18 months ago, we decided to do something new (at the time) and tested the waters with putting together some content for LinkedIn. Initially, it was just to see how things went and what reaction we received from our network. We were still very much at the stage of figuring out what we wanted from it.
We’d always been a very LinkedIn-focused business, so it seemed like a logical next step, in order to make the most of all the features LinkedIn has to offer.
18 months later and we’ve just published our 100th piece of content on (and off) LinkedIn. This felt like a good milestone to take stock and look back on what we’ve learned, now we’re well over 50,000 words in.
Safe to say, we’ve learned a huge amount. We’ve written about everything from boats to sleep apnea to hashtags to liquid biopsies, each with totally different results.
The biggest thing we’ve learned as a company has been to embrace the importance of our own voice. Recruiters’ insight into specific markets from a (reasonably) objective perspective can, we’ve found, cause them to have a key place in the online conversation about certain markets.
Not that we’re totally selfless though - that same value has generated us well in excess of 7,000 likes, as well as thousands of shares and comments in conversations we’ve started – invaluable for getting us into the minds of prospective clients.
Below I’ve shared a few things we’ve learned about writing effective content for LinkedIn.
Be a Trusted Advisor
I know, it’s cliché in all things sales. But when it comes to content, it’s really important.
If you’re an expert in a particular market segment, especially in recruitment, then it’s all about realising the value that you can provide.
To explain that comment, when we started, we really didn’t know the value of our own voice and how much trusted advice/insight we could give. The biggest mistake we made initially was following the crowd.
Our first few forays into the content world were all concerning things like interview tips or knowing when to leave a job. That’s all useful, but it’s a super crowded market that a lot of people talk about. We found that our objective insight into our consultants’ individual niche markets was a lot more valuable and interesting to our followers.
Focus on the Right Stuff
Likes are addictive.
We’ve had loads of them too, as I mentioned earlier. The amount of likes we’ve managed to accrue have been great, but increasingly we’ve learned that they aren’t everything. The more articles and content we’ve published, we’ve really noticed the value in conversations.
It’s the perfect example of looking for quality engagement, not quantity.
Don’t Ask for Too Much
Another thing we’ve learned is not to ask for much back. That means no ‘big sell’ or even an overt ‘call to action’ in our posts. That may break a lot of rules in marketing, but on LinkedIn people don’t like to feel ambushed or pressured, so we don’t ask for anything in return.
We leave a link to our newsletter in each post, which we hope people who enjoyed what they saw will sign up to. It’s a gradual process but building a high quality (and very GDPR compliant), engaged group of subscribers is a key part of our strategy moving forward.
The Work Starts When It’s Published
Another lesson we’ve learned about writing articles is that, whilst it’s very difficult and takes a lot of effort to write quality content, that’s probably less than half the battle.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn isn’t the most benevolent of platforms and even if you’ve written the absolute best piece of content the world has ever seen, there’s no guarantee anyone will see it. That is, unless you’re an Oleg or a Bridgette. And who wants to be them?
So that means you have to put in the hard yards – as well as sharing it yourself (which, again, LinkedIn might not be too helpful with), make sure you pass it on to people in your market, connections and prospects. Stimulate the start of the conversation yourself and it can have some massive benefits.
As I said earlier, this felt like a significant milestone for us to look back over our body of work so far but moving forward all we can do is keep trying to tweak and make improvements to our strategy. Writing primarily for LinkedIn is an interesting concept because the goalposts (read algorithm & updated platform) are always changing, meaning that you can never rest on your laurels for too long.