While the world stayed focused on Facebook, which went down a couple of times over the last couple of weeks, things have been changing over at LinkedIn. LinkedIn changed how people are hired. Now, headhunters turn to LinkedIn to find professionals who are dedicated and good at their jobs. It’s an old piece of wisdom from most headhunters that the best people for the job are often not looking for a new job. Finding these people became a lot easier with LinkedIn, unlike finding active jobseekers on sites meant for that.
But that was a specific niche that LinkedIn filled. Now, there are websites, social media platforms and forums for specific fields and businesses within the professional world. LinkedIn might have got the ball rolling, but everybody else has picked it up and is determined to run with it.
LinkedIn Aims to Double Revenue via Marketing Solutions
So LinkedIn has turned its attention to another phenomenon that is being almost taken over by the online world: branding and marketing, especially within the professional world. About 60 percent of LinkedIn’s revenue last year came from the talents business – the hiring of professionals. About 20 percent came from the marketing segment. This was a bit under half a billion dollars. The current target is to double LinkedIn marketing revenue within three to five years.
Head of Products (Marketing Solutions) Russell Glass, who was in India quite recently, told TOI when he was here that LinkedIn is looking to generate about one billion dollars revenue from its marketing and branding section every year within the next three to five years. That’s a pretty tall order. Facebook’s net revenue for 2014 was a bit less than 12.5 billion dollars.
This section is mostly aimed at B2B marketing, and one big development in that area has been the acquisition of Bizo, which specialises in getting professionals in touch with each other. They provide both technological solutions as well as specific advertising setups geared towards getting a professional audience.
Location, Location, Location
LinkedIn has also been increasing their focus on two huge markets: China and India. The recent visit by Glass to India indicates this, as does the recent tie-up between China’s social car-sharing service, Didi. Didi is Uber’s direct competitor and now lets users book cars through their LinkedIn profiles.
LinkedIn Tools For You
A few tools have already been rolled out to make LinkedIn an attractive platform for people who are planning their marketing budgets. One of the tools they’ve already rolled out, which we’ve already given you a few ideas about, is Showcase Page. Another important tool that uses a different angle is Elevate.
Elevate uses the philosophy that no matter what kind of branding you might plan, a company’s employees are all spokespeople for that company. It makes the content come from people, instead of just a corporate logo, which adds a human element that’s important in marketing and branding.
Elevate has now been made available to large enterprises, which means that you must have over 2000 employees. This tool will give companies an excellent way to analyse how their audience interacts and engages with their content. It lets employees speak for the brand, and lets them see how their words have a tangible impact. It also lets them see how increased engagement leads to more attention for them, through profile views and so on. They will also be able to see what content is being noticed and shared by whom, helping them get a more realistic view of their impact. Now employees can also share content on Twitter and Facebook through Elevate.