Recently, you may have seen notifications on your LinkedIn account recently asking you to subscribe to a multitude of your connections’ LinkedIn Newsletters? You may be asking yourself, who are these cheeky imposters and what business do they have with me? Well, these are LinkedIn Newsletters – a new feature from LinkedIn. They provide LinkedIn users with the opportunity to subscribe to a newsletter from other LinkedIn users in who they may be interested. They provide LinkedIn users with the opportunity to promote their business or brand in a different way. And because LinkedIn is promoting ‘Creator’ content right now, you can get unbelievable reach and traction when you start publishing. What does this mean?
- More views
- A ton of subscribers
- And more opportunities to get in front of your LinkedIn connections
All this means that a LinkedIn newsletter can be a valuable marketing tool for your business. Not only are they a great way to stay in touch with your network, but they can also help you generate leads and sales. In this Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Newsletters, we discuss the benefits of a LinkedIn newsletter and provide tips on how to create and use them effectively. This article is broken down into the following chapters:
Part I – What is a LinkedIn Newsletter?
Before we go into exactly what a newsletter is, it’s important to understand a bit of background. And for that, we need to understand what LinkedIn’s aims are. Like all social media platforms, you succeed by aligning your social goals with where the platform is heading.
So where is LinkedIn heading?
LinkedIn launched in 2002 and in its 20 years, it has grown to more than 690 million members. It has long been established as THE B2B social media platform, with a very different look, feel and experience than other social media channels. This means the platform is used widely among CEOs, C-Suite level executives and other key decision-makers. For many businesses and brands, LinkedIn is their only or main channel for driving leads. A study by Hubspot found that LinkedIn was the best social network for lead generation. LinkedIn generated a visit-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74%, substantially higher than Facebook and Twitter’s .77% and .69% rate. LinkedIn has also established itself as a platform for thought leaders and influencers in the B2B space.
The current opportunity
Ok, these stats are all lovely and impressive, but what has this got to do with newsletters and content. Well, there’s another stat that’s particularly important. Of the more than half a billion users on the platform, only three million users actually post any content. That’s about 1%. This means there is already a huge opportunity for any business looking to establish itself on the platform. But that’s not all. Because the platform has an aim of reaching 3 billion users, it is doing everything it can to attract users to the platform and keep them there as long as possible. How does the platform achieve that? By making its experience richer and stickier. And that means more content, delivered in a more convenient way for readers.
Why LinkedIn wants you to publish newsletters
Over the next few years, we predict LinkedIn will continue promoting content in different ways. This is a golden opportunity for those businesses and brands who embrace this wholeheartedly. But – and here’s the kicker – it will be a time-limited opportunity. LinkedIn Newsletters is the current tool the platform is promoting to drive that opportunity. This is why we believe every brand needs to move quickly on this.
Part II – How do LinkedIn newsletters work?
If you were ever familiar with the Pulse platform previously utilised that later became Articles, you will find the LinkedIn Newsletter format familiar. It is based on this platform. In fact, when you want to publish your newsletter for the first time and subsequently after that, you access this through the Articles section of LinkedIn. But there is a significant difference between articles and a newsletter.
Newsletters vs articles
Articles provide you with an opportunity to write an article on the platform longer than posts. If you do this on a regular basis, you will get traction with your audience. It’s also a good way of positioning yourself with your target audience. But it requires hitting the right notes in terms of content and showing up consistently. A LinkedIn Newsletter, however, works a bit differently. When you publish a newsletter, it doesn’t act like a normal article and LinkedIn gives you additional ways to promote a newsletter that makes it substantially more powerful from a communication perspective. This brings us to this…
Part III – The greatest benefit of a LinkedIn Newsletter right now = content promotion
The most valuable benefit to starting and publishing a LinkedIn Newsletter right now is twofold:
- Gaining subscribers
- Promoting your content to newsletter subscribers
Let’s start with gaining subscribers. When you create the first edition of your newsletter, you have the opportunity to check a box that automatically notifies your entire audience on LinkedIn that you have a newsletter and offers them the opportunity to subscribe in just one click. Once your reader becomes a newsletter subscriber, you then benefit from all the promotional tools currently automatically available to get as many eyeballs on your content as possible. These include:
- Platform Notifications – every time you publish your newsletter, your subscribers receive a notification.
- Email notifications – every time you publish your newsletter, by default a copy is sent directly to the subscriber’s email inbox.
- Mobile app notifications – every time you publish your newsletter, by default a notification is published on the user’s smartphone (if enabled) highlighting your newsletter has been published.
For users, subscribing means they will receive your email across all the channels they haven’t actively disabled notifications for. Upon publication, your newsletter on LinkedIn can be immediately promoted on your organic social channels or shared on your personal LinkedIn feed in just a few clicks. Basically, promoting your newsletter content couldn’t be easier. What this means is you’re able to very quickly build up a subscriber base within your connections, sometimes adding hundreds if not thousands of subscribers overnight to whom you can now send the content directly to their email and phone. Add all this up and you can see why a newsletter gives you organic reach unlike any other platform right now.
Part IV – 10 benefits of a Linked Newsletter
With the extended reach, here are ten benefits that you gain from setting this up right now:
- Stay in touch with your network
- Generate leads and sales
- Build brand awareness
- Increase website traffic
- Improve your search engine ranking
- Improve customer loyalty
- Build relationships with potential customers
- Establish yourself as a thought leader
- Improve your brand image
- Stay top of mind
Part V – Unique features of a LinkedIn Newsletter
Newsletters offer a few unique features that you can take advantage of:
- Track how many people read and subscribe to your newsletter
- Brand your newsletter with your company logo and colours
- Include images, graphics and videos in your newsletters
- Use calls to action to encourage readers to take action
- Test and measure the results of your newsletter campaigns
All of these features offer great opportunities for you to connect with your audience and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Part VI – How to get access to LinkedIn Newsletters
As with all tech, new features are released to high-frequency users first to beta test before being rolled out to the wider user base. Fortunately, newsletters are now available to all users – although not automatically. There is a process to go through which unlocks two opportunities in the Creator hub :
- Newsletters – the publishing tool we’re talking about in this article
- Lives – a live video platform designed to drive more engagement
Let’s leave the Live assessment for another blog. The important thing to remember here is that this is how LinkedIn wants to move forward. If you don’t already have access from your LinkedIn profile, gaining access to lives and newsletters is really simple to do. All you need to do is ensure you’ve unlocked Content Creator mode on your profile. Content Creator mode is available on your profile here. Turn Creator Mode on by making sure the newsletter option is toggled across and is “Available’. By enabling this, you are able to create a newsletter, although it is currently limited to publishing only one newsletter per user.
Part VII – How to use the LinkedIn publishing tool
For the best results, start your set up through the desktop homepage rather. When you go to launch your own newsletter, you have to click on Articles on your feed to reach the relevant part of your feed to build your newsletter. This brings you to the newsletter homepage. From here, you can write content, add images and video and generally start adding newsletter information ready to publish. When you click on the newsletter title, it brings up a pop up where you can edit the details. In the pop-up window, you will first be asked to choose a title for your newsletter. Make sure this is a name that makes sense for your reader. You will also be asked to provide a newsletter description. This will appear under the title. Make sure it accurately describes the newsletter, its reader and its purpose. The next step is to choose your publishing cadence. In the dropdown menu on the right of the window, you are given several options including Daily, Weekly, Biweekly or Monthly. Whatever the publishing cadence, choose one that suits how often you feel able to publish that suits your ideal readers. Next, add a cover photo, image or logo by clicking on the box as displayed below: The image will need to be 300×300 and will be used as a profile image on all future issues. Next, it’s time to edit the newsletter page itself. Here, as the newsletter author, you have a choice to make about the content you choose to publish to your connections. The first element is the cover header for the newsletter. This element can change with each newsletter. This needs to be an image of 1280 x 720 pixels. When this has been uploaded, it is important to create a newsletter title. Choose this wisely, because this title is like a headline and is crucial to getting your content opened and read. This is a headline for the whole newsletter and will become the subject header and headline in all the promotions, e.g. within the platform, email and in app notifications. Next, what should we write? Do you write a new article for this newsletter? Or do you share business-related content already published or available on outer social media channels? An originally created new article on a professional topic will be more of a pull if they are exclusive to LinkedIn. Repurposing content from other channels, less so. Whether you create new content or not, what is important is that you get started to take advantage of this limited opportunity. You have a few options to populate content. You can write an article directly onto the page, or copy and paste a specific newsletter article you feel would be appropriate Ideally, if you are publishing a lot of content in your newsletters, ensure the first article published is the strongest content you have. Other valuable content is:
- Images and graphics
You can quickly and easily add these by clicking on the icon on the left of the page. This brings up a content upload box: To add an image, you need to upload or drop it in place: On each image, simply click on the edit icon in the upper right corner to add alt text or a link if you wish these to be clickable. The options give you the ability to position the image on the page and make sure the formatting looks ok. The link is clear and you also have an opportunity to ‘Add alt text’ When you’re ready to go hit the publish button. If it is your first issue, LinkedIn will send a notification to all your connections and invite people to subscribe. Subsequent issues will automatically notify users as soon as the newsletter is published. The platform also gives you the chance to access draft articles and share your newsletter with a connection so others can give you real-time feedback before you click ‘post’. After you create your newsletter on LinkedIn, have checked it with others and are happy, then you’re ready to click ‘Publish’ and it’s away.
Part VIII – Are there any good practices for creating newsletters?
Creating a newsletter is easy. Here are 10 tips to make it work: Tip #1: Choose a catchy headline. Your headline is the first thing that your audience will see, so make sure it catches their attention. Make sure it is relevant to your reader and showcases the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter. Need help writing great headlines? Read our article on crafting killer headlines for your content here. Tip #2: Write helpful content. Your content is the most important part of your newsletter and the way you deliver your message. Your newsletter needs at least up to one article per issue. Ensure your reader gains actionable information. Tip #3: Include links to your website. Make sure to include links in your article to your homepage, service pages and blogs so your audience can learn more about your company and products. Tip #4: Format your content for easy reading. Formatting your content for easy reading will help your audience consume your content quickly and easily. Use headings and subheadings to organise content, and use short paragraphs and lists to break it up. Tip #5: Use images and graphics. Images and graphics break up content and make it more visually appealing. They can also help illustrate your points, making it easier for your audience to understand your message. Tip #6: Make it easy to subscribe. Make sure to include a subscription link in your newsletter so your reader can easily subscribe to your newsletter or invite others who may be interested. Tip #7: Use a call to action. A call to action is a great way to encourage your audience to take action. Create a call to action in your newsletter so that your reader can learn more about you. Tip #8: Test and measure your results. Make sure to test and measure your results so that you can track the effectiveness of your newsletter. Use analytics tools to track open, clicks and subscribes.
Part IX – What makes a good newsletter article?
A good article is one that allows your reader to discover more about:
- Their current challenges
- Possible solutions
- Criteria for making the right decision
- How your product or services can help
- How others are solving the same problem
If you already have strong blog content and already produce and publish content, you will likely have content to use in your newsletter. However, the best newsletters and articles are those produced exclusively for the format as this gives your subscriber a strong reason to keep subscribing and reading as they won’t get the same content anywhere else. Discover how to write content that focuses on your readers’ challenges to get their attention here.
Part X – What content to include in your LinkedIn Newsletter?
There are many types of content that you can include in your newsletter. Here are a few ideas:
- New articles
- Press releases
- Publish exclusive content
- Product or service announcements
- Share a recent blog post
- More context for current challenges
- Case studies and use cases
- Invite readers to subscribe
- Interview others in the organisation
- Promote your other social channels
- Contests and giveaways
- Event announcements
- Highlight a recent LinkedIn article
- Resource guides
Part XI – Why LinkedIn members need to get started with newsletters now
The window on gaining the level of promotion across the platform and notifications on the app and email is closing as the popularity of newsletters increases. Soon, it will become harder to get the same level of visibility, subscribers and views on the same content. That’s why taking action to set up and establish your newsletter is key. Need help getting this done? Discover how our Linked Newsletter launch package gets you up and running in days with a ton of subscribers and base to drive positioning, leads and sales. Book a free LinkedIn strategy call here and let’s chat about how to launch your LinkedIn Newsletter in the next few weeks: www.bookmystrategy.com