LinkedIn recently announced the Content Marketing Score and Trending Content ranking. The LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog points out the need for these tools by citing a survey from The Content Marketing Institute saying that 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing but only 42% consider themselves effective at it. The Content Marketing Score is calculated by measuring unique engagement (gauged through social actions) divided by the company’s total target audience. So, it’s an influence or engagement score.
In his Tech Crunch blog, Anthony Ha (@anthonyha) posed the question “Is it basically a Klout score for LinkedIn?” Well, sort of. The Content Marketing Score operates within LinkedIn’s walled garden whereas Klout accounts for all major social networks. Also, the Content Marketing Score is purely for companies whereas Klout applies to both company brands and individuals.
Trending Content ranks topics that are popular with LinkedIn members. Whether management or entrepreneurship, mobile computing, or technology trends, marketers can see which topics matter to their target audience and which members are engaging with content on any given topic.
Though a corporate Marketing tool, the Content Marketing Score is impacted by individuals. That is because it measures the company’s paid and organic content on LinkedIn. Paid content includes the things Marketing writes a check for including LinkedIn Ads and Sponsored Updates – Company Page updates that can be sponsored to appear in the Home Page feed of targeted prospects. Organic content includes traditional (un)sponsored Company Page updates as well as content published to LinkedIn by employees of the company.
This is where a company’s employees come into play. It is a popular concept to talk about all employees as social brand ambassadors. I am sure we will get there someday. However, the shortest path to success for a B2B company starts by engaging the sales team in content sharing.
LinkedIn content creation opportunities for the individual includes:
- Group Discussions
- Publishing (“LinkedIn Influencer for the Masses”, currently in phased roll out)
As the creators of content, Marketing is best suited to assist salespeople in this new skill. The new Content Marketing Score will provide additional insight for Marketing to help salespeople fine tune their posts. But Marketing is not the only place to get feedback on content sharing success. For the past six months, LinkedIn’s has provided individuals with their individual Content Marketing feedback in the form of the “Who’s Viewed Your Updates” feature. Sales people can see the # of Views, # of Likes, and the # of Comments to their Updates. When they get access to the newly released Publishing feature, they can also track their Followers.
All of these developments seem to support my prediction that 2014 will be the Year of Content for Social Selling. It’s not just about Social Prospecting anymore.
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