5 min read
LinkedIn Pulse has been around since 2013, but many marketers still aren’t using it.
Or, if they are, they haven’t quite tapped into its full potential yet.
Part of the reason might be because of the unusual position Pulse occupies:
- It’s not quite traditional social media, since its reach is well beyond your own network.
- It’s not quite public – since its audience skews strongly toward LinkedIn’s power users.
- It recently changed branding and is no longer referred to as “Pulse” on LinkedIn itself.
As a tool for communicating your brand and strengthening your thought leadership, Pulse has a great pedigree. It started off as a highly exclusive club where only a handful of top luminaries in each field were invited to participate: Think the likes of Bill Gates and Richard Branson.
Those glory days are long behind us now, but they helped to establish Pulse as a place for serious thinkers. Many of the superstar experts who pioneered the platform at the very beginning are still there, but its use has widened to be more inclusive of us rising stars too.
With that in mind, it is now simply known as LinkedIn publishing, but you’ll find many of its dedicated creators still using the older Pulse name.
LinkedIn Pulse also tends to attract an involved audience. That includes B2B decision makers who look to Pulse as part of their formula for keeping track of the latest trends.
This makes it a better option for marketers with limited time than thought leadership sites like Quora or Medium. These have some gems, but they attract a more general audience.
So, how do you tame this unusual beast and get it to help you with your marketing strategy?
Let’s take Pulse’s pulse and get to the answers!
Marketing on LinkedIn Pulse: Three Warnings to Be Aware Of
Let’s start with the bad news: Although it’s easy to publish on Pulse, it won’t be the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy. It’s best to go in with eyes open about what the service can and can’t do for you, so you can plan for success accordingly.
There are some drawbacks to note:
LinkedIn Pulse Articles Must, Must, Must Be Targeted
LinkedIn tailors content to each user to create a personalized experience. While any user can seek out any content, laser-focusing on your specific audience will raise your articles’ visibility.
In particular, it’s essential to craft your headlines with as much care as you would on your blog.
LinkedIn Pulse Articles Must Drive Blog Traffic
Pulse is a terrific adjunct to your content plan. It can come in both at the beginning – when you need to get your message in front of the right eyes, pronto – or once your content base matures and you want to bring it to the next level. Still, it doesn’t replace your blog!
You should always be enticing people to find out more on your website. One way to do this is to make sure you engage directly with those who respond to your work: Watch for comments and shares, and spark a conversation, especially with those in your core audience.
LinkedIn Pulse Marketing Has a Learning Curve
Pulse can seem pretty intimidating at first, but get into the right mindset and it’s a paper tiger.
If you already know your content marketing best practices inside and out, there’s not too much about Pulse that will surprise you. Still, it does have a learning curve you should aim to beat fast.
Here are a few ways to do this:
Test Out Short Articles Over Longer Ones
Pulse gives you a lot of freedom to stretch your creative legs (and flex your creative muscles!) in ways even ordinary optimized web content doesn’t. For example, you don’t have to worry about keywords – just focus on the right topics and compelling takes for your specific readers.
Out there on the web at large, it’s generally understood that long-form content is best for SEO. Today, 85% of articles are less than 1,000 words long, but the true top performers are 1,000+ words. Not so on LinkedIn Pulse: Short articles are both effective and common.
That means you can release short content in bursts, reduce your writing time, and still make a splash.
Leverage Pulse’s Fast Turnaround Time
Like other aspects of your content plan, your Pulse articles should be on a regular schedule. If you’re using a content calendar or other app to centralize your efforts, slot Pulse in there for two to four times a month. This is a good benchmark to balance visibility and deep, meaty content.
Pulse articles are live and ready to be read practically the instant you push the shiny “publish” button. That makes it a lot more attractive than many guest blogging opportunities – and successful LinkedIn Pulse articles will often open doors to collaboration with other influencers too.
Promote Your Articles Outside LinkedIn
Usually, if you post an article to social media, you’re trying to get traction for it outside of that network. Not so with LinkedIn: Promote your Pulse articles wherever you can, including your email subscription list, because they can build your brand’s LinkedIn following.
Use Visuals and Video the Right Way
In the typical blog post, a few photos, illustrations, or other graphical touches can make a big difference in how your content is received. They have the same power in LinkedIn, but you should focus your attention on the visuals B2B decision makers respond to best:
- Short videos are great for “behind the scenes” footage or product demonstrations.
- Infographics will get your article shared further and faster if they’re well-designed.
LinkedIn Pulse Is an Underused Tool You Shouldn’t Overlook
Pulse has seen a lot of evolution since it first burst onto the scene five years back. Now, it is the best way to get content in front of others on LinkedIn and amplify your brand voice.
If you zero in on the right slice of the B2B audience, it can even lead directly to sales. So, write on!
Published on August 6, 2018