LinkedIn Thought Leadership 101: Harnessing Profile Optimization and Thought Leader Ads for Maximum Impact
In the expanding landscape of LinkedIn, the rising star is undoubtedly Thought Leadership. With new features and more emphasis on creating impact, Thought Leadership on LinkedIn is changing the game for businesses and professionals alike. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of harnessing Thought Leadership and how organizations can leverage it effectively.
It Starts with Crafting a LinkedIn Profile for Thought Leadership
Before you embark on the journey to thought leadership, it’s essential to get your profile ready. Your LinkedIn profile is the digital representation of your professional self and, as such, should communicate your Thought Leadership effectively.
- Profile Summary: A well-crafted, comprehensive profile summary is a must. It should clearly express your professional vision, areas of expertise, and your unique value proposition.
- Relevant Experience and Interests: Your experiences and interests should align with your thought leadership domain. It strengthens your credibility and helps you resonate better with your target audience.
- Featured Content: Feature compelling content that you have created. It could be articles, blog posts, reports, presentations, or videos that demonstrate your knowledge and insights.
- Creator Mode: Enable the ‘Creator Mode’ on your profile. This feature enhances your visibility, prioritizes your content, and allows followers to connect directly from your profile page.
- Communication Preferences and Inbox Management: Thought leadership invariably leads to an influx of connection requests and messages. Optimize your communication preferences to minimize noise and manage your inbox effectively to focus on valuable interactions.
The Two Pillars of Thought Leadership
Thought Leadership on LinkedIn is built on two fundamental pillars:
- The Brand: This encapsulates the persona’s contributions to the company, demonstrated through research outputs, perspectives on industry trends, insights into innovation, and evidence of brand authority. It represents the collective wisdom of the brand, shared with the professional community.
- The Individual: Individuals, especially executives, employees, academics, and influencers within an organization, have unique insights that shape the perception of the brand. By sharing their knowledge, they humanize the brand and foster trust.
Using Thought Leadership is a “Win-Win” for both the Brand and the Induvial.
LinkedIn Thought Leader Ads: A New Way to Amplify Your Influence
LinkedIn’s innovative brand new and well-anticipated feature, Thought Leader Ads, allows brands to promote posts from their thought leaders. This creates a unique opportunity for authentic communication through a trusted voice. The beta trials by LinkedIn showed Thought Leader Ads had a 1.7x higher click-through rate and a 1.6x higher engagement rate compared to other single-image ad campaigns.
Despite being promoted by the company, these ads appear as if they’ve been posted by the original author, thereby maintaining credibility. The potential benefits of Thought Leader Ads are wide-ranging:
- Building trust and credibility with key audiences
- Amplifying thought leader’s voices
- Growing brand value
- Saving time and resources by easily repurposing content from employees
- Positioning employees as thought leaders
- Showcasing company culture and beliefs
- Measuring the impact of your content
These ads seamlessly integrate into a member’s newsfeed for a more personal, authentic interaction.
Understanding Thought Leadership
Thought Leadership isn’t about showcasing products or services, it’s about inspiring ideas. It’s about demonstrating expertise in your field and sharing valuable insights that engage, empower, and impact your audience. Thought Leaders shape and drive conversations.
Why Thought Leadership Matters on LinkedIn
LinkedIn, with its network of over 900 million professionals, is a fertile ground for thought leadership. The platform’s primary focus is on fostering professional connections and encouraging insightful discussions. By becoming a thought leader on LinkedIn, you not only enhance your professional credibility but also deepen connections with your audience, opening avenues for collaboration and growth.
How to Harness Thought Leadership on LinkedIn
The process begins with identifying your niche. Understand the topics where your expertise truly shines and where your insights can add significant value. Next, consistently create and share high-quality content in various formats—articles, posts, videos, and even LinkedIn’s new feature: live events. Consistency is key in establishing and maintaining your presence as a thought leader.
Engagement is another critical component. Actively participate in discussions, respond to comments on your posts, and engage with content shared by others. This interaction fosters a two-way conversation that can further enhance your influence.
New LinkedIn Features Supporting Thought Leadership
LinkedIn has introduced several new features that aid in establishing thought leadership. LinkedIn Live, for instance, allows real-time engagement with your audience, adding a personal touch and enhancing credibility. Similarly, the LinkedIn Newsletter feature enables you to share regular updates with your followers, keeping them engaged with your thoughts and insights.
The Impact of Thought Leadership on Organizations
For organizations, thought leadership can play a pivotal role in shaping brand perception. It allows companies to position themselves as industry leaders, influencing decision-making processes among peers, potential clients, and even competitors. Thought Leadership also drives high-quality leads, as it fosters trust and demonstrates the organization’s expertise.
The Cherry on Top: LinkedIn Thought Leaders Ads
Thought leadership has a quantifiable impact on LinkedIn. According to data from LinkedIn, in 2022, executives’ content generated over 4 million impressions and 1.5 million engagements. It also led to more than 45,000 views of the executives’ profiles and over 5,200 new followers for the company page. These numbers illustrate the power of thought leadership in expanding your reach, building your audience, and enhancing your brand’s visibility on LinkedIn.
With Thought Leader Ads you will be able to enhance those statistics by deliver content to a member’s newsfeed, blending organically with other content.
Members can view and engage with the post just as they would any other Single Image Ad. Despite their organic layout, these ads are marked as “promoted by the company,” maintaining trust and transparency with members. As of now, Thought Leader Ads are only available for Brand Awareness and Engagement Objectives and exclusively through the Single Image Ads format.
What’s the best way to do it?
- Keep it Relevant and Timely: Ensure your content aligns with current trends and conversations in your industry.
- Include an Image: Visual content attracts attention and enhances engagement (*Multiple image posts aren’t supported currently).
- Create a Compelling Social Presence: Your profile and content should complement each other to project a consistent image.
- Share a Point of View: Thought leaders aren’t afraid to share their opinions. Your unique viewpoint can spark conversations and stimulate engagement.
- Helpful Wins: Content that offers solutions or insights is more likely to be shared, enhancing your reach.
- Start a Conversation: Encourage interactions by asking questions or inviting opinion
The power of thought leadership is a strategic necessity in today’s digital landscape, a significant driver for professional growth, and a catalyst for organizational success. Embrace it, cultivate it, and watch your influence grow. Your audience—and your future self—will thank you.