LinkedIn Aims to Become Premier Hub for Content Marketing

One of the big challenges with business-to-business content marketing is getting it in front of the people who you want to see it.

Marketers like Red Bull and AmEx trying to reach a critical mass of consumers can distribute content through sponsored posts on Facebook and Twitter or distribution platforms like Outbrain.

But B2B marketers trying to reach a very specific type of professional face a serious challenge. LinkedIn wants to help B2B content marketers tackle that challenge head on.

“One of the things that we’re increasingly focused on in 2013 is going to be the opportunity to support content marketing,” LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner declared in a call with investors and analysts last month.

With over 200 million professionals and 2.4 million companies on LinkedIn, the platform hopes to become a giant information exchange where users can swap exclusive content like white papers, presentations, and expert discussions. We’ve already seen this effort underway through LinkedIn’s integration of Slideshare, and the release new products like LinkedIn Today, which aggregates top professional news for users, and LinkedIn Influencers, where a hand-picked crew of 200 celebrity professionals present exclusive content.

LinkedIn Groups have made it easier for people in niche industry roles to share and spread tips, tricks and updates with each other.

“One of the areas where we’re making strong traction in is LinkedIn as a professional publishing platform. You see with the momentum we’re generating now in Influencers, LinkedIn Groups, Slideshare, people are increasingly turning to LinkedIn to publish professionally relevant content,” Weiner said on the call. “We think that’s going to create a very strong platform and very valuable context for large enterprises, for small-medium businesses who want to target [and] engage with professionals.”

Basically, LinkedIn wants to become the first place professionals come to both distribute branded content and consume content that will help them do their job better. The benefits for LinkedIn are obvious: the more time people spend consuming content on LinkedIn, the more advertising dollars the company will see, and the more proprietary data they’ll collect about people’s professional content consumption habits.

In addition, LInkedIn is planning on rolling out its own version of the Facebook’s Sponsored Story called Sponsored Content, which will allow a brands to promote the whitepapers, infographics, and other branded content they produce to specific segments of their followers. For many B2B marketers, it may present the content distribution solution they’ve been craving.

We all already know that content is a commodity, but LinkedIn may soon take that idea to a whole new level.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Nan Palmero

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