LinkedIn Sponsored Content Trends That Worked: A 2015 Look Back

December 30, 2015

It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? When every publication gathers their thoughts around the year’s best-or-worst-something, and our inboxes and news feeds are filled with more top 10 lists than David Letterman’s show archives.

Sometimes as content marketers, we choose to hop on the bandwagon and sometimes we choose to drive our own. Today, we are hopping.

Our LinkedIn Sponsored Content list, however, is not actually a “best of.” There are many Sponsored Content, not represented here, that achieved a higher engagement rate, virality rate, click-through rate, or whatever other metric you might choose to define “best.”

Rather, this list identifies trends that we (the content marketing consultation team at LinkedIn) have noted as being on the rise on the platform. Amongst them:

  1. The infographic is not dead. It’s barely out of its teenage years and is maturing into a much more useful typecreature, presenting meaningful insights, not just data, to tell a compelling story.

  2. Video is the current buzzword in content. Our SlideShare below showcases an example from Air Canada of how to do video well on a professional platform. Volvo Trucks, not included in our presentation but worth a mention, is also promoting a fun and visual series that appeals to the inner child in all of us.

  3. Employees are the next tool in the corporate brand toolbox. I could write an entire blog series on why this is an effective approach (perhaps I will) but for now flip to Slide 11 to see how Marriott is using a native publishing platform, promoting the content through a native ad unit, and using native voices to demonstrate expertise in the worlds of business and travel. And in case I did not say native enough times in this paragraph…native is more than just an ad format. It’s an approach to the platform that respects the context of the news feed and seeks to enhance it. Nicely done, Marriott.

Finally, there are tactics here that are not yet trends on LinkedIn (though perhaps they should be) but they work and they add a nice bit of variety to an otherwise serious news feed. Check out Intel’s use of humor in Slide 7 and Host Analytics’ use of a meme on Slide 4. Both of these posts promote a “role of the CXO” type of article but both add a bit of levity to the topic.

I leave you now to flip through the most effective LinkedIn Sponsored Content trends of 2015. Happy sponsoring.

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