5 Fresh Features: What LinkedIn’s New Learning Hub, Ratings & Reviews, Live Events & Page Article Updates Mean for B2B Marketers

Group of B2B marketers around a table planning uses for new LinkedIn features image.

Group of B2B marketers around a table planning uses for new LinkedIn features image.

What do B2B marketers need to know about LinkedIn’s* new full-length articles, profile ratings and reviews, Live Events, Learning Hub skill-building platform, and updated accessibility features?

The world’s largest professional social media platform — with more than 774 million users — has rolled out an impressive assortment of new features throughout 2021, including five recent additions that bring a goldmine of new opportunities for B2B marketers.

For the first time, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn saw annual revenue topping the $10 billion mark, Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft announced in July, with quarterly revenue up 46 percent.

This growth has been accompanied by a number of powerful and fascinating new feature roll-outs that are poised to make a change in how B2B marketers utilize LinkedIn.

Let’s jump right in and look at five of the key new LinkedIn features and how they’ll affect B2B marketers.

1 — Publish Long-Form Content Using Page Articles

LinkedIn has launched a new feature that gives company pages the ability to share long-form content on the professional social platform.

Unlike personal LinkedIn accounts, until this addition business pages had faced a limit in the length of the material that could be organically posted.

In addition to allowing articles of virtually any length, LinkedIn’s new Articles For Pages feature offers a variety of analytics information about the people and businesses reading and interacting with that long-form content — helpful for businesses to learn more about their target audience.

LinkedIn has made the process of publishing detailed articles intuitive, with an interface that’s familiar to anyone who has posted a traditional update on its platform, conveniently available to page administrators as “Write article” as an always-visible option beneath the “Start a post” prompt, as shown in yellow below.

LinkedIn Write Article Screenshot Image

Editing options for articles include the ability to highlight quotes, incorporate links, and include calls-to-action such as linking to a company website, encouraging readers to become followers of the page, or even downloading a related digital asset.

Firms using the new feature will face the issue of determining just how much to publish on LinkedIn versus on their own websites. Through experimentation, company’s can look for a mixture that produces the best engagement and maximum impact for the unique needs of each business.

With more B2B brands making significant use of discussion in the form of comments on LinkedIn, the new long-form article feature provides fascinating options for firms to consider when it comes to where they want to engage clients and prospects.

Learn more about this new feature at Articles for Pages: Build Community with Long-Form Content.

2 — Share Customer Praise With Ratings & Reviews

LinkedIn also recently began offering review and rating features to user profiles, as part of a new more robust services profile element that can now include a range of past client reviews and ratings.

When LinkedIn initially rolled out the ability for individual users and small businesses to create a no-cost service page, the feature was primarily a static list of services — now however, the updated services page optionally allows reviews from past clients to add real-world feedback.

Creating a service page on LinkedIn helps users and small businesses make the services they provide more discoverable both on the platform and through third-party search engines, and allows all LinkedIn users to make contact inquiring about the services listed.

Learn more about how to create a LinkedIn Service Page, explore frequently asked questions, find out how to invite clients to review a service page, and check out our own “5 Stars: 20+ Tips to Invigorate Your B2B Marketing Using Testimonials & Reviews.”

3 — Enhanced LinkedIn Live Experience

Another area that has recently been enhanced by LinkedIn is an updated LinkedIn Live Events experience, allowing users to create more robust virtual events.

LinkedIn Live is the platform’s live video feature, and recent updates have combined many of its abilities with those of LinkedIn’s separate event experiences. The integrated offering now automatically creates a public event post for each scheduled live-streaming event, which then appears in the LinkedIn feed.

Users who have chosen to attend a LinkedIn Live event will also now receive helpful reminder messages, and LinkedIn will additionally notify certain followers of the company page hosting the event.

Another change has made it possible to have more lead time than the previous seven day limit when scheduling LinkedIn Live events.

Learn more about the updated integration between LivedIn Live and events, and check out our own “Livestream Marketing: 5 B2B Brands Rocking LinkedIn Live.”

4 — Utilize LinkedIn Learning Hub Skill-Building Platform

LinkedIn has just launched its LinkedIn Learning Hub, a robust skill-building platform looking to expand on what is available from traditional learning experience platforms (LXPs).

As Amy Borsetti, senior director at LinkedIn Talent Solutions announced yesterday in “With LinkedIn Learning Hub, a New Era of Skill Building Starts Today,” the new LinkedIn Learning Hub is part of a movement that’s fundamentally changing the way people learn.

Savvy B2B marketers know that the ever-changing industry requires ongoing education, and with its new LinkedIn Learning Hub, a wealth of learning and development (L&D) offerings are on tap for marketers seeking to make learning a lifelong pursuit.

5 — Lighten The Load On Your Eyes With Dark Mode

Increased accessibility, inclusivity, and reduced eye-strain-inducing blue light are among the aims for LinkedIn’s new dark mode option, being rolled out to the professional platform’s users.

LinkedIn has taken a measured approach to carefully implementing its dark mode, which is a part of its move to make the platform more inclusive and accessible through the use of upgrades making the visual elements of LinkedIn as clear and eye-strain-free as possible, including support for the free Be My Eyes app for blind and low-vision users.

Learn more about LinkedIn’s new dark mode and other accessibility updates.

B2B Brands Work Smarter With LinkedIn’s New Features

via GIPHY

With its latest updates including full-length articles for pages, profile ratings and reviews, LinkedIn Live Events, a new LinkedIn Learning Hub skill-building platform, and new features for accessibility in the form of a dark mode, LinkedIn has made it easier than ever for B2B marketers to create meaningful engagement on the world’s biggest professional business network.

Crafting award-winning B2B marketing with a skillful mixture of influence takes considerable time and effort, which is why many firms choose to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Talk with us about how we can help, as we’ve done for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.

* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 5 Fresh Features: What LinkedIn’s New Learning Hub, Ratings & Reviews, Live Events & Page Article Updates Mean for B2B Marketers appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

10 New Insights B2B Marketers Need To Know About LinkedIn In 2021

Closeup image of woman’s blue eye behind black-framed glasses.

 Closeup image of woman’s blue eye behind black-framed glasses.

What has changed at the world’s largest professional social media platform during the pandemic, and how will it shift for B2B marketers in the post-pandemic landscape?

LinkedIn* has already rolled out an impressive assortment of new features in 2021, and we’ve got 10 insights that B2B marketers need to know about them.

Over the course of the pandemic, LinkedIn ads have been among the marketing channels that have grown the most in importance according to report data examining B2B technology marketing strategies, as we covered in a recent edition of the TopRank Marketing news.

LinkedIn also saw a revenue increase of 23 percent during the second quarter of fiscal year 2021, according to earnings release information from parent company Microsoft, led in part by strong advertising performance.

What has lead to this growth?

Let’s jump right in an look at 10 new LinkedIn insights for B2B marketers.

1 — An Inspiring Array Of New Features For Company Pages

LinkedIn has added an inspiring array of new features for company pages on the platform, including several aimed at helping businesses involve their employees in finding and sharing its various types of content.

A new “My Community” tab added to company pages allows businesses to make sharing content from the company or other curated sources simpler, while also providing reach and engagement data to measure the effectiveness of employee advocacy.

Company page administrators have been given new tools for recommending content to employees, along with a unique feature that suggests ways employees can turn what they share into distinctive content.

Employees are 14 times as likely to share their own organization’s page content compared to other brands, according to research from LinkedIn that also shows co-workers are some 60 percent more likely to engage with posts from their teammates.

The LinkedIn company page additions, announced in February, work to strengthen a brand’s community on the platform, with other new features including an expansion of LinkedIn Stories that lets brands utilize destination links for swipe-up interactions.

Other new additions have included increased lead generation functionality within LinkedIn’s product pages.

By making it easy for company employees to share brand content, LinkedIn has made strides in overcoming the notion that nobody looks at company pages — a place where content goes to die.

Each new feature rolled out by LinkedIn offers B2B marketers new opportunities for connection and engagement. If you’ve missed other new LinkedIn additions and are looking for helpful ways to increase engagement by using them, our content marketing manager Nick Nelson explores a variety of options in a helpful article on boosting B2B marketing engagement on LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=”“If your company’s approach to LinkedIn has been an autopilot, the time is right to buckle down and take advantage of the many opportunities afforded to B2B marketers by the world’s largest professional social network.” @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

2 — LinkedIn Live Bolsters Brand Video Engagement

The importance of video has skyrocketed during the pandemic, and LinkedIn has accordingly seen sizable increases in utilization of its LinkedIn Live functionality.

Usage statistics show that the professional social network’s LinkedIn Live video streams have increased by 89 percent since March, 2020, along with strong levels of member engagement.

While use of audio social platform Clubhouse has risen, the majority of B2B brands have so far taken a wait-and-see approach. Our informal poll data showed that 52 percent of B2B marketers view Clubhouse as not important in their 2021 marketing strategy, with 28 percent having said that the jury was still out on its importance in their marketing efforts.

LinkedIn Poll Image

What do B2B brands need to ask themselves before utilizing Clubhouse and other trending new platforms? Our CEO and co-founder Lee Odden offers up a sound strategy and shows how partnering with influencers can be key now more than ever in his recent “How B2B Brands Can Boost Confidence in Livestream Video, Podcast and Clubhouse Marketing.”

While most B2B marketers wait for Clubhouse’s impact on business marketing to play out, LinkedIn Live has seen steadily growing implementation among major brands.

LinkedIn Live is being used by more major firms all the time, such as the 5 B2B brands I wrote about that are rocking their LinkedIn Live game, in “Livestream Marketing: 5 B2B Brands Rocking LinkedIn Live,” featuring JPMorgan Chase, CompTIA, Microsoft, NASA, and SAP*.

As more brands have embraced LinkedIn Live, marketers have shared information on how to utilize its numerous features, such as “How to schedule livestreams to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.”

[bctt tweet=”“Content Marketers can boost the success of their marketing investment when they optimize content for discovery wherever buyers are looking, subscribing and influenced.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

3 — Planning For “The Big Long’’ Requires Patience

LinkedIn has taken a long-term look at B2B marketing trends, in the form of a robust collection of some 30 marketing trends it has researched over the past five years, available in report form in “2030 B2B Trends: Contrarian Ideas For The Next Decade.”

Putting all this data into perspective for use today can be a daunting challenge. Thankfully, however, Ty Heath, director of market engagement at The B2B Institute at LinkedIn recently took the time to share her wealth of knowledge on the report and its most important trends, which I covered in “LinkedIn’s Ty Heath: 3 Enduring B2B Marketing Trends #MPB2B.”

Ty shared the importance of B2B marketers being able to strike just the right balance of short-term activation versus long term branding, and pointed out that one of brand-building’s truest strengths is its effect on long term sales.

Recently LinkedIn’s Peter Weinberg and Jon Lombardo shared their views on the 2030 marketing trends report, looking at why brand investment is key for providing business value, in Marketing Week’s “Why B2B marketers need to bet big on ‘The Big Long’.”

“Brand building requires patience,” Weinberg and Lombardo noted. “Brands are built over decades, not quarters, by constantly investing in repeatable and distinctive creative concepts,” they added.

Another resource LinkedIn has made available for B2B marketers is “5 Principles Of Growth In B2B Marketing,” which examines the art of balancing the long-term brand-building goals with short-term sales activation concerns.

[bctt tweet=”“We can look forward to more memorable B2B marketing messages that connect brand to demand. If you are a creative B2B marketer, that’s something you can get excited about.” — Ty Heath @tyrona” username=”toprank”]

4 — Influence’s Increasing Strengths Well-Showcased Via LinkedIn

The success of LinkedIn Live has come in part due to its ability to drive brand awareness, and a growing number of recent studies have shown that industry subject matter experts and influencers have embraced live-streaming more than ever during the pandemic.

Live-stream content produced by influencers has seen sustained interest during the global health crisis, according to survey data, and B2B influencers in particular have found increased engagement through LinkedIn.

Digging in to some of the details of this type of engagement on LinkedIn, we’ve presented five helpful case study examples in, “5 Case Studies on How to Optimize B2B Influencer Engagement on LinkedIn.”

The natural kinship between influence in B2B marketing and the LinkedIn platform offers brand marketers a number of particularly powerful opportunities, and we recently took a look at them in an in-depth video interview with Garnor Morantes, group marketing manager at LinkedIn, who sat down with Lee in the second episode of our Inside B2B Influence Marketing show.

Inside Influence 2: Garnor Morantes from LinkedIn on the Power of Always-On Influence” explores what always-on influencer marketing is and how LinkedIn has developed an influencer community using an always-on approach, along with numerous other insights.

Garnor was also among the many major brand contributors to our groundbreaking 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.

Garnor Morantes Image

[bctt tweet=”“Start thinking about who the audience truly is and as a result, who might be able to speak to them better than you can?” — Garnor Morantes of @LinkedIn” username=”toprank”]

5 — Successfully Working With Changes To Apple’s Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) System

The digital marketing industry has had to take steps to adjust to major changes in how marketers implement ad tracking and targeting, as both Google and Apple have begun shifting away from traditional web browser cookie-tracking technology.

LinkedIn announced in March’s “Sharing an update on our plans for IDFA” that it would no longer collect Apple’s Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) data from its Apple iOS apps, in a change that — although affecting the LinkedIn Audience Network (LAN), conversion tracking and matched audiences features — is expected to have only limited campaign impact.

Using first-party data instead, LinkedIn will offer similar functionality to help marketers reach relevant buyer audiences, a change savvy B2B marketers will want to keep tabs on as further information is released in the coming months.

[bctt tweet=”“The natural kinship between influence in B2B marketing and the LinkedIn platform offers brand marketers a number of particularly powerful opportunities.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

6 — Free Best-Practice Guides Help Point The Way For B2B Content Engagement

LinkedIn has also upped its best-practice and guide publication game during the pandemic, providing a wealth of information for digital marketers looking to achieve the highest levels of success using the platform.

One of the newest offerings comes in the form of advertising campaign planning worksheets and templates, together in a 38-page guide, with the launch of “A Template for Better LinkedIn Campaign Planning,” providing useful resources for a variety of traditional, carousel, video, and other LinkedIn ad types.

LinkedIn has also released a 17-page guide offering B2B marketers tips, statistics and a variety of insight and examples surrounding the production of successful B2B creative assets on its platform, in the helpful “[Pocket Guide] 3 Traits of Engaging B2B Creative.”

Another recent resource for B2B marketers looking to grow engagement on LinkedIn is the platform’s “Return to Grown 2021 Magazine,” featuring case studies, interviews, tips and more.

Some of the guides LinkedIn has published are tailored to specific industries, such as “Why consumer mindset matters in financial services marketing,” yet also offer universal insight of interest to all B2B marketers, including detailed study data showing that LinkedIn members are more likely to have positive feelings after visiting the platform.

LinkedIn Postive Image

A final example of LinkedIn’s helpful guides is a recent examination of take-aways marketers can glean from the pandemic, in “2020 was a creative experiment of two halves – here’s what we learned,” which looks at subjects including how brand distinctiveness drives creative thinking, and creativity’s longstanding bias against overt branding — among numerous other marketing-related topics.

7 — From Black History Month To A Year Of Change

During February’s Black History Month, LinkedIn highlighted an impressive array of initiatives aimed at focusing on and helping to removing barriers to success, including the release of an ongoing series called “Conversations For Change.”

Conversations For Change Screenshot

At TopRank Marketing we also published content centered around Black History Month, including a look at “10 Marketing and Communications Leaders to Inspire You in 2021,” featuring a stellar group of women of color, including LinkedIn’s own Ty Heath and others.

8 — Moving Towards Facilitating Freelance Connections And More

Another area B2B marketers may want to keep tabs on is LinkedIn’s possible move towards offering features that would facilitate freelance connections — an area that has seen significant growth during the pandemic, and a feature that could prove helpful for certain LinkedIn users.

In “LinkedIn’s new Marketplaces will help freelancers find work,” Fortune’s Andrew Marquardt looks into several ways such a LinkedIn feature might work, and the potential such a move would have in providing alternatives to similar functionality provided by existing third-party services Upwork and Fiverr.

As the world’s largest business-oriented social platform, such functionality could enhance LinkedIn in a new area, however marketers will need to wait and see how LinkedIn Marketplace is set to play out during the rest of 2021.

9 — Rising Poll Opportunities

LinkedIn launched the return of its highly-anticipated poll feature in 2020, offering marketers a new platform besides Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for gathering community sentiment using polls — one that may be the most natural fit for many B2B brands.

Polls offer a unique two-for-one value for B2B marketers, providing quality feedback on what customers want while also offering brands a helpful interactive social media content marketing element.

Since the re-launch of polls on the platform, it has become more common to see polls among the content posted on LinkedIn.

We examined some of the brands that took advantage of LinkedIn’s polling features, in “Social Media Polls For Marketers: 6 B2B Brands Winning With LinkedIn Polls,” which shows examples of some of the ways that brands are innovating through the use of polls.

[bctt tweet=”“Poll data shows what marketers are thinking about when it comes to a variety of important subjects, ranging from everyday tasks to far-reaching future trends.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

10 — Eye-Raising Statistics Point To Useful LinkedIn Marketing Trends

Each of the nine areas we’ve looked at so far combine to tell a fascinating story about the rise of LinkedIn for B2B marketers during the pandemic — and point to continuing opportunities for post-pandemic marketing.

Helping to highlight specific details about what’s happening with LinkedIn, here are just a few additional statistics that can help inform your own LinkedIn marketing strategy in 2021 and beyond.

  • 45 percent of those who read articles on LinkedIn are high-level decision makers, and the social platform generates 80 percent of overall B2B social media leads (Source: SalesIntel / Hootsuite)
  • Each week LinkedIn’s feeds get some 9 billion content impressions. (Source: Inc.)
  • A user who follows a company on LinkedIn is 81 percent more likely to open an InMail from that brand than a non-follower. (Source: TechJury)

Bring New Focus to Your LinkedIn B2B Marketing

via GIPHY

By incorporating the new LinkedIn features and insight we’ve examined here, you’ll have a sizable head start in bringing new focus to your own B2B marketing efforts on the platform.

Creating trustworthy and award-winning B2B marketing takes significant effort, which leads many firms to choose working with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us today and let us know how we can help, as we’ve done for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.

*LinkedIn and SAP are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post 10 New Insights B2B Marketers Need To Know About LinkedIn In 2021 appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.