LinkedIn has a vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. With 350 million members, LinkedIn has the members, the jobs, a unique understanding of the skills required to do those jobs, and a publishing platform. Some time ago LinkedIn acquired lynda.com, an online learning company. This was a missing ingredient to follow their mission and create an economic opportunity for members.  They had all the data around the skills required to obtain a role, now they can actually help people obtain those skills themselves.

Together with New York City’s $10 million public-private partnership Tech Talent Pipeline LinkedIn used insights from their economic graph to help deploy it’s resources strategically and grow the group of qualified tech talents.

“Developing the world’s first economic graph, in other words we are going to digitally map the global economy, what does that mean specifically? We are going to have a profile for every member of the global workforce, profile for every company in the world, we are going to have a digital representation of every job, every skill required to obtain those jobs offered through those companies. We are going to have a digital presence for every higher educational organization and university that enables people to obtain those skills, and we want to make it easy for every individual, every company and every university to share their professional relevant knowledge to the extent there are interested in and in doing so, the hope is that we can lift and transform the global economy. It’s not enough to standardize the skills required to obtain a role, it’s important that we train todays workforce in the jobs that are and will be and not the jobs that once were. “ LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner says.

Imagine being a professional seeking a new job, you will be able to instantly know which skills are needed and LinkedIn will be able to suggest relevant online training to obtain the required skills, through Lynda.com, at your pace. Or scroll through Slideshare presentations about topics that interest them most. This means that the person seeking a job will be able to get up to speed in an easy way, or keep their profile and knowledge up to date continually monitoring which skills are needed in his or her field, to be relevant and of interest for future employers.

There will be possibilities for more strategic decisions regarding knowledge sharing and funding from public governmental organizations, to increase a knowledge base in their area and target those who need a specific set of skills to provide for their home market.

This is one way to use ones data, and grow your own business around it and at the same time actually contributing to a global economic growth. In last weeks post I wrote about unbranded content hubs, and the possibilities to gain insights and knowledge, LinkedIns use of data is one way of doing it. As Joe Pulizzi says: “Don’t build your house on rented land”

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Nowness is a global video channel screening the best in culture, it is an unbranded site by LVMH.
Fab Beauty is another example, an online media showcasing beauty professionals is another unbranded site that target only the dedicated within the beauty industry, by L’Oreal.

Why are these brands creating a content hub without branding it?
When most marketers chase return on investment and sales L’Oreal, with a $5.3 billion budget and the world’s third biggest marketer has done just that, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

“We’ve always said our job is to launch brands and products, but also to promote and endorse the industry of beauty. It’s an industry people relate to, and we are lucky that it’s so inspiring and engaging.” An Verhulst-Santos, president of the L’Oreal professional products division, explained in Ad Age.

According to the article in Ad Age L’Oreal is not looking for sales but to secure engagement, they have other places for products messages.

Nowness is a place to go if you are into fashion and art, Louis Vuitton could be seen as a traditional prestige group, but this keeps it current and fresh, and embedded in a new creative class.” Mr Williams said in Ad Age.

Both brands are offering a creative and relevant destination for their audience, a way to provide great content and learn from that, take insights from their unbranded content hub back home, instead of always selling products. Brands filling the gap in the media landscape and actually developing a new product, a publishing media to learn from and engage in is a smart way to learn.

I believe that we will see more of these kind of initiatives in the future, as well as established brands buying smaller niched publishers. It’s an alternative way to engage with an audience while everyone else is pushing their message.

By Natalia Brynte

April 12th will be a starting point for all publishers to create articles using Facebook’s instant articles. A new plugin for WordPress will make it possible to post articles directly to Facebooks special format.

With this Facebook is expanding their ecosystem and ownership of content distribution.

Together with Automattic, parent company of WordPress the social network has developed and tested the new plugin, which will be available for users that use standard WordPress templates. The plugin is open source enabling the WordPress community to contribute to it and develop it over time.

“The plugin is open source, and we encourage the community to participate in its development to help publishers of all types take full advantage of the fast, native experience of Instant Articles,” says a Facebook spokesperson. “We will continue to iterate the plugin over the coming weeks and look forward to collaborating with the WordPress community to improve the experience.” The Verge reports. 

This is a great opportunity for WordPress users and publishers, but also means that Facebook will keep their users on their platform. The network will provide more content and reach for those who publish on Facebook however this won’t encourage users to go to publishers or WordPress sites and build. I always encourage brands to build their own audience, to know them and understand their interests and needs. Instant articles is a good distribution channel, to include in your content strategy if you are using WordPress, but my advice is not letting instant articles or Facebook be your audience destination.

By Natalia Brynte

How to navigate in today’s media landscape? Have great content of course, but before you create epic content, you need that creative idea, the big idea, you need to know what it’s all about. Then you need people with skills, excellent skills about bought media, earned media, owned media and social media.

How you define the big idea and narrow it down to relevant short stories and let it spin in different channels, crafted to fit each and every channel, to get that natural flow and engagement that will make the difference if the campaign will be successful or not.

Some already manages to get this combo that I’m writing about, creative minds working together with PR and content strategist that understands drivers of all relevant channels.

So, it’s how well you do your homework, understanding your target market, write your storylines, have relevant content and choose channels that will determine the success of your campaign, do you agree?

In todays media landscape many different kinds of agencies are in the battle of winning assignments from brands. But what offer is really needed to succeed? During the last years many content marketing agencies have grown fast, advertising agencies struggle to grow attention over time and PR agencies work changes since news distribution has changed; publicists have a new business model. Every agency is tapping into the others field, and only some are really making a difference; those who can adjust to the new world. What If you were about to start a new agency today, what needs would you fulfill? I think we are in need of an agency that can provide great creativity, strong content marketing approach and great understanding of the PR impact. Why?

Many of todays content marketing agencies lack big ideas, brands often have an ad agency covering that, and use their content marketing agency to produce content and build their audience. The PR agency provides earned media coverage.

Instead of debating which agency to choose, which one should lead, I think we need to have one agency that understands PR, works as a content marketing agency and is as creative as an advertising agency. The strategist or art director shouldn’t be thinking if their idea is campaignable enough, or more of an editorial piece, they should be asking themselves if its valuable for the audience, relevant and can help a brand to reach it’s goals. I don’t know how often I have discussions with clients on how they should distribute their budget to all their agencies and who should do what. And on the other hand, agencies working together for one client, at the same time being competitors, debating if an idea is in their scope or not.

The need for the creative marketing communication agency

If you work with a creative marketing communication agency that knows how to build your audience, helps in defining the big idea your impact will be greater. As a marketer you will get help from an agency that can engage with the audience and activate it during campaigns and understand the worlds as a PR agency.

Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t think the new agency is just one big mash up of an ad agency, PR agency and content marketing agency, as we know them today. I think it’s time for a new one, one where you have the advertising agencies strong creative and concept knowledge, content strategists with an understanding for long term relationship building, and PR mindset; to get an agency that can drive content centered communication, building a strong relationship to an audience and activate it when needed. When it’s time to spice it up, find niched partners to add whatever might be needed, such as tech, video producers or other specific tasks. Last but not least, we have the audience, today all content about a brand will be co-created adn that is a good thing if it’s within the brands strategy.

We can’t control our co-creators – but we can learn from them and get even better. That is why it’s even more important to have a creative marketing communication agency, that really knows the audience, in good times and in bad, during quiet times and campaigning times, simply at all times.