When you’re writing for LinkedIn, or for anywhere, and you want to make an impact, narrow down your audience. Writing for a general audience means writing for people of all different industries, educational backgrounds and preferences. The bigger your audience is, the trickier it is to know what they want to read about and what will resonate with them.
By narrowing down your audience, you have a much better view of what needs you should address. Once you thin out the crowd and start to hear their voices more clearly, you can respond with something that answers their specific questions and pains.
Now, let’s talk about actually doing that.
So who’s seeing your LinkedIn content?
LinkedIn is the biggest networking platform for professionals. 810 million members big, to be precise. Those members come from different industries and all want different content specific to their own jobs in their own industries. Your existing marketing strategies and usual buyer personas will still roughly represent your LinkedIn followers in many cases. If your LinkedIn audience is sufficiently similar to your general audience, maintaining consistent messaging for both will help solidify your brand image in the minds of your customers.
What if your LinkedIn follower base differs from your usual clientele? How do you even know if this is the case? Well, LinkedIn offers analytic tools that give you demographic information about your page’s pool of followers — including location, job function, seniority, industry and company size. All of these metrics can give you better insights as to who exactly you’re writing for, as well as fuel your research into what topics they’re most likely to engage with.
Just like Facebook, groups on LinkedIn are a big deal. Social media users are great at self-selecting into categories, and a LinkedIn group related to your industry can serve as a model for your own following. Joining a group to see what kind of content performs best and what subjects are most popular is a great way to sharpen your campaign.
What should your content look like?
Just as they respond differently to different messaging, different demographics prefer different formats of content as well. According to HubSpot, short-form video content continues to be the best-performing type for Generation X. The average LinkedIn user spends 6 minutes and 7 seconds on the site per session, so keep your videos brief. A 1-3 minute length — with captions, for accessibility and since many users watch videos without sound — fits better into the social media scrolling experience.
The same rules ring true for younger audiences on the platform. The much younger (Generation Z), while not as present on LinkedIn as they are on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, tend to prefer more eye-catching visual content and livestreams.
Written content still does well on LinkedIn, too! The site even has a built-in article feature allowing for posts as long as 125,000 characters. While you don’t actually want to hit this upper limit, about 2,000 words is a good target to boost retention time. The best tips for writing good headlines include numbered lists and benefit-first phrasing, such as how-to articles and listicles. Formatting your article in these ways gives the reader a clearer idea of how it will be structured and what to expect, making it easier to comprehend and retain the info.
How do you choose a topic?
How-to’s and numbers are great, but unfortunately, they’re no substitute for a good topic. Ultimately, what you say matters just as much as how you say it. LinkedIn users tend to look for well-researched content that’s useful to them rather than entertaining. Aim to write articles that will help your target audience perform better in their jobs, with topics you know well. Establishing that your company is stacked with experts will keep readers coming back to hear what you have to say, and keep you top-of-mind when they have a problem your services can solve.
And remember: narrowing down your audience and paying attention to what they want to know is the best way to get eyes on your articles and videos. It may be tempting to cast the widest net you can find, but less specificity makes it harder and harder to make a unique, useful and memorable point. Stick to writing what you know, for the people who want to know it.
Finally, finishing your article with a call-to-action is always a good idea. If you’re looking for a way to make the best use of your existing content across other platforms, including LinkedIn, check out our blog on repurposing content. And if you’d like to talk more in-depth about implementing a content creation strategy for your brand, contact us for a 15-minute discovery call.