LinkedIn Acquires Slideshare: What it says about the B2B Market

The social media acquisitions continue this quarter as LinkedIn is set to purchase startup presentation sharing service Slideshare for a reported 118.75 million in cash and stock. This announcement comes shortly after LinkedIn posted Q1 revenue of $188.5 million, more than double the revenue of Q1 last year.

Unlike the recent Instagram acquisition by Facebook early last month, LinkedIn’s new investment offers telling insight into the development of both LinkedIn and B2B marketing. LinkedIn has emerged as the most successful network for B2B marketers to develop prospects and convert leads, so any major shift in focus or strategy should facilitate a shift in its user base.

In a statement yesterday, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner explained “Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity. These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn’s mission and helping us deliver even more value for our members. We’re very excited to welcome the SlideShare team to LinkedIn.”

Content is Key
With this acquisition, Mr. Weiner is acknowledging the growing importance of content to B2B marketing and provisioning for its continued growth. Slideshare has become a hub for companies to host and promote their content. SlideShare users have uploaded more than 9 million presentations, documents, PDFs, videos, and webinars. (Check out Pardot’s Slideshare!)

A partnership with LinkedIn will bring this content to the roughly 150 million LinkedIn users worldwide, broadening Slideshare’s reach and deepening LinkedIn’s focus on content. It is unclear yet how the two services will be combining functionalities, but expect to see opportunities to let your content take a more central role on your LinkedIn profile than what is currently available.

Are You Ready?
If you have started to focus your marketing resources more on content over the past few months, than you will be in good shape for this transition. As Slideshare is already integrated with LinkedIn for basic content sharing, we will likely see increased functionality and sharing as the acquisition progresses.

If you are still getting started with developing relevant content for your audience, Pardot’s new Content Creation Guide (registration required) is a great resource to help you start producing compelling content and hit the ground running!

What do you think of the Slideshare acquisition? How do you think it will improve the LinkedIn experience? Let us know! We love to hear from you.