If you are on LinkedIn, you’ll notice that some key opinion leaders are dominating the platform with their content. They are getting thousands of reactions and engagements on their posts, allowing them to reach more users beyond their existing connections thereby getting them even more likes and comments.

Did they post something revolutionary? Well, no. If you take that exact content and post it on your personal account, I can guarantee that the number of reactions and engagements you get will differ drastically. Heck, you might not even get any reactions.

The fact is that it doesn’t really matter what they post on LinkedIn. These successful individuals are like business celebrities in their respective industry. People idolise and view them as thought leaders. Their experiences and achievements put them in a position where their advice or content would be seen as some sort of divine revelation. Regardless of the quality of their content, they would naturally get a lot of likes and comments.

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Unfortunately, this means that if you don’t already have a huge following and you’re trying to create content for your audience, I’m going to tell you right now that it is going to be an uphill battle. Because no one is going to care.

But thankfully, not all hope is lost.

There are several content formats that you can use to stand out on LinkedIn. As an aspiring digital marketer, I’ve experimented on some of these formats on my own personal account and I’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t.

Before you scrutinise each content format, know that the message of your content matters. If you publish trashy content, I can say for sure that none of these methods will work for you. These formats should be seen as ways to package your content and not as a replacement for actually creating quality content.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Screenshot of LinkedIn Post
Screenshot of LinkedIn Post

Normally, I don’t recommend posting a word document via LinkedIn documents because I feel it is just a lazy way of publishing content. An essay-style content has just too many words and too much information for an average person to digest. People usually don’t consume heavy content on LinkedIn.

But this is a prime example of how quality content trumps the format. The publisher’s excellent writing and choice of topic grabbed the attention of his audience and managed to garner quite a number of reactions.

So, without further ado, here are some content formats that I recommend.

Content Format 1: Video Content

i) Monologues/ Video logs

Screenshot of LinkedIn Post

Video is by far one of the most effective formats to engage your audience. Video marketing research shows that globally, people who watch online video spend an average of 6 hours, 45 minutes per week watching various types of content. Viewing time has grown by one hour in the last year and almost two and a half hours since 2016. What these mean is that if you’re not already churning out video content, you are losing out.

As seen from the example above, I posted a simple video on LinkedIn to share about my internship experiences and I managed to garner 2,697 views despite my follower count being only at 247. The following two factors are what I believe helped increase the viewership of the video:

  1. A fixed header at the top of the video
    No one listens to the audio when they chance upon your video on social media for the first time. Having a large header at the top of your video catches their attention and might interest them to watch your video.
  2. Subtitles and text edits
    If your audience does continue watching your video, subtitles and text edits allow them to watch it without having to listen to the audio. Chances are, your audience might be commuting to work or scrolling through LinkedIn without having an earpiece on. If you do not have subtitles, there is no way they can understand your content at all and they might just scroll away. Subtitles make viewing videos on the go easy.

ii) Text Videos

Screenshot of LinkedIn Post

If you’re concerned about the time and effort it takes to film and produce a video, you can utilise a free video making software called Lumen5. Lumen5 utilises Artificial Intelligence to create a text video by pulling contents from an article or a blog and converting that information into a video. All you need to do is to key in the domain of the article into Lumen5 and the software takes care of the rest. It’s that simple!

If you’re interested in learning more about how the video software works, read my guide on how to create a video using Lumen5.

Content Format 2: Documents

However, you might not be able to churn out a video every single day due to time and resource constraints. Publishing content via LinkedIn documents will be your next best bet.

Based on my observations and experience, LinkedIn documents work because content in this format usually come bite-sized. They are easier to digest and a whole lot more attention-grabbing than a bunch of words. Here are some examples of the types of content you can upload via Linkedin document:

i) A snapshot of your article/blog

Screenshot of LinkedIn Post
Screenshot of LinkedIn Post

If you’ve written an article, what you can do is:

  1. Take a screenshot of the juicy bits of your article and compile them into a PDF file.
  2. Upload the file via LinkedIn documents and your audience can simply swipe to preview your article.
  3. You can leave a link to the full article in the captions and redirect them there should they want to read more.

This method works well because not everyone has the time to read through your entire article. Even though it might prevent some of your audience from clicking through to your article (because they’ve already read some parts of it), it is still better than not getting any readership at all.

ii) Slides/Infographics

Screenshot of LinkedIn Post

Infographics and slides deliver bite-sized content that are both attention-grabbing and easy to understand. The only challenge for content creators is being able to succinctly compress the information into a slide deck or an infographic. This will take some time and understanding of your target audience but if done correctly, they can easily garner a high number of engagements.

If you’ve conducted a presentation recently and you feel that the content of that presentation will add value to your audience, you might as well upload that presentation deck on LinkedIn. Not only will you be benefitting the LinkedIn community, but you will also saving yourself the trouble of having to create additional content!

Content Format 3: Articles

i) Publishing articles on LinkedIn

Screenshot of LinkedIn Post

Publishing an article on LinkedIn refers to composing your content directly on LinkedIn instead of an external site. This format works well because articles on LinkedIn takes much lesser time to load and the format looks a lot more suited for the LinkedIn platform. However, if you do post directly on Linkedin, it probably means that you are taking away traffic from your website or blog.

A simple way to work around this is posting half of the article on Linkedin and at the bottom of the article write these words “Continue reading at [your website]”. Hyperlink those words to your article so that you can redirect interested readers to your website.

ii) Sharing articles from an external site

Screenshot of LinkedIn Post

The majority of LinkedIn users are reposting an existing article that they have read online and are sharing it on LinkedIn. Unless the article is truly mind-blowing, I don’t recommend doing this. There is usually little to no engagement for such posts because there is no originality in terms of the content. Anyone can repost an article.

However, if you do want to proceed with this format, I recommend writing your key takeaways or an interesting opinion that you have in the captions because it tends to provoke a response.

Some final words

There are other aspects to increase your engagement on LinkedIn such as being clear of who your audience is and understanding the kind of content that they are looking for. But, speaking solely from a content format perspective, video is definitely king. Don’t believe me? Try it out yourself! If you are truly interested in trying increasing your engagements on LinkedIn, the best way to get started is to experiment with new ideas and figure out what works best for you. The last thing you want to do is to stick to the old ways and expect a higher engagement.

Just like what Albert Einstein once said:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This article first appeared on SBO.sg under the title “How to engage your audience on LinkedIn