What are the latest LinkedIn features and how can B2B marketers best utilize them for success in the push towards 2024 and throughout the coming year?
Since its inception LinkedIn* has been the leading business social media platform, and with increasing numbers of brands and users having turned away from Twitter since its highly-publicized 2022 ownership and policy shifts, in 2023 LinkedIn has grown to over a billion members.
Microsoft’s latest quarterly performance report showed that LinkedIn has seen continued record levels of engagement, with the number of user sessions expanding by 12 percent from the same quarter in 2022, accompanied by revenue that grew by eight percent during the most recent quarter year-over-year, Microsoft recently announced.
Additionally, overall U.S. B2B advertising spending is expected to reach $31.72 billion during 2023, with 37.4 percent of that accounted for by LinkedIn and Meta alone, according to recent Insider Intelligence data, as we covered recently in our Friday Elevate B2B Marketing News Weekly Roundup.
In addition to providing plentiful new paid advertising options, LinkedIn has also kept the pedal down with innovative new organic content publication and promotion opportunities.
Having released a robust offering of new platform features over the past few months, let’s take a look at six of them and how they can help B2B marketers shine.
1 — Work Better Together With Collaborative LinkedIn Articles
LinkedIn has long been a leading social platform where subject matter experts adept at collaborative content creation devote time and effort, however it wasn’t until recently that LinkedIn incorporated specific features aimed at multiple-person collaboration.
LinkedIn has rolled out an array of new collaborative article features, including new content layouts that better highlight key contributors and include a more robust user interface, along with easier-to-access in-feed emoji and other reactions.
An increasing number of major brands have begun harnessing the power of creators on LinkedIn, with influencer partnerships becoming more commonplace as brands have increasingly found success with such relationships on the professional social platform, and Fast Company recently took a look.
The latest generation of collaborative content features on the platform come as LinkedIn has benefited from a decrease in users at X, many looking for a new digital gathering spot. The continued growth LinkedIn has seen has caused it to undergo a transformation in the eyes of the public, noted in a proliferation of articles such as “Sorry, But LinkedIn Is Cool Now,” by Sarah Frier, editor in charge of big tech coverage at Bloomberg.
Just as B2B marketing has transformed from boring-to-boring to much more exciting B2C-like content experiences and storytelling, so too has LinkedIn undergone a shift from the static resume repository of long ago to a platform rich with industry-specific creators, influencers, and subject matter experts.“LinkedIn has undergone a shift from the static resume repository of long ago to a platform rich with industry-specific creators, influencers, and subject matter experts.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
2 — Examine LinkedIn’s Growing AI Options
As a Microsoft property, LinkedIn has benefited from the many large AI advancements and initiatives its parent company has launched and expanded, especially over the past year, including the forthcoming addition of its AI Copilot to Microsoft 365 and to its Windows 11 operating system, which rolled out recently.
In addition to LinkedIn’s collaboration features that let multiple users easily contribute to and share co-created content, this year has seen another form of collaboration arrive on the platform, with the March launch of collaborative AI articles, and a recent late-October expansion of the feature.
During the six months since LinkedIn launched collaborative AI articles, over a million expert answers have been submitted, as Lakshman Somasundaram, director of product management at LinkedIn, recently revealed in “Over 1 Million Expert Answers: What’s New with Collaborative Articles.”
“What excites me is who the experts contributing to these articles are: they run the gamut from senior leaders to individual contributors who have unique ‘been there, done that’ stories to share,” Somasundaram noted.“What excites me is who the experts contributing to these articles are: they run the gamut from senior leaders and executives, to individual contributors who have unique ‘been there, done that’ stories to share.” — Lakshman Somasundaram Click To Tweet
Adding expert voices to collaborative AI articles on LinkedIn offers an array of benefits, including:
- Greater notification reach to relevant LinkedIn members
- Better visibility in LinkedIn’s internal search functionality
- Expanded reach to other user’s LinkedIn feeds
- The ability to achieve special badging such as “Top Community Voice”
LinkedIn has also pushed to add new natural language AI capabilities that aim to streamline the hiring and ad-creation processes on the platform, including job technology that goes well beyond traditional role titles, as Reuters recently explored.
3 — Solidify LinkedIn Calls To Action
Custom call to action (CTA) buttons linking to specific targets are commonplace on brand websites, yet haven’t been so readily available on social platforms. LinkedIn has made inroads in this area, having rolled out expanded visibility for its call-to-action profile buttons that were rolled out in April, which will appear in more areas on the platform, including in feed posts and within search results, LinkedIn recently announced.
Some of the nuances of a successful CTA — part marketing science and part advertising art-form — are laid out within LinkedIn’s helpful marketing glossary, and with the platform’s more prominent visibility for CTAs among its premium subscribers, B2B marketers have much to gain by taking advantage of this feature.
To learn more about what a successful B2B marketing CTA looks like, check out our “Winning B2B Calls to Action That Get Responses & Convert Browsers into Buyers.”“If you’re cruising on autopilot with your CTAs, you are probably leaving opportunities on the table to better engage (and convert!) your audience.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN Click To Tweet
4 — Tap New Accessibility Options
LinkedIn has a long history of making content shared on the platform as accessible as possible, and as technology has continued its constant march forward so too have LinkedIn’s features in this important area.
LinkedIn recently rolled out an array of accessibility features bringing text-to-speech, real-time translation, and other new communications options to the professional social platform, all tied in to newly-implemented integration with its Immersive Reader product.
Accessibility has been a fundamental part of the web since its inception, however it’s taken decades to reach the sophistication the latest updates from LinkedIn and other technology firms now offer in this area.
I think back to when I designed websites back in the earliest days of the web, and to this day still keep in mind the old adage asking the question, “What would this webpage experience be like to a person with vision impairment or low vision,” perhaps through Lynx, the oldest web browser still being maintained.
Meryl Evans, global accessibility marketing consultant, speaker, and writer has been elevating opportunities for more accessible communication since the days of computer bulletin boards, which we both operated in our pre-web days. Evans was among the top voices featured in “LinkedIn Top Voices in Disability Advocacy: The 12 creators to follow.”
“If #disability and #accessibility advocates provide a long list of things to fix or change, it won’t get done. Start small. That’s the value of the progress over perfection approach,” Evans observed.“If #disability and #accessibility advocates provide a long list of things to fix or change, it won't get done. Start small. That's the value of the progress over perfection approach.” — Meryl Evans @MerylKEvans Click To Tweet
5 — Expand Audiences With LinkedIn’s Updated Newsletters
When newsletters come to mind, print or email offerings often get first billing, however LinkedIn has made a significant push to help B2B marketers publish newsletters directly on the platform.
It has developed and rolled out a more robust editor for creating newsletters on the platform, along with additional newsletter features including the ability to host up to five separate newsletters, as Keren Baruch, director of product management at LinkedIn, shared in “Grow Your Audience with the Power of LinkedIn Newsletters.”“It’s been so great to see the growing engagement with newsletters. This is why we’re continuing to invest in new features to help your content shine and grow your audience.” — @Keren_Baruch_ of @LinkedIn Click To Tweet
We’ve explored the power of the newsletter from many different angles over the years, including in our articles “Sign Me Up: How B2B Marketers Will Create Top-Notch Newsletters In 2022,” and “Dear Friend: Secrets to Creating a Newsletter People Want to Read From Ann Handley.”
While you’re exploring the many fine examples of LinkedIn newsletters available today, be sure to also check out our own Elevate B2B Marketing LinkedIn newsletter.
6 — Boost Brand Partnerships With LinkedIn Tagging Features
As with the new content collaboration options we have already explored — which allow multiple people to share contributions — LinkedIn has also rolled out new ways for creators to include and tag the brands they are partnering with.
LinkedIn’s brand partnership tags provide new ways for subject matter experts, influencers, and creators on the platform to more clearly denote content surrounding their partnerships with brands, in an effort that helps boost partnership transparency on the platform.
Telling brand stories on LinkedIn that have proper partnership attribution helps instill trust, from which greater personalization can arise — a subject we recently covered in “5 Winning Ways To Personalize Content With B2B Influencer Marketing.”
Jump Into The Action With LinkedIn’s Latest Brand Features
From the newest creator collaborative content and brand partnership options and better CTAs to the next generation of newsletters, greater content accessibility and powerful new AI options, LinkedIn’s latest features bring B2B marketers a wide range of new opportunities.
We hope that this look at six of the newest available LinkedIn features will help your own B2B marketing efforts as we head towards 2024.
For more information, also check out “15+ Top Tips For B2B Marketers To Optimize & Humanize LinkedIn Profiles,” in which I outline more than 15 specific actions you can take to make your LinkedIn profile stand out with completeness.
If you’re looking for help with your marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us and find out why major brands such as LinkedIn, Adobe, Dell, 3M, and others have for more than 22 years turned to TopRank Marketing.
* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.