UF: Your presentation will reveal impactful strategies for customers to be more efficient in the long-term in engaging specific communities. Can you share a preview of what attendees can expect to learn during your session?
JP: Over the past year, we’ve spent an increasing amount of time doing content strategy work with clients with their PR and core content teams with the expansion of the LinkedIn publishing platform. We’ve seen some really interesting and impactful cases on how organizations are using LinkedIn, for both proactive and reactive messaging. I’m going to be covering some of the different use cases for public affairs and communication teams, and give specific examples of what companies have been doing.
JP: For a couple of reasons. Number one, LinkedIn is increasingly a destination for professionals to consume professional content in a relevant and trusted context. There are lots of places to go and stay informed on your industry in trends and news, but LinkedIn is arguably, in the social media realm, the only one that is strictly professional in nature.
Second is reach. We now have over 347 million members globally. Combine that with our targeting capabilities and it is a powerful way to reach specific audiences at scale.
UF: Can you talk about how LinkedIn enables and simplifies hiring, marketing, and selling in an increasingly complex world of communications?
JP: With hiring, instead of simply culling through responses to a job posting, most of which might be a poor match, recruiters can leverage the millions of passive candidates on LinkedIn that have exactly the skills and backgrounds that they are looking for.
For selling, LinkedIn has the potential to eliminate the need for cold-calling. Social selling enables sales teams to leverage the networks of their entire organization to create warm introductions and shorten the sales cycle.
For marketing, the data that LinkedIn offers allows companies to target exactly whom they want to reach. You’re no longer playing a guessing game of who you think your audience is. You can get data to target exactly who you are looking for. And we now have powerful tools to nurture that audience beyond the awareness stage of the buying process.
UF: How can companies use LinkedIn to improve and/or document their content strategy?
JP: There are a few ways. The first is through insights. Our sales and consulting teams provide what we call trending content reports, which help companies understand the topics that are receiving the most engagement with specific audiences on LinkedIn. With content marketing, companies have to understand what their audience is interested in, in order to grasp a content strategy that will resonate. Trending content reports are a great way to help start that process.
We also have metrics that content marketers use to measure out the short-tail impacts of the campaigns or efforts. Beyond the more superficial metrics like engagement, we have what we call a content marketing score report, which basically enables marketers to understand how many in their community are engaging with their company’s content on LinkedIn. We compare that against their competitors’ stats so that they really understand “not only how am I doing, but how am I doing relative to other companies.”
UF: Are there any lesser-known or future content-related features of LinkedIn that you think people should know about?
JP: There are three tools that I’m really excited about. SlideShare is a massively underutilized platform. There are going to be some enhancements coming to that site throughout the rest of the year – to make it a more powerful tool for individuals and companies to leverage. It’s a visual storytelling platform. It’s great for not only just PowerPoints, but also PDFs, video and infographics.
The second is the open publishing platform, which started out as the Influencer program and then was opened up to all English-speaking members globally. It’s been really amazing to see not just the quantity of the content that’s being produced, but the quality of articles that users can see in their feed. The open publishing platform is really great for individuals to showcase their knowledge and become thought leaders. It can really help their employer’s brand as well.
The third is sponsored updates: sponsoring content directly into the newsfeed. The success with that offering has been phenomenal.