How Will LinkedIn's New Publishing Platform Change the Media Landscape?

STMKent
Sharmin Kent Marketing Content Specialist, TinderBox

Posted on February 21st 2014

How Will LinkedIn's New Publishing Platform Change the Media Landscape?

LinkedIn took aim at user-generated content sites by opening its publishing platform to all of its members. Once the domain of just 500 network-designated influencers, the platform is now open for everything from individual professional promotion to brand advocacy. But perhaps most importantly, this move could place LinkedIn at the center of content promotion and distribution for a variety of industries.

linkedin-publish-platform

But quantity doesn’t always lead to quality. How will LinkedIn moderate the content posted on its site? Will members be subject to an industry-specific Terms of Service policy? And should individuals and brands consider moving content from a blog to LinkedIn, or choose to syndicate through the network?

New influencers with new audiences

“Influencer” is a buzzword with staying power: many industries depend on influencers to make predictions, introduce new concepts and drive discussions. That’s especially true for online marketers. But in such a crowded space, how will LinkedIn help new voices succeed? Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s Head of Content Products, says the network wants to capture and share its “extremely valuable and varied experiences.”  Giving the masses the ability to share content anytime also offers members more choices and more opportunities to share new content.

Owned media staying power

But LinkedIn’s native content platform could trip over its other content efforts. The network recently acquired news aggregation app Pulse, replacing LinkedIn Today in November of last year. Offering members choice is important, but unless LinkedIn can guarantee quality content from its members, the network runs the risk of courting content shock.   So, how can LinkedIn dodge the content overload bullet?

The answer lies in community. Variety is what makes the Internet valuable; but online users build and maintain communities based on familiar people, ideas and discussions. Introducing new ideas is easier with a captive audience; so individuals and brands eager to take advantage of LinkedIn’s new platform will need to appeal to their networks to gain traction, clicks and shares. The more people connect with LinkedIn users and the more those users share content, the bigger their audiences can become.

And that means more clicks for LinkedIn. But clicks for LinkedIn won’t necessarily mean clicks for individuals and brands. Abandoning a blog and other owned media for LinkedIn may not make sense—but adding LinkedIn to an overall media strategy could prove smart for many members.

It will take some time before LinkedIn can call its latest move a success. But if the network can take advantage of its members’ eagerness to be heard, LinkedIn could position itself as an important and influential media force.

Image credit: Sheila Scarborough

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STMKent

Sharmin Kent

Marketing Content Specialist, TinderBox

Sharmin Kent is the Marketing Content Specialist at TinderBox

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Comments

Interesting to hear about this new feature. I was not aware of it and looks good.

Really nice and informative post. Now a days LinkedIn is also emerging as a very good platform in Social media sector. And any initiative taken on the platform of LinkedIn is more likely to succeed. Thanks for sharing it here.

Thanks for the comment! I think LinkedIn is taking a calculated risk; the network has plenty of members who use it to discover and share content, but it's not as widely used as something like Twitter or Facebook. If LinkedIn can keep more eyeballs on its pages by inviting them to contribute, it could really blow up. 

This is an interesting move by LinkedIn and will place it more squarely in competition wtih HuffPost, Mashable, and frankly, with sites like ours.  Sharmin, you are absolutely right that LinkedIn can reduce the noise by embracing community, but community, if done right, is difficult to scale and hard to maintain over the long haul.  (I know; this is how we've been growing Social Media Today for some time.)  Also, "user-generated" implies that they do not intend to compensate their posters and increasingly, we have found, along with HuffPo, Mashable and others, that having quality content on a sustainable basis means you may have to pay for it.


It will be interesting to see how this rolls out from a user-expereince standpoint.  Will users find the content experience sufficiently valuable to give up enough of their behavioral data to make it an increasingly valuable experience?  Will LinkedIn, whose latest results were a disappointment to investors, be so intent on monetizing this new move that they undermine the value of the content even further? 

Clearly, this will spook sites like the above-mentioned as well as BusinessInsider and WSJ.  But we shall see how well this is executed.

 

"Also, "user-generated" implies that they do not intend to compensate their posters and increasingly, we have found, along with HuffPo, Mashable and others, that having quality content on a sustainable basis means you may have to pay for it."

Spot on. Content curation is an effective marketing strategy, but only when the content is high quality. That means brands must either invest resources in talented and knowledgeable writers, researchers and journalists, or invest a big chunk of time into building community. Maybe LinkedIn's latest dip in value was a catalyst? Thanks very much for your comment!

As a book promoter, I feel that this tip could be useful. I shall certainly explore this avenue and hope that it works for me. I'll keep my fingers crossed for each one of you too.

Thanks for the very intersting article Sharmin. I have done some training on LinkedIn recently and I think it has the potential to be a really effective marketing platform for the B2B sector in particular.
I also agree with what Robin says regarding quality of the content - that is critical. It will be interesting to watch how this new development unfolds.

Another place to post content.  Everybody seems to be spending a great deal of time posting content in order to promote "their brand" while, at the same time, most people are not paying attention to content posted by others.  It's like walking into a large conference room, there is a large din of noise, everybody talking about themselves, and nobody listening to anyone else.

Besides that, a great deal of content is about how to create more content and the importence of doing so.  I'm beginning to think that the internet is just another place to display human abusurdity

Fantastic post. . I got a great info from your post. LinkedIn is the most powerful social media site for business. The advantages of using LinkedIn are tremendous. You have shared a nice post, thank you for this valuable information.