Unlock LinkedIn's potential: the common mistakes and 3 rules for success

Don't miss out on your SEO and realize it's part of a bigger content ecosystem

LinkedIn… how do you stand out, gain reach, and get the most out of your budget? It's the not-so-new content playground for marketers with varying success rates. If you're a marketing manager who's disappointed by the results, it's probably you who failed, not LinkedIn. 

Below, you'll find the  3 common mistakes and the rules for success that you, as a marketing manager, can apply. 


The common mistakes and 3 rules for success

The first mistake is you think that LinkedIn is a content platform. Bursting your bubble, LinkedIn is a distribution channel and part of a bigger ecosystem. You publish your leadership content on your .com or newsroom for SEO and distribute channel-optimized content on LinkedIn and via email marketing. 

Second, if you post on LinkedIn, your content should always be about adding value and giving inspiration or education. Your content should not be about you, your new product, and the fancy features. 

Third, and above all, people want to see a face. Don't fall for the trap of only organic posting. You need some paid. And if you really want to get reach, add your employees to the distribution mix. 

Below, I list a few things to know to prevent the 3 common mistakes and to shine with your thought leadership and brand awareness content on LinkedIn. Please check the sources in the last paragraph for all details before you jump to any conclusions. 

In summary the 3 rules for success 

  1. LinkedIn is a distribution channel, not a content platform
  2. Inspire or educate with your content; nobody likes to be sold to
  3. The power of employees for more reach (and that’s a good thing)




Rule 1. LinkedIn is a distribution channel

Understand the role of LinkedIn in the content ecosystem. First of all, you publish your content for your .com or newsroom for SEO. Then, you jump to LinkedIn and email marketing for the distribution.  

Keep in mind, you need to make an effort to get some reach on this platform. This means bespoke LinkedIn-optimized content assets. Please don't just post the link on your page; that will not move any needle. 

Here are some stats, based on extended research by Richard van der Blom

An external link has a 0.69x (business page) or 0.61x (personal profile) reach in the algorithm. If you create a carousel (document) for LinkedIn, your reach jumps to 1.44x for both page and profile. Or text + image is 1.19x for page and 1.27x for profile.


post performance and reach


How to create the right LinkedIn content

The LinkedIn algorithm changes frequently. I recommend following Richard van der Blom for what’s hot and happening today and tomorrow. What’s hot and what’s not? Please check out Richard’s and Anneke’s posts. 

Both give you hands-on tips on the best content to get reach, the prerequisites per type of post, and how to nail the algorithm. You can also follow me as I steal his most valuable tips and post them in my monthly LinkedIn algorithm update

A small important note: please don’t use AI for your LinkedIn content. It’s not appreciated by the algorithm. 


LinkedIn AI generated content


Publish on your .com or newsroom to boost SEO

Did you know that LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft? And that Microsoft and Google are not really the best friends? Hence, there’s a big chance your LinkedIn content will not pop up in Google SEO.

The good news is that it will pop up in Bing, which is aligned with ChatGPT. Yet, that’s a whole different topic for another time.

Let’s get back to SEO.

If you want your leadership content to pop up in SEO, you’ll need to publish your content outside of LinkedIn. How about your newsroom or a blog on your .com?

Ballpark benchmark July 2023: about 36% of your traffic should come from SEO. So, if you’re not publishing your leadership content on a channel Google favors, you’re an idiot. (source )


Also, distribute via email:  first-party data and owned audience

Here's the synergy between LinkedIn content and your broader marketing efforts. Never put all your eggs in one basket. 

With the rising importance of first-party data and LinkedIn being a rented audience, you can re-use your LinkedIn content for your email marketing. With a backlink to your newsroom or .com (SEO).  


Example: my distribution planning

I always publish my content first on my newsroom, thinklikeapublisher.com; I sleep a night on it and review and refine it the next day with a fresh mind. 

Then, I go to my Notion calendar for the distribution planning. In assets creation, I have a specific order: first newsroom, then LinkedIn newsletter, followed by Instagram story, and then the feed. In this way, I can reuse the elements of the assets for the next channel. 

In distribution, honestly, I go with the flow. Depending on what's trending around me and what I've sent out or posted before, I plan my content accordingly. Good to know; I always post asynchronously to get more reach and a much longer lifespan for my content. 


Rule 2. Inspire or educate with your content; nobody likes to be sold to

The main prerequisite for your content is to add value to your customer. This prerequisite hasn’t changed over the years and probably will become even more urgent.

Less and less people are following brands on social anymore. And the only reason they do this is because a brand provides more value by giving inspiration (B2C) or education (B2B). 

Realize that nobody, really, nobody, likes to be sold to. Therefore, your content should emphasize inspiration and education over direct sales pitch content. 

For example, a fashion brand gives outfit inspiration, or a restaurant posts amazing food you want to taste and try. Or a newsroom software SAAS solution gives you a free tutorial or best practices guide.

And please, please, don’t gate your leadership and brand awareness content on LinkedIn; it has a huge drop off of 90% in reach. Keep your content unlocked and freely accessible for everyone. Sources: Richard van der Blom and when you could consider gating your content

And most importantly, your business needs a face, people buy from people they trust. People relate to people. See the last paragraph.


Example: problem-solution-benefit structure

For all my content on my newsroom, thinklikeapublisher.com; I use the structure problem - solution - benefit, combined with ‘to know’, ‘why it matters’, and ‘to do’. 

By weaving these 6 elements into the structure of my content, I'm forced to be customer-centric and think thoroughly about why my audience should want to read my content: what's in it for them? How can I inspire them or what can they learn?


Rule 3. The power of employees for much more reach

Lastly, if you post content from your personal profile, the benchmark is about 10% see your post.  And if you’re posting from a business page, it is even less. If you f*ck up your LinkedIn algorithm like I did, your reach drops significantly to about 1 or 2%.

As mentioned above, people want to connect to people, not to business. And with the rise of AI, authenticity, and personality matter more than before.

Knowing all this, why not ask your employees to distribute the content for you to give value to your customers with your leadership content that adds value to them? All you need to do is to engage your employees and give them plug-and-play content they can distribute with their own thoughts in their personal LinkedIn network. Reposting the page post without thoughts will not do the job; it has about .038x reach.

And if you really want to boost your reach, aim for a comment which has 15x more value for the algorithm as a like. 


engagement impact ratio on own post


Example: ask the founder

As said above, giving a face to your page's content is important. Why not ask the founder of the brand to post the same content from her or his personal profile? Or a spokesperson? Or an employee? 

Notice, giving face is not exclusive for the Bobo's; it's for all and everyone working for the brand. From the CEO to the receptionist and intern. 


Unlock LinkedIn's potential for your leadership content: key takeaways

I hope I gave you some food for thought on how to handle your leadership content on LinkedIn. First of all, don't use LinkedIn as a content platform; it's a distribution channel and part of a bigger ecosystem. You publish your leadership content on your .com or newsroom for SEO and distribute channel-optimized content on LinkedIn and via email marketing. 

These are the 3 common mistakes made on Linkedin

  1. I repeat; LinkedIn is a distribution channel, not a content platform
  2. Inspire or educate with your content; nobody likes to be sold to
  3. The power of employees for more reach (and that’s a good thing)


Sources and credits


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