So, you’re ready to take your LinkedIn game to the next level. In the age of social media influencers and digital connections, thought leadership is crucial. According to this article by Foundation Inc, only 0.2% of LinkedIn users have published an article on the platform. That’s 1 million people out of the whopping 500 million LinkedIn users!
LinkedIn heavily favors original content as opposed to external links, so it’s time to get that brainpower working.
One of the best ways to flex your thought leadership muscles is by producing long-form content. You know, blogs, podcasts, videos…the whole enchilada. Today, I’ll be going through the five types of media to elevate your LinkedIn articles.
Media to Elevate Your LinkedIn Articles
If you’ve never written a LinkedIn article before, it can seem pretty daunting. No worries though! Adding rich content to your article upgrades your piece and is actually pretty simple.
When starting a new article, you’ll be greeted with a blank slate. The good news is that LinkedIn’s preset format for articles makes it pretty easy to navigate. In the bulk of the article, you’ll see this tiny box to the left of your cursor.
This is the rich content box. Clicking on it will pull up the five media options that we’ll go through today. This box will follow you around no matter where you’re at in your article, so have no fear: it’s not going anywhere.
A common type of media to elevate your LinkedIn articles is images.
Images are the most widely used form of content to spruce up your blogs or articles. Although actual pictures are typically what come to mind, images have seen an upgrade. Charts, graphics, and even designs have made their way into LinkedIn articles recently.
Incorporating images into your articles allows you to supplement your writing with an interesting visual. Although the sizing options are pretty limited, there are five preset alignment options.
These options allow you to decide the orientation of your images. Based on what the image is, you can decide how it should be formatted. A centered image filling the space may make sense for a chart or graph, but a right alignment may be the way to go for a small graphic.
Pro tip: adding alt text to your images boosts accessibility. When you upload an image, a pencil with “Add alt text” will pop up in the upper right corner. Here, you can write a sentence about what the image is. According to this LinkedIn Help article, alt text “allows members using voice-over screen readers to understand what’s in the image.” Alt text isn’t seen by readers otherwise.
If you’ve got images down and are ready to take it up a notch, let’s talk videos. Using the same rich content box as images, click on “video” to access this feature. From here, you have the option to paste a link from the web.
This embeds the video into your article and allows users to play it without leaving the page. Pretty sweet, right? You can also upload YouTube channels or playlists here, but they don’t format as well and take the reader away from your article. Stick to singular videos to get the most out of this feature.
There currently isn’t an option to upload videos that don’t live somewhere on the web, but I bet it’s coming soon!
LinkedIn rolled out SlideShare in 2006. If you’re unfamiliar with SlideShare, it’s a pretty similar concept as LinkedIn Learning. The free platform allows LinkedIn users to upload PowerPoints, slides, documents, and more to the hosting service.
SlideShare connects to your LinkedIn account, so your details are pulled from here for your profile. I’ve uploaded one presentation to SlideShare from a class we taught at the WISE Future Leaders Symposium in fall 2019.
In the top right corner of this screen, you’ll see the “Embed” option. This is what you need to upload the slides into a LinkedIn article. From here, you can choose the embed size and copy the link seen here.
With this link copied, click on the same rich content box and paste it into the “Slides” option. Here’s what the before and after look like:
Ta-da! You now have fully embedded slides that users can flip through while reading your article. You can also embed other users’ slides in an article! If Prezi is more your jam, you can upload those presentations here too.
While you can hyperlink text in an article, embedding links is a little different. With this feature, you can link content from any platform. A big difference here is that a preview shows up, rather than just seeing the hyperlinked text. Here are examples of linking Modthink’s posts from Facebook and Instagram.
Way cooler than a hyperlink, right? The preview allows you to play the video right there in the article or directs you to Modthink’s Instagram post in a new tab. This is great for referencing your content or someone else’s.
Snippets are a bit of a wild card, as there’s no real right way to use them. For the most part, I’ve seen snippets used for quotes, call-outs, and excerpts. The black box here is how snippets appear in LinkedIn articles.
I know what you’re thinking – “Wait a minute. Did she just combine a picture, snippet, hyperlink, and embedded link?!”
Yes, yes I did. There are no rules in LinkedIn articles! You’re free to combine content types and be as creative as you want.
What Comes Next?
Now that you’re a multimedia master, go out there and 10X those LinkedIn articles! You have all the necessary tools to elevate your written content and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and a LinkedIn Allstar.