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2019 prediction: LinkedIn will go from strength to strength, finally

Posted by: Thomas Harrison-Lord on 12 February 2019

In the latest Bill Bailey stand-up comedy, Limboland, among many other topics, he mocks the baffling longevity of LinkedIn. He has a point.

You see, LinkedIn has been slow to adopt many of the crucial elements that make a social media platform tick, be that user features such as hashtags, or business features like social listening and an advertising platform that actually works.

This year it will be the third anniversary of Microsoft’s purchase of the professional social media platform. For the first two and a bit years, the alterations were slow and iterative. Then, all of a sudden, sweeping changes were implemented in December 2018.

I logged-in to Campaign Manager, as per usual, and it had completely changed – not just a button move or addition of a new option, but a complete redesign. There were greyed-out options, with promising ‘coming soon’ messages. Later in 2019, specific campaign types for brand awareness and website conversions will be added to the menu – exciting (and necessary) times.

There is one slight snag at the moment: The new Campaign Manager doesn’t really work. In one instance, I was setting up a simple native feed advert with an image, a link and some copy. I created the campaign name, set-up all the targeting criteria, dates and budgets, and then I couldn’t select ‘launch’. I contacted LinkedIn support and they said:

“There is currently an issue when trying to launch some campaigns in the new User Experience. You should be able to change this back to the old one and have no issues trying to launch.”

LinkedIn Ads

Hardly confidence-inspiring. I dutifully switched back to what’s now called the ‘Classic Campaign Manager’ and had to go through most of the process again, duplicating my efforts. Hopefully, these teething issues are sorted out, as starting in February, the original platform will no longer be accessible.

The layout and design of company pages have also taken a step forward recently, with a cleaner look, cover images that now work on mobile devices properly and the addition of a brand slogan, should you have one.

I was speaking to someone from a social listening platform the other day, and they were hoping that they will be able to read LinkedIn soon. For us B2B marketers, this is really important as the subject matters we are trying to gain sentiment analysis on are generally kept to the professional network and not shared on Instagram. I do not have high hopes for this – I’ve already been waiting for half a decade – but fingers crossed.

If all of these things combine, I believe that LinkedIn will start to become the default online marketing tool for B2B marketers. Even without social listening, if the improvements to pages and advertising live up to the hype, LinkedIn is in for a great year. This is the only platform where you can guarantee that the audience you are targeting is B2B, and even though measurements such as CPMs and CPCs tend to be higher than on platforms such as Facebook, that’s a small price to pay for relevance.

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