By ZoomInsights staff

The Content Marketing Institute’s “B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America” shows us that LinkedIn has become a preferred channel for B2B content marketing. It has surpassed Twitter by nearly 5 percent.

Why LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has a few advantages over Twitter, which had been the most popular social distribution channel for B2B marketers up until 2012. LinkedIn is geared for businesspeople, whereas Twitter is targeted to all types of consumers. Michele Linn, content development director at the CMI, told ZoomInsights, “In general, I think LinkedIn is a popular channel for B2B marketers because they can more easily identify with their audience.”

Linn added, “I also think LinkedIn Groups are a great place for marketers to mine for info, as well as share their knowledge — especially useful if they do so in a non-promotional way. Because they are not limited to 140 characters, the conversations can be more much thoughtful.”

What content?

LinkedIn Groups are popular among content marketers. Gregg Schwartz, director of sales for Strategic Sales & Marketing, wrote in a blog, “My company uses content marketing for a number of purposes to promote our business and build relationships with customers. But one of the particularly effective ways we’ve used content marketing is to increase the membership of our LinkedIn Group, ‘Manage Your Leads,’ a group focused on lead generation and B2B sales.”

LinkedIn’s new company pages are also a hit with content marketers. Carl Friesen, principal of Global Reach Communications wrote, “Company pages are a good way to provide content through status updates that link to white papers, articles, videos, e-books and other evidence of the organization’s thought leadership.”

Posting similar content to groups will also prove effective, but one of the interesting things about LinkedIn is that it allows you to post some of your most important content right to your profile, where it is front and center. (Just look at CMI’s Pulizzi’s profile, which includes slide presentations.)

Tips for content marketing on LinkedIn

The rules for content marketing generally apply to LinkedIn. First and foremost, you always want to provide value with your content. Content-marketing experts have warned, time and again, against heavy sales pitches in your articles, posts, etc. Here are some other tips:

  • Position yourself, or your company, as a thought-leader, not a salesman

  • It’s about quality, not quantity

  • Use LinkedIn to promote all your content marketing efforts, while using other channels to promote your LinkedIn presences

  • LinkedIn Groups are a great place to cultivate ideas for blog posts, newsletters and your other content marketing efforts.

In fact, experts agree that the rules to good content marketing are universal, no matter the distribution channel. So while trying out LinkedIn’s unique tools, remember to apply them to all the places you market your content.

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