LinkedIn (again) blew the doors off of its earnings expectations yesterday. Their net income rose 66% thanks to a 81% revenue increase, fueling a 10% after-hours pop in its stock price. LinkedIn earns revenue from three sources; recruiting tools (Talent Solutions), advertising (Marketing Solutions) and premium membership accounts.
- Talent Solutions revenue increased 90% to $161M.
- Marketing Solutions revenue increased 68% to $83M.
- Premium subscription revenue increased 79% to $59M.
So the bottom line is that LinkedIn continues to kick @$$ and take names.We spend a lot of time here at #CareerGravity talking about LinkedIn because it is such an important part of your personal branding and online professional footprint.
And yesterday they upped the ante again. In a call with investors and analysts, CEO Jeff Weiner said, “One of the things that we’re increasingly focused on in 2013 is going to be the opportunity to support content marketing.”
So what does Weiner mean by “content marketing?” Well, in order to understand this you need to understand the concept of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing turns traditional marketing on its ear by reversing the typical process. In the past, the key to getting your message out out to people was finding channels where you could interrupt people from doing something and shove a message under their nose. These options primarily included commercials and advertisements.
The problem with that approach is that it’s not working nearly well enough anymore. Disruptive technologies are making it much, much easier for people to avoid those ads. And so what many companies are realizing is that they need to offer people a reason to listen to them by providing valuable content and resources to their prospective customers. The process of creating this remarkable content and promoting it for the purposes of generating new business leads is called “content marketing.”
What does this mean to you? Well, as a job seeker you’re marketing yourself and content marketing is a great way to implement your personal branding strategy. By publishing your own presentations, white papers, blog posts, etc., you establish yourself as a thought leader and have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and personal value proposition.
LinkedIn As a Publishing Platform
“One of the areas where we’re making strong traction in is LinkedIn as a professional publishing platform. You see with the momentum we’re generating now in Influencers, LinkedIn Groups, Slideshare, people are increasingly turning to LinkedIn to publish professionally relevant content,” Weiner said. “We think that’s going to create a very strong platform and very valuable context for large enterprises, for small-medium businesses who want to target [and] engage with professionals.”
It’s apparent that they have their eyes set on something similar to Facebook’s Sponsored Posts advertising model. They’ll open up their platform and its 200M+ members to companies who want to market their content to you. But this means that they’ll be developing a content ecosystem that will be available for everyone to use; including you.
Eggs and Baskets
While LinkedIn is certainly the Big Kahuna of career websites right now, it’s not infallible and nothing lasts forever. Just like you want to keep your investment portfolio diversified in order to minimize your risk exposure, you’ll want to keep your online personal branding strategies diversified. This means being sure you use property that you own (like your domain, website, email list, etc.) and property that you rent (like LinkedIn, Slideshare, Facebook, etc.). LinkedIn is a great tool but just make sure it isn’t your only tool!
How can you take advantage of this opportunity? Stay tuned for our next blog post, which will provide some guidelines for a content marketing strategy for your career!
Oh, and if you haven’t already, be sure to download a free copy of our #CareerGravity Blueprint.