For LinkedIn, content is at the center of its success strategy

Content marketing hub could be next
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For LinkedIn, 2012 was a very good year. It went through a redesign and new focus on quality content and putting the right content in front of the proper audience. More importantly, it made money--and Wall Street noticed. 

As Rachel King, writing on ZDNet, reported, LinkedIn smashed fourth quarter expectations with 81 percent revenue growth from 2011, making more than $300 million for the quarter. And Wall Street rewarded the good news with a 20 percent increase in stock prices, which according to San Jose Mercury News, broke $150 per share price for the first time--and it's stayed there too (the price as I was writing this was $153.22 per share).

If you haven't been to LinkedIn lately, there is definitely a new focus on content. LinkedIn users have been able to share content with their community for some time, but now with with LinkedIn Today, LinkedIn is aggregating content and putting it in front of interested members of the community.

Daniel Roth, Executive Editor at LinkedIn Today, told Business Insider that LinkedIn uses a combination of algorithms and human editorial oversight to deliver the right content. He explained that there are two goals here. One is to break what he calls the filter bubble to get outside your comfort zone to see articles you might not otherwise see within your network, but might be of interest to you. The other is to make sure there isn't too much of the same type of content being delivered, knowing when to flip the switch. It also has been able to recruit 170 thought leaders to write content that's original to LinkedIn.

All of that has obviously resonated and the result of is more money, as more people come to the network for more than simply sharing their professional credentials. They have also worked hard to make sure that content gets in front of you. I get an email each day with different content chosen by LinkedIn for me. An example of the LinkedIn Today newsletter I received today is shown below:

And CNET reports that the next step in this strategy is to become a content marketing hub, allowing not just the thought leaders to produce compelling content, but to let everyone do it and take advantage of the network to share knowledge. CNET also reports that LinkedIn could introduce sponsored content, which offers a way to put that content in front of the right people using advertising.

LinkedIn could have more going for it than Facebook (NASDAQ: FB). At 200 million members it may be a fraction of the size, but it has a community of focused professionals who want to engage with each other in a business-like fashion without all the fluff you get on Facebook. LinkedIn has a bright future and it's content that's driving the monetization. 

For more information:
- see the LinkedIn fourth quarter 2012 Earnings Report page

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