Dec 19, 2014
Over the past few years LinkedIn has been busy positioning itself as the content platform of choice for B2B marketers. To drive this mission forward, it has unleashed a whole host of content-focused updates – from its powerful publishing platform to its successful ‘Sponsored Updates’ and inspiring influencers’ programme.
Below we’ll discuss the untapped potential of LinkedIn’s mega platform and explore the many ways that crafty content marketers can benefit – we’re talking more reach, better targeting options, native advertising opportunities and reaching the right people at the right time. We promise – it’s powerful.
As every content marketer knows, a social network is only as good as its audience. So let’s get acquainted with the LinkedIn audience first – then you can decide whether they’re worth investing in. With over 300 million registered users, LinkedIn is one of the largest social networking websites in the world. But the most interesting part? It is home to some prime audience real estate you can tap into – from senior-level decision makers to industry influencers.
Yes, now you’re listening. The average income of a LinkedIn user is $83,000, according to Brian Thome, product marketing director at LinkedIn. What’s more, the LinkedIn audience have been proven to be highly engaged with content – 6 out of 10 users actively look for industry insights. The LinkedIn platform gives your brand access to a whole host of educated, skilled and influential people with a high search intent (when you visit LinkedIn you already have your industry cap on and are actively seeking knowledge).
With LinkedIn Sponsored Updates you can ensure that your content reaches the right audience and decision makers at the right time and on the device they prefer. But the best part? It gives you advanced and precise targeting options that most other social media networks simply can’t offer. Sponsored Updates are the kind of native advertising that brands are moving toward this year and beyond.
With LinkedIn Sponsored Updates not only do you get the typical demographic information most of the main social media channels offer like age, gender and location – you can also target by additional factors like job title and industry. Sponsored Updates gives you a whole host of richer audience insights and targeting options. And it makes sense too – the more information a LinkedIn user provides the better chance their profile has of being found.
HooteSuite have recently proved that Sponsored Updates are a great way of generating high quality leads at a low cost. Their experiment found that Sponsored Updates had a 32% lower cost per form fill compared to other paid channels along with a 14.6% conversion rate from click to read (that’s 22.8 times higher when compared to other platforms).
Sponsored Updates are LinkedIn’s first true move toward native advertising. In essence, native advertising means placing paid content ads in front of your audience that are delivered unobtrusively in in the user’s stream. Unlike a normal ad, the nature of a Sponsored Update means that it adds value to the user’s experience and appears in the natural flow of a user’s news feed.
In a world of content overload, you (as a content marketer) need to get smarter about distributing your content and ensuring that it reaches the right audience. If you’re looking to monetize your content distribution, native advertising is definitely worth considering. It’s ensures that your content is targeted to the right people in the right way and, most importantly, it doesn’t annoy or distract from the message – your content.
LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform allows users with a LinkedIn account to create and publish content direct to LinkedIn – without the need of a website or blog. The big benefit for content marketers is that it allows you to enhance your personal online brand and showcase your content by sharing it with your network and displaying it on your profile.
The Content Marketing Institute’s, Joe Pulizzi was very excited when the publishing platform was first announced. He said, “This is big news. No, this is HUGE news…you’ve never seen anything like the engagement you’ve seen on LinkedIn.”
One of the main benefits of the LinkedIn Publishing Platform is that allows you to position yourself as a thought leader in your relevant industry. Publishing content on LinkedIn adds credibility to your skillset and expertise and as well as allowing you to showcase your talent as a content marketer.
Publishing content on LinkedIn allows you to reach a targeted audience who are already invested in your industry. You can share your content with your entire network – which is typically made up of highly engaged professionals with a high search intent. These are the people you want to see your stuff – maybe they’ll even share it with their own network.
A nifty feature of LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform is that it displays your content on the top right hand side of your profile. This means that when potential business clients or industry contacts view your profile they can easily view your content. Impress them enough with it and you it might just seal you your next deal or land you your next interview.
People who are not directly connected to you on LinkedIn can “follow” you instead. This increases your content’s influence and reach as it has the potential to display in more people’s news streams. By not being limited by the reach of your LinkedIn network you can attract the eyes of new potential industry connections – and for free.
The goal of a LinkedIn Group is to create a hub for quality industry discussions. Identify and join relevant groups that gives you access to the right influential people in your industry. Choose a select few groups (depending on how much time you have) and ensure that you are regularly contributing value, insights and ideas. And remember, it’s not all about posting your content –it’s also about building real and lasting relationships with people who matter.
Our online Professional Diploma in Social Media Marketing teaches you the best practices for marketing through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. It includes 30 hours of in-depth lectures taught by industry experts and will equip you with all the skills and knowledge you need to plan, build and measure effective social media strategies. Find out more here.