How to write the perfect LinkedIn article to make you stand out
Jill Pavlov Vazquez is a copywriter at Ready for Social and owner of Your Creative Concierge, a full service copywriting shop. Her work has been featured in magazines, national campaigns, and popular blogs. She also performs comedy and can be found on Instagram at @yourcreativeconcierge.
Did you know that 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to increase their social selling? No wonder! After all, LinkedIn is social media’s number one tool for creating business connections that mean something.
But how do you get meaningful and high-quality conversations going? And what can set you apart from everyone who wants to grow their network? Your content, of course! But we are not talking about the quick social media posts everyone shares on LinkedIn. Today, we are talking about LinkedIn articles.
A strategic approach to content creation on LinkedIn
Before we dive into the specifics, you need to be aware of the differences between the two content versions on LinkedIn: posts and articles. Posts are shorter and capped at 3,000 characters. They are a great way to get quick ideas, promotions and other tiny tidbits of info out to your audience.
LinkedIn articles, on the other hand, can contain up to 120,000 characters and are a chance to dive in deep with your audience. This extended content format is meant to inform and educate your audience. The value that each article brings is a contributing factor in creating LinkedIn thought leaders. Because articles appear in search engine results, you get a higher chance of visibility on the social media platform and throughout the world wide web.
Let’s take a closer look at how to optimize your LinkedIn articles for maximum performance.
1. Get your network’s attention with an eye-catching headline.
The very first thing your audience sees is your headline, so it needs to grab their attention. Strong buzzwords for headlines include “habits,” “mistakes,” “successful,” and “leader” or “leaders.” Try to put yourself in your readers’ shoes and think about what would make you stop and read that article.
The optimal character count for LinkedIn headlines is 40-49 based on the highest performing headlines. You can also look at the headlines other thought leaders in your industry are using that perform well and mold yours from there. Remember, content creation constantly evolves, and you’ll always be testing what does and does not work for you.
2. Mind your word count.
You’ll note that there is a character count for everything on LinkedIn and an optimal count that encourages high-performing posts. That sweet spot lies in content between 1,000 to 3,000 words for articles. It may be true that most content you’ll find on LinkedIn is 1,000 words or less, but it doesn’t get the engagement that longer formats do.
Still, be mindful about the content you produce and publish. Don’t add meaningless content just to keep the word count up—you always want to provide value to your readers. Optimized length doesn’t just apply to the post as a whole. You also want to watch the length of individual paragraphs to make your articles easy to read. Paragraphs should be 2-3 sentences and include a line break after each, as it is more visually digestible.
3. Don’t use flashy vocabulary.
Ditch the dictionary and stick to words and phrases that everyone knows. LinkedIn articles aren’t the place to impress people with your vocabulary. In order to connect and engage, you want to keep the language simple so that your ideas come across more clearly. Writing at a lower reading level may seem counterintuitive, but it makes sense for social media and what you are trying to achieve.
To clarify: Simplified writing doesn’t mean you have to “dumb down” any of your brilliant thoughts. You are just breaking them down in the most uncomplicated way possible.
4. Give your articles and your audience valuable content.
After understanding the specs of the content, you need to focus on what actually goes into your article. Find trending topics in your industry and write thought pieces on them. Remember: Always provide value to your reader! After all, these articles are about providing solutions for them. If you want to forge deeper connections, get personal in your content. Sharing a story is far more engaging than sharing facts.
5. Make your LinkedIn article visually stimulating.
Along with your written content, the visuals that go into your LinkedIn article are also important. You can share multiple images throughout a LinkedIn article, but the highest-performing posts have an average of eight visuals. These images help to break up the text and make things easier to read for your audience. The same goes for emojis, which break up the content and add some personality to your post. Just don’t over-emoji! Remember: You’re on LinkedIn, which is still a professional setting.
6. Leverage existing connections to become more visible.
LinkedIn is all about networking, so it makes sense to use your existing connections to create new ones. You can leverage your relationships on LinkedIn by mentioning people or companies in your post and tagging them when relevant. This increases visibility and gives you access to a whole new audience, thus increasing your engagement.
7. Add value with links
Including empirical links throughout your article is a strong way to give credibility to your ideas. Links can help your audience to really grasp the intention of your content by adding context to your points. It’s also a great way to share information that you yourself have found to be useful.
8. Always include a CTA
Once you’ve published your article, it is strongly recommended to share it in a post. Along with the content, you always want to tie it up with a strong call-to-action. After all, that is the ultimate goal in posting—getting a potential customer to take action. You can direct them to your website, ask them to private message you or like or leave a comment on the post. You can also ask a question, which improves engagement on the post.
9. Use trending hashtags
The post containing your article should also utilize hashtags. Research your industry’s relevant hashtags, and include 4-5 of them in your article where relevant to increase visibility. Hashtags are another trial-by-error feature of your posts, so keep experimenting until you find the right ones that work for you.
Putting it all to use
Now that you understand how to craft an article based on what your audience and the LinkedIn algorithm value, you can begin creating and posting your content. Not every post is going to give you the engagement you want, but you can take it all in as a learning process to find out what your audience really wants, and what is most successful for you in your social selling.
Do you post articles on LinkedIn? What topics in your industry have helped make new connections for you?