GDPR Is Coming, What CMOs Are Reading, and More Insights from the Content Insights Quarterly

May 16, 2018

Content Insights Quarterly

In this edition of the Content Insights Quarterly, which covers the first quarter of 2018, we explore two areas of focus: content that caught the eye of Chief Marketing Officers on LinkedIn and the top content about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR is a hot, yet confusing, topic, so we identified the top articles to give you the low down and help get you up to speed. As always, we have also provided the top topics and content engaging all of LinkedIn’s more than 560 million members last quarter.

Audience of the Quarter: CMOs

The top topic for CMOs is ‘CMOs’! This is a function where understanding people is key, so it’s not too surprising that CMOs like to read about what their peers are thinking and doing. Some of the other topics CMOs were interested in included specific strategies, like customer acquisition and marketing automation, as well as more broader concepts, like B2B marketing and Brand Awareness.

Lessons for Marketers

These topics provide a window on what’s important to marketers. It’s fascinating that B2B marketing, a discipline that is growing ever more complex in the digital age, is one of the top two topics. It’s also interesting that “customer acquisition” ranks much higher than “brand awareness,” which implies that CMOs are thinking more about ROI than vanity metrics. On that note, it was surprising to see that “customer marketing” didn’t make the top 10.

Top Topics for CMOs

Top Articles for CMOs

Many would consider those in marketing to be a creative crowd, so it’s not surprising to see CMOs engaging with articles about innovative companies and successful start-ups. They were also interested in articles about their peers and their respective journeys to success.

In our research, we saw an article that one wouldn’t expect the average CMO to engage with. High engagement by CMOs on the piece, “Qualities of a Brilliant Salesperson Who Actually Closes Deals,” which may reflect a desire by the CMO to better understand their sales partners, especially the most effective ones.

Lessons for Marketers

What’s clear from the articles CMOs are engaging with on LinkedIn is that the stereotype of CMOs being preoccupied with creativity and not with business outcomes is outdated, if it was ever true at all. These articles demonstrate that this audience is interested in all parts of business, including business plans, start-ups, innovation, and closing deals.  

Top 10 Articles Engaging CMOs

  1. Google SSA Appoints Mzamo Masito as its New Chief Marketing Officer
  2. As Airbnb’s First COO, Here’s My Plan
  3. Uber Has a New Chief Brand Officer — and She’s Incredible
  4. What’s Next
  5. It Took Apple Executive Angela Ahrendts 1 Sentence to Drop the Best Career Advice You’ll Hear Today
  6. The Newest $1 Billion Startup is Led by One of Tech’s Youngest Female CEOs
  7. Qualities of a Brilliant Salesperson Who Actually Closes Deals
  8. No — I Won’t Write a Marketing Plan as ‘Part of the Interview Process’
  9. The 2018 World’s Most Innovative Companies | Fast Company
  10. A Walmart Executive Who Sold His 1st Startup for $6 Million, 2nd Startup for $550 Million and 3rd Startup for $3+ Billion Reveals How to Become Wildly Successful

Topic of the Quarter: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR is a hot topic for any global company working with member and/or customer data. It’s also confusing with many struggling to understand how they can become compliant and the impact it will have on them.

To help, below are the top articles around GDPR on LinkedIn that our members engaged with last quarter, as companies and employees across industries get up to speed. The top stories are a mixture of advice on compliance, learning from large enterprises as they get ready and the potential impact.

Lessons for Marketers

GDPR is poised to become a transformative event not just in Europe but around the globe. Many are making the case that GDPR is not just a law to comply with but a rare and potentially game-changing opportunity for marketers to adopt a privacy-first approach in how they communicate with customers and prospects.

Top 5 articles on GDPR

  1. 3 Ways Technology Can Help Businesses Become GDPR Compliant
  2. All AWS Services GDPR Ready | Amazon Web Services
  3. Deloitte GDPR Benchmarking Survey: The Time Is Now
  4. How GDPR is an Opportunity to Create Business Value
  5. This is How GDPR Will Change Cybersecurity

Hot Topics on LinkedIn

This quarter's fastest growing topics on LinkedIn reflect some seasonal trends and one-off events:

  • Curling makes the list after the Winter Olympics in February. This fascinating sport has again taken the world by storm – and we can see why!
  • iCloud appears after Apple announced 200GB of free iCloud storage for students to attract customers in the education business.
  • In March, we had a Blue Moon, which is a phenomenon that happens when a full moon appears twice within a calendar month. This event happens once every few years, which is probably why it made our list.
  • For many, January is bonus time and the first few months of the year are a common time to assess current salary. We saw the topics of Variable Pay and Salary Negotiations among the fastest growing topics.

Lessons for Marketers

Topics our members engage with are as broad as the businesses they represent – it’s not just B2B (though that’s the majority) but it’s also human-interest stories that pique our curiosity. The lesson here is not to be afraid of posting content you find interesting or even fun. Just make sure it’s something you’d feel comfortable sharing with your colleagues. It’s also interesting that in this social driven world, writing well remains a coveted skill, as the growing popularity of the Purdue Online Writing Lab indicates.   

**Top 10 Fastest-Growing Topics on LinkedIn

*Top Topics on LinkedIn

Below are the top topics on LinkedIn in the last quarter. Leadership, Management and Sales remain top topics on the platform, as does content around Start-Ups. As a professional network, LinkedIn continues to remain a valuable platform for advice and insights on interviewing and recruiting.

Lessons for Marketers

The top topics on LinkedIn are remarkably consistent. Here’s the lesson for marketers: It’s hard to go wrong when publishing on LinkedIn if you’re contributing content that offers advice on how to be better leaders and managers, how to be more effective salespeople, and how to get your start-up to grow faster.  

Top 10 Topics Engaging LinkedIn Members

Top Articles on LinkedIn

Below are the top articles on LinkedIn in the last quarter. As usual, there is a diverse mixture of topics and themes. Articles with professional relevance like LinkedIn’s Top Companies list, employee management and LinkedIn profile tips, not surprisingly, made the list.

However, we also started to see the broader relevance of the platform take shape with stories extending beyond a purely professional context into ones that relate on a more personal level. For example, International Women’s Day was March 8th, and we saw several articles relating to women, from equal pay in Iceland, to a female cancer patient’s heartbreaking story, to the importance of work-life balance.

Lessons for Marketers

Inside the top 10 stories is a lesson about talent — specifically about how hard it is to find and keep good talent in the current economic environment. There are no less than five articles in the top 10 that are about paying employees, retaining talent, and work culture: Iceland Has Made It Illegal to Pay Women Less Than Men, 8 Signs an Employee is Exceptional (Which Never Appear on Performance Evaluations), Loyal Employees Are Assets — Not Liabilities, Loyal Employees Work Very Hard, But They Do Not Skip a Gym, a Doctor Appointment, or a Child’s Football Game, and LinkedIn Top Companies 2018: Where the U.S. Wants to Work Now.

***Top 10 Articles Engaging LinkedIn Members

  1. ‘I’m 27. I Don’t Want to Go. I Love My Life’: Heartbreaking Letter Written by Young Woman Dying of Cancer
  2. Iceland Has Made It Illegal to Pay Women Less Than Men
  3. 8 Signs an Employee is Exceptional (Which Never Appear on Performance Evaluations)
  4. Loyal Employees Are Assets — Not Liabilities!
  5. Five Things to Remove From Your LinkedIn Profile — Immediately
  6. McDonald’s Is Flipping Its Iconic Arches Upside Down in an Unprecedented Statement
  7. Loyal Employees Work Very Hard, but They do not Skip a Gym, a Doctor Appointment, or Child’s Football Game
  8. Ten Things Smart People Never Say
  9. LinkedIn Top Companies 2018: Where the U.S. Wants to Work Now
  10. 13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want to Be Successful

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Content Insights Quarterly Methodology

*Top Topics: These are the topics that have the most engagement on the LinkedIn platform; engagement is defined as any of the following actions: click, like, share, comment.

**Top Growth Topics are the tagged content topics that have shown the largest increase in quarter over quarter engagement.


***Top Articles are ranked by total number of engagements (click, like, share, comment) with that article in the quarter.

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