LinkedIn’s Latest Trends for Contrarian Markets
When it comes to marketing, it’s almost always advantageous for a business to be contrarian, which means to be somewhat deviant and to stand out from the crowd. This is what you can get your company noticed, and it’s also what can attract large numbers of followers to your business, simply because your message is different from everyone else’s. LinkedIn recently held its annual B2B Trends for the Contrarian Marketer, and from that conference, five important trends emerged which all B2B marketers would be well advised to keep in mind for the coming year.
Replicate or die
This trend name may sound a bit dramatic, but the intent behind it means that scientific marketing suggests that strategy should be invested in which can replicate across many brands, even though novel ideas may often be more celebrated. It also means that marketers should not be as concerned about proven ideas wearing out and losing touch with user audiences, because it’s not always necessary to come up with brand-new material for marketing initiatives.
LinkedIn suggests that campaigns which are truly replicable and which include memorable slogans, simply don’t wear out, but may simply require a bit of tweaking to give them a fresh appearance or sound. According to LinkedIn, really creative and solid marketing content doesn’t ever wear out, but instead ‘wears in’, and continues to resonate with user audiences.
For B2B marketers, it’s necessary to use algorithms so as to generate high-quality thought leadership, which in turn will provide value to B2B customers. It is certainly possible to customize an algorithm which you create for your business, and which can be specific to your company’s qualifications for quality thought leadership. However, LinkedIn offers an algorithm which the company uses internally, which it calls the SCORE algorithm.
The S stands for Structure, which LinkedIn prefers because it provides a template for content creation, and also allows for simplicity and ease in the designing of ads. The C stands for Contrarian, which emphasizes the need for a company to stand out from the rest of its competitors by being somewhat different in the way it conveys its message. The O stands for Ownable, which refers to the fact that marketers should be leveraging what is unique about their company in every ad they develop. This may not always work out well, since users have a tendency to misremember brands and logos, but it is still the best approach to achieving brand recognition.
The R refers to replication, which is discussed above, and which is considered critical to developing a message which can be replicated across thousands of areas. Finally, the E stands for Expertise, which is a commodity that contributes greatly to the profitability of your brand.
The myth of small bets
LinkedIn urges all B2B marketers to consider the fact that big bets are far more profitable than small bets generally are. To prove its point, LinkedIn points to the film industry as a shining example. When movies are made, it routinely happens that smaller independent films cost far less to produce than major films, and consequently they almost always generate far less box office appeal and dollars.
By contrast, mainstream films with large budgets, such as many action movies and many superhero movies, consistently return high dollar value to investors and to studios. LinkedIn also notes that in order to achieve big returns, it will be necessary to engage big distribution, which emphasizes the significance of expanding your reach and your voice in any marketing plan that your company develops.
It is LinkedIn’s contention that a high volume of clicks doesn’t necessarily translate to business success, and that means that optimizing for clicks will most often be an exercise in futility, and will not achieve anywhere near the desired results intended. This trend suggests that you should not be as interested in getting potential buyers to click on your content, but that you should develop your marketing strategy to have some focus other than in increasing the number of clicks you receive.
LinkedIn suggests that content which is specifically designed to include appealing titles and to attract clicks often ends up being little more than clickbait, and falls far short of real business success. It should also be borne in mind how many of those clicks are actually robots rather than genuine buyers, and that clicks like these will not translate to leads. Far better according to LinkedIn, is the practice of tracking impressions, which are not exactly a solid science, but which can still be more closely associated with dollars than clicks.
Despite the best efforts of B2B marketers to manage their campaigns and to manipulate the thoughts and feelings of consumers, there is no question that there is still a strong element of unpredictability (just like in quantum physics) in marketing. While it is all well and good to use statistics to attempt to predict user behaviors and buying patterns, there will always be an element of unpredictability in each of those same areas.
For instance, buyers will often be changing titles and jobs, and even industries will be changing, all of which makes predicting the purchasing habits of buyers very similar to hitting a moving target. According to LinkedIn, a broader targeting would allow marketers to manage the element of unpredictability, and to account for it in their campaign initiatives.
In this same area, LinkedIn also recommends that the most effective content doesn’t always have to be personalized or invented from scratch. Marketers should consider messages which are broader in their focus rather than much more narrow, which would have the effect of limiting the impact on large groups of people.
One final suggestion LinkedIn has for B2B marketers is to consider the possibility of broader timing, which means that rather than trying to predict a precise window of time to reach buyers, that B2B marketers should instead develop content which can be used across all the various stages of the purchasing cycle, and of the marketing funnel.