Trying to grow an audience on LinkedIn? Me too! But the analytics around Articles and Posts has had me vexed.
In this first article I introduce the benefits and best practices around both Articles and Posts so you can bring the right tool to the job.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
I’ve been all in on LinkedIn from the beginning. In fact, for over 8 years, LinkedIn was one of my largest users of the Consumer Survey Platform I built. Sadly, I continue to be frustrated with the way my Articles are performing in comparison to my Posts.
1: ARTICLES SEEM TO PERFORM POORLY COMPARED TO POSTS
For example, below is the analytics from my best performing Article we see 135 views, 37 likes and 6 comments.
Compare this well performing Post which had over 12k views, 100 likes and 20 comments…
2. ARTICLES TAKE MORE RESOURCES TO CREATE THAN POSTS
There was no paid ad spend on either the LinkedIn Article or the Post. My hourly rate is much higher but, for this work, $100 an hour felt right.
The economics is very obviously in favor of the Post. Here is why:
- They require less time, money and energy to produce.
- Seem to get way more currency of choice, #attention.
Engagement is my attempt to create a measure of impact per post and consists of Likes + Comments. Physiologically, Views has some important impact on me. So, the emotional lens created by views and the larger Engagement supported an “all in” effort on posts.
3: VIEWS FOR ARTICLES ARE MORE VALUABLE THAN POSTS
I reviewed over 20 blogs, articles and had many discussions with other LinkedIn influencers to better understand their experience. I also joined the Writing on LinkedIn Group (which produced way too much spam).
Let’s start with views. According to LinkedIn’s FAQ, not all views are equal. The difference between the number of views on a post, video or an article…
- Articles – Someone has clicked on and opened your article in their browser or on the LinkedIn mobile app. Note: Clicking into and viewing your own article also counts towards the number of views for that article.
- Posts – Someone saw your post on their LinkedIn homepage feed.
- Videos – Someone has viewed your video in their LinkedIn homepage feed, or by clicking on the video.
The huge distinction here is between Articles and Posts. In my example post, we have a 9:1 ratio of Post:Article views.
However, the quality of the view for an Article is much…much higher.
Observe your behavior when consuming your feed on LinkedIn. You are likely swiping up until something catches your eye. This gives each post a “view” count even though you didn’t really see it. This view also has competition from ads. The below screen has a yellow overlay over the ad areas on that screen (excluding promoted posts):
Conversely, a view in an Article is counted when someone clicks the Article that they discover in their feed which creates a much lower outcome. BUT, the value of that view is HUGE! Why? You have a captured (engaged) audience…and no yellow.
Now that we know not all views are created equal, what about the difference between Likes, Comments and Shares?
4: COMMENTS AND SHARES ARE A VITAL PART OF YOUR FUNNEL
From my experience, comments offer the highest value opportunity across the View, Like, Comment and Share indicators. Why?
Shares yield views (top of the funnel) but Comments yield opportunity.
I created the below image to show the order of performance vs my overall Key Performance Indicator (KPI) which is Comments. This is where Paid becomes a critical component for your LinkedIn social strategy. By placing a few ad dollars against an Article, you’ll greatly improve your top of the communication funnel; and if you are adding value and your creative connects, you’ll see the trickle down effects.
Take the time to produce quality articles that add value to your target audience. To this end, I will be producing 3 articles per week this year.
- Ensure all content you produce, especially Articles, add value.
- Spend the time with creative. Given the ease of use introduced by Canva to create amazing social graphics, there are simply no excuses for subpar creative.
6: FUTURE ARTICLES
I’ll be continuing this series based on my findings over the coming months. Here are some of the other items I’ll be exploring:
- Why do people Like vs Comment on LinkedIn & How to Drive Comments?
- What is the long tail of Posts vs Articles?
- If boosted, would Articles out perform Posts? If so, how much money to hit the tipping point? I’ll likely build a calculator for this so you can test and see if the market is going to yield an adequate return.
What else should I be paying attention to or would you like me to investigate?
If you got value from this, it would mean a ton if you could share this article on Twitter!