Opening Keynote: Jason Miller | Sr. Manager, Content Marketing, LinkedIn
Jason Miller leads global content and social initiatives for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions helping marketers undestand how to use LinkedIn to achieve their marketing goals and deliver real ROI. He recently released his first book “Welcome to the Funnel” which quickly became a number one best seller on Amazon. Previously he was the senior manager of social media strategy at Marketo and responsible for leading the company’s content and social media efforts. Before entering the B2B space, he spent ten years at Sony developing and executing marketing campaigns around the biggest names in music.
Last two years most presenters at Internet Summit were advising marketing managers in the audience that content marketing is the wave to future. This year, most practitioners understand the value of content marketing, so the focus have shifted away from producing content for the sake of producing content to creating content that will be consumed by your target audience in order to create engagement with the brand. Unfortunately, such goal is much harder to attain than simply creating high volume content that has questionable quality.
Jason Miller, content marketing manager at LinkedIn has kicked off the conference with number of data points as he is trying to build the case why LinkedIn platform should be the premier destination for all market managers to distribute their content to large audience. Currently, two thirds of all professionals world wide have a profile on LinkedIn, so audience is tremendously large for anyone that is in B2B business. On the other hand, I would like to know how engaged are LinkedIn users, how active they are, how often they log in to the platform, how do they use it and how effective is LinkedIn in providing information users are seeing. In terms of distribution, he said that LinkedIn content pages receive seven times more page views than job pages. Yes, content does increase awareness of your brand or a small local business, but I have to question his comparison of content page vs. job advertising. The key difference is the longevity of the job opening post. Hopefully, the position can be filled in a month or two, maybe three. If so, the number of views on the job opening post will be very limited in time, while the content post about your company ‘s products or services will not be taken down for years. Continuing on with this theme, Jason is trying to build the case that SEO and dominance of Google as a search engine has made much harder for people to find a good quality content. Because of that, he refers to LinkedIn as a premier destination for quality posts for professional that can use Pulse to see the trending stories on variety of business topics. Although I would agree that some of the posts on Pulse are valuable, the biggest problem I have is that the search engine for LinkedIn posts is not sophisticated at all, so instead of getting articles on the topic that is relevant to me, I get to see what majority of LinkedIn visitors are reading this month.
Only Quality Content Drives Engagement
With proliferation of content on the Internet, its quality is now tremendously important attribute that will show that your brand knows how to sympathize with your prospects and customers problems. In fact, Jason stated that 44% of people would end brand relationship due to irrelevant content. Ann Handley, social media and content marketing keynote speaker, uses this formula to describe a valuable, innovative content:
Useful * Enjoyable * Inspired = Innovative Content
Clearly, the bar for the “innovative content” that engages a lot of people is quite high. Highly specific content for your target audience will not be as hard to reach and it will be to make it enjoyable, and then finally so engaging that it will provoke people to act on it.
How to Distribute New Content
What is lost in missing to reach the highly innovative content bar, can be mitigated trough distribution. Jason recommends that a singular message should be repurposed several times, just like Thanksgiving leftover turkey gets uses into so many different meals on Friday and Saturday. The same message can be repurposed into: slide presentation, blog post, infographics, webinar, and a series of short videos. He advises us to squeeze every ounce out of content by utilizing different delivery channels and formats. Most marketeers stop at the blog post, so amplifying distribution channels will amplify your message as well. On LinkedIn platform, he recommends using Company Pages, Showcase Pages, Sponsored Updates, LinkedIn Groups and SlideShare as part of a fully integrated marketing strategy.
As a case study for easy to use distribution strategies, he highlighted the work of only two people on his team that wrote 65-pages long eBook that they have repurposed in variety of formats. The eBook is “New for 2015: The Enhanced Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn. Everything you need to know about marketing on LinkedIn, in one guide”. Repurposing the content of the eBook into video doesn’t have to be a long and expensive to make. In fact, most videos on YouTube are 2.5 minutes long episodes. So, Jason recommends making a number for short videos that are few minutes long and then package them into a channel. For example, 7 — 10 few minutes long vides is a great representation of a larger topic covered in an eBook.
Launch New Content Like a Product
Most companies prepare for new product launch, but they do not plan for new content launch. Jason recommends that businesses treat new content like it is a new product and give it appropriate distribution channels to reach the target audience. In terms of distribution breakdown, he recommends using announcing new content via: 34% email, 32% blog, 15% InMail, 9% SEO, Company Page, Sponsored Updates, SlideShare, Display, PPC, Twitter. Each time you create a new derivative of the original blog content, repeat the whole cycle again. Once you exhaust all free channels, go with paid promotions because inbound alone can get you so far. If you know your audience, there should not be a miss with paid ads or waste of money. Finally, keep content refreshed because late majority and laggers will find in later in the cycle, not right of the bat like early adopters.
Grow Sales Funnel via Though Leadership
If you are B2B company, your new business buyers buy into your perspective and approach to solving problems, not necessarily into your services or products described on your web site. To show your perspective customer whey they should do business with you, your company needs to demonstrate though leadership. There are three types of thought leadership: Industry leadership + product leadership + cultural leadership / social responsibility = success. Without thought leadership, you compete on price and the lowest bidder always wins Finally, marketing team composed from people in charge of SEO, Social, Content, Demand Generation, PR, Community engagement have to communicate. The bigger the company, the bigger silos are between these teams, so breaking down the barriers in order to see a holistic view of all marketing activities is an ongoing task for all large organizations. On the other hand, such problem is unheard off with startups and small business where marketing team is frequently only one person juggling 100 balls in the air.
- Treat new content launch like a new product launch: send announcements via your company web page, email, blog, LinkedIn InMail, optimize for organic SEO, pay of paid search (PPC), social media platforms
- Repurpose the same message into a blog post, slide presentation, webinar, video, infographics to amplify your reach and increase engagement