It may not seem like the most obvious choice for creators, but LinkedIn is also looking to tap into the emerging creator economy, with the launch of its own ‘Creator Accelerator’ initiative to support in-app talent, and keep its top voices posting to the platform.
As explained by Andrei Santalo, the head of community at LinkedIn:
“Building on the tools and resources we have available to creators, today we’re rolling out the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program and investing $25 million to help creators build their audience and amplify their voice. This 10-week, incubator-style program for up to 100 US-based creators will give accepted participants coaching, a built-in creator network, opportunities to be featured on LinkedIn channels, and a $15,000 grant to help them share content, spark conversations, and build communities.”
LinkedIn has been working with creators to develop the new program over the past few months, with the platform advertising a new role focused on ‘facilitating growth for creators’ back in February.
Which would be the role that Santalo is now in, after coming across from Instagram in May, and Santalo describes his mission at the company as ‘building, scaling, and leading a new global team supporting content creators in growing their audience and communities’.
“Anyone who has a story to tell and is driving professional conversations about the world of work can be a creator on LinkedIn. If you’re someone who has the creativity, passion and commitment to build a meaningful community (and is based in the US) - we want you to apply.”
Of course, it’s far more attractive for creators to be posting TikTok clips, or uploading visuals to Instagram, or creating AR experiences on Snapchat. In this respect, posting business-related content to LinkedIn is probably less cool - but there are many people who do build their professional brands on the network, to whom the opportunities afforded under the new initiative will hold significant appeal.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to get these popular users to keep posting to LinkedIn more often, which will help drive on-platform engagement.
LinkedIn is already seeing high levels of user activity, with in-app sessions up 30% year-on-year, and as other platforms look to build a more sticky environment for creative talent, LinkedIn is also aware of the value this can bring, if it can provide more incentive to keep them around.
In some ways, this is probably less important for LinkedIn, at least in a competitive sense, because where else are you going to publish your business thought pieces to? But then again, these creators can, of course, make money through guest-blogging and posting on other sites, so it does make sense for the platform to provide more direct incentive, even if it’s not in the same type of fight for creative talent as the popular video apps.
The next step, then, will be to provide more tools for creators to maximize their LinkedIn performance. Just today, LinkedIn added long-form posts for company pages, which will expand its content banks, while it’s also looking for the next thing that comes after LinkedIn Stories, after recently announcing that it will be retiring that option at the end of this month.
On this front, LinkedIn also recently acquired how-to video platform Jumprope, which will likely see it looking to incorporate similar functionality into its creator tools in the near future.
Indeed, in the announcement that Stories would be shutting down, LinkedIn noted that it had learned two key things from its Stories experiment:
- Users want their Stories-like content to live on beyond the 24-hour window, and be available on their profile
- Users want more creative tools to make engaging videos across the platform
So while LinkedIn Stories will soon be gone, that’s not the end of LinkedIn’s experiments with video tools, and again, it does seem like Jumprope’s platform provides a strong indicator as to where it’s headed, likely with more on-profile video tools and options to help creators showcase their expertise, and build their personal brands in the app.
In addition to its Creator Accelerator initiative, LinkedIn is also running a series of creator-focused events this month, which could be worth tuning into:
- On Friday 9/17, our inaugural INFused event will bring together Black creators on LinkedIn, giving you the tools to connect, inspire, and engage your audiences. Learn more here.
- On 9/24, our Community Management team is hosting Top 5 Things Creators Need to Know, a LinkedIn Live show diving into how to amplify your voice and grow your community. You can sign up here.
- And later this month, we’ll kick off the Create Learning Week, packed with daily, live learning sessions about creating on LinkedIn: from building your presence to writing in the professional context to making the most of video on LinkedIn. It’s free to all LinkedIn members. Learn more here.
New opportunities to engage, and new insights to help optimize your strategy. And amid the coming economic recovery, in the wake of the pandemic, you can expect to see LinkedIn get even more focus, and see even more usage, which could be an important point for those considering building their own professional brand.
You can find out more info, and apply for a spot in the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program here.