LinkedIn Just Created A Better Opportunity for B2B Marketers to Target Audiences
Just in time for tax filing deadlines, LinkedIn has announced that they will remove the Products and Services tabs found within LinkedIn Company Pages. For those organizations invested in copy and recommendations requests for this section, you’ll have to adjust course. This comes as little surprise though, since LinkedIn launched Showcase pages late last year, which will become the effective replacement.
This post provides an overview for B2B marketers transitioning content from LinkedIn Products and Services to LinkedIn Showcase Pages, as well as a best practices in LinkedIn Showcase Page development.
What B2B Marketers Need to Know Right Now
- The Products & Services tabs will be removed from LinkedIn company pages on April 14th.
- Company Page Administrators should transition Product / Service content to LinkedIn Showcase Pages in order to retain visibility.
- What about product / service-specific recommendations? Per the announcement, “Company Page Administrators can recover Products & Services Recommendations directly from the tab by copying the information into your own document [but] you should have also received an email regarding this change and can download a copy by clicking a link from within that message.“
What This Change Means for B2B Marketers
The added value in showcase pages is in the ability for B2B organizations to create and maintain a consistent stream of communication, about a specific product or service, to an organization’s LinkedIn following.
In creating Showcase Pages, your organization is creating a more dynamic and ever-growing content marketing platform that supports multiple sub-brands and product lines. As your organization continues to release new updates and supporting thought leadership about a particular product line or brand, Showcase Pages help target the specific audiences in mind.
Showcase Page Example: The Adobe Marketing Cloud, a Showcase Page off of the Adobe Company Page
Another way B2B organizations could leverage Showcase Pages is through industry-specific themes and communications. For example, if your organization targets communities in both the financial and healthcare sectors, it might make sense to create Showcase Pages highlighting your content marketing assets specific to each audience.
Showcase Page Example: Accenture Health & Accenture Digital, Showcase Pages off of the Accenture Company Page
Best Practices for LinkedIn Showcase Pages
Showcase Pages are relatively new and many organizations haven’t even begun to explore the opportunity (possibly part of the reason Products / Services tabs are being removed). While LinkedIn does have a reference point for marketers building Showcase Pages the general requirements are as follows:
- Concise and Accurate Title
- 75 to 200 Character Page Description
- Logo & Icon for Updates (100 x 60 pixels and 50 x 50 pixels respectively)
- Industry Focus
Optional, but highly recommended Showcase Page elements include:
- Hero (Cover) Photo – “Minimum 974 x 330 pixels. PNG, JPEG, or GIF. Maximum file size 2 MB. You can crop your image once it’s uploaded.”
- Website URL Reference – this is ideal since 200 character descriptions are not very good for identifying contact information or other communication channels.
As LinkedIn expands the functionality of Showcase Pages, I hope they expand the ability to augment the Showcase Page description either through additional detail (IE, expand the 200 character limit) or through the opportunity to add more detailed, supporting marketing collateral.
For example, many larger B2B organizations have separate but interrelated social media profiles or contact points for various sub-brands. You’ll need to create separate updates to ensure visibility of important communications right now, but at least you can “Pin to Top” your most critical information across individual Showcase Pages.
Finally, according to LinkedIn Support, you cannot create vanity URL’s yet for Showcase Pages, but that might also change in the future.
LinkedIn Showcase Pages And Your B2B Content Marketing Program
For organizations with several distinction brands, product offerings, or industry focuses, LinkedIn Showcase Pages present a great opportunity for creating communication opportunities to targeted audiences.
Like any content marketing program, my first recommendation after Showcase Page creation would be to establish an editorial calendar identifying a schedule of consistent updates.
The next step is driving awareness. Leverage your existing communication channels, including your main LinkedIn Page, to generate awareness of this new, specialized content marketing asset. Places to consider:
- Main LinkedIn Company Page Announcement
- Website Sections (resources, solutions, etc) specific to targeted Showcase Page
- Additional social media platforms – Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc
- Newsletter / Email communications (probably not the primary communication objective but a secondary notification)
What About B2B Organizations That Already Created Separate LinkedIn Pages?
If you’ve already created a separate presence – via separate LinkedIn “Brand” (Company) Page – it doesn’t make sense to tear down and build anew. Rather, create a reference point via Showcase Page and offer a sensible alternative for target audiences to find your brand. From there, you can direct the audience to the appropriate destination via Showcase Page update.
Final Thoughts and Considerations
My first reaction to the announcement that LinkedIn would be taking down the Products & Services tab was one of dismay. After all, even though we live in a world of constant change, we sometimes have trouble truly embracing it.
But as I took a step back, I realized the opportunity to create a more dynamic experience for the target audience, about specific solutions an organization has to offer, was a much better long-term option.
What is your perspective on LinkedIn Showcase Pages? What would you like to see LinkedIn change or expand in this offering? I’d love to read your feedback and perspective via comments below.