Robert has talked about a number of reasons why content marketing is particularly important now. Here’s one more reason. With the advent of digital technologies, brands have been dis-intermediated from their buyers to a larger and larger degree. Buyers are getting savvier and they’re not persuaded by advertising alone. They’re using the web, search, social networks, etc. to educate themselves during the buying process. And they’re forming perceptions about brands without those brands having an opportunity to share their perspective.As a result, and research backs this up, at a minimum, buyers are 60% of the way thru their purchase process before they initiate contact with companies. So content marketing is important now because sharing authentic content is a way to connect with buyers while they’re informing themselves during the purchase process.
LinkedIn offers brands a way to way to share content with a premium audience of professionals. We have grown to be the world’s largest professional network. More than one-third of the 600 million professionals on the planet are LinkedIn. That’s more than 225 million LinkedIn members. This represents the largest group anywhere of influential, affluent and educated people. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Their average household income is $83K. Our audience has 2x more buying power than average internet sites.71% are either college grads or post grads.Key takeaway: LinkedIn has emerged as the world’s largest professional network, enabling brands to reach a premium audience. Here are some data to support premium nature of our audience: Mean Household income of $123K (per 2012 Fall GfK MRI) 71.48% of members are either college grads or post grads (per 2012 Fall GfK MRI) Our audience has 2x more buying power than average internet sites (Comscore US Media Metrix Data, September 2012)
The content marketing opportunity on LinkedIn exists because that’s just what our members seek: content. Research has shown that time on LinkedIn isn’t simply spent. Time on LinkedIn is invested in professional development. We call this the professional mindset.The professional mindset clearly distinguishes LinkedIn from Facebook and Twitter, which exist primarily in a personal context.The professional mindset is aspirational, members are thinking about how to achieve their ambitions and provide a better life for their families. Because it’s a place where audiences are investing time in becoming better at what they do, LinkedIn is well-suited to brands using content to influence buying decisions.In fact, our members are 6 times more engaged with content on LinkedIn vs our jobs properties. They are investing time in content from four primary sources:Influencers, 2) Channels / LI Today 3) Groups and 4) BrandsInfluencers - Members are getting unique content that they can’t get anywhere else by following Influencers. The Influencers program includes over 240 of the most influential thought leaders, from Richard Branson to President Obama.On LinkedIn, Influencers have become publishers virtually overnight, attracting – in the case of Richard Branson – more 2million followers that engage with and share their content. LI Today / Channels– LinkedIn Today is like a personalized trade publication, It delivers the top stories you need to know from your network and industry. We recently refreshed LinkedIn Today with channels to streamline how you keep up on the marketing topics and Influencer posts that matter most to your success. For marketers, we have the Social Media and Marketing Strategies channels.We also introduced 20 other channels, ranging from topics such as Your Career and Big Ideas and Innovation, with more channels to be added over time. Groups - LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups. These are where rich conversations are happening on a particular topic, and brands like Citi, Staples, and Philips electronics have robust groups on Professional Women, Small Business, and Healthcare innovation, respectively. Brands - LinkedIn members choose to follow the companies that they want to hear from, then engage with content these companies post to SlideShare, and join Groups built or sponsored by these companies
So LinkedIn members are actively seeking content from brands. This means that brands are able to build relationships by using LinkedIn’s accurate targeting to deliver relevant content. Compared with other professional publishers, content on LinkedIn works very differently. The rich data we have on our platform means we can deliver the most relevant content to our members. So Members receive individually relevant content from brands based on their profile data
As a marketer, whether you have brand-building objectives or performance-based objectives, or both, we have a solution for you. -----Brand: Awareness, Consideration, Thought LeadershipPerformance: Leads, acquisition
We have a range of content marketing solutions, but we’ll focus on two examples that help you bring your story to life with compelling visual content, powerful editorial, and massive reach across devices. The first solution is creating a SlideShare channel, which houses your presentation, video, infographic and other content. The second is Sponsored Updates, which is a new solution that we’re now testing and is currently in a limited release. This example of content marketing is from Cisco . . . From their new Internet of Everything campaignWe’ll now look at the SlideShare channel in closer detail, and then turn to Sponsored Updates
A SlideShare Channel will add immersive visual impact, built-in distribution to all major social networks, and lead collection to your content marketing efforts.SlideShare Channels are fully customized brand pages that can serve as repositories for all your best content. Once you build your channel, it’s easy to extend the reach of your content by leveraging the built-in social sharing of SlideShare.Everything posted on SlideShare can be consumed and shared out to connections across social platforms. You can also embed your SlideShare content directly into your company blog or website where prospects are performing research. The SEO of SlideShare content makes it easier to find through Search. In fact, the number one driver of traffic to SlideShare content is through Google search. SlideShare transcribes presentation content into text, which improves SEO. You can strategically choose keywords for their content's title and description to improve SEO.
With your best content on Slideshare, the next step is to extend the reach of this content and share it with your target audience in a big way. You can do this by sending a link to the content as a Company Update and promoting that update to your target audience. Another way to distribute your content is to pull it into a Slideshare Content Ad on LinkedIn, which runs in a 300x250 placement throughout the site. This ad unit allows users to expand and read your presentation without leaving the LinkedIn site. You can embed the lead collection forms in the presentation within this unit as well. These ads are highly engaging with above-average engagement rates.
As I mentioned, we have our new solution Sponsored Updates in a limited releaseAs with Company Updates, Sponsored Updates originate from your LinkedIn Company Page and can be used to share links, videos, presentations, whitepapers, PDFs, commentaryand images. Sponsored Updates extendthe reach of your content to any target audience on LinkedIn – both Followers AND non-Followers.You also gain valuable earned reach when members like, share, or comment on your content, distributing it to their 1st degree connections.And Sponsored Updates appear across devices – desktop, tablet, mobile – so they work wherever our members work.Adobe is in our pilot, here’s an update from them that contains thought leadership insights from their 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization survey.We’ve been piloting this product with a number of customers for the past few months and are seeing very strong results. Because they are integrated into the LinkedIn feed so members are more likely to engage with them.
Our pilot customers have found that they are getting very high quality traffic that is converting into leads. This is driven by a couple factors. First, the accurate targeting means your engagement is coming from your target audience. Second, people have already previewed the headline and first three lines of content from your landing page before clicking. This means all of the traffic you drive has demonstrated interested in your content because they’ve been able to preview it before they click. This slide shows an sponsored update from Amex inviting people to join a Beta of their OPEN Forum small business community, so this update is driving leads for that community.
It’s worth reiterating that one of the key benefits of Sponsored Updates is reaching beyond your company followers in a targeted way to LinkedIn members. BlackRock is an early adopter of our new Sponsored Update product, they’re in our pilot.BlackRock is using Sponsored Updates to build relationships with financial services professionals by sharing thought leadership. This update is about how to have that important conversation with parents about retirement.
And on LinkedIn, Display media and Content create greater value when paired together. Our internal research shows that the combination of Display and Sponsored Updates drives incremental engagement when included in a single campaign. [Note: This is not a roadblock. These were campaigns running during the same time period targeting similar audiences. At this time, we cannot run display and Sponsored Updates as a roadblock.]
Now we’ll look at a couple cases. Hubspot was one of our first pilot customers for Sponsored Updates and has seen very strong performance. For those that don’t know, HubSpot is a pioneer in inbound marketing, and it aims to help its customers make marketing that people actually love. They publish thought leadership and practical how-to content, which marketers find very valuable. This type of content works very well for sponsored updates. Here’s an example of a sponsored update that drove to a library of inbound marketing templates HubSpot created. They had a high conversion rate from clicks to leads from their Sponsored Update. And the update delivered very high quality leads. These are the kind of results you can see with sponsored updates.
We’ll now look at another example that showcases a different content solution: Content Ads. This one comes from GE, who sought to enhance its reputation and thought leadership in energy and healthcare industries in select regions around the worldAs part of their LinkedIn campaign, they ran targeted Content Ads to reach influencers and decision makers in healthcare and energy. The ads featured videos, whitepapers, infographics, and curated articles from elsewhere on the web, all of which could be clicked in the module. GE saw strong results, • Average of 5.75% interaction rate with Content Adsgenerating over 1,300 unique content downloads• Deep engagement with policymakers and industrypeers • High levels of conversions, virality, and traffic forinitiatives on LinkedIn
As these examples show,Brands are able to regain influence using LinkedInto build relationships with professionalsBrands have a powerful and authentic voice on LinkedIn and can add value with insights and information, which is exactly what professionals seek in order to be great at what they do
Thanks for listening! If you’d like more information, you can visit our resource center for content marketing on LinkedIn (that first link) and you can also learn more about our new product Sponsored Updates with that second link. On the Sponsored Updates page, you can request an invitation to use the product in the limited release period before we launch it publicly. Thanks again! And now we’ll open it up to Q&A.
Infusing content marketing into your social strategies
Isn’t How many?
content for different
Quality Of Network
Lead generation velocity – Linked-IN
Wins (barely) – 44% vs. 35% vs. 31%
But…. On lead generation quality:
LinkedIn scores double that of others.