What are the newest features on LinkedIn*, and how can B2B marketers best use them to attract, engage, and convert business professionals?
As the world’s leading business social platform, Microsoft’s LinkedIn has released a surprising array of innovative new ways for B2B marketers and brands to build new connections and forge even stronger existing relationships.
LinkedIn has undoubtedly witnessed numerous social platforms adding elements to attract B2B marketers, yet it remains the dominant player in the massive business sector. An important factor in LinkedIn’s continuing dominance and growth has been its steadfast determination to innovate with an abundance of new features.
75 percent of enterprise content marketers have said that LinkedIn produced the best results among social media platforms over the past year, followed by Facebook with 42 percent and Instagram with 32 percent.
With so many new tools and options available on LinkedIn, it can at first seem somewhat overwhelming to know which ones to try first.
Let’s take a look at a selection of some of the recent features LinkedIn has launched that are particularly well suited for B2B marketers looking to elevate connections, communities, and creativity.
1 — Robust LinkedIn Newsletters For Company Pages
A powerful feature for connecting with audiences is LinkedIn’s on-platform newsletter creation and distribution system — a largely undiscovered gem for B2B marketers that has recently been expanded in scope.
LinkedIn’s newsletter system lets users who qualify for creator mode access publish written content at regular intervals, which is a boon for subject matter experts and influencers looking for new ways to share and promote material they’ve written or co-created with others.
The latest addition to LinkedIn’s newsletter offering, however, has expanded the system to qualified LinkedIn pages, allowing brands of all sizes to fully harness the professional platform’s powerful scope and reach.
Initial newsletter qualification requirements included LinkedIn users and pages with over 150 followers or connections, a recent history of sharing original content on the platform, and adherence to standard LinkedIn community policies.
LinkedIn’s newsletter feature offers a wealth of options for B2B marketers that go well beyond what’s available using the platform’s traditional article format, whether for individual users or through LinkedIn’s specific articles for pages offering.
A robust array of personalization options are included when creating a newsletter as a company page, and when a page publishes its first article using the feature, all of the page’s followers automatically get a notification to subscribe. Those followers who choose to subscribe — and by already being a fan of a page, it’s much more likely that members will do so — will subsequently get both an email and a notification when new newsletter articles from the company page are published — both of which can optionally be turned off.
The ramifications of B2B marketers and brands using LinkedIn’s newly expanded newsletter capabilities are far-reaching, and the coming months will be a fascinating time to observe the creative uses LinkedIn members find for newsletter distribution on the platform.
When it comes down to it, your marketing message and how it drives your readers to action or even enlightenment is paramount to success, and not particularly the medium or format in which it’s delivered. There are, however, many positive things to be said for the venerable newsletter format, whether sent in the traditional email format or using a social platform-based system such as the one LinkedIn has made available.
To learn more about how B2B marketers can craft a great newsletter that stands out and stands the test of time, here are four articles we’ve published that explore the art and science of newsletter content and distribution:
“The most important part of a newsletter is the letter, not the news.” — Ann Handley @AnnHandley Click To Tweet
2 — Professional Skill Tool & Trend-Finding Data Resources
LinkedIn recently launched an interactive “Future of Skills” tool, which is a helpful way for B2B marketers to learn precisely which skills are the most in-demand and relevant for careers in different parts of the world, in various industries, and perhaps most importantly, in particular job titles.
The data-backed tool is also a good way to learn how demand for certain skills has grown or waned over the years, and LinkedIn has made it convenient to learn more about each skill by tying the system to selections from its comprehensive educational offerings through LinkedIn Learning. That makes the task of augmenting certain skills simple to begin, through the use of on-demand video courses that range in length from under ten minutes to over three hours.
LinkedIn took the time to share a selection of its top LinkedIn Learning courses for marketers, as Connie Chen, insights program manager, thought leadership and narratives at LinkedIn, explored in “Solidify Your Skill Set: The Top 10 Learning Courses for Marketers.”
Another example of some of the recent insightful on-demand webinar content on tap from LinkedIn is the “2021 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study,” of particular interest to B2B marketers.
B2B marketers can use the insights from LinkedIn’s “Future of Skills” tool — which contains aggregated information from the past six years for some 800-million-plus users — in many ways, from expanding their own repertoire of expertise and audience research, to examining job trends and how they will interact with new brand marketing efforts in the future.
When it comes to what the data reveals, digital marketing specialists and account executives joined social media managers as the most in-demand marketing occupations, while digital marketing, advertising, and social media skills had the biggest mismatch when looking at job supply and demand, according to additional recently-released LinkedIn survey data.
Elevating careers is a win-win pursuit for everyone involved in B2B marketing, and we recently tapped some of the world’s top marketing executives for their key advice and insight, which our own CEO Lee Odden shared in “How to Elevate Your B2B Marketing Career: Advice from Execs at Top B2B Brands.”
“Always seek the opportunity to acquire new ways to do marketing, because the ability to pivot & adapt to the unknown is the most valuable skill set.” — Som Puangladda @sompny Click To Tweet
LinkedIn has also focused on highlighting how the record number of career changes the world has seen over the past several years has affected particular demographics of professionals, such as woman in the world of marketing in its recent “The Great Reshuffle: What Women in Marketing Want From Their Employers,” by Tequia Burt, editor in chief of the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog.
To learn more about building skills for the future of B2B marketing, here are four pieces we’re published containing helpful tips and information:
3 — LinkedIn’s Intriguing New Podcast Network
Another recent LinkedIn tool that presents new opportunities for B2B marketers came in the form of the launch of the LinkedIn Podcast Network — a pilot program of podcast shows with an emphasis on professional career-building — that also encourages listeners to make connections and build community with show hosts.
In the initial pilot, podcast listeners will have access on LinkedIn to programming and conversations from industry leading creators such as Winnie Sun, Morra Aarons-Mele, Jonathan Fields, Mita Mallick and Dee C. Marshall, as well as shows created in-house by LinkedIn News.
The LinkedIn Podcast Network incorporates the full gamut of the professional social platform’s technology, such as the aforementioned newsletters along with live-streaming events plus video and written content — a potent combination that when fully rolled out will offer B2B marketers intriguing new options for podcast-related efforts.
As we recently covered in our TopRank Marketing Friday news, 53 percent of marketers say they plan to spend more on podcast advertising in 2022, with listening having grown some 200 percent over the past five years. Additionally, overall podcast advertising spending climbed by 60 percent in 2021, with accompanying growth rate forecasts seeing $2.2 billion in spending by 2023.
Podcasting for B2B marketers is an area we’ve also focused on over the years, and in that vein here are four helpful articles to get you started:
“Podcasting is the new ‘blog’. At one time, businesses wondered if they needed one.” — A. Lee Judge @ALeeJudge Click To Tweet
4 — LinkedIn’s Expanded Analytics Tools & Data
LinkedIn has released a preview of an expanded set of analytics information that will offer new details on individual posts on the platform.
In addition to singular post performance data, the expanded information will also allow LinkedIn content creators to view a new selection of overall analytics statistics.
Combined, the expanded post and overall analytics will bring more detailed audience insight to B2B marketers, and help them find out more about the people engaging with their posts.
Another new addition on the analytics front at LinkedIn came in its recent acquisition of marketing analytics platform Oribi, which has technology that focuses on finding key top-performing marketing efforts. By combining Oribi’s technology with LinkedIn’s vast data, marketers can look forward to enhanced measurement for maximizing return on investment (ROI).
LinkedIn has also worked to augment its company pages with new features, such as more powerful forecasting for post reach and frequency.
“One of the biggest challenges facing most organizations on social platforms is knowing whether you’re reaching the right people, and what exactly they’re seeing,” Mary Yang, director of product at LinkedIn recently observed in “LinkedIn Pages: Our Latest and Greatest Features.”
“Reach Optimization is one of the tools offered by LinkedIn to maximize the potential for this engagement,” Yang added.
When it comes to crafting successful LinkedIn posts that hit the mark and utilize some of the many new features to find the right audience, LinkedIn’s head of creator programs Callie Schweitzer recently shared a selection of tips in a helpful Forbes article, “LinkedIn’s Global Creator Programs Lead Shares 4 Tips For Crafting Your First LinkedIn Post.”
5 — Keep Current With LinkedIn’s New Publications & Toolkit
LinkedIn also regularly publishes insightful takes on not only the new features it has rolled out to users, but deep looks at industry shifts and trends. Keeping on top of LinkedIn’s latest feature updates and industry-specific publications can be a great way for B2B marketers to make the most of their marketing efforts, both on LinkedIn and in more general terms.
For sales professionals, LinkedIn recently rolled out a new edition of its digital magazine — The Pitch — featuring an array of strategic marketing tips for utilizing the professional social platform, along with thought leader interviews and reports of interest to B2B marketers.
For marketing professionals, LinkedIn recently published a collection of handy tips and best practices for using a variety of tools, along with insights on advertising on the platform. This has all been gathered together in a new technology marketing guide, covered in “Driving Technology Leads on LinkedIn: A Toolkit to Help.”
Sometimes even small enhancements to a social platform can resonate particularly well with users, as has been the case with LinkedIn’s recent announcement about its expanded handling of career breaks in member profiles, as the firm shared in “LinkedIn Members Can Now Spotlight Career Breaks on Their Profiles.”
Through both minor adjustments and truly innovating features, LinkedIn has continued to offer its members new ways to engage and connect.
Eying Up New LinkedIn B2B Marketing Features
B2B marketers and brands have been wooed by the likes of TikTik, Pinterest, Snapchat, Clubhouse and many other social platforms with increasing frequency over the past five years. Despite this, LinkedIn has remained atop the social B2B mountain, and with the many new features we’ve explored here, there’s little question why successful B2B marketers continue to not only eye up but embrace the platform.
We hope you’ve found this look at some of the latest LinkedIn features for B2B marketers to be helpful, and that you’ll be able to apply this insight to your own efforts throughout 2022 and beyond.
Creating award-winning B2B marketing that elevates, gives voice to talent, and humanizes with authenticity takes considerable time and effort, which is why an increasing number of firms are choosing to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for over 20 years for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.
* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.
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