In 2022, company newsletters on LinkedIn were top of our recommendation list for clients thinking about their social strategy – they offered a great opportunity to stand out and do something a bit different, and the first mover advantage was real. We saw huge numbers of subscribers following initial newsletter launches, with numbers frequently at least 10% of a page’s following. For companies who already had a wealth of content or were pushing out regular communications via other means, LinkedIn newsletters were a no-brainer. Fast forward just over a year, and where do we stand on LinkedIn newsletters today?
On December 6, Keren Bauch, a Director of Product Management at LinkedIn published a new article detailing all the changes and improvements coming to newsletters. One stat jumps out – more than 500 million people have subscribed to at least one newsletter on LinkedIn – that’s more than 50% of the 950 million users LinkedIn claims use its platform. The updates include newsletter-specific analytics and tools to make your newsletter workflow easier. The analytics are particularly interesting, enabling you to see how your content consumption changes over time and where your subscribers are coming from – think a cross between standard LinkedIn analytics and the information you’re able to get from email marketing platforms.
Where LinkedIn invests is usually a good indication of what’s being prioritized by their algorithm. That is to say - the opportunity for company newsletters on LinkedIn remains strong.
Not only does each new edition populate your LinkedIn page like a regular company post, it also appears in the LinkedIn inbox and email of every subscriber. That’s a great way to get your brand’s content in front of your audience. B2B marketing leaders’ understanding of the importance of branding is growing, and concepts like brand reputation, distinctiveness and relevance are all coming to the fore alongside demand generation. LinkedIn newsletters provide a great opportunity to build brand equity - subscriber growth and demographics, as well as tracking website traffic through UTM links, are useful KPIs you can use to quantify the impact of this content format. While you can’t yet target newsletter subscribers in LinkedIn ad campaigns, I wouldn’t be surprised if that became a possibility – giving you another engaged audience to use in nurture campaigns.
If you’re ready to make LinkedIn newsletters a part of your organic social strategy in 2024, here are a few pointers to help you make the most of the opportunity.
- Consistency and commitment – Planning out how newsletters will fit into your existing social and content workstreams ahead of time will help you publish on a consistent schedule and move the newsletter from an afterthought to a content asset you can be proud of.
- Imagery – each new edition gets its own header image that also appears as part of the feed post when the edition is published. It’s all too easy to use a standard stock image (or even worse, the same stock image every time) but think about how you can make the most of this real estate. The image is the first thing most casual browsers will see and your opportunity to hook them in – don’t waste it.
- Connecting the newsletter with other marketing activity – most people will likely read the newsletter immediately after its publication, but it doesn’t have to be one and done. Include trackable links to the website in the newsletter so you can develop an understanding of how your audience consumes content, have your executives and team share the latest edition directly on LinkedIn, in their email signatures and in pitch decks, and use paid to help build subscribers.
- Consider the question of an expert contributor – Some LinkedIn Newsletters are fronted by one particular expert where others have multiple contributors. Where there’s one single author, should the expert publish their own LinkedIn newsletter from their personal profile or should it still come from the company profile? Individuals tend to have more connections and see greater engagement on their personal posts but if that person leaves the company, the newsletter and the following goes with them. It can come down to the topic in question, but if a newsletter is closely associated to the company but fronted by an expert, it’s better if it’s hosted and distributed by the company’s LinkedIn profile.
Hannah Porritt is an Account Director in Cognito's New York office