LinkedIn has an audience of 800 million people and counting, and you’ll have to fight hard to get even one person’s attention. The average user only spends 17 minutes per month on the professional network, which equates to a matter of seconds per day. Compare that to the 58 minutes per day spent on Facebook by the average daily user, and it becomes clear that LinkedIn’s audience is anything but captive. This makes sense. LinkedIn users are generally less receptive to the whimsy of Facebook or Instagram. They typically visit the platform for one of just a few reasons:

  1. To find relevant content that aids in their professional development or otherwise helps them do their jobs better. Everyone likes a good distraction from time to time, but no one expects to be bombarded with vacation photos or cat videos on a professional networking site. Our attention is inherently more trained on business matters.
  2. To network with other professionals, whether it’s job seeking, searching for new employees or even just bragging about your latest business accomplishment. 
  3. To create, curate and share content with the intent of making ourselves more visible to prospective employers, business partners, etc.

That third one is especially compelling to marketers. LinkedIn, more than any of the other social media platforms, was built for content marketing. It’s the place to become influencers, build authority and engage with other professionals.

But that doesn’t make content marketing any easier on the platform. Setting aside the fact that LinkedIn users are less prolific than other social networking sites, let’s keep in mind that more than 97% of B2B marketers leverage the platform as a content distribution channel. Competition is abundant and time with the audience is scarce.

So Why is LinkedIn Worth the Time and Effort?

There are a lot of reasons:

content to post on linkedin
  • When you have a LinkedIn profile, there’s a good chance that the right people will see it. An astonishing 4 out of every 5 people on LinkedIn directly drive business decisions. The platform is teeming with professionals who have the power to authorise spending on your products and services.
  • Social media is the second favourite medium for distributing business-related content among B2B marketers, and LinkedIn is the overwhelming favorite among all of those social media channels …
  •  … Because It works. More than 50% of all social traffic to B2B sites comes from LinkedIn.
  • It can build your brand. Sharing and posting your own LinkedIn content to your personal profile can show your followers your interests, career aspirations and potential for future endeavours.
  • Professionals are consumers, too. B2C brands can tap into a career-focused network of earners by cleverly positioning their products into the professional’s story. Case in point, Secret using the platform to sell deodorant:

Still, using LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy requires a strong understanding of your target audience and what makes them tick. You also need to know the types of content they’ll find useful enough to click on in a news feed that may be populated with posts from hundreds or even thousands of connections. First thing’s first: That means knowing the best types of content to share and post on LinkedIn.

Not Sure What to Post on Linkedin? Consider These 5 Content Types:

1. Blog Posts

There are several ways to share a blog post on LinkedIn. One is to use the native publishing platform to create content directly on the social network. On your LinkedIn homepage, just above your feed, click “Write article” to create a LinkedIn article.

The other is to share the link to an article on your company’s website in a good old-fashioned Linkedin post. All you have to do is click where it says “Start a post” and you can then copy the URL to your blog post.   A third option is to republish a blog post that has appeared on your company’s blog directly to LinkedIn’s publishing platform. This is called syndication. Note that LinkedIn won’t let you publish long-form blog content directly from your company page. Rather, someone from your company would need to publish it on their profile on behalf of your organisation.

Key Pointers:

  • When distributing/promoting your company’s blog content on LinkedIn, make sure you include some sort of teaser text, or perhaps even a particularly compelling one- to two-paragraph excerpt, and not simply a hyperlink and feature image.
  • If you syndicate to LinkedIn, publish on your blog first. Unlike Medium and other syndication sites, LinkedIn doesn’t enable the inclusion of the “rel=canonical tag” that tells Google which piece is the original. You won’t negatively impact SEO as long as the post is originally published on your blog and you link to that post in the reposted version.
  • Long-form content (~2,000 words) performs better than shorter articles when posted through LinkedIn’s article-publishing platform.
  • The maximum length for a LinkedIn post (on the news feed) is 1,300 characters, which usually equates to a maximum of 200 words. It’s always better to make a point in fewer words if possible since most users are scanning through their feeds. Also, be mindful that any post longer than 140 characters will be truncated, and a user will have to click “view more” to see the rest of the post — which is fine, but you should try to make that last sentence of those 140 characters a biting cliffhanger that leaves your audience wanting more.

2. Third-Party Content

LinkedIn is the perfect place to start conversations and build relationships. Sometimes that means sharing content you didn’t create. It may seem counter-intuitive, and it’s true that a user who clicks on a link to say, a Guardian article, is taken away from your brand’s feed and to someone else’s site. But you want your target audience to associate you with valuable information. Because if they do, they’ll be that much more likely to click on your original content. Furthermore, each time they like something you post, that activity appears on connections’ news feeds. This isn’t to say that you must share third-party content, but it certainly has value.

Key Pointers

  • Don’t be lazy when posting third-party content. Saying “interesting!” or “great read” means very little to an audience scrolling through a large feed of information. Add an idea to the conversation, tease the article, or tie it back to your brand — especially if it supports your prior thought leadership.
  • Try to avoid posting anything super controversial, contentious or that has an overt political leaning. 
  • LinkedIn has a content suggestion feature to help companies identify topics that are popular with their target audience. This feature can also be useful for topic ideation.
  • Consider using hashtags to categorise third-party content for your audience. This is also a good tip for original content.
  • Shorten long URLs with bitly — or better yet, just delete the URL altogether. LinkedIn typically pulls an image pulled from the blog post or article you share, and links it to your content.

3. Native Video

Not to be confused with the video ads that LinkedIn is aggressively marketing, native video is any unsponsored video content that you share with your network, meaning you haven’t paid for its placement in a news feed. About 63% of video marketers leverage LinkedIn. But video’s success is dependent on how you use it. For example, few people will actively click a 5-minute video as they scroll through their LinkedIn feed. For context, presuming an average length of 3 minutes, 48 seconds, a user will typically watch 10 seconds of the content. What’s more, 83% of videos (excluding TikTok, surely) are watched without sound.  Long story short, shorter is better for video and captions are a must. LinkedIn has indicated as much, noting that the most successful video ads are 15 seconds long or less. This doesn’t mean you should abandon videos in say, the three-minute range. It’s only to suggest that you use a shorter cut for LinkedIn to promote the longer version.

Some ideas for content that are well-suited to this format include:

  • A tips-and-tricks video series that provides a quick-hitting industry best practice on the first day of each week.
  • A 30-second roundup of the biggest industry news for that week.
  • A mini-client testimonial, or perhaps a cut of a particularly compelling moment from a longer testimonial. 
  • Event highlights or recaps.
  • A simple animation introducing a new partnership or product feature, like this 19-second clip from John Deere:

Key Pointers:

  • Keep it short if you embed it in your news feed.
  • Use subtitles.
  • About 83% of videos are viewed without sound.
  • Provide a call to action for your short videos. For instance, your video blog summarising a weekly roundup might tell the audience where they can read the full version in the final seconds of the cut.

So long as a video is short, sweet and to the point — as well as being attractive, informative and entertaining — it can be one of the more valuable assets to share on your LinkedIn profile.

4. Text only

Visual content is great at giving the eye something to latch onto, but it can be an encumbrance if the copy is the most engaging part of the content. Sometimes, tips and quick text-only nuggets of content are the best way to get someone’s attention. Here’s an example:

The idea of a simple all-text list may seem strange, but it succeeds in a few ways. For one, it can help break up an otherwise image-heavy feed of content. (Because we’re officially in the future now and text-only content is in the minority.)  All-text posts without any hyperlinks can also be a way to improve engagement. Again, there’s something vintage, authentic, accessible and perhaps even intimate about a simple message that appears to provide honest and useful information without any links or shiny, branded images. If you create all-text posts that have a genuine tone and that explore subjects your target audience cares about, people will engage with you and possibly even commiserate.

Some examples of potential all-text posts might include an interesting excerpt from a book, an inspirational quote, a quick tip, a riddle or funny joke, a survey, or a short step-by-step guide to a process.

Key Pointers:

  • Use hashtags. They can help improve engagement by making it easier to find specific content. For instance, typing #WritingTips into the LinkedIn search bar will display any content featuring that hashtag on your news feed. (This applies to most if not all of the other content types on this list).
  • Keep sentences short to convey meaning quickly.
  • Use a conversational tone that your audience will find accessible and sincere.

5. Photos and Graphics

Text-only posts still have a place on LinkedIn, but a cursory glance at your newsfeed is enough to remind you that imagery totally dominates this media platform, which makes sense. The mind excels at processing imagery, especially when that imagery does a brilliant job of providing information or making a point at a glance. Photos and graphics can be used to complement a point you’ve made in a short post, or as a standalone element that can convey information on its own. Or sometimes, it’s a bit of both. Take this example of a matrix that we recently posted:

The image itself makes a pretty clear point: that we’re leading the leaders in Australia. The text, however, adds additional context and conveys important information: our two-year anniversary since launching in Australia.  In that same vein, LinkedIn can also be a great way to distribute and promote infographics. Simply crop the opening section of a larger graphic, and include a link to the full version. This can help drive engagement on LinkedIn while also directing traffic to a website or landing page. Pictures and graphics can also put a literal face to your organisation by highlighting accomplished personnel. Here’s an old but still highly relevant example from GE:

This is a great reminder that LinkedIn is about building relationships. Imagery is, in many ways, the face of your brand. It’s often one of the first things that we process upon visiting a website — subconsciously or otherwise — which makes it great for patenting identity and personality.

Key Pointers:

  • Use meaningful imagery. It’s easy to just attach an image to a post as a “visual aid.” But imagery is a communication medium, not a prop. Make sure it adds real value. Also, if you can help it, drop the stock imagery altogether. And if you can’t, here’s some advice on how to choose stock imagery wisely.
  • Remember, imagery is a big part of branding. The graphics, blog-accompanying pictures, employee spotlights, banners and other imagery you post on LinkedIn should reflect your organisation’s branding guidelines. If a LinkedIn user recognises your imagery on his or her feed without having to see the name of who posted it. Think of imagery as a digital signpost — your golden arches, so to speak.

Other Content Types to Consider?

  • Op-eds.
  • Live images, videos and/or text updates from events.
  • Original research (always a good idea if you have the means).
  • Your latest podcast episode.
  • GIFs.
  • SlideShares, decks or images pulled from them.
  • Links to eBooks, white papers, case studies, interactive quizzes and other collateral.

Remember: Sharing a variety of content types on LinkedIn can attract different audiences, which can also earn you more followers. Keep this in mind as you explore your options for each new LinkedIn post.

Final Takeaways

Be Social

Many brands schedule their content on LinkedIn and expect engagement without giving any back, and that’s a mistake. You can’t build brand relationships on LinkedIn and network effectively by simply talking at your audience. They’re called social platforms for a reason. Re-sharing or liking content that connections in your network have posted is a simple but powerful way to show that your brand is listening. So is responding to comments and occasionally asking questions of your target audience, perhaps by tagging them. You want to be an authority in your field without being inaccessible. This advice applies to every facet of professional life, including digital marketing.

Post Consistently

This is a tricky one considering there are 24 time zones and your audience may be spread across them. It raises the question: When is the best time to post? HubSpot pinpoints the ideal post time as Tuesday through Thursday, “between the hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. depending on your time zone.”  Seems straightforward enough: We’re generally less tuned into work and professional matters on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. For what it’s worth, some tools, such as Sprout Social, recommend ideal posting times every time you go to schedule a post.

As for post frequency? Most experts and studies agree that once per work day is a good rule of thumb. We generally try to think of 1 post per day as a minimum across our own channels. Just understand that posting more often won’t do any good if your content isn’t engaging (check out some examples of compelling LinkedIn content strategies, here).

In general, try to maintain a consistent posting schedule to build steady, ongoing engagement. Pay attention to what your followers enjoy, but make sure to stay true to your brand.

Try New Things

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every new LinkedIn post, but try something new every now and again. Introduce a form of media you haven’t used before. Share a screenshot of something new or unusual you’ve noticed. And track the results of these efforts. For that matter, track the outcome of ALL your efforts. How much time and effort you put into performance tracking will likely depend on how important of a channel LinkedIn is to you. But even if it’s not a notable source of leads or traffic, you want to spot issues sooner rather than later.

Otherwise, just keep at it. Posting great LinkedIn content on a regular basis might feel difficult at first, but it’s all about developing a habit. Just like exercising and flossing, sticking to LinkedIn marketing will bring you closer to those much desired results.

Editor’s Note: Updated November 2021.

Dominick Sorrentino, Brafton's Brand & Product Manager, is based in Portland, ME. He likes language, playing guitar, birding, taking his dog on scenic strolls, traveling, and a good conversation over a great cup of coffee. He promises he's not as pretentious as he sounds.