LinkedIn Releases Content Shock And Awe
With the rise of content marketing and the amount of content published daily always increasing, some marketers predict that eventually, the content bubble will burst. This notion, referred to as content shock, assumes that someday, there will simply be too much content to consume.
I personally disagree with this sentiment for a number of reasons. However, in February, when LinkedIn announced that eventually all members will be able to publish content on their publishing platform, the idea of content shock gained more steam. With more than 277 million members, will the ability to post content on LinkedIn change the content marketing landscape?
LinkedIn announced plans to open the content platform to all members last month. Over the next few weeks, 25,000 members were given the ability to publish content on LinkedIn — including yours truly; but, over the course of the next few months, that ability will be granted to each and every member in 200 countries and 19 languages.
The content will be linked to each individuals profile and shared with his/her network when posted. Additionally, members are now able to “follow” other members without being connected to them. This allows members to consume content posted by others with whom they are not connected.
Though some believe this advancement could lead to content shock, there are many advantages to opening up publishing on LinkedIn, including the following:
Promotes Thought Leadership
Thought leadership is an integral component of marketing, especially content marketing. However, to be a thought leader, you need a publishing platform.
Though it seems like every business has a blog these days, many do not. And still, many brand higher-ups do not post on their company’s blog. Through this open publishing program, LinkedIn is providing every single member, from students and entry-level professionals to C-Suite leaders, with a platform to share their thoughts and ideas.
Say you do have a blog, and you publish your content there. Why would you consider posting on LinkedIn? Because your LinkedIn content will be shared with your network of connections, which you have most likely built over a number of years. When you publish content on your own blog or website, you need to work to gain an audience through SEO, social engagement, promotion, distribution, etc. You have already created an audience on LinkedIn by connecting with people over the years, and now you have the ability to share your thoughts with them directly.
You may be thinking, “Isn’t that the same as posting a link to your blog post?” No, it is not. When you post to LinkedIn’s publishing platform, your audience doesn’t have to leave LinkedIn to view your content. Though the goal is often to get people to visit your website, publishing content on LinkedIn provides the opportunity to build relationships and trust, which can result in leads and customers.
Content marketing is all about getting people to engage with your content. On LinkedIn, engagement is higher than most other social media sites. Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute recently explained the level of engagement he has personally experienced through publishing on LinkedIn during a segment of his This Old Marketing podcast. Pulizzi, a LinkedIn Influencer, said within just a couple of hours, his post had more than 100 comments and 3,000 shares. Though the average person will not have the draw that a LinkedIn Influencer does at first, the engagement level is certainly promising, and shows that users are truly immersed in the platform.
LinkedIn has been a site that encourages digital personal branding all along due to the nature of the site. Though your profile includes details about where you work, it is really a chance to brand yourself as a professional in your industry. Your personal profile isn’t about the company you work for; it is about you. Being able to publish content that is automatically linked to your profile is one more way to build your personal brand.
Publishers will have access to demographic data, which can be used in many ways. Knowing the types of people who view your content (senior level, mid level, entry level, etc.) can be utilized when brainstorming content ideas. Additionally, knowing the top industries consuming your content can take tailoring your content for your audience one step further.
So, despite the potential advantages, will content shock become a reality with this advancement in LinkedIn’s publishing platform? Only time will tell, but I don’t think it is likely.
Will there be much more content to consume? Yes. But how much of that content will be quality? One of my criticisms of content shock is that quality content will always rise to the top despite the sheer amount of content published, and that comes into play here.
Though competition for content consumption will continue to be a factor, quality content will always stand out, and there will never be enough of it. Though hundreds of millions of people will have the ability to post content on LinkedIn, not all of them will. And of the content that is published, only a small amount will live up to quality standards.
How Does This Affect LinkedIn Influencers?
LinkedIn Influencers, which is a group of about 500 people, are people of significance in a variety of industries who shared content on the LinkedIn publishing platform before it was open to all members. How will the addition of publishers affect influencer posts?
In short: LinkedIn says it won’t. There will still be influencer posts and the posts will be marketed in a different way. Additionally, Influencers will have access to editors and other tools that are not available to every other member.
Overall, LinkedIn’s publishing platform is a feature that could be very beneficial to both individuals and brands, as it provides a platform with an instant audience and promotes thought leadership, engagement and personal branding. Though there will undoubtedly be people pushing their products and services right out of the gate, that will probably do them more harm than good, as the content is connected to their personal profile.
And though granting publishing access to more than 277 million users will result in even more content creation, I still don’t believe content shock will be an issue, as quality content, such as that from LinkedIn Influencers, will continue to be front and center.
What are your thoughts about LinkedIn’s publishing platform announcement?
Images provided by Vertical Measures.
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