“The good news about being a marketer in 2018 is that we have dozens and dozens of channels to share our marketing story,” Megan Golden, group manager of LinkedIn’s* global content and social media marketing, said in the opening of her session at Content Marketing World last Thursday.
“The bad news about being a marketer in 2018 is that we have dozens and dozens of channels to share our marketing story,” she added.
It’s true. We’re inundated with options for trying to reach our audiences these days, making it a challenge to narrow focus and find the right mix. But it’s safe to say that if you work in B2B, LinkedIn has to be in that mix. Hosting more than half a billion professionals, and boasting unparalleled targeting capabilities, the platform is tremendously powerful for those who know how to use it.
No one knows better than LinkedIn’s own marketers. During her presentation, Megan pulled back the curtains to provide an inside look at tactics her team has developed and refined over the years.
It starts with a nod to Disney.
Embracing the Blockbuster Model
When Megan talks about shifting to a “Blockbuster Strategy,” she’s certainly not talking about the defunct video rental chain. Instead, she’s referring to the approach used by film studios like Disney to capitalize upon their most valuable franchises. After all, effective content needs to entertain, so which better examples to follow than cherished box-office boomers like Star Wars and The Avengers?
As the timeline above depicts, Disney’s roadmap is structured largely around sequels, spinoffs, and sagas. The volume of net-new content makes up only a fraction of the release schedule. And clearly, it’s working.
“They’re monetizing their back catalogue by understanding what’s worked,” Megan says.
Three Principles of B2B Blockbuster Content
The content team at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions has adopted this same mindset, with great success. Megan points to a trio of core tenets that guide LinkedIn’s editorial council:
- Focus. Concentrate your effort and promotion into regularly spaced out big-rock assets rather than following a scattered, ad-hoc calendar.
- Familiarity. Make this content recognizable by consistently releasing new iterations and tie-ins around the same themes.
- Extensibility. Unleash this content across various channels, platforms, and formats to increase its reach and accessibility. (Think about how much revenue Disney drives through merchandise.)
LinkedIn’s marketing team applied these principles through its Sophisticated Marketer’s Sessions series, which has turned into pillar content for them. These sleekly and uniformly designed sets of guides, infographics, videos, and cheat sheets showcase the unique insights from LinkedIn’s own leading marketers around key B2B social media marketing topics like targeting, engagement, and ROI.
The Sophisticated Marketer’s Sessions exemplify the B2B blockbuster model, following the three aforementioned principles and, in turn, monetizing the brand’s expertise.
But of course, all of this is contingent on the content resonating with audiences. Disney’s model wouldn’t be so effective if not for the sensational appeal of Luke Skywalker and Iron Man. In order to execute the B2B blockbuster strategy, you need to find out what your audience loves. Doing so requires plenty of experimentation.
Megan helpfully shared some of the findings her team has surfaced through its own experiences in this regard.
Tried and True Tips for Marketing on LinkedIn
Film studios like Disney invest significant resources into test screenings, surveys, and research to determine what will hit home with viewers, because missing the mark is very costly. Marketers can similarly rely on audiences to direct their strategies through A/B testing, which Megan emphasizes as an essential practice.
When it comes to marketing on LinkedIn, she saved us some of the work by sharing insights gleaned from her team’s experimentation on the platform. For instance:
- Concise, quick-hitting content outperformed lengthier posts in terms of reach and clicks
- Calling out the audience directly in the copy drove higher conversions
- Darker shading tended to yield stronger click-through rates than light aesthetics
- For digital assets, the descriptor “guide” outperformed “eBook”and drove 100% higher CTRs
- Featuring a person rather than an object drove a huge lift in conversion rate
Create Your Own B2B Blockbuster
In the immortal words of Master Yoda, “Always pass on what you have learned.” We appreciate Megan following this directive from an unforgettable Star Wars character who’s helped vault Disney’s most prized franchise into the stars.
With these insights in hand, you’ll be ready to take off with your own B2B blockbuster.
Looking for more of the best nuggets to come out of Content Marketing World 2018? Check out some of our team’s other reports from the conference:
*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.