LinkedIn Connects with Marketing and Sales: The CRM Rising Stars Awards 2018
LinkedIn is as far from a start-up as a company can get, but the platform, which Microsoft bought in June 2016 for $2.6 billion, has taken steps to enable companies to engage with its community of 500 million business professionals. And it has done so with a greater emphasis on its Marketing Solutions and Sales Solutions suites, both of which it has been enhancing in recent months.
In June, the company expanded its Marketing Solutions with carousel ads and video capabilities. The carousel ads—designed for its Sponsored Content native advertising format—are a tool for B2B companies to tell their brand stories and engage with their target audiences on the platform. Aiming to inject emotion into the B2B marketing process, each carousel ad features a swipeable series of up to 10 customizable cards. This flexibility enables companies to share more of their content and create higher-quality interactions with their target audiences.
As for the video capabilities, the company announced B2B video for Sponsored Content and Company Pages in July. Video for Sponsored Content aims to help B2B marketers achieve their objectives by building brand awareness via visual stories, driving qualified traffic to their desktop or mobile websites and collecting quality leads with a persistent “call to action” button or forms prefilled with LinkedIn profile data. Video for Company Pages allows firsthand looks into products, news, and events.
On the Sales Solutions side, LinkedIn has been updating its Sales Navigator tool. It launched a redesigned account page for desktop in February, with three key elements: a company summary, a new people tab, and a news and insights tab. It followed this up in May with a redesigned mobile account page that allows users to see company descriptions and employee counts, visit company websites directly, or open up directions in Google Maps or Apple Maps. It includes sections that enable users to explore LinkedIn information, including department sizes and growth rates and recommended leads.
LinkedIn also announced a host of new partners for its Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP), which aims to provide Sales Navigator insights directly within the applications sales reps use every day. Partners announced recently include SugarCRM, SAP Hybris, Pegasystems, Oracle Sales Cloud, and Oracle Eloqua. In July, Marketing Solutions redesigned the reporting experience for its Campaign Manager, helping marketers save time on reporting and quickly optimize campaigns.