Tag Archives: LinkedIn

5 Killer Tips for Creating LinkedIn Posts that Hook Readers

Type any text into a Word document and spell check the text. Once finished, the tool will display “readability statistics.” At the bottom of this box under the “readability” subheading, it will include a Flesch-Kincaid reading ease score and the grade level. The higher the reading ease score, the simpler the content is for your LinkedIn readers to understand.

Create a length that is optimal for the platform.

Creating an amazing LinkedIn post also involves understanding how much content your audience wants to read. In the past, marketers believed that shorter was better, but today experts find this is not always true. If you write amazing content that is truly valuable, not only will the audience read it, they will read it even if it’s very long.

An article published by the Content Marketing Institute found that short content, with word counts of 1,000 or less, dominate LinkedIn. But surprisingly, this is not the content that readers want most. Posts with 1,000 to 3,000 words get the most shares. Check this out:

Up to 1,000 words: Average shares of 6,439.

Medium content of 1,000 to 2,000 words: Average shares of 7,771.

Long content of 2,000 to 3,000 words: Average shares of 8,702.

The bottom line? If you want to hook LinkedIn readers, you must publish long-form, high-quality content to capture their attention and inspire them to share it with their peers.

Deepen the relationship with a strong CTA.

Creating great content that draws readers in and delivers the information they crave is just the beginning. Once they read the material and say, “Wow, that was really amazing,” readers want more. Sadly, many great LinkedIn articles stop short of asking readers to take that next big step: the call to action.

Creating an effective CTA starts with a goal. After reading your content, what do you want readers to do next? Maybe your goal is to entice them into viewing more content, in which case you might include links to related content on your blog, where you can continue building that relationship.

Or perhaps your goal is to capture the prospects’ email addresses so you can launch a nurturing campaign, in which you might encourage them to download a road map or guide to solving whatever pain point the content addresses. For example, you might say, “To get our free white paper on the three most common mistakes people make when doing X and how to solve them, click here.”

Every piece of content that you publish on LinkedIn should be part of an overarching strategy, and the CTA should be carefully designed to support and meet those goals.

Keep readers engaged with the perfect visual count.

Here’s a well-kept secret about creating content on LinkedIn: It’s not all about the words. How? Research shows that visuals are very important with all content, but especially on LinkedIn. One large study of LinkedIn posts found that LinkedIn content with images received a greater number of shares, likes, comments and views.

On average, a LinkedIn post with zero images receives about 6,413 views. However, when eight images are included, this number jumps up to 57,575 views — a sizable increase!

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10 Things about LinkedIn Sales Navigator a CRM Admin Needs to Know

LinkedIn Sales Navigator 300x225 10 Things about LinkedIn Sales Navigator a CRM Admin Needs to Know

In this blog, we will review the 10 things a CRM Admin needs to know about LinkedIn Sales Navigator and walk through some settings.

If you would like to learn more about the LinkedIn Sales widget, please check out this link: LinkedIn for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Widget – Overview. We recommend that you review the Microsoft Dynamics 2016 and Office 365 Installation Guide as well. If you are unfamiliar with the LinkedIn CRM Sales Widget, below is a very brief illustration because we are going to talk about Sales Navigator today!

The LinkedIn for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Widget works with the Accounts, Leads, Contacts and Opportunity entities. The widget allows a user to see a LinkedIn Member Profile and Company Profile as sections on the entity form. How does it work? Well, while creating a Lead, the widget lets the user search LinkedIn.com directly from the Entity form and users can view information from LinkedIn.com about the Lead’s LinkedIn Member Profile. Below are a couple of screen shots.

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If you want to know more about the LinkedIn Sales Widget, please see our video Dynamics 365 In Focus: LinkedIn Sales Navigator and read our blog How Microsoft’s Acquisition of LinkedIn is Revolutionizing the Sales Game for Dynamics 365 Users.

So, what is the Sales Navigator CRM sync about for a CRM Admin?

The Sales Navigator Admin CRM sync allows CRM Admins to:

  • Connect to an Online D365 Organization
  • Auto sync all seat holders in CRM
  • Set a Business Process Stage where Accounts and Leads from CRM will be imported to Sales Navigator
  • Allow Sales Navigator to size and group a won Opportunity
  • Enable Sales Navigator data to sync back to your CRM
  • Sales Navigator data items as Activities in CRM
  • CRM Data sync Statistics
  • Copy InMail Messages to CRM

Now let’s break down the Sales Navigator CRM Settings!

Sales Navigator Administration Settings

1. System Requirements:

  • Microsoft Dynamics Administrator User with CRM Admin security role
  • CRM Instances: Dynamics 2016 online or on premise and/or Dynamics 365 Online
  • Integration user account for CRM sync
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator Enterprise Edition
  • Assumption that the LinkedIn Sales widget is successfully installed

2. Connect to CRM and then enter subdomain for the Dynamics 365 online instance, this will be followed by a request for credentials. The recommendation is to use a service account for these credentials. The reason is that when LinkedIn Activities (InMail, Messages etc.) are copied to Dynamics 365 these LinkedIn Activities are “Completed by” the CRM Admin for the Sales Navigator account versus the record Owner.

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3. Confirmation of Connection to Dynamics 365 and the date of the last sync with Dynamics 365.

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Below are the other configurable settings:

4. Auto Sync CRM allows Accounts and Leads to be automatically imported to Sales Navigator

5. Use Business Process Stage to import Accounts and Leads into Sales Navigator. The drop-down menu allows for five optionset values. The first is “Not Sure” the remaining four values are the Dynamic Out-of-the-Box business process stage names, 1-Qualify, 2- Develop, 3-Propose, 4-Close.

6. Storing the value for a won Opportunity allows Sales Navigator to size and identify the profile of deals. There are two available values for this option set, “Not Sure” and “Amount”

7. Sales Navigator syncs back to CRM. These data items become Activities in CRM. Below is a sample InMail message created in Sales Navigator with the copy to CRM feature enabled. The third view is this same message showing as an Activity item in Dynamics 365, how cool!

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8. Sales Navigator data items as Activities in CRM. Users can create LinkedIn messages while working in Dynamics 365.

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9. Sales Navigator Sync Statistics can be viewed by clicking on the View details link of the connected Dynamics instance. The table of CRM Data Sync Statistics shows stats for records the Accounts, Contacts and Leads entities.

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10. The Admin sub menu item “Seat Management” allows enabling of the CRM Sync feature for a Sales Navigator Seat (aka Dynamics 366 User).

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Pretty great stuff, huh? We hope this has provided relevant information about the Linkedin Sales Navigator from the CRM Administrator’s perspective. In review, we connected and configured Sales Navigator settings, showed the sync with CRM Activities, the CRM Data Sync Statistics and enabling CRM sync at the seat level. For more information about the LinkedIn Dynamics Sales Navigator see these tutorials.

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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LinkedIn B2B Marketing Strategy: 5 Powerful Reasons to Why

blog title linkedin pulse viral 321x200 LinkedIn B2B Marketing Strategy: 5 Powerful Reasons to Why

At the top of the page, you will see several tabs. Click on the one that says “Groups.” In this example, the technology marketing keywords generate 1,622 groups. Start by finding a few to test and requesting permission to join.

Once you’ve joined, leave comments in existing conversations and focus on adding high value. In addition, it’s very powerful to start posting high-quality content to groups. There are more than 130,000 posts published weekly on LinkedIn Pulse, but only a fraction of this content is posted to groups. Plus, the credibility of this platform is high, with 71 percent of users reporting they feel that LinkedIn is a credible source for professional content.

Create a plan to integrate LinkedIn into your existing content marketing strategy. For example, you might create a blog post on a trending topic and publish it to the company blog. Take that content and also post it to LinkedIn groups and share it through LinkedIn updates to generate maximum exposure.

Key takeaway: LinkedIn groups are a powerful way to get in front of specific target markets and contribute in a meaningful way. Join groups, post content, and contribute in an authentic way to generate results.

It’s a hidden opportunity to drive greater traffic.

One great benefit of LinkedIn is that you can use it to generate not only leads but also traffic for your company’s website. How? It starts with creating great content that’s not only interesting but also truly amazing ― the kind that leaves people wanting to read more about what your company does.

For example, let’s say that you publish a post to LinkedIn Pulse. At the end of that article, you can link to other popular pieces of your content. Review analytics to discover what pieces of content prospects like best, and then link to this content to drive prospects to your website and create a steady flow of traffic.

Make sure that once prospects finish reading the content, they know what to do next so you don’t lose them forever. Create strategic lead magnets to entice prospects to provide their email addresses. This could be a high-value white paper that addresses a specific pain point or some other piece of amazing content. Once you collect emails, you can start nurturing, providing value, and moving those contacts closer to the sale.

Key takeaway: Drive more traffic from LinkedIn to your website by strategically linking to related content at the bottom of your posts. Then create a plan for how to move those visitors into a nurturing strategy.

You have the ability to tap into the genius of thought leaders.

LinkedIn recently implemented a new feature that allows users to identify and learn from top influencers in specific industries.

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D365 In Focus: LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 Integration [VIDEO]

D365 In Focus LinkedIn Sales Navigator Still 300x169 D365 In Focus: LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 Integration [VIDEO]

In today’s Dynamics 365 In Focus, our Director of Solution Design talks about the LinkedIn Sales Navigator and how it integrates with Dynamics 365. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a tool that gives your sellers the ability to tap into their social networks, as well as the social networks of their team members to find new leads and prospects. Learn more about it in our Dynamics 365 In Focus video:

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LinkedIn open-sources Dynamometer for Hadoop performance testing at scale

 LinkedIn open sources Dynamometer for Hadoop performance testing at scale

LinkedIn today released an open source project called Dynamometer to help businesses stress-test large-scale Hadoop big data processing systems without using a massive amount of infrastructure.

The tool is designed to prevent an issue that the enterprise social network encountered in early 2015 when the company added 500 machines to its Hadoop Distributed Filesystem (HDFS) cluster in an attempt to improve performance. Instead, the team ran into a bug that only showed up at large scale and that caused jobs targeting the cluster to time out.

Dynamometer, which is named after a tool used to test cars, simulates large-scale clusters while only requiring roughly 5 percent of the actual underlying infrastructure. That helps developers get around one of the key issues with testing software at scale: Actually provisioning all of the machines can be costly, even in a public cloud environment.

Instead, customers can use Dynamometer to test the same sorts of workloads they see in production and ensure that the system will stand up to software changes. LinkedIn used the tool to analyze migration of the company’s HDFS clusters from Hadoop 2.3 to 2.6, a change that required adjusting certain parameters of the clusters in order to avoid performance issues.

Erik Krogen, a lead engineer on Dynamometer, told VentureBeat in an email that the tool is meant both for companies working with Hadoop at large scale, like LinkedIn, and smaller shops that are proposing changes to the HDFS open source project and want to make sure they won’t affect performance at scale.

In the long run, Krogen hopes that Dynamometer will become part of release testing for HDFS, as well as regular continuous integration of new code changes between releases. That’s why LinkedIn released it to the public as an open source project. The company already used Dynamometer to help with the release of Hadoop 2.7.4, which allowed it to verify that the maintenance release didn’t negatively impact performance.

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Social selling – How to engage customers beyond email and phone with LinkedIn and CRM

Are frustrated faces taking over your sales teams as prospecting fails to pay off?

The conversion rate of cold calls is less than 1%, according to Keller Research Center. And honestly, let’s face it, even that number seems optimistic. As technology advances and social media plays a larger role in our lives, cold calls and cold emails are simply becoming less effective and more intrusive.

Even in the earliest stages of a sale, customers want to feel like they’re understood. Short of stepping directly into their minds, there is no better way to learn about your customers than with social media.

Social selling and social listening allow your sales teams to connect with prospects on a more relevant level. By routinely engaging with leads on social media you can demonstrate real value with much less effort than grinding away behind the phone or keyboard. After all, sharing is caring, and that’s never been more true today.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network – we’re talking 450,000,000 registered members. That’s a HUGE opportunity to discover prospects and directly engage with them. No email required. No “iffy” attachments for the prospect to worry about. No time wasted.

And while LinkedIn alone is a great prospecting tool, sales professionals can get advanced features in LinkedIn Sales Navigator to help prioritize leads, build connections and navigate LinkedIn data more efficiently.

Find the missing link

First impressions mean everything, so make it memorable. Sales Navigator allows you to find colleagues who already have a relationship with your lead and request a warm introduction.

Fun fact – According to LinkedIn data, Sales Navigator users are 128% more likely to secure meetings and 70% more likely to win deals than free LinkedIn users.

With the acquisition of LinkedIn, Microsoft has fully-integrated LinkedIn Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365 for Sales to create a single solution for modern sellers – Microsoft Relationship Sales. With LinkedIn integrated in CRM, you get advanced prospecting features and insights from LinkedIn, all in one single work space.

Now the leads that you save in LinkedIn can automatically enter into your CRM, loaded with insights. Additionally, mutual connections, commonalities, and other influencers within the same company become visible and in context with your sale. Features like InMail and connection requests can even be sent without opening any additional windows.

Say “Goodbye” to stale data

If you’ve ever sent an email blast, you know that lead data gets stale quickly. With LinkedIn and CRM integration, you never have to worry about data going stale as your leads update their profiles, change jobs, find new employers, etc.

Study after study finds that the average customer completes over half of the buying process before ever engaging for a sale. And with more and more professionals seeking business news on the trusted LinkedIn platform, savvy sales and marketing professionals are providing customers with the information they need where they are seeking them.

By Turnkey Technologies, Inc. – Gold Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner for implementation, enhancement and support, based in St. Louis, Missouri.

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How Microsoft’s Acquisition of LinkedIn is Revolutionizing the Sales Game for Dynamics 365 Users

LinkedIn Plus D365 300x225 How Microsoft’s Acquisition of LinkedIn is Revolutionizing the Sales Game for Dynamics 365 Users

As Microsoft continues to reinvent itself and forge ahead as THE leader in the business apps ecosystem, one of the developments that stands out as a source of great excitement for all Dynamics users is the new integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Today’s blog will outline a few of the benefits that we are most excited about!

Identify Higher Quality Leads/Build Better Pipeline

The Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn integration brings troves of valuable information found within LinkedIn profiles, right into Dynamics 365. Now, salespeople can tap into their professional networks and relationships to create a pipeline that they have better insight into than ever before possible.

Icebreakers: By viewing a person’s LinkedIn highlights, activities, and more, salespeople will be able to come up with more relevant icebreakers to get the conversation going and go into meetings with more confidence.

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Get Introduced: By viewing LinkedIn connections, salespeople will be able to find the best channel for an introduction.

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Related Leads: This integration will also give salespeople suggestions for potential leads, by highlighting leads with similar profiles.

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Stay on top of Activities

inMail and regular messages exchanged through LinkedIn can be selectively synchronized to Dynamics as specialized LinkedIn activities. LinkedIn notes can also be selectively synchronized to their corresponding Contact and Account entities on Dynamics.

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Exciting stuff right?! And this is only the beginning. Microsoft is heavily investing on continuing to enhance the innovation to this exciting integration. To get the connector for Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn on AppSource, click here.

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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LinkedIn plans to teach all its engineers the basics of using AI

 LinkedIn plans to teach all its engineers the basics of using AI

LinkedIn is working to train all of its engineers on the basics of implementing artificial intelligence as part of the company’s drive to make its professional social network smarter.

“The demand for AI across the company has increased enormously,” Deepak Agarwal, head of artificial intelligence at LinkedIn, said during an onstage interview at VB Summit 2017 today. “Everyone wants to have AI as a component of their product.”

The company has launched an AI academy for its engineers to give them a grounding in the basics of implementing artificial intelligence. The idea is that this will make it possible for them to deploy intelligent models in the company’s products.

LinkedIn has a great need for artificial intelligence, since its business is built on the back of recommendations. The professional social network recommends potential connections, jobs, content, marketing opportunities and a wide variety of other interactions.

“AI is like oxygen at LinkedIn, it permeates every single member experience,” Agarwal said. “And just to give you an idea of the scale, we process more than 2PB of data both nearline and offline every single day.”

The academy isn’t designed to give engineers an academic grounding in machine learning as a general discipline. Rather, it’s intended to prepare them to use AI in much the way that they’d use a system like QuickSort, an algorithm for sorting data that’s fed into it. Users don’t have to understand how the underlying system works, they just need to know the right way to implement it.

That’s the goal for LinkedIn, Agarwal said. Thus far, six engineers have made it through the AI academy and are deploying machine learning models in production as a result of what they learned. The educational program still has a ways to go (Agarwal said he’d grade it about a C+ at the moment) but it has the potential to drastically affect LinkedIn’s business.

Agarwal’s comments echo — to a degree — those made earlier in the day by Gil Arditi, the product lead for Lyft’s AI platform team. In Arditi’s view, one of the most pressing problems facing the ride hailing company is a dearth of qualified AI talent.

As it stands, creating a machine learning system still requires a number of skilled practitioners who can help wrangle the data and tweak the parameters needed to optimize the system. Those employees are generally hard to come by and expensive to hire. Distributing AI knowledge across LinkedIn’s entire organization could help the company keep up with its demand for intelligent capabilities.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales & LinkedIn Integration: What to Expect?

MS Dynamics 365 for Sales vs Salesforce  Sign up for a free Dynamics 365 for Sales course!

Learn more about Dynamics 365 for Sales features

In December 2016, the world got to know that Microsoft acquired LinkedIn. Now we can see the first results of this deal – Microsoft has announced that Dynamics 365 for Sales is integrated with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

The new LinkedIn solution is a widget, which integrates into your dashboard and consists of 2 parts – a member profile and a company profile.

A LinkedIn member profile allows you to get general information and some insights about your prospect. It also helps you to find the best ways to get introduced to your prospect as well as proposes a list of related leads based on your target audience.

linkedinone 300x169 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales & LinkedIn Integration: What to Expect?

A LinkedIn company profile provides information on recommended leads, connections and latest news.

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Seems like a nice feature, huh? But what does it mean for salespeople?

More quality information about prospects

With the help of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can see all recent activities of your prospects – what they posted, liked or discussed. This feature makes a research on your target much easier and faster. It gives you all necessary information to start a conversation with the prospect, which, as we all know, may lead to the desired close.

Save time spent on researching prospects

You can get all of the LinkedIn benefits without leaving your Dynamics 365 for Sales environment. No more switching from D365 to a browser – you can get access to the information right from your dashboard.

Easier access to prospects

A feature called TeamLink allows you to discover the best ways to get introduced to your prospect. For example, it can show you who among your existing LinkedIn network has connections with your target. This can be a good start for building successful business relationships.

The new LinkedIn Sales Navigator will be available in July. Contact us to make sure that you have the latest Dynamics 365 for Sales version to get all the benefits from this Microsoft-LinkedIn partnership.

Alina Hura, Digital Content Creator, WebSan Solutions Inc., a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Service Excellence

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8 Powerful Tips for Going Viral on LinkedIn Pulse

blog title linkedin pulse viral 321x200 8 Powerful Tips for Going Viral on LinkedIn Pulse

To date, the article has harnessed almost 28,000 likes and well over 300 shares; however, it also has more than 7,500 comments. Replying to every single comment on a popular post may not be possible, but in the beginning you can reply to most comments to give your article the push it needs to harness attention. As time moves on, replies may be less frequent and more difficult to keep up with.

Key takeaway: Reply to comments after publishing a post to boost engagement and increase the odds of additional exposure.

3. Use posts with proven success

There is some confusion about posting previously published content to LinkedIn Pulse. Will it hurt your SEO rankings? Is it bad for your LinkedIn reputation? And equally important, will it hurt your chances of producing viral content? The answers may surprise you.

Duplicate content essentially takes content that you posted elsewhere, such as your corporate blog, and reposts that content on LinkedIn. This is a good strategy when the content has a proven performance record. For example, consider something that you posted to your blog that has received the highest engagement of all your posts. What should you do next to get that content in front of a larger audience? Here are a few tips for using this strategy successfully:

  • Wait a week after the original content is published to your site before publishing it on LinkedIn. This length of time should provide Google with an opportunity to index the original piece of content first.
  • Use the original article as an outline, and then expand that popular content into a more detailed post. Or take a slightly different angle. For example, if you wrote “The 5 Best Ways to Promote Your Website,” next write “The 5 Worst Ways to Promote Your Website.”
  • Consider including a reference to the original by saying something like “A version of this post originally appeared on XYZ” and then link to the older piece.

Key takeaway: There is not a big penalty for repurposing your content on LinkedIn. As a result, this is a good strategy for leveraging proven content on the LinkedIn platform for greater performance.

4. Engage editors of key sites

Do you want to boost your odds of going viral? If so, you must get the attention of editors of LinkedIn or another relevant site. But how? It’s simple: You must tell them about your amazing content. Here are a few tips:

  • Publish a great post.
  • Tweet the link to your post with “@LinkedInEditors” and include a quick summary of what your article includes.
  • Start engaging with the editors on Twitter, so they get to know your name. Leave comments on posts; share work that they publish to the social media platform.

Key takeaway: Editors may read your content, think that it’s great, and share it with their audiences, boosting the odds of your getting featured on one of their high-visibility channels. But you must first get in front of those editors.

5. Understand LinkedIn channels

LinkedIn channels are essentially categories that LinkedIn members can follow to learn more about topics that interest them. Some of these channels have massive audiences. For example, Leadership and Management has 24.4 million followers, Entrepreneurship has 16.3 million, and Marketing and Advertising has 14.4 million.

Being featured on one of these channels harnesses massive amounts of attention and the momentum that you need to go viral. But how do you get featured?

First, identify the channel on which you would most like to appear. For example, if you’re targeting marketing managers, you’ll probably want to be seen on the Marketing and Advertising channel. Then select your topic with this specific audience in mind. Articles that fit the audience and the channel are more likely to get picked. You can also check out LinkedIn’s editorial calendar, which provides insights into preferred themes for each month.

Key takeaway: Boost the odds of capturing editors’ attention by creating content with a specific LinkedIn channel in mind. Articles featured by the channel can elevate performance levels, moving your results from average to viral.

6. Optimize your headlines and graphics

Headlines and graphics are key to the success of your LinkedIn article. After selecting the right topic, you can draw readers into the content more effectively through a carefully crafted headline. For example, check out this headline titled “Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Listen to His Customers.”

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