Most companies have now recognised the importance of content marketing and have been quick to incorporate this element into their overall marketing strategy. However, a recent survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that whilst 93% of marketers have adopted some form of content marketing, less than half of B2B marketers consider themselves effective at it.
In response to this situation, LinkedIn – who have been gradually reshuffling their ad business around content marketing over the past year – has released two shiny new tools in a bid to help B2B marketers quantify the effectiveness of their content marketing and guide their content strategies: Content Marketing Score and Trending Content, aptly named the “Dynamic Duo”.
So what are they?
Tool #1 Content Marketing Score
Content Marketing Score is an analytics resource that offers insight into the impact of your paid and organic content on LinkedIn. Your “score” is calculated by dividing the number of users who've engaged with your content over a one-month period, by the number of users who have been active over the same period.
LinkedIn describe the Content Marketing Score as a “recommendation engine that quantifies your impact by measuring your audience's engagement with your content, benchmarking versus your peer set, and providing recommendations on how to improve.”
To drill down even further, it measures the level of engagement with your content across the LinkedIn platform, including your company pages, groups, sponsored updates, and influencer posts. In addition to your Content Marketing Score, you also receive recommendations on how to improve your score as well as how you are faring against your peer set by allowing you to compare your score against an anonymised set of competitors and “best in class” brands.
According to LinkedIn's Content Marketing Score, the top 10 industries producing the most engaging content in February 2014 were:
- High tech
- Professional services
- Financial services
Whilst the top 10 best-in-class companies were:
- Harvard Business Review
- RadiumOne, Inc.
- Northwestern University
See the infographic in full.
In short, tracking your Content Marketing Score on a monthly basis should allow you to make the necessary adjustments to your content strategy to keep your audience engaged, whilst also seeing how you stack up against your competitors and what steps you can take to improve.
Tool #2 Trending Content
The aim of Trending Content is to “rank the topics that resonate most with specific audiences on LinkedIn to allow you to tailor your content for maximum relevance”. Currently, this tool gathers the most popular content on LinkedIn for the following topics: small businesses, health and pharmaceuticals, financial services, automotive, executive, high-tech, IT, marketing, students, and venture capitalism. Clicking on one of these topics allows you to discover the most shared articles across the web.
Whilst this, in itself, is not a new concept – Twitter and Facebook provide similar trending features – it does give marketers a much better insight into their target audience on LinkedIn, which, given its very purpose of being, differs significantly from that of other social networks.
To demonstrate the useful information that can be gleaned from this tool, LinkedIn have created this interactive infographic which highlights the top three trending topics and the topic articles related to them, ranked by the number of shares. You can also see which audience segments are sharing the most content on any given topic.
So what does this mean for content marketers?
As explained on the LinkedIn blog, these tools have been developed with the user in mind - to help you better understand the reach, frequency and engagement of your content with specific audiences. Combined, they aim to equip us with a solid, quantifiable measure of compelling, relevant content.
These tools, which were released on 27 March, have largely received nods of approval across the web with many companies now claiming that they will be able to benchmark their content strategies against competitors for the very first time, helping them to identify which strategies are working and which are not.
So where's the catch, I hear you cry? Well, sadly these tools are currently only available to companies with a LinkedIn account representative, perhaps owing to the fact that these customers are more likely to spend on sponsored ads once they have identified what content is resonating well with their target audience. However, I suspect that these tools will be rolled out to all companies in the near future, and individuals in the more distant future, so keep your eyes peeled.
Only time will tell how effective LinkedIn's new content marketing tools will be in the long-run, but I would recommend all content marketers make the most of this data to glean valuable insight and direction for their content strategies. I will most certainly be getting to grips with these tools on QueryClick's LinkedIn profile in the coming months and will be sure to report back on my progress.
Have any of you used these tools already? I would love to hear your thoughts.