April 28, 2015

LinkedIn Continues to Push Content Marketing Boundaries With 'Elevate'

Over the past year, we have seen LinkedIn make some notable changes on the content marketing front. For instance, last April the company unveiled Dynamic Duo—a tool that combines a content marketing score with trending topics to provide marketers with increased visibility into their content marketing efforts. Last summer, the company acquired marketing and advertising firm Bizo; through acquiring a set of Bizo’s tools, LinkedIn aimed to help marketers better reach their target audiences, nurture prospects and acquire customers.

In hopes of further heightening its content marketing stature, this month, LinkedIn launched an all new paid mobile and desktop application solution called Elevate. Surely there is no better time than now for the company to make a move on the mobility front, with research from Socialnomics author Erik Qualman showing that more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush and, every second, two new members join LinkedIn.

According to reports, the app leverages algorithms from news services like Pulse and Newsle to suggest articles to users, who can then schedule and share the links to their favorite suggested articles across various social platforms including (so far) LinkedIn and Twitter, with plans to add Facebook in the near future.

The end goal is simple: encourage users to share relevant, quality content across their social feeds in order to better influence potential customers and new hires, existing customers and thought leaders/ influencers in their networks. Using Elevate, companies can strengthen their social influence and brand awareness; meanwhile, employees can bolster their own professional reputations, which positively reflect upon their employers.

When utilized correctly, Elevate can yield significantly positive results; the tool’s closed pilot found that for each six pieces of content shared by an individual, that individual received about six profile views and made two new connections.

To use Elevate optimally, marketers need to be well versed in creating engaging, share-worthy content, which involves the art of storytelling. In other words, marketers must know how to craft targeted, topical news in a way that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch but, rather, evokes an emotion from the reader that drives them to take action (in this case, that action would be clicking “share” in Elevate).

Not sure what to hone in on to tell your brand’s unique tale via content marketing? Consider the following must-have components of amazing storytelling:

  • Thesis: What is the central premise of your piece of content? Before you can figure out how you want to relay your message through storytelling, you must first identify your message.
  • Brand mission: Your brand’s mission should be tied to every piece of content you create, i.e., it should be the reason why your brand stood behind a campaign, decided to support a good cause or rolled out a new solution.
  • Emotion: Every piece of content you create should be aimed at nurturing a positive emotion (e.g., happiness, eagerness or excitement) or calming a negative one (e.g., confusion, frustration or anger). Emotion is what enables readers to enjoy a full sensory experience when they read your content; it’s what enables them to connect with your brand. Accordingly, anything that is not emotionally stimulating is unlikely to drive results.

What are you most excited about regarding Elevate? Share with us in the comments section below!

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