You had to know it was coming, right?
Facebook smashed Snapchat’s entire business model when it launched Instagram Stories. Stories are so successful that almost every social media app – including messaging apps like WhatsApp – offers their own versions now.
It’s time for LinkedIn to get in on the action. And time to update your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy!
Users in a handful of countries already have access to LinkedIn Stories. Don’t worry, they’ll hit the rest of LinkedIn’s 706+ million users in 200 countries soon enough.
Say what you will, but Stories can thrust your content to the top of every follower’s newsfeed – that’s valuable real estate.
- LinkedIn Stories allows users and brand pages to share images and short videos of their professional moments.
- Stories can boost your content somewhere you know people will see it and help you build relationships with followers.
- With the right strategy, LinkedIn Stories can be an awesome tool for engaging and tracking your most loyal audience.
What are LinkedIn Stories and How Do They Work?
A few weeks ago, I received an email from my good friend James Tennant from Converge that looks at trending keywords and phrases, as well as related questions and propositions from a range of B2B topics. It identified “LinkedIn Stories” as an important search trend for us in marketing.
So I did some research to share my findings with you. (By the way, I recommend signing up for his Converge ‘TrendingUp’ keyword insights email newsletter.)
LinkedIn first launched a Stories feature back in 2018 called Student Voices. With LinkedIn Stories, you can share static images and 20-second videos of your “everyday professional moments.”
That’s coming back in the form of general stories.
Stories are only available to LinkedIn users and pages in the UAE, France, Australia, Brazil, and the Netherlands right now. Expect LinkedIn to roll them out on a wider scale after a few months of testing.
Like other platforms, you’ll find Stories displayed in bubbles across the top of the app feed. Each Story displays for 24 hours before vanishing. LinkedIn’s Stories offer the same features you’ve come to expect like tagging, replying, stickers, text, and more:
When you share a Story, any connection or follower can see and share it. LinkedIn lets you access your Story’s Insights for the 24 hours it’s available. These insights include:
- Reach – measured as the total number of unique viewers
- Firmographics – such as name, job title, and company if their privacy settings allow it
You can also download your own Stories (during the 24-hour window). Save your greatest hits – or all your Stories – and track the insights to look for patterns.
Switching to Real-Time Communication with LinkedIn Stories
I can hear you now saying, “Ugh, Stories on LinkedIn too?” There are two types of social media users:
- People who post to their Story daily, sometimes several times a day
- People who post memes about how they’d only watch a Story accidentally
Some people have warmed up to Stories over time though. Research shows Instagram influencers post to their feeds less often these days than they have in the past:
We’re all spending more time online than we have in the past. Even though we can’t travel freely to meet people or attend events, we still crave real-time human connections.
LinkedIn released Stories at the perfect time.
Twitter staff, for example, is working from home permanently now and they’re far from the only one. Stories let us connect digitally when we can’t physically and help us build relationships with our followers.
The Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn Stories
Start your Stories strategy from a growth mindset. Stories aren’t just a way to connect, they’re a powerful tool for encouraging engagement, learning about your audience, and growing business.
Do Spend Some Time Developing a Strategy
Think of how short bites of content best fit into your brand’s broader content marketing strategy.
What types of topics and media would your audience enjoy? Should you create fresh content just for Stories, or repurpose content from other platforms?
Don’t Invest Too Much Time Perfecting Every Story
Remember, Stories are only available for 24 hours once you post them. It’s tempting to get distracted for too long adjusting all the stickers and text but be honest, it’s not worth the effort.
Plus, Stories that look too structured and planned kind of miss the mark. Instagram and Facebook Stories are meant to feel spontaneous so try to keep the same in-the-moment mentality.
Do Relate to Followers Through LinkedIn Stories
People want genuine connections from brands – even on LinkedIn. Let your personality shine a bit and open yourself up. This is a great excuse to hone your brand’s mission, values, and vision.
Don’t Be Overly Casual
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and share something you might regret when you know it will vanish in 24 hours. Consider coming up with some boundaries, red lines, or a “say this/NOT this” guide for your brand.
8 Strategies for LinkedIn Stories to Grow Your Business
At first glance, Stories seem largely like a consumer feature: They’re casual, highly sensory-based, and satisfy the instant gratification urge. Look a little deeper and you’ll see how Stories can let B2B Marketers connect on a more personal and deeper level.
1. Host an AMA or Q&A
The urgency of Stories is great for bursts of engagement. Reddit’s Ask Me Anything is a huge hit across every industry and the concept lends itself well to Stories too.
2. Share Live Event Coverage via LinkedIn Stories
Events are a major source of leads for many B2Bs and 85% consider in-person gatherings essential to their marketing strategy.
Let’s face it: Live streams just aren’t the same. Still, we have to work with what we’ve got. LinkedIn Stories let people see snippets of events from a first-person perspective. Choose specific pieces to highlight or offer some interesting commentary.
3. Tease Upcoming Products
Stories are great for demand generation and hype. Your most loyal followers will view your Story. If you share something that gets them super excited, you can bet they’ll want to share it with someone.
4. Give Followers a Peek into Company Culture
Highlighting individual team members in Stories puts a human face on your brand. People like to know who’s on the other side of the logo. Use Stories to show off how your workers spend the day, engage with each other, and contribute.
5. Highlight Key Product Benefits Through LinkedIn Stories
Stories might be one of the most challenging places to promote products because the content could come off as a blatant advertisement. Not good. You can get around the salesy vibe by using LinkedIn Stories to highlight the benefits of your product instead of features. Show it in action with a quick video.
6. Use LinkedIn Stories to Learn About Your Audience
If LinkedIn follows the path of Instagram and Facebook, they’ll incorporate features like text fields, polls, and sliding scales to engage audiences. Use Stories to gain a deeper understanding of your audience – especially your most loyal followers.
7. Promote Other Content Marketing Assets
People browse social media when they want to consume. You can’t fit a ton of content inside each Story but you can use Stories to promote other pieces of content. Take a screenshot of your latest podcast playing on Spotify or the thumbnail of a new YouTube video. Add some copy to dress it up and tap Share.
8. Showcase Your Loyal Customers
Stories are an excellent way to package case studies down into bite-size snippets. Little videos or images of customers using your product provides instant social proof. When you publish a new in-depth case study, create a Story to accompany it so your message is propelled to the top of the newsfeed.
Grow Your Business by Prioritizing Content
It all comes back to content. Content marketing tells your story, demonstrates your authority, and earns higher quality leads than ANY outbound tactic. Whether you’re posting an in-depth expert blog or off-the-cuff LinkedIn Story, strategy is key.
Is your content delivering the traffic and engagement you need? Check out our Content Builder Services and let our experts give your content a revamp.