LinkedIn Teams With IDG On Tech Groups

In its latest content initiative, LinkedIn has partnered with IDG Communications to create a series of new tech-oriented discussion groups on the professional network hosted by IDG and offering relevant sponsorship opportunities.
Under the agreement, IDG, which publishes titles including Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World and CIO, will develop tightly focused groups around tech topics, such as business intelligence, cloud, data center, mobility, networking, security and virtualization, that include a dedicated IDG group manager, daily content and discussion posts.
The new offerings built on the LinkedIn Groups platform also allow marketers to sponsor specific groups exclusively for a year. That offer includes the use of ad placements, sponsored content and information on the expected number of group members.
A separate program will allow sponsors to set the subject focus and content of a group for six months, along with the same ad options as with sponsorship of IDG-hosted groups. The six-month program is also meant to feature groups built around a particular marketing campaign, rather than a single tech topic as with the hosted groups.
LinkedIn said the IDG alliance stems in part from a study it conducted with Forrester last year showing 95% of IT decision makers are using the site as a business resource beyond just recruiting. Now the company is giving IT vendors and marketers a new way to connect with the tech community on LinkedIn, and an additional source of ad revenue for itself.
LinkedIn last year began launching a series of sponsored sections around broad topic areas, including small business (powered by Staples), professional women (Citi) and business travel (Capital One).
Content marketing overall has become a central part of LinkedIn’s ad strategy, underscored by its acquisition of properties like SlideShare and Pulse as well as internal efforts like its Influencer blog network and redesigned company and profile pages. More direct steps in that vein include the recent introduction of sponsored updates in users’ home page feeds.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, during the company’s first-quarter conference call last month, said brands increasingly want to engage with their audiences through content marketing.
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