From the Digital Innovators’ Tour: A glimpse of LinkedIn’s content strategy

In addition to a mini tour of the building, participants also got a tour of LinkedIn’s evolving content strategy. According to Chan, the key goal is to provide content on LinkedIn that helps make them more effective at the job they are in today.

“Early on, we started working with a wide range of publishers spanning a range of topics and tried to get their content into our ecosystem. The challenge was how to surface this content to our members,” she said.

The team then started looking at how they could segment the content into categories that they could encourage members to follow. For example, TechChrunch content was channeled into a technology channel.

According to Chan, this was not a scalable way of surfacing content which led to the birth of LinkedIn’s “relevance teams’ – groups of engineers who parse through the content and surface it to members.

“For this to be effective, we need members to tell us what industry they are in, what content they are interested in etc.,” she said.  “That ties into the broader aspect of identity on LinkedIn and why we encourage members to fill out their profile in its entirety.”

But this was still not the complete solution to the problem of effectively surfacing content to users. “The major disconnect historically was that the content team worked separately from LinkedIn’s flagship team who was distributing content. This also created challenges for publishing partners,” she said.

The teams took the feedback that there was a huge disconnect between content acquisition and content distribution and made strategic changes. In December, LinkedIn completely relaunched their flagship mobile product which used to be a ‘hodgepodge’ feed of information. This was not a great experience for members or partners and so the content team worked with the relevance algorithm team to optimise the feed.

 “Today, the mobile app is much more streamlined,” said Chan.  When a member downloads the app, they land on the main feed which is much more content-centric with member updates streamlined into My network, Me, Messaging and Search. All areas are being continuously optimised.

“Starting with mobile made sense considering that more than 50 per cent of members are accessing LinkedIn through the mobile app. Similar redesign will follow on the desktop,” she said.

The main goal of the redesign is to surface relevant content that members are interested in seeing. To accomplish this, LinkedIn’s relevance teams are looking at member profiles as the foundation for contextualising content for members.

As part of the redesign, a new a lightweight onboarding flow has been developed that allows LinkedIn to ask members what content they ae interested in. As a result, LinkedIn presents channels or individual members that a user may be interested in following. Chan said that this has driven a remarkable amount of uptake from the engagement side.

According to Chan, these changes along with an expanded influencer program are combining to create a more cohesive content experience on LinkedIn for members.

Optimising for publishers

Because the content creation and content distribution teams now work together, LinkedIn has a better story and a better experience for publishers.

Publishers can add InShare buttons to content on their pages and they can publish content into the LinkedIn platform. When members follow a company, this content starts flowing into their feed

In the coming months, publishers will also be able to publish long-form content into the LinkedIn platform, a feature that is only available to individual members today.

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