LinkedIn is the number one social media platform for B2B marketing and content distribution, driving 50% of all website traffic. With over two million pieces of content loaded each day and nine billion impressions, the platform is a bonanza of professional value.
Yet only 0.5% of LinkedIn users post, and many are missing the mark due to the explosion craze of people posting videos filmed in their own cars (and other weird places), alongside posts that are clearly self-indulgent.
Video fatigue has become a real issue in 2019 needing redress. The pressure to record videos in any way, shape or form is causing a lot of angst for LinkedIn users, notwithstanding the lack of critical thinking as to purpose, quality and preferences.
Great content should educate, enlighten or entertain — and ideally deliver this trifecta. One person’s treasure is another’s trash, as no market is 100% aligned. Horses for courses and content preferences are never linear.
Podcasts, videos, posts, and long-form articles are all part of the rich multimedia mix on LinkedIn. A trap for many is assuming that their consumption preferences are akin to that of others. Some folk have a skill for the written word, a dulcet voice for radio or a confident manner for video. No judgments made, but we must play and deliver to our strengths and consume from what we most benefit. Expecting everyone to do and enjoy the same thing is simply nonsense.
Quality versus quantity is always key on LinkedIn. But I’m seeing a disturbing trend of some users posting more than 10 times a day. This looks desperate and the algorithm will generally penalise them, sometimes to LinkedIn jail status. The optimum number of new posts per week is between five and eight. And don’t overuse hashtags. The AI machine does not favour hashtag stuffing and prefers an optimum number of three or four per post. Adding 10 to 30 hashtags looks desperate and risks a spam classification.
Further, recent research in the global LinkedIn training community has provided evidence of a drop-off in video view metrics. This is without a doubt in line with video fatigue and the volume of self-aggrandising, look-at-me videos. Members seek tangible value, not just platitudes and thought bubbles with wet hair, as if someone had a thought they so wanted to share that very minute.
Don’t get me wrong, video is an awesome part of the content and personal brand building mix. But it needs forethought, better training and a strategy on the how and why. Fun is key. We are humans, not robots.
Use a variety of multimedia genres on LinkedIn. Focus mostly on the type that suits your style and that you feel most comfortable with.
- Posts. Text only or with images. We are all visual and an image tells a thousand words. Note: bold and fancy fonts (Unicode) do not work on all devices. Don’t use them as they can be garbled on Android devices and that’s not good for your brand.
- Videos. Native, embedded, YouTube, video content is important to have for sure. They can give you good reach but this may be declining due to video fatigue. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Don’t fall into the trap of following the car seat trends. Note: LinkedIn Live is still being rolled out with an application-only system and so it will be interesting to see the uptake in 2020.
- Podcasts. These do well in targeted reach as they indicate a commitment to depth of knowledge and thought.
- Document PDFs. These are really cracking the code as they allow up to 300 pages to be read in the feed. An awesome and under-utilised feature, with strong algorithm push reach. Use these to showcase training, value, and interactivity. Audio can also be embedded, which takes engagement to the next level.
- Articles. While the algorithm has demoted the reach of articles, they are still essential. They are a permanent body of your work and Google indexes articles. Note: LinkedIn is also trialling an invitation-only newsletter subscriber format in its articles feature. This seems to indicate a re-focus back to deeper content on Pulse versus the deluge of posts. Stay tuned as the ABCs deputy chair Kirstin Ferguson is part of the trial.
- SlideShare. This feature is a rarely used content avenue but you can load content and training here and have it indexed under subject titles.
Along with multimedia mixing, content topics are pivotal to build on that old cliché of ‘know-like-trust’. Horses for courses again but a good rule is to focus on a mix.
- Expertise and thought leadership. Education, new ideas, granular information, research, insights and opinion pieces.
- News and trends. Leverage current issues and industry discussions, trending news and media issues.
- Promotion or PR. Announcements, events, website redirections, a media article and workshops.
- Feedback and conversations. Asking questions, feedback and opinions.
- Celebrations. Fun stuff, staff updates, personal stories, awards and networking.
- Curation. Posting external content, such as media articles, to share value.
Note: re-sharing original LinkedIn content gives no feed reach and value or visibility to your network. You need to repurpose not re-share.
I predict more changes will come to content weightings and value in 2020. And I hope the subscriber newsletters become available to all.
And for the record, yes, I would love to see car videos banned, especially when LinkedIn users are driving simultaneously. Can you just imagine the police ticket report?