The 10 Most Engaging Topics on LinkedIn in 2021 [+Viral Examples]

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Gaetano Nino DiNardi
Gaetano Nino DiNardi



It's no secret that LinkedIn operates one of the largest professional networks on the Internet.

linkedin data

In fact, the platform has 690+ million members in over 200 countries and territories.

That's why it's important for marketers to be active on LinkedIn. But how do you get your network to engage with your posts?

Below, we'll discuss the top 10 most engaging topics on LinkedIn, how certain content types go viral, and the science behind why. Plus, we'll dive into examples that show you how to execute posts like this.

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1. Sensational Info-tainment Videos Posts

Video content has been increasing in popularity on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram over the last few years. On LinkedIn, it's no different.

In fact, 75% of marketers polled said LinkedIn video content is a successful way of reaching target audiences.

Example: LinkedIn Live (Mall Edition)

This example really pushes the boundaries of LinkedIn video content creation.

In this viral video, I literally approached hundreds of strangers at the mall and asked them for "15 minutes on their calendar to discuss synergies that may exist." This is perhaps the single most dreaded phrase of all-time on LinkedIn, so I decided to take it from the inbox to the streets.

For context, I lead demand generation at Nextiva, a cloud communications company. This video has absolutely nothing to do with Nextiva, or our products and services. So what's the point then?

It's simple — to remain top of mind among the B2B community and become an evangelist for the Nextiva brand.

LinkedIn is no longer about just selling and prospecting. Driving brand presence and audience engagement is the new normal.

Content Overview

  • Info-tainment based video, with supporting text
  • 1,467 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • Communicates a highly relatable concept with a comedic twist.
  • It's a new breed of social media content for B2B labeled as "info-tainment."
  • Brings attention to a widespread issue — LinkedIn spam.
  • Offers practical takeaways for a clearly defined audience (B2B sales professionals).
  • Has an element of sensationalism. Not many people have the courage to approach strangers at the mall and ask them for "15 minutes on their calendar to discuss synergy."

2. Relatable Humor Posts

When people are scrolling through social media, they like to see content that they can relate to. Even more, they like to see content that makes them laugh.

If you can do both of those things in a LinkedIn post, you'll see plenty of engagement.

In the example below, Corporate Bro does exactly that.

Example: Things New Sales Reps Say

Ah, good old Corporate Bro. What would a LinkedIn post be without him? He's arguably one of the biggest internet sensations in the world of B2B social media marketing. His hilarious take on sales rep office banter has earned him prominent placing on this list.

Content Overview:

  • Video post with supporting text
  • 1,197 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • Flat out, this video is just hilarious and supremely creative.
  • It's widely relatable and addresses a specific audience (B2B sales professionals).
  • The video is pure "info-tainment." This is a proven strategy for LinkedIn.
  • It's shocking. This content is radically different from what's out there, so it stands out.
  • Exaggerated sensationalism — it highlights many stereotypes behind the "bro" sales culture.

3. Heartwarming Story Posts

Everyone loves a heart-warming story. If you use emotion in your posts, you can keep readers engaged and leave them wanting more.

Example: $4 In My Bank Account

Shay Rowbottom is one of the most prolific B2B content creators on LinkedIn. Her strategy is simple, yet genius. She takes highly relatable and easily digestible concepts, and recreates them with humor and info-tainment.

In this post, she shares a flashback to where she was 8 years ago — with just $4 in her bank account.

Content Overview:

  • Image post with emotional headline
  • 1,502 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • Everyone loves a good, old success story with an emotional spin. This delivers just that.
  • Most entrepreneurs have been broke before. This is widely relatable among that audience.
  • She actually saved the screenshot from that day, and shared something deeply personal.
  • It's surprising, and also highlights that success doesn't just happen overnight.
  • It evokes encouragement and positive emotion. Heart-warming stories tend to perform well on LinkedIn.

4. Challenging Conventional Wisdom Posts

As you saw in the examples above, info-tainment and humor-based videos with some controversy tend to perform well and grab lots of engagement.

Text-based posts that challenge conventional wisdom see similar results.

Example: Lead Generation vs. Demand Generation

Chris Walker is a rising star on LinkedIn. He's got a truly unique and outside-the-box perspective on B2B marketing. Walker is becoming a voice of reason, calling out broken and outdated marketing tactics that don't work anymore. People love him for his ruthless ability to say what everyone is thinking, but doesn't want to admit.

In this post, Walker serves up an epic breakdown of lead generation versus demand generation. He gives a fresh perspective that suggests companies should stop creating content purely for lead captures, and should shift to a more buyer centric strategy that focuses on lower lead velocity, but higher close rates.

Check out this 90 minute "State of Demand Gen" interview for deeper insight on this topic.

Content Overview:

  • Old school vs. new school theme
  • 1,378 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • This content addresses tons of existing confusion between two distinct marketing concepts.
  • Walker offers highly tactical examples of how the two concepts work: old school versus new school.
  • Unquestionably, this is a controversial topic among B2B sales & marketing.
  • It challenges conventional wisdom, it creates an arena for healthy debate.

5. Question Posts

Asking questions can get your readers engaged. Everyone wants to chime in and be a part of the conversation.

That's why you should ask questions at the end of your posts. This is a sure-fire way to drive high engagement.

Example: Wrong Email to 1 Million Recipients

Adam Goyette is a leader in B2B marketing, serving as the CMO of Help Scout. This impressive post grew to become a total atomic bomb. It nearly broke the internet with such an extraordinary response purely driven by prompting the audience to share their most embarrassing and shameful work stories.

Content Overview:

  • Question based content with a strong emotional hook
  • 5,025 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • Incredibly engaging topic, spark fired by a question.
  • Flips the narrative by focusing on failures (people on LinkedIn tend to brag about their wins).
  • Goyette offers vulnerability by sharing an embarrassing work story. Most people don't do that.
  • Use of numerical figures. 1 million email recipients. This creates a bigger impact in his story.

6. Data-driven Perspective Posts

Content with numbers that prove a point, or data points from experiments/case studies always make for an intriguing read.

In fact, data-driven posts tend to perform better than rants and opinion pieces.

Example: The Value of SDRs

Tito Bohrt is a top voice in B2B sales, specifically focusing on sales development. He's a numbers wizard and an expert in behavioral economics. You won't beat him in a math battle, so don't try it.

This was an absolute value bomb of a post that completely made people rethink how to place value on sales development reps, perhaps the most under-appreciated role in sales.

Content Overview:

  • Numbers-driven breakdown: the monetary value of an SDR
  • 1,332 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • Data-driven perspective that calculates the real value of an under-appreciated sales job.
  • Flips the narrative by highlighting the financial upside of an SDR.
  • Powerful use of numbers — e.g. turning $300k into $7.5M.

7. How-To Posts

Just like with blog posts, how-to posts work well on LinkedIn.

According to a study byOkDork, which analyzed more than 3,000 LinkedIn posts, how-to and list posts perform best on LinkedIn.

The example below follows that format.

Example: 3 Things to Avoid in Enterprise Sales

Amy Volas is an emerging voice in B2B sales, specifically focusing on hiring and talent acquisition.

She's known for her remarkably honest and authentic approach to content creation and networking.

This post, which breaks down three pitfalls to avoid in enterprise sales, earned some healthy engagement. Let's examine why.

Content Overview:

  • Text based post, classic list style content
  • 430 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • Amazing opening line which includes numbers and creates curiosity.
  • 3 key takeaways that are powerful and easy to follow.
  • Explanation behind why each takeaway is important.
  • Addresses the "elephant in the room" — Volas shares an honest and real, no BS take on bad trends that are emerging in enterprise sales.

8. Personal Story Posts

At the core of the inbound methodology is being human. This practice is just as popular on LinkedIn. That's why sharing personal stories is one of the top ways to attract engagement to your posts on LinkedIn.

In the example below, Scott Leese shares a personal, vulnerable story with a message.

Example: Health Is More Important Than Your Job

Scott Leese is a sales veteran with an impressive track record of success with companies of all sizes.

He's a sales guru with tons of life experience and unique perspectives. With no surprise, his wisdom-based posts often earn widespread reaction and engagement.

This post from Leese is a heart-felt plea to the business community. He urges everyone to drop their obsession with work, and to make health a top priority. He leaves us with an amazing reminder that health truly is wealth.

Content Overview:

  • Story based post with an emotional hook
  • 2,615 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • Powerful opening line that addresses the "workaholic" problem among B2B professionals.
  • Scott shares a deeply personal experience regarding his own health, which may serve as a wake up call to others.
  • He makes you question your perspective on money. If you're sick, what good is money anyway?

9. Tactical Tips Posts

When people come across actionable tips, they're excited to implement them. Additionally, they're usually grateful that they came across the tips in the first place.

That's why tactical tip posts perform well on LinkedIn.

Example: 1st Time Working From Home Tips

John Barrows is unquestionably one of the world's best sales trainers. He's worked with the most recognizable software companies of the last decade, like Google, Salesforce, Okta, Box, and LinkedIn — just to name a few.

He's a prolific content creator, often recognized for his incredibly authentic and "no BS" tone of voice on LinkedIn. He's also the host of the Make It Happen Podcast, where he regularly interviews the top minds in B2B sales & marketing.

This post from Barrows offers very tactical advice for those making the transition to remote work for the first time.

Content Overview:

  • Tactical list-style post with timely and actionable advice
  • 1,567 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • This post is relevant and timely, as he addresses the crisis many people are facing.
  • This post is highly tactical, offering step-by-step advice for B2B professionals who have never worked from home before.
  • He offers a unique perspective on the most underrated working from home elements, such as the importance of taking walks and creating agreements with your spouse.
  • He uses the listicle/dashes format, which is a proven method for maximizing engagement.

10. Failure Content Posts

Again, people love content that is human and vulnerable. That's why posting about failures can actually go viral more than posts that brag about your success.

Additionally, once these posts go viral, people are much more likely to visit your site.

According to Econsultancy, LinkedIn is now responsible for64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites.

In the example below, after James Carbary recounted a story about failure, I'll bet people wanted to watch the Tedx Talk he references.

Example: I Completely Botched My Tedx Talk

James Carbary is one of the most respected voices in B2B. He's an outside-the-box type of content creator, and a well-known podcast enthusiast.

One mind-blowing statistic, is that Carbary has personally interviewed over 1,000 B2B sales & marketing professionals on his podcast.

This post from him offers a brutally honest perspective on failure.

He explains how he recovered from a disaster of epic proportion while delivering a presentation on stage during his first Tedx Talk.

He completely blanked and forgot everything. He was forced to take out his iPhone and deliver the rest of his presentation while reading notes off the screen.

Content Overview:

  • Storytelling post with emotional hook (failure)
  • 1,158 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • Carbary shares a brutally honest perspective on failure, and how to recover from it.
  • The story drags you in. The opening line is so good, you want to keep reading it.
  • The takeaway is powerful. "My worst fear happened, and I'm still alive."

Bonus: Ask Me Anything Posts

Although this is a new format, ask me anything posts are becoming more popular across social media sites.

That's why Instagram features a question box on Stories and recently came out with a Q&A style of live video.

The same concept holds true on LinkedIn. When people are more likely to get a response, they're more likely to ask question in the first place. That's why using the ask me anything format is helpful in driving engagement.

Example: Ask Me Anything During a Crisis (for SMBs)

Tomas Gorny is the definition of the American Dream. Born and raised in Poland, he moved to the United States at the age of 20 without speaking any English. Today, he's an entrepreneur, philanthropist and serves as the CEO of Nextiva.

Many SMBs are facing an extremely difficult road ahead, as thousands of SMBs could be forced into closures as a result of the economic collapse which is unfolding right before our eyes.

In this post, Gorny offers entrepreneurs, startup founders and SMB companies the opportunity to ask him anything. He's been in their shoes before. He's launched companies during recessions, and knows what it's like to fail.

Content Overview:

  • Ask me anything, with emotion-driven CTA
  • 550 reactions

Why did it go viral?

  • Gorny shares his personal perspective on recessions and crisis situations with fellow entrepreneurs and startup founders.
  • He solicits questions and offers advice, explaining how he overcame the challenge of running a business during a recession.
  • The takeaway is powerful. Don't let go of your passion, drive and dreams.

If you've been doing LinkedIn wrong, now is your opportunity to turn things around. Ditch the sales pitch, and start optimizing for engagement.

LinkedIn is now a broadcasting and content amplification platform. Use it to enhance your personal brand and drive friendly conversations (that may evolve into opportunities later). If you're still treating LinkedIn as a pure lead gen platform, you will undoubtedly fail.

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