The LinkedIn Guide to Personalized Content Creation
The LinkedIn Guide to
Personalized Content Creation
A Conversation with Mike Weir, LinkedIn’s Global Head of
Category Development for the Technology Industry
By Mark Sherbin
Citi Speaks to Professional Women
Financial service firm Citi maintains an active online community that boasts:
• 200,000 professional women
• A 30-50% rate of members who visit weekly
• 1,600+ views on the group’s most popular video
How do they do it?
LinkedIn’s Powerful Group Features
Connect: Professional Women’s Network is hosted through LinkedIn.
Groups are just one of the ways content marketers can leverage LinkedIn.
LinkedIn as a Personalized Content Hub
LinkedIn is a platform with stunning access to data, which makes it a potent
solution for delivering personalized content to your audience segments.
First, content marketers should create their own personalization plans.
Asking the Right Questions
To create a personalization plan, LinkedIn’s Mike Weir suggests asking questions like:
• What channels are your target audiences using?
• What should your tone be on each channel?
• What type of content should you deliver?
• How do you reach the exact person, not just a nameless user, IP address or cookie?
How to Create a Personalization Plan
A strong plan to deliver personalized content requires:
• Strong audience segmentation
• Continuous research
• Segment-specific content
• A distribution plan
What Are They Buzzing About?
Listening in on social media discussions is today’s most powerful research tool.
• Participate in LinkedIn Groups
• Follow Twitter hashtags
• Find industry & consumer forums
• Use tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social
How Can You Offer Value?
Use your buyer personas to create a content plan for each segment.
• Identify valuable topics for each segment.
• Create content specificto your personas.
• Cover each point in the decision making process.
How Do You Deliver That Value?
With your segments in hand, reevaluate your distribution channels. Are you
approaching them with your audience segments in mind?
Here’s a hypothetical:
• A B2B company targets professional services firms.
• Legal and engineering audience segments are interested in very different
types of content.
• Through analysis, they find out that legal pros prefer one channel while
engineers prefer another.
• They distribute only content specific to the relevant audience for each channel
(instead of pushing out all of their content through both).
Why LinkedIn for Personalized Content?
You’re probably using LinkedIn as a virtual resume. But are you harnessing the
network’s reach for content marketing?
• LinkedIn’s first-party data source is unrivaled in the professional world.
• Users opt-in, offering up the data necessary for a strong personalized experience.
• It plans to roll out more resources for content marketers in the future.
Three Ways LinkedIn Delivers
LinkedIn works with brands to promote personalized content marketing
in three ways.
• Building a presence for your Company Page through native ads and delivering
fresh content regularly
• Owning or participating in LinkedIn Groups specific to audience segments
• Using LinkedIn’s API to create personalized social experiences outside of
Leveraging Brand Pages and Native Ads
LinkedIn features what Mike calls the standard content marketing approach:
Marketers focus on building a following for their company page.
• Sharing content from the brand page beams it to your followers’ newsfeeds.
• Segment different pieces of content based on persona.
• Speed up follower acquisition through LinkedIn’s personalized native ads.
HP Gets Traction
Using this approach, HP grew their company page followers by more than
300,000 members in less than two months.
• The campaign targeted specific IT decision-makers.
• The resulting followers are 2.5 times more likely to recommend HP solutions.
• As a result of hyper-targeting, CXOs have become one of the most engaged
audiences for targeted status updates.
Getting company page followers is an opt-in process.
By building your company page, content marketers can
deliver personalized content to receptive audience segments.
LinkedIn is a ripe playground for B2B content.
Consider this your invitation to spend some serious time
optimizing your brand page.
Joining the Conversation
Not everyone considers the conversations they have in LinkedIn Groups “content
marketing.” But that’s exactly what it is.
• You’re providing helpful content directly to an audience member without imposing
a sales message.
• Owning a group is a great way to get brand exposure. Citi’s Connect: Professional
Women’s Network is a great example.
Participating in the conversation is a really rich part
of the LinkedIn experience. Owning an active, authoritative
group for your target audience can pay off in even bigger ways.
Your clients and prospective clients appreciate the value
you provide to them, especially when you don’t
do a hard sell.
The content you create in LinkedIn Groups is essential to
your content marketing plan—both in its own right and as
an inspiration for longer form content. Groups are already
segmented, helping you engage people with a highly
Creating Personalized Social Experiences
LinkedIn APIs have found a world of uses in creating personalized social experiences.
• APIs create data streams from LinkedIn to your own program or website.
• You can create your own app using data from LinkedIn.
• User profiles are rich in data, feeding your program with your visitor’s
LinkedIn API Examples
• PwC Netherlands worked with LinkedIn to create a successful professional
relationship game based on the player’s LinkedIn network.
• A major software company created a “nametag analyzer” that generates a
“true business title” for visitors after they sign in through LinkedIn.
With the APIs, businesses use LinkedIn as the source
for engaging people through their own channels. Personalized
social experiences allow technology companies to provide
unique insights and engagement opportunities for
LinkedIn imposes few limitations on content marketers.
Making personalization extend beyond the walls of the
professional network is a realistic goal that you can make
happen with LinkedIn APIs.
Mark Sherbin is a regular contributor to the Content Marketing Institute, and
a freelance writer specializing in technology and content marketing. He shares
occasionally insightful information at Copywriting Is Dead, where he promotes
authentic communication between organizations and their audiences. Contact him
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Join CMI and host LinkedIn as they present the Content Marketing World Tech Summit,
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