Will Creator Marketing Surge on LinkedIn in 2024?

This entry was posted in LinkedIn on .

Creator marketing is heading for a surge on another social networking platform in 2024, but that platform isn’t a newcomer: It launched in 2003, well before YouTube (2005). Instagram (2010), and TikTok (2016). 

That platform is LinkedIn, which appears ready to take the next big step up the creator marketing ladder. 

“I anticipate a significant surge in LinkedIn’s role in creator marketing for 2024,” Open Influence Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Joey Chowaiki said. “Millennials and Generation Z, being tech-savvy and now actively involved in business and entrepreneurship, will drive a substantial shift toward LinkedIn. This demographic, having grown up with social media, is poised to engage in extensive collaborations on the platform. Expect to witness the rise of influential creators and entrepreneurs leveraging LinkedIn for impactful collaborations.” 

How It Started, and How It’s Going 

Many of Silicon Valley’s iconic companies were founded in garages, but not so for LinkedIn, which spawned in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in 2002 and officially launched to the public May 5, 2003. 

The professional networking site started off slow, but its growth was kick-started in 2005 with two major updates: the ability for companies to post job listings and search the site’s members for potential fits, as well as the introduction of premium subscription features that gave members more control over search and access to other new offerings. 

The 2009 debut of job listings was the next big step for LinkedIn, which saw its member count soar from more than 15 million in 2007 to over 100 million in 2011—the same year of its $353 million initial public offering. 

Growth continued for the company, with the bulk of its revenue coming from selling access to information about its members to recruiters and sales professionals. That growth caught the attention of technology giant Microsoft, which acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in December 2016, saying at the time that LinkedIn would “retain its distinct brand, culture, and independence.” 

LinkedIn currently has more than 950 million members in over 200 countries and territories across the globe. 

Who’s There? 

Despite its perception as an older, stodgy social platform, 60% of LinkedIn’s users worldwide at the beginning of the year were in the 25-through-34 age group, with 21.7% between 18 and 24, and just 2.9% above the age of 55. 

According to the company’s website, its users are made up of professionals including business owners, C-suite-level executives, information technology decision-makers, and students, with four of its five members driving business decisions at their organizations. 

LinkedIn said its membership roster includes roughly 180 million senior-level influencers, 63 million decision-makers, and 10 million C-level executives. 

What Are They Posting? 

LinkedIn is home to many of the short text posts that are ubiquitous to social platforms, but longer-form fare represents the professional network’s sweet spot. 

Thought leaders share their wisdom with the masses via articles, audio events, documents, images, live videos, newsletters, and videos. 

Unlike other platforms, although reach is still desirable, the true indicators of successful LinkedIn content are comments, engagement, and feedback. 

“Since LinkedIn is already established as the go-to social media platform for career building and business-to-business networking, I predict that we’ll naturally see more creators partner with brands to tap into the typically ‘slept on’ channel,” said Open Influence Associate Director, Paid Social Ashley Balmaceda. “With over 202 million LinkedIn users coming from the U.S., representing hundreds of industries, LinkedIn creators can impact a professional audience during a key stage in their career development. Many well-known industry executives regularly share personal experiences and life lessons with their LinkedIn followers. Their stories may initially seem niche, but ultimately, their posts receive widespread engagement, from reactions to reshares.” 

LinkedIn explained that its algorithm considers signals in these three categories: 

  • Identity: Who the creator is, where they work, their skills, and who they are connected with. 
  • Content: How many times a post was viewed and liked, the subject matter, when it was posted, and mentions of companies, people, and topics. 
  • Behavior: What a user has liked and shared in the past, people or organizations they frequently interact with, and where they spend the most time while browsing the platform’s feed. 

Who Is Doing It Best? 

There are people on other social platforms whose sole job and source of income is serving as content creators. On LinkedIn, people are not exclusively creators—they are entrepreneurs, executives, founders, and thought leaders sharing content on the professional network not to earn a living, but to boost their brand and profile, as well as the brand and profile of the companies or organizations they represent. 

LinkedIn no longer publishes its Top Voices list of the top creators on its platform, but here are 10 examples culled from multiple third-party lists, in alphabetical order: 

  • Jay Baer: Nearly 46,000 LinkedIn followers come to this business strategist’s LinkedIn feed to learn everything about the art of customer service and marketing. 
  • Matt Bailey: The digital marketing instructor, who has created classes on the subject for universities across the globe, shares his insights on how to turn data into action for marketing professionals with his 22,850 followers. 
  • Richard Branson: The Virgin Group founder tallies more than 18.7 million LinkedIn followers, posting regularly on topics including dyslexic thinking, entrepreneurship, and travel. 
  • Marsha Collier: The author, e-commerce guru, and social media marketing expert shares her thoughts on customer service, eBay, and social media marketing with over 12,600 followers on the platform. 
  • Bryan Eisenberg: Optimization is the name of the game for the Buyer Legends partner, who helps companies tap into what he calls “revenue blind spots,” along with sharing advice on entrepreneurship, leadership, and personal development. 
  • Bill Gates: Nearly 35 million LinkedIn users follow the business magnate, investor, Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist, and software developer for content on topics including books, climate change, healthcare, and innovation. 
  • Brad Geddes: All things related to pay-per-click, with a particular focus on Google AdWords, are shared with this Washington, D.C.-based tech expert’s 16,000-plus followers on the professional network. 
  • Pam Moore: Over 345,000 followers flock to hear what the CEO, consultant, keynote speaker, social media marketer, and strategist has to say about branding and social media marketing. 
  • Neil Patel: The digital marketing specialist and tech entrepreneur shares content on topics including digital marketing, marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and traffic with nearly 550,000 followers. 
  • Gary Vaynerchuk: 5.37 million professionals on LinkedIn follow the serial entrepreneur and CEO of full-service digital agency VanyerMedia for his takes on subjects such as business, entrepreneurship, investing, and marketing. 

“We’ll continue to observe more brands partnering with key opinion leaders in their field, especially in creating content for a corporate audience interested in a variety of categories, such as business news, training, job hiring, motivational media, and other relevant topics,” Balmaceda said. “By serving more thought leadership content from trusted experts, brands can further establish their LinkedIn presence as a top organization in their industry.” 

While the average creator has an abundance of work to do to find themselves mentioned on similar lists, LinkedIn’s Creator Mode can send them down the right path. 

The Creator Mode profile setting gives users access to additional features and tools that help them create content and expand their audience on the platform, including: 

  • Changing the Connect button on the creator’s profile to Follow and displaying the follower count in the profile introduction. 
  • The ability to display topics that they post about as hashtags in the About section. 
  • Featured and Activity are displayed more prominently on profiles to boost content discovery. 
  • Links to content, events, or websites can be included in the profile introduction. 
  • People with Creator Mode activated are eligible to be featured as suggested creators to follow. 
  • Creator Mode offers access to features such as creator analytics, LinkedIn Live and newsletters. 

B2B Marketing on LinkedIn 

B2B marketing is LinkedIn’s bread and butter.  Unlike more general social media platforms, LinkedIn’s user base primarily consists of professionals, entrepreneurs, executives, and employees who use the platform for networking, job-seeking, industry news, and business-related content.

According to LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing Benchmark report, 80% of B2B marketers used LinkedIn in 2022, while 65% said they would use the platform more this year, and only 5% planned to throttle down. 

B2B buyers trust their peers, executives in the field, and creators with experience in their industry. Creators who demonstrate industry knowledge and provide genuine insights are highly valued by B2B decision-makers and, at the same time, those creators build personal brands that reflect their expertise and values, helping them build trust and establish long-term relationships with B2B audiences. 

Authors, bloggers, entrepreneurs, executives, keynote speakers, podcasters, and thought leaders are the most common types of B2B creators, and the goals most often pursued in campaigns include brand awareness, lead generation, building trust, education, and nurturing leads.  

LinkedIn Collective debuted last year as a community where B2B marketers can access content resources and thought leadership informed by data and insights from LinkedIn, along with the platform’s team of experts and other leaders from across the B2B marketing field. 

B2C Marketing on LinkedIn 

Opportunities exist for B2C marketing on LinkedIn, as nearly 60% of its users are in the age group that holds the greatest purchasing power, 25 through 34

The professional network’s targeting capabilities can be used to zero in on those most likely to convert, such as a luxury car brand targeting people at large companies who hold titles of vice president or higher, or a brand focusing on people who work in a specific industry where interest in similar products or services has been demonstrated in the past. 

LinkedIn is also a suitable vehicle for B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) marketing, with platforms like Shopify enabling brands to launch online stores and sell products directly to consumers, or consumer packaged goods brands like Procter & Gamble promoting products to retailers for resale to consumers. 

A study by LinkedIn and Nielsen uncovered three key pillars to B2C marketing success on the professional network: 

  • Aspiration: Connect brands to desirability by delivering messaging such as how a high-end automobile will lead to a more adventurous lifestyle. 
  • Innovation: Discussing new ideas and unique products helps drive lower-funnel brand lift in consideration and recommendation. 
  • Loyalty: Brands that are loved by consumers and reflect the values of their audience should incorporate that love into their marketing messaging and further build favorability and trust. 

LinkedIn is not for all creators, as the platform is more suitable for longer-form content from subject matter experts. And the professional network will not lead to the demise of creator marketing on stalwarts Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, which are home to more light-hearted, shorter-form, visual fare. But there is clearly an opportunity for the right type of creator with the right type of content to thrive on LinkedIn. 

“LinkedIn has evolved into a pivotal platform for content consumption and creation, offering a unique space for individuals to share personal narratives about their career journeys, workplace challenges, and the human stories behind businesses,” said Maria A. Rodriguez, Senior Director of Communications and Marketing at Open Influence. “It’s a mindful destination, where users seek valuable insights rather than mere entertainment or distractions. This shift in user behavior presents a compelling opportunity for brands to engage authentically and tap into the power of B2B creator marketing.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *