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The LinkedIn Guide to Personalized Content Creation

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A Conversation with Mike Weir, LinkedIn’s Global Head of Category Development for the Technology Industry

A Conversation with Mike Weir, LinkedIn’s Global Head of Category Development for the Technology Industry

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  • 1. The LinkedIn Guide toPersonalized Content CreationA Conversation with Mike Weir, LinkedIn’s Global Head ofCategory Development for the Technology IndustryBy Mark Sherbin
  • 2. 2Citi Speaks to Professional WomenFinancial service firm Citi maintains an active online community that boasts:• 200,000 professional women• A 30-50% rate of members who visit weekly• 1,600+ views on the group’s most popular videoHow do they do it?
  • 3. 3LinkedIn’s Powerful Group FeaturesConnect: Professional Women’s Network is hosted through LinkedIn.Groups are just one of the ways content marketers can leverage LinkedIn.
  • 4. 4LinkedIn as a Personalized Content HubLinkedIn is a platform with stunning access to data, which makes it a potentsolution for delivering personalized content to your audience segments.First, content marketers should create their own personalization plans.
  • 5. 5Asking the Right QuestionsTo create a personalization plan, LinkedIn’s Mike Weir suggests asking questions like:• What channels are your target audiences using?• What should your tone be on each channel?• What type of content should you deliver?• How do you reach the exact person, not just a nameless user, IP address or cookie?
  • 6. 6How to Create a Personalization PlanA strong plan to deliver personalized content requires:• Strong audience segmentation• Continuous research• Segment-specific content• A distribution plan
  • 7. 7Who Are They?Createbuyerpersonasbasedonaudienceresearch.Eachpersonabecomesasegmentationtool.Mikesuggeststhesefivesegmentationfactorsforcontentmarketers:• Location• Seniority• Role• Industry• Company Size
  • 8. 8What Are They Buzzing About?Listening in on social media discussions is today’s most powerful research tool.• Participate in LinkedIn Groups• Follow Twitter hashtags• Find industry & consumer forums• Use tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social
  • 9. 9How Can You Offer Value?Use your buyer personas to create a content plan for each segment.• Identify valuable topics for each segment.• Create content specificto your personas.• Cover each point in the decision making process.
  • 10. 10How Do You Deliver That Value?With your segments in hand, reevaluate your distribution channels. Are youapproaching them with your audience segments in mind?Here’s a hypothetical:• A B2B company targets professional services firms.• Legal and engineering audience segments are interested in very different types of content.• Through analysis, they find out that legal pros prefer one channel while engineers prefer another.• They distribute only content specific to the relevant audience for each channel (instead of pushing out all of their content through both).
  • 11. 11Why LinkedIn for Personalized Content?You’re probably using LinkedIn as a virtual resume. But are you harnessing thenetwork’s reach for content marketing?• LinkedIn’s first-party data source is unrivaled in the professional world.• Users opt-in, offering up the data necessary for a strong personalized experience.• It plans to roll out more resources for content marketers in the future.
  • 12. 12Three Ways LinkedIn DeliversPersonalized ContentLinkedIn works with brands to promote personalized content marketingin three ways.• Building a presence for your Company Page through native ads and delivering fresh content regularly• Owning or participating in LinkedIn Groups specific to audience segments• Using LinkedIn’s API to create personalized social experiences outside ofthe website
  • 13. 13Leveraging Brand Pages and Native AdsLinkedIn features what Mike calls the standard content marketing approach:Marketers focus on building a following for their company page.• Sharing content from the brand page beams it to your followers’ newsfeeds.• Segment different pieces of content based on persona.• Speed up follower acquisition through LinkedIn’s personalized native ads.
  • 14. 14HP Gets TractionUsing this approach, HP grew their company page followers by more than300,000 members in less than two months.• The campaign targeted specific IT decision-makers.• The resulting followers are 2.5 times more likely to recommend HP solutions.• As a result of hyper-targeting, CXOs have become one of the most engaged audiences for targeted status updates.
  • 15. 15Mike says:Getting company page followers is an opt-in process.By building your company page, content marketers candeliver personalized content to receptive audience segments.CMI says:LinkedIn is a ripe playground for B2B content.Consider this your invitation to spend some serious timeoptimizing your brand page.
  • 16. 16Joining the ConversationNot everyone considers the conversations they have in LinkedIn Groups “contentmarketing.” But that’s exactly what it is.• You’re providing helpful content directly to an audience member without imposing a sales message.• Eachgrouptargetsaveryspecificaudiencesegment,makingpersonalizationsimple.• Owning a group is a great way to get brand exposure. Citi’s Connect: Professional Women’s Network is a great example.
  • 17. 17Mike says:Participating in the conversation is a really rich partof the LinkedIn experience. Owning an active, authoritativegroup for your target audience can pay off in even bigger ways.Your clients and prospective clients appreciate the valueyou provide to them, especially when you don’tdo a hard sell.CMI says:The content you create in LinkedIn Groups is essential toyour content marketing plan—both in its own right and asan inspiration for longer form content. Groups are alreadysegmented, helping you engage people with a highlyrelevant message.
  • 18. 18Creating Personalized Social ExperiencesLinkedIn APIs have found a world of uses in creating personalized social experiences.• APIs create data streams from LinkedIn to your own program or website.• You can create your own app using data from LinkedIn.• User profiles are rich in data, feeding your program with your visitor’s professional experience.
  • 19. 19LinkedIn API Examples• PwC Netherlands worked with LinkedIn to create a successful professional relationship game based on the player’s LinkedIn network.• A major software company created a “nametag analyzer” that generates a “true business title” for visitors after they sign in through LinkedIn.
  • 20. 20Mike says:With the APIs, businesses use LinkedIn as the sourcefor engaging people through their own channels. Personalizedsocial experiences allow technology companies to provideunique insights and engagement opportunities forkey decision-makers.CMI says:LinkedIn imposes few limitations on content marketers.Making personalization extend beyond the walls of theprofessional network is a realistic goal that you can makehappen with LinkedIn APIs.
  • 21. 21Mark Sherbin is a regular contributor to the Content Marketing Institute, anda freelance writer specializing in technology and content marketing. He sharesoccasionally insightful information at Copywriting Is Dead, where he promotesauthentic communication between organizations and their audiences. Contact himat msherbin@gmail.com.The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and trainingorganization. CMI teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling,multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event is the largest content marketing-focused event. CMI also produces the quarterly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides strategicconsulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. Get morecontent marketing resources at ContentMarketingInstitute.com. CMI is a division of Z Squared Media,a 2012 Inc. 500 company.Join CMI and host LinkedIn as they present the Content Marketing World Tech Summit,September 12, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.About the AuthorAbout the Content Marketing Institute