Whether it’s your personal brand or your business, LinkedIn can be an extremely powerful tool to raise awareness, grow your audience and ultimately drive leads. 

With over 100,000 articles posted each week and professionals signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of nearly 3 new members per second, LinkedIn has grown to an established platform for businesses to grow their brand. Plus, with options to sponsor posts, send direct emails and much more, LinkedIn enables marketers to better target their audiences. 

To keep our network up to date with LinkedIn’s latest features and developments, and to share best practice for how best to optimise the platform for your business, we unpick the latest LinkedIn trends and features that have transformed the platform in the last year. 

B2B video is not the same as B2C 

LinkedIn may have traditionally been a social network focused on written content, but since 2017, the platform has embraced a more visual approach – with their algorithms now encouraging video content and a growing number of businesses embracing video to supercharge their B2B marketing activity.

But what should you include when it comes to video? LinkedIn recently carried out research into the top-performing videos on the platform concluding that B2B marketers can only take so much influence from their B2C social videos. Instead, B2B video content requires a stronger focus on storytelling, as opposed to short videos and GIFS. Focusing on the journey of your business, your team and the special moments your service/product creates, will ensure your video campaigns resonate with your audience and transforms your business-focused content into something more relatable and engaging.

Equally, it’s a good idea to have a solid understanding of the goals of your video campaign before you start out. High completion rates won’t equate to high click-through/engagement so, as a first step, identify which metrics you want to be hitting.

Build relationships with targeted content

One of the leading features LinkedIn offers is their target advertising tool with marketers increasingly using the platform to target users with content based on a range of criteria, including job title, job function, industry and user interest. Most recently, LinkedIn has simplified audience targeting by introducing objective-based advertising (a complete reconfiguration of its Campaign Manager tool). On top of this, LinkedIn will let you select different payment options like pay-per-click, per impression or per message. Setting an ad spend budget also gives greater control over your spending.

Dynamic Ads are also a new feature – enabling brands to individualise campaigns to each user’s LinkedIn profile and customise ads based on your marketing objectives. Integrated into this are campaign measurement metrics, such as impressions and clicks, enabling you to track and optimise your campaigns. 

These innovations have helped LinkedIn to win a growing share of budget from advertisers. As part of the survey for WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2021, 35% of respondents said they plan to increase spend on LinkedIn, with only 5% suggesting they would be looking to reduce investment. 

LinkedIn embraces a more visual form of networking

While it’s not wrong to associate LinkedIn with longer form content, the platform over the last few years has embraced more visual posting, now allowing users to load up to nine images per post and providing insight data on those who have viewed the clips.

Alternatively, documents can be turned into carousel posts on LinkedIn which users can side-swipe through and there are many options for brands to run video advertising on the platform. In fact, LinkedIn’s own research showed that articles with images get 94% more total views. 

Why not try LinkedIn Live

LinkedIn may be late to the ‘Live Stories’ party but the new feature is a fantastic way to create more dynamic engagement and interaction between brands and users. The range of stories is significantly less than Instagram, but with LinkedIn generally hosting an older audience unfamiliar with stories, LinkedIn wanted to ease their users in. 

Nonetheless, stories are an effective way for brands to better introduce themselves and their services while maintaining that human touch. Plus, there’s some big plans in the pipeline, with LinkedIn expected to partner with Canva for templates – hopefully the start of a major transformation of stories. 

Avoid the hard sell

Content is king on LinkedIn but it’s just as important not to overdo it with the hard sell. A great case study for this is luxury car brand, Porsche, that had a minimal LinkedIn presence but wished to take it’s reputation as a company and employer among auto and technology professions to the next level. 

As a result, they redesigned their LinkedIn company page, introducing eye catching visuals and videos as well as developed a new content plan, with greater emphasis on thought leadership and industry insight. Porsche’s LinkedIn page witnessed a three-fold growth in followers after one year and monthly average page visits jumped by 157% and engagement rate increased by 160% – a clear example of the power of creating engaging and relevant content on the platform. 

There we have it, the top LinkedIn features defining the platform this year. Plus, if you’re looking for help with your LinkedIn profile, we offer a free 30 minutes session with one of our experts – whether you want to discuss your existing strategy or brainstorm new ideas, get some expert input for free.