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LinkedIn Gives Access to B-to-B Insights Through DataSift Deal

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Credit: LinkedIn
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LinkedIn is aiming to give marketers new insights for reaching decision-makers on its platform through a deal with the social data firm DataSift, according to the companies.

The pact lets agencies and others access aggregated audience-level LinkedIn data through an API from DataSift that can be integrated with marketing cloud platforms and agency dashboards to better understand how people interact on LinkedIn -- what they share, what they read and what they click.

Dentsu Aegis Network agency Motley, which does content marketing for b-to-b advertisers, is among the clients using the LinkedIn data through DataSift. The firm creates look-alike models for targeting branded content based on online behaviors of specific types of executives, and has used the LinkedIn data to enhance those personas.

"All of our personas are created off LinkedIn data when it comes to b-to-b," said Benjamin Borch, managing director at Motley. "It's about nurturing that lead and content is how you get that."

The data will give marketers additional insight into how people with specific job titles and skills interact on LinkedIn for use in media planning and optimization, and to determine what content resonates with target audiences. They might also use the data to gauge how businesses perform against others in their industries on the site when it comes to brand sentiment and content engagement.

The data has helped Motley distinguish between content favored by decision makers in the C-suite and other levels of executives. "Seniority level influences the type of content you read a whole lot," said Mr. Borch, noting that higher-ups tend to read more strategic content while middle managers and others often read tactical articles.

According to DataSift CEO Tim Barker, the partnership with LinkedIn and development of the insights data offering has been about 18 months in the making. "The challenge was how can we partner with them while protecting privacy," he said, adding that LinkedIn was reluctant to make its data available to marketing platforms unless it could ensure user privacy was respected.

The insights data contains only anonymized, trend- and audience-level insights on categories of LinkedIn users in relation to their professional titles, executive level and skill sets, according to DataSift. For instance, it might show what topics are trending among healthcare industry execs interested in IT. LinkedIn has 467 million members.

"We have to make sure that we're relevant at the speed of culture and that goes to b-to-b now," said Mr. Borch.