If you just got some serious Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat vibes from reading the title, you’re not alone. Back in February, LinkedIn announced they were running internal tests on releasing a new feature called LinkedIn Stories, which, as you can guess, will be based on the format of Snapchat’s famous ephemeral videos.
So, what will happen if their experiment is successful, who cares if it is, and how will it change digital content?
But first, why is LinkedIn trying to be like mainstream social media and follow in their footsteps? The reason is more simple than you’d think.
Like Facebook, but for Professionals
The #1 Online Platform for B2B Marketers
LinkedIn is widely known as the professional version of Facebook and for good reason. It is a place to connect with people, just not for socializing purposes, but rather to build and expand one’s network of professional contacts. Your photo is up there, and you’re free to share details about yourself, your life, and your professional experience. Preferably mostly the latter.
So far, so good.
LinkedIn was founded on May 5, 2003, and it currently has around 675 million users, 310 million of which actively use the platform every month. That is less than 50% of all users. There are 2 new profiles created each second, and millennials (18-24 years old) account for 24% of all LinkedIn users. Why is this data important? Because LinkedIn has decided it needs more “young blood” on its platform.
Millionaires Use It, Too
Yet, it’s not as popular for kids
Fun fact: About 41% of millionaires worldwide are on LinkedIn. That’s probably the case because the majority of B2B leads (80%) come from LinkedIn, and a shy 13% and 7% come from Twitter and Facebook, respectively.
The point is that while these numbers are based on truth, many young people aren’t even aware of them. So, the folks over at LinkedIn have decided to try what helped Instagram and Snapchat rapidly increase the number of their users only in the framework of business communication.
LinkedIn Stories, What Do We Know so Far?
Spoiler: not much
In a somewhat brief announcement, LinkedIn’s Pete Davies revealed the idea behind their version of Stories. He said that since the platform was built on the importance of fruitful conversations, the company is always looking for ways to provide as many effective formats as possible. So, the question of the day was: “Can Stories be a useful means of communication in the business world?” They think it can.
What kind of content will LinkedIn Stories be good for?
- Sharing milestones and key moments from work events
- Conversation starters for the young generation that is used to ephemeral videos
- Building a stronger brand identity and personalizing a brand
- Project updates/progress
- Exciting news
LinkedIn is yet to share the interface and features of their Stories, but many speculate it will closely resemble Snapchat and Instagram’s versions. After all, this isn’t the first time LinkedIn is giving Stories a chance. Back in 2018, LinkedIn launched Student Voices, which looked a lot like the Stories we all know, and it was intended to help students share thoughts, projects, and updates related to their studies.
So, on to the bigger question of the day. What will the success of Stories mean for marketers?
TL;DR: There will be more millennials and youngsters using the platform.
How to Leverage LinkedIn Stories to Benefit Your Business/Brand
Your content team will have to storm some brains
In case you don’t have in-house writers, I can help give you some ideas which you can then relay to your content writing agency or whoever is in charge of content creation in your team.
#1 Adapt your blog content to the Stories format
In other words, start with what you already have. If you have a blog section on your website where you frequently post useful content, why not use Stories to promote it?
Let’s look at an example, so it makes more sense to you.
Imagine you wrote a list article with 5 tips on how to avoid bad blog writing. You can include each tip into your Story. Show a summary, key pointers, or anything you feel will summarize the point you are making. Sure, this may not boost the traffic to your blog, but it will be a great brand awareness tool.
People who don’t want to leave the LinkedIn app yet are interested in your industry can learn something useful and perceive you as a credible source in the field. You don’t need me to tell you what long-term benefits this can have for you and your business.
What is more, once people know this is a sequence of 5 tips, they will be checking in with you to see the other four. You get greater exposure, with the possibility of gaining more followers.
#2 Share industry insights and trendy topics
It’s true that most people use LinkedIn to find a job or look for new team members, but there are many users who also use the platform to stay up to date with industry news and insights. If you are good at what you do, make sure to be among those who share the news instead of reading them.
If this type of Story gains interest, you may even turn it into a blog post or start a conversation with your network. You never know where it might take you.
#3 Customer testimonials
If you have them, share them. There is nothing more encouraging for your customers and partners than getting verification of your professionalism from your clients. Ask people to give you a shout out through video and watch the amazing impact that can have on your conversion rates.
#4 Ask questions and engage with your audience
If LinkedIn Stories has the same or similar features to the Stories we already know from other social media platforms, you can use Quiz and Poll Stickers to ask users for advice or opinion. Interactive Stories can be especially effective among younger audiences, so keep your target clients in mind when crafting your Stories content.
#5 Share Q&A videos including your team members or industry leaders you admire and follow
What is your team up to? How are you collaborating on a project? Show that. And if you’re following an important public figure in your industry, share a video of you watching their interview or reading their book. LinkedIn users love following thought leaders, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.
If LinkedIn Stories Succeeds, Some Will Sink & Some Will Rise
Don’t sink before you’ve even started swimming
Like with everything new in digital marketing, the introduction of new platforms and features put everyone in the position of adapting to the novelty. Some do it well, others fail, and there are some who don’t even try.
As a copywriter in a pro-active content writing agency, I can tell you that those who prepare in advance are often the ones who step on the medal podium in the end. Even if your current customer base doesn’t include millennials and you can’t be bothered to approach this target group, don’t be quick to think baby boomers won’t be interested in LinkedIn Stories.
LinkedIn is a widely trusted source for B2B marketers, so anything new they release is bound to have the interest of every user. Get your content people together and start generating ideas. I already gave you some, so it’s not like you have nothing to work with.
Till next time,