Earlier this year we carried out some research about the adoption of content marketing, specifically by B2B technology and telecoms vendors (where we have a number of clients). Out of all the marketing channels we asked about, we didn’t expect a certain social network to feature so prominently.
The network? LinkedIn.
In one preliminary question we asked ‘What is included in your marketing activity?’. You can see that LinkedIn comes in joint second, alongside physical events (could you get an older channel?).
But that’s just a ‘what’s included?’ question. Doesn’t mean companies are hugely invested in LinkedIn – could be that it’s seen as a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses channel.
So the follow-up question was about the importance of different marketing activity.
But wait – there again in the top three places is LinkedIn – this time slightly trailing physical events and company websites but ahead of other major channels such as search, newsletters, company blogs and other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
What’s going on?
As we said earlier this year, LinkedIn is no longer about getting noticed by headhunters. Far from it. In some ways it has become the ultimate content marketing platform and business community. LinkedIn is:
- A way to make content and communication personal
- A channel for companies – whether through employees’ or company pages
- Comprehensive – that is, used by all* professionals
- About targeting and being targeted – perhaps the critical element in B2B
On the downside, we should point out, you don’t own those pages. LinkedIn can and has made changes that upset many a person’s or company’s plans. It’s the same with all ‘rented’ media.
While our research shows LinkedIn’s growing importance in B2B content marketing it all actually comes back to the fundamentals – knowing who your target audience is, what content addresses their needs and where they gather (physically and virtually) to network, share and consume that information.
For more, see our recently released B2B Content Marketing 2014 special report (email us for your free PDF copy).
*If you’re not on LinkedIn, I’m amazed you’re reading this.
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