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Posted on:
September 17th, 2020

The Big LinkedIn Updates for B2B Marketers in 2020

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There’s never been a more interesting time to be a digital marketer. And in light of a wave of recent updates, there’s also never been a more interesting time to advertise on LinkedIn. 

Since January, LinkedIn has released a range of new features within Campaign Manager, from Conversation Ads to LinkedIn Live. These updates are providing marketers with an ever-growing toolkit to target and engage the platform’s 706 million members. Given the growing attention on digital (and social) media, these updates couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.

What are these new features, and what do they mean for B2B marketers? As a LinkedIn Agency Partner, we’re proud to be able to offer some exclusive insights into some of the latest LinkedIn updates, as well as our top tips and tricks for getting the best results!

  1. LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events

The coronavirus lockdown meant that physical meetings and in-person events were out of action. In response, the world has shifted to digital, resulting in a huge spike in the number of virtual conferences, webinars, and online events.

But a pre-recorded video simply isn’t a match for a live talk or conference. In response to this, LinkedIn released ‘LinkedIn Live’, making it possible to broadcast real-time video directly onto the platform. This allowed marketers to host live virtual events on LinkedIn for the first time. 

The potential uses for LinkedIn Live also extend far beyond virtual events: product launches, behind the scenes interviews, and any other company update you can think of, can now be broadcast live. 

LinkedIn Live has enabled marketers to drastically increase engagement, with live-streams receiving 24x more comments and 7x more reactions than native video.  

Alongside the launch of LinkedIn Live came LinkedIn Events, allowing page admins to create dedicated pages for every event. These pages offer a space to inform and engage audiences at each stage of the event lifecycle, and can also be used to house LinkedIn Live broadcasts.

While advertisers still need to apply for LinkedIn Live to access this feature, LinkedIn Events are now available to all page admins.

Thinking about giving LinkedIn Live a try? Or perhaps you’ve already tried it out and are looking for even better results next time? Either way, we’ve offered some of our top tips below:

  1. Promotion – Make sure anyone who should know about your upcoming Live or event, does. Combine multiple different strategies, such as an up-to-date Events page, paid and organic promotion, and event hashtags. Maximise your reach by asking employees and partners to share the event with their own networks. 
  2. Make it interactive – Choose a streaming partner that allows you to respond to comments and questions in real-time. This will help your audience to feel like they are in the room with the speakers and get the most from your event.
  3.  Repurpose content – Once your live stream is over, continue to reap the benefits by reusing and repurposing that content, for example turning it into blogs, short videos and ‘On Demand’ sessions. 

You can learn more about LinkedIn Live here and Events here.

  1. Conversation Ads

Offering a highly personal and direct ad format, LinkedIn Message Ads (formerly InMails) are a staple feature of many B2B advertising campaigns.

With the introduction of a new Sponsored Messaging ad format, Conversation Ads, LinkedIn has taken this personalisation a step further. As the name suggests, Conversation Ads are a choose-your-own-path ad format allowing members to participate in a pre-written conversation with you about your company or offer.

Some top tips for including Conversation Ads within your LinkedIn advertising strategy:

  1. Get to know your audience – The choose-your-own-path nature of Conversation Ads offers a great opportunity to get to know your audience at scale. You might ask members what their biggest challenge is at the moment, or which of your offers they are most interested in. Use this data to inform future campaigns!
  2. Give your audience what they want – By leading members through a pre-defined conversation flow, Conversation Ads allow you to include multiple call-to-action buttons within one ad. Use this to your advantage: include multiple assets or offers within each conversation so members are able to choose what is most relevant to them. 
  3. Make it personal – Conversation Ads offer a much more personal approach than many other ad formats. We always recommend maximising this personal feel by sending messages from individual LinkedIn accounts rather than company pages – this tends to see much higher engagement. So why not take this opportunity to experiment with a more playful tone of voice? You might even consider trialling some emojis… 💭

We recently helped our client F5 to achieve real success with Conversation Ads, which you can read all about here! LinkedIn also provides further information about Conversation Ads here.

  1. Additional Retargeting Options

Website retargeting has long been available on LinkedIn, for any advertiser set up with the Insights Tag. However, LinkedIn recently released some new retargeting capabilities which made us really quite excited:

  1. Lead Gen Forms – To retarget members who opened or partially completed a lead gen form but did not submit.
  2. Video Views – To retarget members who watched between 25%-97% of your video ad in the past 30-365 days.

LinkedIn is rapidly expanding the range of retargeting strategies available on the platform, offering greater flexibility for marketers looking to re-engage familiar and interested members. 

Here are our top tips for getting the best results from these retargeting strategies, as well as from website retargeting campaigns:

  1. Maximise audience size – While LinkedIn only requires a minimum of 300 members to launch a campaign, an audience size of at least 50,000 is recommended for best performance. Reaching this threshold can often prove tricky for retargeting campaigns. To boost your audience size, try combining countries, retargeting multiple Lead Gen Form/ Video campaigns, or increasing the timescale of engagements/website visits that are counted. 
  2. Experiment with lookalikes – Building lookalikes from your retargeting campaigns can be a great way to reach new members with similar characteristics to your best-performing audiences. These members are much more likely to be interested in your company or offer and have higher intent than standard prospecting audiences.
  3. Tailor and refresh content – When retargeting members, consider adapting and tailoring the content rather than offering up the same ads. You can assume these members are familiar with your company or offer, so why not show them something less introductory and more in-depth? This could help to drive the customer relationship forward, moving your audience further down that lengthy B2B sales funnel.

You can read more about Video and Lead Gen Form retargeting here.

Alongside these updates, there has been a wide range of other exciting product releases from LinkedIn this year. This includes organic polls, vertical video ads and a name pronunciation feature, just to name a few! These updates have enabled increasingly diverse and sophisticated marketing, made only more crucial by the near-absolute shift to digital. LinkedIn also has many more updates in the pipeline for 2020, and as Agency Partners we’re excited to be working closely with them on these developments. You won’t find any spoilers here though, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for our LinkedIn next update!