LinkedIn’s reputation as a professional networking website is well-established. But what started primarily as a careers portal for individuals to showcase their skills and connect with other relevant professionals and companies, has evolved into the world’s biggest B2B social media platform. Companies and industry experts are all vying for the greatest number of ‘comments’, ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ – which are up 60% year-on-year – to position themselves as leaders in their sector.

Yet with over 500 million users, 10 billion active job posts, and 9 billion content impressions every week, standing out from the crowd on LinkedIn requires time, investment and a solid marketing strategy.

But is it worth the effort?

In short, yes. Research has found that LinkedIn drives greater lead generation for businesses than any other social media site – it’s responsible for an astonishing 64% of all social media referrals to company websites. By contrast, the same research found that Facebook and Twitter are only responsible for 17% and 14% respectively.

What’s more, because of the nature of the platform, users actively look for content on LinkedIn that improves their knowledge or solves a problem, and if you can provide blogs and promoted content that does this then you’re likely already benefiting from the 80% of B2B leads that LinkedIn drives.

The Microsoft-owned company has heavily invested in technology to improve its content offering over the last few years – note recent updates to video – which is where companies and experts can really enhance their credibility. It’s no surprise therefore that 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing, and it’s become a major part of most businesses’ marketing strategies.

So why is content marketing on LinkedIn key to boosting business success?

First, let’s look at its audience – 61 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 40 million are business decision-makers (BDMs). Well considered, intelligent thought leadership content is a way to not only engage those in high-level positions but to build company reputation. An Edelman-LinkedIn research study found that 9 in 10 BDMs believe it’s important, very important or critical for businesses to produce thought leadership content, 82% said thought leadership has increased their trust in an organisation, and most significantly, 45% said it has directly led them to give business to a company.

Secondly, with marketers under increasing pressure to justify digital marketing tactics, LinkedIn has a host of analytical tools, which enable the measurement of user interaction with posts and allows businesses to benchmark their content marketing against their competitors. Marketers can evaluate how a blog post performs compared to a status update or a video, so companies can focus on generating content that delivers the greatest level of engagement for the business.

Finally, there’s a reason why 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing, and why per pound spent it generates approximately 3x as many leads as traditional marketing; it’s because 70% of consumers would rather learn about products through content than traditional advertising. Well-executed content marketing gives authenticity to a brand or business, and on no social media platform is this more apparent than LinkedIn, where the focus is on the individuals behind the company rather than the business itself.

An effective content marketing strategy is no longer simply an advantage for a business, it’s a necessity, and for B2B marketers who need to reach decision makers and use measurable techniques to drive ROI, LinkedIn is the social media platform to invest in. If you’re looking for help crafting engaging thought leadership content for use across your social media channels, contact us.

Jennie Sheldon By Jennie Sheldon, Account Director