Slow and steady, Linkedin has been going through a metamorphosis. Once a destination for job seekers and recruiters, the so-called ‘Professional Network’ is trying to establish itself as the premier destination for industry-specific news content. This isn’t a bad idea, considering most marketers agree that “content is King” and 9 out of 10 businesses publish assets to keep their readers engaged.
Could a content revolution be at hand?
Now, Linkedin claims there is a revolution taking place in which professionals are becoming avid content readers (assuming it’s a blog) or viewers (if it’s a graphic or video). The gist of the 2014 Professional Content Consumption report is that business decision-makers are going online and navigating to social networks to stay on top of industry developments and learn about products or services they may need.
91 percent say Linkedin is the go-to source for professional content
For brand marketers, this means an end to catch-all content and the start of a new era where assets are created for a specific network and audience. A person will probably come to Linkedin looking for different information than they’d expect from Twitter or Facebook.
Just look at the top publishers on each network. Twitter is dominated by news sources, while Facebook’s most popular contributors are entertainment sources. This breakdown shows in users’ intent when visiting each network:
- 91 percent say Linkedin is the go-to source for professional content
- 29 percent say Twitter is a better outlet for vertical-specific updates
- 27 percent say they can go to Facebook for business-related posts
- 16 percent look to Google+ when they learn about their fields
Linkedin introduces the Content Revolutionaries
According to Linkedin, there is a new group of internet users – the Content Revolutionaries. These individuals are engaged with online communities and consume a significant volume of industry-centric information (on the professional network, specifically). They spent approximately eight hours a week (or a full business day) reading content that’s pertinent to their jobs, and 61 percent think this gives them a competitive advantage.
Previous studies have shown the content research can help professionals make better decisions about their fields, and Linkedin’s latest data demonstrates the benefits for both publishers and readers who turn around and share those updates.
- Additional visibility: 65 percent report content helps them catch more eyes on the site
- Better reputation: 64 percent think Linkedin content helps them build a better reputation
- Thought leadership: 49 percent think Linkedin content helps them stand out as innovative thinkers
The benefits will, of course, depend on the kind of content shared and whether other Linkedin members find the insights helpful. A piece that presents original data, breaks news or features a sought-after expert will probably get more attention to an article about the company and its core offerings.
Original publications on LinkedIn?
One way that Linkedin is looking to keep news feeds engaging – and stay at the epicenter of this shift – is to encourage original content publication on its network. the social site recently extended an invitation to publish on the platform, providing a content management-esque system where fresh posts could be crafted.
Linkedin has already made it difficult to automate posts, and this new update implies it could go one step further by asking people to contribute unique posts directly to the forum.
Most marketers and content writers don’t have the bandwidth to do that right now, however, it’s something to consider as we move forward. Does it make sense to share each article and asset on every network? Or should they be pointed at the sites where they fit better into the overarching landscape? Is there value in creating original posts for every site, where they might not provide direct SEO benefits, but clearly engage readers?
As marketing teams determine the answers to these questions, they should continue to create content that interests their target audiences and share it on the channels where there’s demand and relevance.
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