you’ve achieved your goal. In the end, focus on sharing your innovative viewpoints to inspire the people for whom it’ll make a difference.
Pique curiosity with an article about a trending topic
A good subject always triggers interest and engagement. Therefore, a good way to identify an engaging topic for your blog is to understand what your audience is into. David suggests trying to find out what people are saying about certain hot topics and then blogging about your take on it and how or why people should react.
He points to TikTok as a great example of this because it’s something controversial at the moment. Choose a title like “Reasons why I think TikTok is not listening to my conversations,” and then provide your value by presenting your points in a concrete way. Or you can ask a provocative question like, “Will TikTok destroy Instagram?” to encourage engagement in the comments and to spark a conversation with your audience.
Get read by publishing easy-to-read, authentic content
A critical component to a winning article is to write from the heart. David suggests using short sentences people can adopt and re-use in the future. This means using as casual a tone as possible and avoiding the use of too many big words.
He points out that breaking up your text into snackable sections really works for keeping readers engaged. This is a great way to pull them all the way to the end of your article.
That being said…
The whole point of blogging on LinkedIn is to establish yourself as a leader in your area. As a result, this sometimes means writing about very technical topics. Just be aware you may end up alienating a big chunk of your peers while gaining favor and engagement with another niche audience segment. Therefore, be mindful of your goals for blogging on LinkedIn and write accordingly.
From the audience awareness point of view, you definitely gain visibility when you share your own content. But what I’ve come to learn from my conversation with David is that you don’t necessarily have to expect a like or a comment every time you post . As David put it for me “LinkedIn is not so much marketing the products you’re trying to sell, as marketing your expertise, which is a longer-run strategy.”
Use your face
A very important part of an engaging blog article is the featured image that will make your readers stop scrolling and read your headline. So aside from laying out your stunning design, consider featuring your face in the image. David stressed that this was critical for generating the most engagement.
He said, “Remember, people are following YOU, not your company. They want to know what you’re saying. You’re the one writing! If it’s an image of the author, the article is going to get more engagement.” And he was SO RIGHT!
Ever since I started including my face in my blog designs, my engagement TRIPLED!
People want to connect with an accessible human, not just a faceless company. People gravitate toward the image of someone they feel they know or could know, and react more to a face than they do for a generic image.
How often should you blog?
David definitely thinks that if you’re looking to boost your LinkedIn presence, you should prioritize posting directly on LinkedIn. But this doesn’t mean posting “just because.” How frequently you post should depend on having quality content that’s good enough to share.
David says, “I don’t want to post too often, but I do want to post really great content. Every time someone sees one of my posts, I want people thinking more positively about me, and I always want to bring value.”
I asked about when he thought was a good time to post a blog. He stated the obvious: people look at their phone at different times because people are not robots. He said: “They don’t just see their phones from 9-5. I tend to post right before work, or right before readers leave work, or right before bedtime.”
Conclusion: just post whenever you have something worth sharing to encourage engagement!
Maximize your reach
Once you are ready to publish your blog, you’ll have to create a post on LinkedIn to let readers know you have new content available. But I’ve found that relying on the site’s algorithm to boost your original content is not enough. In order to give your content legs and increase your post’s reach, David mentions there’s a couple of things you need to do:
A great way for your content to reach a wider audience when blogging on LinkedIn is by including @mentions of other people in your post.
Also, you must use hashtags to circulate within ‘followed hashtag’ circles. A good technique is to insert your hashtags within the text of your post, and not to load hashtags at the end of it. Always choose three to four words from your post that you can convert into a hashtag.
Promote across your groups
This one is pretty evident and basic: promote to those who are guaranteed to care! Join groups that can benefit from your relevant content and share your posts there to ensure engagement.
Respond to comments and engage
Always respond to comments on your posts! This goes back to making yourself a real and accessible person for your audience. Interacting with your readers when blogging on LinkedIn will generate more engagement and spread your content as more people see your interactions.
Include a call to action
Within your post, always ask people what you would like for them to do after reading your article. This is a great incentive for readers to get the conversation going!
Resharing relevant content
David stands behind posting whenever you have quality content. However, he also advised that if you want to be active on LinkedIn, you don’t always have to be author.
You can become a source for other articles that you find interesting. In this case, always talk about your why you found the article relevant, and give your take on the content. As David puts it “if there’s value, post as much as you want.”
Converting those hot leads
Achieving an all-star profile on LinkedIn begins with creating valuable content. The same applies to persuading that prospective client to do business with you.
Leverage LinkedIn’s networking platform to re-engage with the people that liked or commented on your post. You don’t have to do so with the dozens of people that liked your post, but maybe there are two or three that you know you want to engage with.
As it turns out, people are more open to being contacted through social media than by email. Talk about a smooth way to open a conversation with potential leads!
Having a professional profile with high visibility in your area of expertise is key to expanding your professional brand. Don’t overthink… Go one post at a time!
Oh, and lastly, David mentioned that adding an emoji to your posts never hurts 🙂
These practical examples have helped me immensely. What’s your social media game plan? Reach out to me if you need help creating content to boost your online social presence, or reach out to Outsmart Labs if you’re looking to scale up your brand online.