LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog Editor Tequia Burt and Senior Content Marketer Sean Callahan took the stage at this year’s Content Marketing World conference to advocate for blogging as a continued source of business potential for B2B brands — as well as a powerful way to promote diversity. But how exactly can a blog fuel growth and boost diversity?
If Your Program is a Machine, Your Blog is the Engine
Blogging is “the center of your content creation, the promotion engine for everything you’ve got,” according to Burt and Callahan, and “the rug that ties the content room together” — as long as you’re following certain guidelines. At LinkedIn, those are:
- Create useful and/or entertaining content
- Make sure it’s longer than 500 words to boost the power of SEO
- Avoid rampant self-promotion
These three simple steps have led to incredible results for the company. Their Marketing Blog has 192,000 subscribers, for instance, as well as 2.5 million page views per year. And LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions arm is experiencing phenomenal growth as well, growing three times faster than their category on average and surpassing $1 billion in revenue over the last quarter with one of this year’s largest shares of B2B marketing spend.
While they may seem a little old-school these days, the LinkedIn duo says that leaving blogs out of your marketing mix is a big mistake.
Blogging functions as a daily newsletter for your customers and stakeholders, and few other efforts work as well when it comes to building an audience and email list.
But inclusivity is integral to success. Let’s take a look:
The Power of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Blogs
DEI is an important foundational principle for every brand’s content marketing strategy, and not just because it’s the right thing to do. Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion also just makes for good business, period.
According to LinkedIn’s citation of the U.S. Census, over the past 15 years, 92% of population growth has been driven by communities of color. These changing demographics mean that the buying power of black, Latin, asian, and indigenous Americans has grown exponentially in the past 30 years — up to $4.9 trillion, in fact. That’s a number brands can’t afford to ignore.
What’s more, LinkedIn’s data states that 85% of buyers reported that if everything was equal, they’d go with a company that was more diverse.
And 75% of Gen Z consumers say they’ll go so far as to boycott companies that discriminate based on race and/or sexuality in their advertising.
And when it comes to employee engagement, the numbers show that 83% of millennials are actively engaged when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture. DEI is simply an expectation.
Why DEI Matters Now More Than Ever
Due to their “ability to change people’s minds and allow them to see the world that they can’t see right now… marketers are uniquely powerful,” according to Burt and Callahan.
And they need to “use that power to tell stories that are inclusive.”
Blogs aren’t going anywhere. They’re a hugely effective medium, and a place where a marketer can turn for career advice and professional development. And LinkedIn data shows that the format works at the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel.
For optimum results, Burt and Callahan advise making sure that your content team is diverse. That way, your team can generate ideas where there might have been blindspots, find new contributors that open up new audiences, and expand the effectiveness of your messaging overall.
Finally, remember that inclusive content is the way forward — as long as it’s authentic.
Don’t be performative; instead, offer readers real insights in the content you provide.
“You don’t have to change your content wildly,” Burt and Callahan say in closing, “but by providing a diverse lens, you’ll get good content that has a valuable added perspective.”
Looking for more of the best of CMWorld 2021? Check out our session: Content Marketing Predictions for 2022 (And How to Navigate Them).