As the most recognized form of professional networking since the early 2000’s, LinkedIn has long been synonymous with career advancement and candidate recruitment for career hopefuls and employers alike. Social media sites are no strangers to competition and paid advertising but could LinkedIn be offering a fresh approach to the otherwise tired and crowded social marketing space? What once served as a means of connecting millions of people in most industries through professional experience, insight and knowledge is being transformed into more than just a personal marketing tool. Brands will now be able to engage with the LinkedIn audience through the site’s publishing platform and targeted B2B reach abilities.
As usage and site members continue to grow significantly, so has the need and request for the ability to publish content directly over the platform. Since early 2014 the platform has been taking steps to transform itself into a tool to generate conversions with educated content. The site’s new publishing platform caters to blogs and articles but is by no means limited to such forms of content; there are also slideshow, video and image sharing options. And the best part, LinkedIn doesn’t leave you out in the cold. Through the use of its Content Marketing Score your content will be rated on the quality and effectiveness through specific algorithms. Unlike other social network content or relevance rankings, the site’s application will also give you recommendations on how your content can be improved based on the engagement of your company pages, groups and influencer updates. This ensures not only an active presence but also, instead of evaluating ways in which your current or past content was unsuccessful, you spend your time diligently working on what you know is working.
Additionally, in a new aggressive form of advertising, LinkedIn has introduced an approach to ads called the LinkedIn Network Display. This new development allows users to buy ads over the network to not only be displayed on the site but around the web as well. Brands can target more than just specific groups such as fields or interests, they can target specific titles as well. Although a similar approach to that of Facebook, instead of using personal data to target advertisements, LinkedIn employs strictly professional data. That is to say, If your brand had a list of high-priority clients they were looking to land, with the help of the LinkedIn Network Display, not only would you have the ability to target those pages specifically but also narrow targeting down even further to reach only decision-making job titles within that business saving you time, effort and most importantly money. But it doesn’t end there, other LinkedIn filtering capabilities include: geo-targeting, skills by type, seniority and schools attended to name a few. Your advertisement would reach the right people, from the right group and business at the right time (beyond their LinkedIn engagement). Campaign reporting for these ads will include a summary of the conversions generated by said filtering options (seniority, industry etc.) but will not provide any information about specific individual visitors, user specifics outside of the targeting dimensions are aggregated.
LinkedIn is the leader in “connections” but these new features allow you to connect beyond your own network of associations. The site is rapidly becoming a strong contender in the fight for best social media marketing platform with little sign of slowing down. If you have yet to jump into the professional phenomenon that is LinkedIn, you’re losing out on a lot more than your personal brand, you risk sacrificing great content marketing, networking and client prospecting opportunities as well.