The ultimate guide to LinkedIn Carousels and PDFs

LinkedIn, as a professional social networking platform, has continually evolved to accommodate various content formats to allow sharing content and boost network engagement. Sharing content on LinkedIn is very important as a tool for brands. Content available in PDF format and LinkedIn Carousels who have several images that are also set up in PDF format have played significant roles in this evolution. Initially, LinkedIn allowed the sharing of content formatted as PDF as a way for users to disseminate comprehensive content, such as whitepapers, detailed reports, and portfolios. This feature catered especially to professionals,and content marketers looking to showcase a richer depth of work and insight.

Then came LinkedIn Carousels. This new content format introduced as a dynamic way to present a series of slides directly in the feed, became immensely popular for their interactivity and visual appeal. Users could swipe through a series of images or slides, making complex information more digestible and engaging. However, despite their initial popularity, LinkedIn Carousels were phased out, leading brands to get more creative with the PDF format, using it to mimic the carousel experience by designing PDF pages as individual carousel cards.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits and best practices of sharing content in PDF format on LinkedIn and how your brand can leverage them for success on social media.

Enhancing engagement through content in PDF format

The fact that content in PDF format can be uploaded and shared on LinkedIn enables marketing teams to share content in several engaging ways. By converting segments of content into PDF formats, brands can offer detailed insights that are accessible directly on the platform without making the social media post long and not readable. This method serves not only to retain the user’s attention within LinkedIn but also enhances engagement through visually appealing and well-organized content.

While some PDFs can be engaging in and of themselves, we’ve found that the best way to share PDFs are through “Gallery Posts”, otherwise known as “Carousels”. According to Oktopost research, Carousel posts earned 2.5 times more engagement than the average engagement earned by other content types in 2023.

For this reason we’ve seen a surge in Carousel posts across LinkedIn, with many organizations reaping the benefits of this engaging type of content.

Strategies for incorporating content in PDF format into posts on LinkedIn

Brands have creatively incorporated content in PDFs into their LinkedIn posts by:

Designing visually engaging PDFs that include infographics, charts, and bold text to highlight key points.
Segmenting reports or other long-form content into multiple PDF carousels for a series-based release, keeping the audience coming back for more.
Using PDFs for tutorials and how-to guides, providing practical value to the audience.

Why you should share PDFs on LinkedIn

Providing your LinkedIn followers with valuable research, reports, and insights via PDFs is a great way to foster engagement and ensure your content gets the readership it deserves. Not all of your followers are actively going to your website, but if they see your PDF content as they browse through their LinkedIn feed, there’s more of a chance that they will read it. Think of LinkedIn as another vehicle for content distribution. Using it strategically to share PDFs can bring more eyeballs to your brand and ensure the right audience is viewing your content.

LinkedIn Carousels vs. Long-Form PDFs

LinkedIn Carousels

PDF carousels are ideal for capturing quick attention and making a strong visual impact. The concise format encourages higher engagement rates as users are more likely to swipe through a few slides than read a lengthy report on social media.

Pros: Higher engagement, easier to digest, better for storytelling.

Cons: Limited space for detailed information.

Long-Form PDFs

Sharing a full-length document can be beneficial for detailed reports, comprehensive guides, or educational materials. While they provide a lot of information, the challenge lies in maintaining the viewer’s engagement throughout the document. However, if your target audience are C-Suite executives for example, they may be more inclined to read an extensive document when they have time over a short summary of a report that is missing an in-depth analysis.

Pros: Comprehensive content, ideal for deep dives, users may even download the document to read

Cons: Potentially lower engagement, as users will probably not view the entire document.

Technical specifications of LinkedIn PDFs

Sharing Content PDFs on LinkedIn offers numerous benefits, including the ability to present detailed information in a structured and professional format, enhancing brand credibility and authority. They also support diverse content strategies, from lead generation to thought leadership.

Long-Form PDFs:

File Size: LinkedIn allows you to upload PDF files up to 100 MB.
Page Limit: Each PDF can have a maximum of 300 pages.
File Type: Only PDF files are supported for document uploads. Ensure your file has a .pdf extension.
Aspect Ratio and Orientation: While there are no strict aspect ratio requirements, it’s best to use standard document dimensions (like A4 or letter size) to ensure readability. Both portrait and landscape orientations are supported.
Resolution: High-resolution PDFs ensure better clarity and readability. Aim for at least 300 DPI (dots per inch).
Content Visibility: Ensure that your PDF content, especially text, is not too close to the edges to prevent any cutoff. A margin of at least 0.5 inches is recommended.
Interactive Elements: Links within the PDF will remain clickable, but other interactive elements like forms or embedded media might not function as intended.
Metadata: Include relevant metadata within your PDF, such as title, author, and keywords. This can help with SEO and make your document more discoverable.
Accessibility: Consider making your PDF accessible by adding alternative text for images and ensuring text can be read by screen readers.

 LinkedIn Carousels:

LinkedIn allows document carousels which can be created by uploading a PDF. Each PDF page will be converted into a carousel card.

Number of Cards: LinkedIn carousels can up to cards, but 5-6 images is the recommended length.
Image Dimensions: Carousel posts on LinkedIn can be formatted in three different aspect ratios: square (1:1) with dimensions of 1080 x 1080 pixels, portrait (4:5) at 1080 x 1350 pixels, or landscape (16:9) with dimensions of 1280 x 720 pixels.
File Size: Up to 100 MB.
Text in Images: While text can be included in images, it’s recommended to keep it minimal. LinkedIn suggests using the document or text fields to include the majority of the textual content to ensure readability and accessibility.
Visibility and Sharing: Carousels can be shared in the feed, within groups, or on company pages. They are also visible on both mobile and desktop interfaces.
Engagement Features: Viewers can like, comment, and share each carousel, and the analytics provided include insights into the number of views and engagements for each individual card within the carousel.

Let your engagement reach new heights by sharing content PDFs on LinkedIn

While the dynamics of content sharing and engagement continue to evolve on platforms like LinkedIn, leveraging content PDFs allows brands to deliver value-rich content in an engaging and professional manner. By understanding and implementing these strategies, brands can significantly enhance their presence and influence on LinkedIn.

Oktopost enables your social media team to share a variety of content types, plan your social calendar, and measure the impact of your social post on your business’s bottom line. Learn more about how you can leverage it to take your social media plan to the next level.

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