LinkedIn Content Ecosystem


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David will share new products that are fast making LinkedIn a professional publishing powerhouse for B2B marketing and the implications and opportunities for technology marketers.

Presented at TechConnect:13 by David Thacker, Vice President Product, Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn

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  • IntroThacker bioLinkedIn’s Product philosophy
  • Professionals are at the core of our mission, and you as marketing and advertising professionals have an enormous role in our mission. We are deeply committed to making the world’s professionals more productive and successful.And companies and brands play a critical role with insights, new experiences, and innovative products and services that are highly relevant and desired by our audiences.We want to help you go beyond simply reaching professionals…to building relationships with them.With relevant content strategies in the right context, you can build mutually beneficial relationships with professionals on LinkedIn…and the successes go both ways.
  • Reaching, engaging and building relationships with these leaders, influencers, and decision-makers represents a huge opportunity for marketers. With more than 230M members, 1 of every 3 professionals on the planet is now on LinkedIn. And they come for a trusted context and relevant content. Regardless of geography, industry or capacity, they are in search of insights and information from the colleagues and brands they trust.
  • Connecting talent with opportunity was LinkedIn’s early value propositionBecause we have so many professionals on our site, we we were able to to change the way people hired. Businesses could now go after people with the skills and experience that they desired in a proactive way. It changed how people get jobs. People no longer submit resumes into a blackhole.
  • We have a new value proposition on LinkedIn that I want to talk about today:To inform, educate, and inspire professionals. We are doing this through a content evolution on LinkedIn.
  • We are becoming the definitive professional publishing platform. Becoming a hub of great content, including original content.
  • Professional content consumption is happening 6x more often than job seeking on LinkedIn today..
  • In the past couple of years, we’ve been undergoing a major evolution with content at the core of our strategy.Given this focus on content, the usage of our platform has dramatically shifted.We see 6x more engagement as defined by PV’s when looking at our content properties vs. the jobs specific section of our platform. The shifts we are seeing in content engagement are creating new marketing opportunities.
  • A lot of professional content providers out there, they top out at close to 70M unique visitors. These are comscore numbers here.
  • Linkedin is now at a 180M uniques per month, and that is being driven by the shift to content on the platform. This is happening very rapidly, at tremendous scale.Today, we are the definitive platform for professionals to gain and share content and insights.So today I’m going to talk about this content evolution on LinkedIn, and tell you how you can take advantage of it. I also want to highlight some businesses that are doing it very well. And give you some best practices.
  • There are three trends that have set us apart. The first trend is personalization and relevance.First, all of the content is individually relevant. Your network decides what you see today. Experience is tailored to you as a professional – your profile, your network, your behavior and the behavior of your network. And other members similar to you.Compare what an early start-up exec would see vs a technology executive.Contrast that with a traditional newspaper, where a small group of editors decides what we everyone sees.Platform is 1:1 – it’s about the individual member.
  • This is truly content unlike anything you get on the web or in print. It’s a differentiated experience that’s caught on fire.
  • Key messages:The third trend we’re seeing in content evolution is mobile.We are in the 3rd release of LI smartphone app.Rave reviews, 4 star app in the app store.Mobile is driving content consumption. It’s small burst of times..More content consumption on mobile device vs. desktop. Completely started from scratch with our mobile experience to take into the user experience first and foremostMobile will be a driver Pulse was an acquisition we made earlier this year. One of the top newsreaders out there. This Pulse app gets 300M article views every month. Young startup, only 2 years old. Mobile is at the very center of our content strategy. **********************************************************************As you’d expect, our LinkedIn usage data reflects these same trends. Increasingly, we’re seeing our members access LinkedIn and professionally-relevant content away from the desktop.In Q2 2013, an average of 33 percent of unique visiting members came through mobile apps, versus just 21 percent a year ago.LinkedIn members also demonstrate higher levels of engagement on smartphones and tablets than they do the desktop. (Note: David Thacker has this data.)
  • This evolution in content has enabled marketing to be a first class citizen. I’ll talk about some of our Marketing Solutions that illustrate this.
  • The way we think about content marketing is that it should make our members more productive and successful.
  • One of the first practitioners of content marketing was Mr. John Deere in the 1800s. He did something innovative with how he sold farming equipment – in this case, steel plow blades. He went out into the country and taught people how to be better farmers. He became a trusted advisor.He didn’t try to sell plows and he didn’t try to sell them farming equipment. Instead, he taught them how to plow and seed fields and everything else related to farming. As John Deere started to teach people how to be better farmers, they started to follow him to understand how they could buy his equipment and become better farmers using his new technology. It was so successful that as the company grew, John Deere kept this form of relationship-building as a core part of what they do.
  • Even to this day, John Deere publishes a print magazine called “The Furrow.” The earliest one that can be found online was from 1931, but they published from 1875 onward.So for over a hundred years, John Deere has been producing content that helps farmers be better farmers.This approach has been so successful 200 years later and at a market cap of $32B, John Deere keeps this form of relationship-building as a core part of what they do in marketing. For us at LinkedIn, John Deere typifies how content can be used to forge a long-term relationship with the customer, geared toward becoming a trusted advisor and influencing purchase decisions.
  • When it comes to b2b content marketing, having great content is not enough. B2b marketers must also consider the context in which audiences will find and engage with that content.Because it’s a place where audiences are investing time in improving their decision-making, LinkedIn is well-suited to high consideration marketing and brands using content to influence buying decisions.
  • To better understand how global B2B buyers are navigating the complexity and risk associated with purchasing decisions, the CMO Council recently surveyed more than 400 b2b buyers around the world.They found that online content significantly influences B2B buying, with 87% of survey respondents saying that online content plays a major to moderate role in vendor selection.In addition to seeking content via Search and the Web, theseB2B buyers and their influencers are migrating to peer-based communities as sources of trusted, relevant, and credible content and conversation. It’s here they’re looking for trusted advisors to inform their purchase decisions.
  • <old P&G co pg juxtaposed to new Oracle co pg>Company Pages help marketers connect with audiences on LinkedIn
  • Move from career focus for company page. Get people to follow their presence for information and insights.HP’s Company Followers are brand advocatesHP is using followers as its channel to keep over 1.3 million potential brand advocates informed and up-to-date on its products and services. HP is driving increased likelihood to recommend amongst its followers, as its Followers are 2.5 times more likely to recommend HP than are non-HP followers. And our research into that behavior indicates that HP followers are more likely to recommend HP in part because they feel informed about HP. They trust the information they’re receiving and want to pass it on to their networks.
  • Our members want a trusted advisor to help them navigate the often complex B2B buying journey. As with the farmers who followed John Deere to learn how to become better farmers, our members will follow you on LinkedIn to make more informed purchase decisions. If you can become a trusted source of insights and information, they’ll reward you with their loyalty and likelihood to recommend when you do.
  • This is a picture of our feed, and you’ll noticed that Adobe was able to put their message directly into the feed. This is a new product that we launched called Sponsored Updates.Adobe does a great job knowing their audience, and understanding that they’re going to make them more productive.Allows you to take great content that you already have and get it in front of users.
  • We’re expanding our product portfolio to better meet brand and performance objectivesIn July of this year, we introduced the general availability of Sponsored Updates.Content delivered to ALL target audiencesAcross devices without need to produce device-specific ad unitsIn the most engaging place on LinkedIn – the feedCan drive followingSocial engagement – comments, likes, and shares – further extends the reach and relevance of your content.We’ve seen this latter point in Sponsored Updates campaigns. When we first started testing Sponsored Updates, we did not show the social proof (i.e., # of likes, # of shares, and the comments). When we turned on social proof, we saw an 80% increase in CTR on average. When you add social proof to your content it increases impact.
  • 50% more likely to agree that “Adobe isshaping the future of digital marketing”2.5x more likely to agree that Adobe’sSponsored Updates “captured their attention”79% more likely to agree that “Adobe canhelp me optimize my media spend”
  • HubSpot drives high-quality leads with sponsored updates400% more leads within their target audience than lead generation efforts on other platforms. (speaks to high quality of leads)SU also delivered on quantity of leads for Hubspot, as SU was one of the largest paid lead generators for Hubspot – across all its programs – during the campaign.Interestingly, SU has been so effective at driving leads that we recently had a client who had to temporarily pause its September SU campaign so that its Sales team could catch up to the stream of high quality leads delivered in August.
  • The second case where content is acting as a first class citizen is on Slideshare. This is also an acquisition we made over a year ago.You can take a great asset, like a visual presentation on Slideshare, and easily convert into a slideshare presentation where it lives on linkedin.And if a marketer wants to take this organic content and gain more reach and engagement, they can convert it into a slideshare ad unit on LinkedIn.. With our targeting, you can take this ad unit and put it directly in front of audience that you care about.
  • Another powerful aspect to content marketing is that the social proof is built in – when you execute on LI and social platforms. The new form of social proof is “like, comment and share.” People today are less interested in what celebrities care about, they care more about what their network of professionals are talking about.You gain endorsements naturally as part of the social experience – and this is further accelerated when you have GOOD content.The social component of LinkedIn drives more engagement. The comments become the content, and go back into the stream.
  • Target with accuracy Accurate targeting, based on authentic data, is essential to ensuring the relevance of your content marketing. LinkedIn’s targeting is highly accuratebecause it draws from actual profile data provided and continually updated by our members themselves -- as they showcase their accomplishments (e.g., promotions, earned degrees)For instance, you’ll find no more accurate Company Targeting on the planet than what we have at LinkedIn. You can confidently reach decision-makers and the people who influence purchasing decisions at the companies to which your sales teams believe they can sell. In addition to targeting professionals by Company, you now have access to a new custom segment that helps Tech Marketers reach the coveted IT Committee. These are the professionals on LinkedIn who are likely to be involved in the purchasing decision.
  • The last thing we want to talk about is the patterns of success we’ve seen in the content marketing space.TRANSITION: Many leading brands across categories are putting content at the core of their strategies. Here are some of the patterns we see that are making them successful.
  • Key Message: The best customers have the mindset that they want to make their customers more productive and successful. Right content in the right context. Start with insights that you know your audience will care about. And then consider the right context for when and where they want to receive them. For Blackrock, they are consistently publishing great content about the financial markets, personal finance and global trends. And this thoughtful, aspirational content is at home on LinkedIn. It’s what our members want and expect.
  • Key Message: You don’t have to originate all of your own content.Everyone in this room can be an editor.You don’t need to originate all of your own content – you can add a perspective on 3rd party content and generate results by re-publishing it. Generally the original piece will have much more reach on LinkedIn than the original channel.Example: Lenovo is sharing great content from The Wharton School’s blog about mobile phone usage and the impact on business.
  • Key Message: There is a place for long form content – but for today’s consumer, shorter form content is a key part of what they, what they engage with and what they share with others. The term snackable captures the consumer behavior so well.With people so consumed by digital media and mobile devices, effective content is content that is easy to understand, easy to consume and most of all – easy to share.Don’t put a whitepaper up that’s 10 pages long, people aren’t going to consumer it when they’re in line at starbucks. The key thing that is driving sharing on LinkedIn is their own professional identity. They want to seem smart which is why they share.
  • Key Message: This is a critical point that can be over-looked – value the Who – value if you’ve reached the right audience or not. We’ve invested in improved analytics in our co page and for content products so this level of data is at your fingertips on our platform. We still see people getting very consumed by volume metrics – how many like, comments, shares. Don’t just look at the big aggregate numbers. But the “Who” in the equation is the key piece that will drive your impact. If you have a lot of activity but it’s happening among the wrong target audience, it’s wasted activity for your marketing budget.
  • Last thing to leave you with – We’re going to make B2B a big focus of our product efforts in 2014. How we can improve the process. Extending our content marketing platform to handle the end to end process of marketing to prospective and existing customers. It’s a great time to be investing in content marketing on the LinkedIn platform. This is really just the beginning. Thank you very much.
  • LinkedIn Content Ecosystem

    1. 1. LinkedIn Content Ecosystem
    2. 2. David Thacker Vice President, Product LinkedIn @DavThack #inTC13
    3. 3. Our Mission. Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful
    4. 4. 1 of every 3 professionals on the planet is LinkedIn
    5. 5. Connect talent with opportunity.
    6. 6. Inform, educate, and inspire professionals.
    7. 7. Definitive professional publishing platform.
    8. 8. Job seeking
    9. 9. Content is our core 6more engagement with content vs. jobs Content Jobs
    10. 10. WW Unique Visitors 68,066 31,647 27,005 26,151 24,169 22,946 source: comScore, Global Monthly Unique Visitors (Aug 2013)
    11. 11. WW Unique Visitors 179,415 source: comScore, Global Monthly Unique Visitors (Aug 2013)
    12. 12. Early start-up exec VS. Relevance driven by your professional profile Tech exec
    13. 13. Influencers
    14. 14. Mobile is accelerating content consumption. 33% of unique visiting members came through mobile apps in Q2 2013
    15. 15. Content Marketing can make our members more productive & successful
    16. 16. Content marketing isn’t new
    17. 17. Teaching farmers to be great at what they do
    18. 18. Your audience is more receptive in our professional context
    19. 19. B2B buyers turn to online content and conversations in professional communities Source: CMO Council, “ Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field, 2013. 87% of B2B buyers say online content plays a major to moderate role in vendor selection
    20. 20. Company Pages help marketers connect with audiences on LinkedIn
    21. 21. 112% increase in CXO followers 15% higher engagement rate with CXOs vs. non-CXO followers 2.5 more likely to recommend HP solutions by followers HP’s company followers are brand advocates “We can have dialogues with potential customers in a way that encourages organic growth of the community.” Bryna Corcoran Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategist, HP
    22. 22. Why our members follow companies? 64% 55% 55% 48% 46% 43% 34% 34% 33% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% New product launches Product reviews & comparisons Tech events Webinars/demos using video White papers Case studies Influencer posts Infographics Software trial downloads TotalAudience
    23. 23. Integrated into the feed….
    24. 24. We’ve expanded our product portfolio with Sponsored Updates
    25. 25. Adobe drives thought leadership with Sponsored Updates  50%  more likely to agree that Adobe is “shaping the future of digital marketing”  2.5 more likely to agree Adobe’s Sponsored Updates capture their attention  79%  more likely to agree that Adobe can help optimize their media spend
    26. 26. HubSpot drives high-quality leads with Sponsored Updates 400% more leads within their target audience than lead generation efforts on other platforms
    27. 27. Integrate and amplify content from SlideShare
    28. 28. Social proof. Included. Like (115) Comment (11) Share 
    29. 29. Relevant content powered by accurate targeting What they do Behavior Who they are Profile Who they know Connections
    30. 30. Make your customers more productive and successful
    31. 31. Be the editor
    32. 32. Make it snackable
    33. 33. Value the who Follower Demographics 24% 8.9% 8.2% 6.7% 5.6% Finance Sales Research Consulting Operations
    34. 34. 2014 Product Focus in B2B Targeting PersonalizationAttribution Lead capture