Wouldn’t it be nice if every article was the source of tens of thousands of views, thousands of social shares, and a long list of engaging comments? What a wonderful bit of exposure that would be! Could it happen for you? It happened for me, and I think I know why.
Recently, I broke down what I see as clues to the success of the piece (those 50k views), in the hope we may be able to repeat the approach.
Let’s take a look at the pieces:
1. A title that asks a question.Even in print or on a screen, questions are powerful. They force the reader to subconsciously answer, which can make them very powerful in terms of attracting interest. Not only is a viewer thinking about the topic you raised, but they are also curious about how you solve it.
2. A topic that triggers an emotional response.As much as we try to think and behave like rational individuals, human interests are driven largely (and some would say almost completely) by emotion. When we bring up a topic that makes readers feel something, they’re more likely to click through and check it out.
3. A subject that’s appropriate for the platform.On LinkedIn, you're virtually assured of finding an audience that is somewhat interested in their jobs and making money. That inadvertently made this article a can't-miss topic for readers of LinkedIn's blogging platform, Pulse.
4. A structure that allows for quick reading.Articles like the one I posted (in effect, like this one) are easy to scan because they have subheads and short, easy-to-read-sections. When something is easy to read, people are much more inclined to give it their attention.
5. An image that has strong emotional context.A picture isn’t just worth a thousand words – it also creates a strong emotional connection. For that to happen, though, you need to choose the right image. Ideally, yours should tie into the topic and tell a story in a few tenths of a second.
6. A fully posted article.While a lot of LinkedIn users like to post teasers, summaries, and other pieces of truncated content on Pulse that are linked ot content off-site, I think that's a big mistake. My goal is for people to read and get the idea, so I posted the entire article – they didn't have to click or find "the rest of the story" elsewhere.
7. A fully engaged and responsive author.In the first hours after the article went live, it attracted more than 140 comments – I responded to each commenter (some of the ones I felt were questionable or potentially spam, were ignored). That, in turn, led to even more engagement and sharing as the discussion went on due to the original commenters sharing the post with their networks. Write this down: If you value engagement, stick around to chat after you post your ideas.
8. The right timing.It's easy for any piece of content, no matter how great it is, to get lost in the never-ending tide of new material being thrown at readers every minute. With that in mind, I posted this piece on a Friday at 5:pm EST when I suspected a lot of potential readers wouldn't just be reading, but also thinking about all they'd been through during their work week.
I attempted to repeat this success with an article titled "Sterling Cooper is Dead" based on a PDF download I give away for free via my website. That post attracted 10.5k views and hundreds of shares. Not quite as powerful as the initial article, but still scoring about 20 times the average Pulse post published by general LinkedIn members, and prompting many downloads of the PDF.
I'd call that a success by any measure.
Content marketing, whether it's on LinkedIn Pulse, your blog, or anywhere else, isn't just about having a good idea and some clever writing – it’s about learning a little more each time about what might resonate with your connections, and putting the pieces together in a way that makes sense to them.
Could your LinkedIn Pulse post be a huge hit with readers, connections, and potential customers? Certainly. Why not consider this when writing your next article to see how your readers respond?