LinkedIn’s head of content products made the announcement, saying:
“LinkedIn is opening up our publishing platform to our members, giving them a powerful new way to build their professional brand. When a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, their original content becomes part of their professional profile, is shared with their trusted network and has the ability to reach the largest group of professionals ever assembled. Now members have the ability to follow other members that are not in their network and build their own group of followers. Members can continue to share their expertise by posting photos, images, videos and their original presentations on SlideShare.”
I am an unabashed LinkedIn brand ambassador, especially for B2B brands and for networking and relationship building in general. I speak and write on this topic all the time and am passionate about the value it can deliver for brands and for individuals across many verticals. My team and I spend many hours helping our clients write and develop great profiles, understand how to use LinkedIn, for social selling, relationship building, integrate LinkedIn into our content marketing strategies and, well, you name it and we do it on LinkedIn. So I suppose it’s likely no surprise that I think this is a great move on LinkedIn’s part.
Four Reasons to Want to Invest in Publishing Content On LinkedIn
I Like ‘Em Big
My kids are huge fans of Madagascar 2 and one of our favorite songs to rock out to is Moto Moto’s “I Like ‘Em Big.” I’ll just leave that playing in your head while you read the rest of this post. Well, when it comes to big and social networks, LinkedIn’s got it covered. It’s big, it’s filled with people who are your customers and your prospective customers, and there’s no better place to add value to what you’re doing as part of your social media networking (and marketing) efforts than LinkedIn. Period.
LinkedIn is a powerful factor in search results and The Google tends to trust LinkedIn more than it trusts other sites. It stands to reason that when you’re writing and sharing great content on LinkedIn, that content will be rewarded in search.
Enhanced Credibility and Reach
As LinkedIn works to create a more intuitive interface, part of what the platform will do is to suggest your content to others who might find it relevant, based on what it knows about those users. Talk about an opportunity to broaden your own brand and the “reach” of your posts and your thinking, but also the credibility that’s imparted to you as a result.
The steps you take to build your reputation and your brand online – no matter what you do or sell, is important. And that’s also how little guys like me can compete against huge agencies. We understand this, we make time for it and we integrate this kind of thinking into the strategies we develop and execute for clients. It’s truly a point of differentiation that can make a world of difference because, to our way of thinking, it’s not about what you say you know how to do – whether for yourselves or for your clients – it’s what you show you know how to do that makes the difference. Writing content designed for publication on LinkedIn, getting great engagement as a result of that content, social sharing, showing up in Google results and the like – that is bound to impact your own authority in the eyes of search engines.
LinkedIn is starting small and will be initially offered to 25,000 English language members of LinkedIn. In the coming month, more languages will be included. How will you know if you are one of the 25,000 selected? There will be a pencil icon in the “Share an update” box on your LinkedIn homepage. I’d show you mine but I’ve not yet been granted that access. Drats. For more information on this, however, detailed instructions are available in the LinkedIn help center. If you’re interested in early access, you can register here.
I don’t really think there’s any downside to creating content designed specifically for sharing on LinkedIn, in spite of the fact that I’ve heard others rumble about giving content away. There’s a tremendous business upside in being brave enough to step out on a limb and write about the things you know and when you do that on what is the largest business social network, and it becomes an archived part of your professional profile on that network, it makes a lot of sense to me.
And if you’re in the job market, either openly or quietly looking around for your next big adventure? There are so many advantages to integrating this into how you’re using LinkedIn it makes me giddy just thinking about them.
There’s probably not an “easy button” for integrating publishing on LinkedIn as part of your overall content marketing strategies – which is a good thing. Writing and publishing content is relative easy (in the big scheme of things) – getting anyone interested enough to read it is something else entirely. It also bears mentioning that if you’ve eschewed the value of LinkedIn and not actively worked to build your connection base, make friends, add value to groups, etc., you’re likely not going to get much value out of something like this. Which is only fair as well.
It still remains to be seen if people will actually write and publish articles on LinkedIn and how much value it might deliver, but it will certainly be interesting to experiment with. As anyone who does it knows, creating quality content consistently takes time and effort. Will business owners see any value here and commit additional time and resources to publish content on LinkedIn in addition to their own platforms? I’m not sure. But time (and testing) will tell.
Lastly, I think it’s super important to mention that we see this as an addendum to what you might be doing from a content standpoint, not the only thing you’re doing. Unless of course you don’t have a blog or your company doesn’t have a blog, and this might be a decent substitute and/or a short-term solution. Think about it this way: you’re in sales and your company doesn’t have a blog and you don’t have any content to share in social (nevermind a strategy) that might lead someone back to your site and/or allow you to do any kind of lead generation. You get this, your company doesn’t. By writing your OWN content, content that would add value to your clients and prospects, and publishing it on your LinkedIn profile, and then sharing THAT content in the social media space – well, it can be pretty stinking valuable. Chew on that one for a minute and let me know what you think.
What about you? Interested in giving this a test drive and seeing what kind of value it can deliver or are you on “content overload” and can’t imagine writing, creating, publishing anywhere but your own blog? I’d love to hear what you think.